The Wander in Wilcot & Beyond Wilcot Geocache trails by foxonthescent can be completed in single trip or done separately neither series are very long but they are good example of the classic saying that “great things come from small packages” or short walks in this case. I actually walked the series at the beginning of June, but for one reason and another it’s taken me a few weeks to get around to post to my blog page. The two trails when combined are just over 3 miles long with 17 caches in total to find. The trail started from the Wiltshire village of Wilcot, with parking available beside the reputedly haunted Golden Swan pub, so I didn’t hang around there for too long!
This is an amazing series. Not only is it set in some very nice countryside, it also contains some of the most ingenious hides I’ve come across you only have to check out the number of favorite points that have been awarded by cachers who have completed the series to see how much effort has gone into to creating them. Cache number five for example as a 71% favorites to premium log ratio, quite something.I left the village along a quiet lane passing some rather nice thatched cottages to bring me to the Church of the Holy Cross which dates back to the 12th century, but apparently it was largely rebuilt after a fire in 1876, it’s an impressive church with a lovely old lynch gate leading through into the churchyard.
It wasn’t very long before the route took me out into the lovely countryside that surrounds the area and then onto a section of the Kennet and Avon canal. The canal section probably accounted for half the walk and is where I came across several ingenious and quite unique hides. Along the canal I met a gentleman volunteer from the trust who was planning the construction of a new seat to made out of some sleepers that had been donated from network rail. There were several interesting features along the canal, all documented on the very informative cache pages, these included an old bridge constructed in 1808 and an old suspension bridge which is only one to two remaining from the 50 originally built to the same design. Halfway along the canal is where the two series join and where the Wilcot wide water and Picked Hill, a pyramid shaped hill could also be seen from the side of the towpath.
Unfortunately, once off the canal section I encountered a few problems. cache number 6 was along a footpath that was at the time in an area where extensive tree cutting was taking place. There were several large warning signs and no entry notices, so I had no choice but to give this one a miss. The problem was that this was of course the route to the next caches. However, a quick look at the map and it looked like there was a potential alternative path further up the road so I continued along until I reached it. I made my way towards number 7 cache only to be thwarted again by barbered wire that had been placed to keep the cows from going into the tree cutting area. Not that it mattered too much as the thicket where it had been hidden had been totally cut down and the cache lost with it! I eventually managed to find a route to the last 2 caches to complete the series. Very highly recommended.
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