I set out to complete both of the Doyster White and Doyster Black series today but unfortunately part way around the Black Series my GPS had a severe malfunction and I was unable to complete the route! Fortunately though, I managed to navigate my way around the White Series despite a few GPS blips. This is a very pleasant trail with some nice countryside and some unusual and different points of interest along the way. Apart from a few cows, the series was dog friendly.
After picking up a quick cache & dash near the car, we crossed the A30, headed along the lane and found the first cache of the series. Along the way we passed the former Hook Mill before reaching the open countryside.
A herd of very young cows were in the field between caches 2 & 3 and stood right beside the gate and my exit out of the field. Having Pip with me today, I was a little nervous passing by them, but they were very well behaved and looked on whilst I located the nearby cache.
We then passed through Borough Court, a large building with some very tall chimneys. As we walked along the drive we were immediately greeted by two dogs who continuously barked at us until we were out of their sight.
The trail crossed over Merrall Green Road and alongside the grounds of West Green House & Gardens. As I walked along the path, I could see a couple of the folly’s and the grotto mentioned on the cache page through the fence.
Cache no.7 was near the pond on West Green Common, behind us was West Green House which was built in the 1770’s by General Henry Hawley of the 1745 rebellion fame (more info on the cache page). This series has a couple of bonus caches, these are located a little off the trail and the first of them was a few hundred yards along the road that runs alongside the Common passing a splendid column just inside the grounds of West Green House and visible from the roadside.
We then passed the very fine Wintney Court with it’s own WWII Pill Box in the gardens, which we took a few minutes out to explore. From here the we took the path through the fields, passing the gas pressure relief station to reach the busy A30. We only had to walk up the road road a short way before we took another quick detour for the second bonus cache of the series.
After crossing the A30, we were onto an old tree lined byway known as the Old Pottage Road. Nowadays it doesn’t seem to get much use, probably because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere much, except to the M3! Though it did lead us to another Pill Box and then to very high railway bridge and a view of the M3. We then had to follow a path for a short distance than ran parallel to the rather noisy M3 motorway.
From this point my GPS started to play up, it lost gps reception on more than one occasion, so I continued as best I could. Near the end of the trail we had to go through a very long, dark tunnel with a low ceiling that ran underneath the railway line. As Pip & I emerged into the light on the other side, a herd of cows were waiting to greet us! The last cache of the series was in their field but with a dodgy gps and a dog in tow, I thought it safer to leave the cache and cross through the field without stopping.