X marks the spot – try Geocaching in the South Downs

Geocaching is a hobby which is currently taking the world by storm and there’s no better place to have a go than in South Downs National Park.

Perfect for families and children of all ages, geocaching is essentially treasure hunting, following clues and directions to find ‘treasure’ hidden by other geocaching fans.

The South Downs hosts England’s first geotour, an epic challenge which will guide you around 30 hidden geocaches, taking you on a fascinating exploration of this wonderful park.

The tour covers all the national park, so while it is not something which could be done on foot in one day, a spot of geocaching will always add to any day out in the South Downs. Geocaches can be found near all the main towns including Midhurst, Steyning and Petersfield.

Popular geocaches

The most popular geocaches in the South Downs National Park include:

  • South Downs Way Mile 20 is described as ‘a sneaky little cache in a bold location’. This point is the 20-mile marker. It has a difficulty level of 2 out of 5 and the terrain is rated as easy. People who have already found this cache and logged it say it’s hidden ‘cleverly’.
  • Glynde Track is described as ‘a small traditional cache hidden on a recently restored drove road’. It has a difficultly level of 2 out of 5 and the terrain is rated as fairly easy. People who have already found this cache rate it as a kid-friendly find which should take less than an hour to locate.
  • Rackham Banks is described as ‘a small cache hidden near the Scheduled Ancient Monument of Rackham Banks’. It has a difficulty level of 3 out of 5 and the terrain is rated as fairly easy. People who have already found this cache say it can be found in all weathers and should need a hike of less than 1km to get to it.

Full details of where the geocaches can be found across South Downs National Park can be found on the official geocaching website.

Each set of directions will tell you the difficulty of finding the geocache, the terrain you will have to travel in trying to find it and also some helpful hints and tips on where to find it. Beware though, these hints and tips are frequently in code or riddles – people don’t want to make it too easy for you!

Geocaching is a fantastic outdoor activity and provides great physical exercise – watch how fast the children run when they have a geocache in sight. Following the instructions is also great to teach map-reading, geography and problem solving skills.

Geocaching is an activity organised frequently in schools as well so your children will be learning without even knowing!

It’s not just for the kids though – adults can get a real kick out of finding the geocaches and logging your achievements publicly within geocaching online communities. It’s also a great way to make some friends.

You can also add your own geocaches if you really get into – there are rules and guidelines to follow when doing so but the geocaching website has all the details.

Want to learn more? This video from Geocaching shows you exactly how geocaching works or read our beginner's guide to geocaching here.

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