NOTE: This article was provided by Rebecca Lee of http://www.mzadventures.com. We thank her for her expertise and contribution.
What is Geocaching?
If you’ve not already heard of Geocaching then you may have just found your family’s new favourite hobby.
Over the past fourteen years Geocaching has taken the world by storm, a GPS based treasure-hunting game in which geocacher’s use coordinates to find geocaches. The geocache could be in the woods, at your local park, in a phone box, under water, up a tree…well, I think you get the idea – they are everywhere!
In fact at present there are over 2.5 million geocaches around the world, which makes it the perfect hobby if you are a family that loves the outdoors.
How do you play?
On reaching the location indicated on your GPS device geocacher’s can then begin searching the area for the geocache.
Once found the geocache will contain a logbook and some trinkets, simply sign the logbook swap trinkets and replace the geocache as you found it for the next geocacher. When you return home you can confirm that you found the geocache by logging onto the Geocaching website.
It’s great as a family hobby because everyone can get involved; it combines technology with fresh air and fun, which in the digital age is a very welcoming change from the norm.
In Surrey, United Kingdom there are thousands of geocaches waiting to be found but if you’re looking for a way to combine your new favourite hobby with a day out then there are a few places I’d recommend:
Hampton Court Palace, Royal London Borough of Richmond
For history lovers – ages 2 upwards
Prices vary see website for details. For discounts book online.
Postcode – KT8 9AU
Hampton Court Palace is within reaching distance of London if you’re looking for a day out of the city. It’s in zone 6 on the tube and although it’s technically in London on the other side of the river is its neighbouring county, Surrey where you’ll also be able to find some great geocaches.
Hampton Court is a great day out for families, the palace is steeped in history with many a British monarch gracing its regal hallways since its construction in 1514. There are plenty of planned activities for children to do whilst they visit, check the website for more details. Under five’s go free and don’t miss the gardens, maze and the chocolate kitchen!
Best geocache nearby…
ANITA & DOMINIK BIRD BOX – a wonderful geocache involving a tree climb along the River Thames.
Box Hill, Dorking
For outdoors lovers – ages 2 upwards
Postcode – KT20 7LB
Box Hill was recently used in the London 2012 Olympic cycle race and from the top of the hill you get excellent views over the beautiful Surrey countryside. There are free guided walks throughout the year and when they’re not running you can head over to the shepherd’s hut to pick up a tracker pack for free which includes binoculars a compass and a notepad and pencils, perfect to keep the kids entertained whilst you enjoy the view. If it’s windy enough up on the hill you can also pick up a free kite from the hut for the day too!
Best geocaches nearby…
If you’re feeling energetic take the kids for a walk through the woods on Box Hill to find the seven dwarves geocaches…be prepared though GRUMPY might live up to his name but don’t worry HAPPY is sure to have you smiling again.
For adventure and exercise lovers – ages 2-13 – Adults are not permitted without a child!
Prices vary depending on the season see website for details.
Postcode – KT19 8PT
Hobbledown is a children’s adventure park and farm. In an area of around 50 acres children will be amused all day on the creative and adventurous play equipment and by the farm animals across the site. On arrival you’ll think you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland or met up with Bilbo Baggins for a wander around The Shire but you’ll actually be walking around the mind of author A J Kecojevic who wrote the children’s book ‘Hobbledown’ on which the farm is based.
Best geocaches nearby…
There is a walk which goes all around the outside of the farm and you’ll be able to see into Hobbledown from HCP 6 – The Farm, you may also be greeted by some pigs depending on how friendly they’re feeling!
The Sculpture Park, Farnham
For art lovers – 5 upwards
Prices vary see website for details.
Postcode – GU10 2LH
For children that are either, a little older or, are budding artists Churt’s Sculpture Park may just be the place for you. With around 600 sculptures on show at any one time there will always be something to capture your children’s imaginations. On our last visit we had the place all to ourselves, on arrival at reception you are given a book with all the names of the sculptures. Keep your children amused by playing guess the name of the sculpture or bring some paper and pens with you to get them to draw their favourite ones.
Best geocaches nearby…
Directly outside the park Pride of the Valley is your nearest choice, or for something a little different try an Earthcache called Devil’s Jump Earthcache to understand more about the local geology in the area.
There are plenty of family friendly options for days out in Surrey and with it being so close to London there are great rail links to most of the counties major towns too. Hopefully this has given you a good insight into what’s on offer in Surrey for your next family adventure.
Interested in booking or planning a vacation to Surrey right now? Check out some of the offers currently available for airfare and hotels at Kayak, Orbitz and Priceline. See more lodging options at Hotels.com and Hilton. Get started on your next trip today!
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