The Saturday on our New Forest visit dawned clear and bright (and hot!) so we focused our explorations nearer to the coast. In the morning we visited Highcliffe Castle (http://www.highcliffecastle.co.uk), recently being restored and with access to the beach just 5 miles East of Bournemouth.
After lunch we headed back towards Hordle and attempted the Honeylake Wander series about 3 miles (at its closest point) from our base.
The series consisted of 10 caches, and we parked near to cache 1 and cache 10.
As we parking we enquired whether there was access to a beach nearby, as the latter part of the route intimated it would be along a cliff. The gentleman we spoke to, dressed only in shorts, replied “What sort of beach are you after?” – which threw us, and it was only when we completed the circuit we understood the relevance of his question.
We set off, and quickly found Cache 1 in the series. It was a 35mm film container with a magnet stuck to it, so that the cache could be ‘stuck’ underneath a metal stile. Sadly as we were replacing the cache, the magnet broke loose, so we had to undertake some repairs to the cache before replacing it! We did later inform the cache owner.
Caches 2 and 3 were probably the best of the series. One was a small tube attached to a HobGoblin beer top, and the other was hidden in a plastic resin pine cone. This was hidden behind some quite vicious stinging nettles (well so Mrs Hg137 tells me, I was looking elsewhere!).
We came unstuck at Cache 4. The hint was “Reach Up” – and at Ground Zero there was a telephone box, some road signs, and some trees, loads of parked cars, and lots of vehicles whizzing by. We searched high up for 15 minutes to no avail. It was our only failure of the series, and we suspect it was due to the swift drink we had imbibed in the Royal Oak not 10 minutes earlier.
We continued on our way through a pleasant forest, and over a bridge (bridges make great cache locations !) and eventually through a golf course, arriving at the cliff top overlooking the Solent.
Our walk continued along the cliff top, but prior to turning back to the car, we noticed a scramble down to the shingle beach, where we sat and paddled !
The series was completed by following the path back to the car park, where the last cache was hidden.
There we read the sign indicating that beach access was possible…. and some 100 yards from where we paddled….. a NATURIST beach ! Yes, the guy we spoke to earlier coyly answered our question about the beach, as he didn’t want to advertise the presence of such a beach !
A great walk, great scenery and a couple of great hides too !