Gramps Hill Series

Gramps Hill, 18 Caches, 3.5 Miles, Letcombe Bassett, Oxfordshire

The trail starts from the little village of Letcombe Bassett, 2.5 Miles south of Wantage in Oxfordshire. I parked next to some lovely thatched cottage, and remembered coming to the village in the past for another series. It was a nice sunny, but windy morning, there were several snow drops coming out on the grass verge, another sign of an early spring. After admiring the lovely houses pip and I headed up the road to GZ, we decided to do number 1 at the end. A short way up the hill and we came to number 2, a quick scramble up the bank and then after a 10 minute search and almost giving up hope of finding it, I suddenly disturbed some camouflage to reveal the cache. We just made it back down the bank and on to the road before a muggle came past. First one found, but I hoped that rest would be quicker.Several more muggles came by, so it gave an opportunity to admire the views on the other side of the road before continuing up Gramps Hill. As I got towards number 3 I could see several walkers talking to someone in a Land Rover right beside GZ. It turned out to be the caching team Symbow talking to a local farmer explaining geocaching. They hadn’t been able to find the cache so Pip and I went for a look and bingo we found it. After showing it to the farmer, we continued up Gramps Hill. As we did so, the wind got steadily stronger, it was supposed to get up to 30 mph today and it was starting to feel like that way. After a nice quick find there was time to look at the great views.

The climb up Gramps Hill continued, but I stopped off between caches to take some photos of more fabulous views just before no.4 which were breath taking and this is where we parted company with Symbow.

No. 6 signaled the end of the climb up Gramps Hill, it was a steady climb but not too difficult really, the wind was even stronger up here but it was not cold today and the trees had offered some protection. When I looked on the map before the trip, I was a little worried that the first part of the walk was along a road, I need not have been, it is a no through road and not a single car came past.

There was little the way of trees on top of the hill, so the wind was full on in my face along this section, but what wonderful views, I could see for miles and miles. The tarmac track ran out after no.7 and we were now on to a muddy track, surprisingly though it was quite dry. It didn’t take any time to locate no.8 which was a big cache along the side of the track.

The fabulous views continued as we headed to No.9, it is certainly a picturesque walk, admiring the views and not paying attention to the GPS meant that I over shot the cache and had to back track to find it. Number 10 marked the half way point in our walk and we had now turned on to different track and thankfully the wind dropped as soon as we changed direction. As we walked up this track every now and again I caught a glimpse of Symbow ahead of me.

Number 11 was called “mud” but thankfully it wasn’t that bad today. I had closed the gap on Symbow at this point, I saw them leaving GZ just as I was arrived. This cache like several others on the route were fully stocked with swag so a good one for the kids.

We carried on up the track, enjoying the views to reach an old barn which looks to have been abandoned. As I signed the logI could hear the corrugated tin roof creaking so I went over for a closer look. The structure inside was made from huge oak beams and it was sad that the barn was being left to deteriorate.

Number 15 was a quick find, but it was right on a junction and it suddenly got very busy with walkers and joggers. Then just as I thought it safe to replace the cache, a couple more walkers came around the corner. I thought I’d given the game away but it turned out to be an old caching buddy Roobydo do the series in reverse order. After a quick chat we continued in opposite directions to finish the series.

We were now on the final stage of the trail, which was now heading down hill across a field with more far reaching views over Wantage and the surrounding area. After a gentle start to the descent the hill became much steeper and I was thankful that I was going down and not up!

The Last cache of the day for me and back in the village and it was a quick find to finish the series. This is another great series by Rob72 through some lovely countryside and some really amazing views. It was also nice to meet team Symbow and catch up with Roobydo whilst we were out on the trail.

Gramps Hill