First in series: GC360G7 , Walked on: 06/04/2013
“This Ring will test your map reading skills if you take a map or one of them new fangled GPS units.” was the message on the cache page! As I plotted the route before setting off I could relate to this. Pre-planning was quite tricky, so with a rough idea of where to go I decided it would probably become clearer on the ground, which to a point it did!
This series has been on my to-do list for ages but I never seem to get to it for some reason. Well today I did! It was a nice sunny spring afternoon and it was even a little warm would you believe it! I parked the car in a side road by the church opposite the pub and then took the footpath down the side of the pub and through the houses to reach the countryside.
The first part of the walk was from Gastard to Monk’s Park, the first field was grassland but after that the trail took us around several recently ploughed fields. It was fortunate that the recent dry weather had dried out the soil to the point that it just crumbled underfoot and for a change did not clog the boots. I navigated from one cache to the other around the edges of the fields where possible, not all the paths were sign posted and really did test our map reading skills. A wet day would have provided a very different experience, I’m sure!
About half way around we reached the quarry section and this is where the theme Bombs N Booze comes from. Bath stone has been quarried in the area since Roman times but during the war the MOD took charge of the quarries and converted them into bomb storage. Different quarries were used by the RAF/Navy etc but today millions of pounds of wine is stored underground check out this BBC News article. The honeycomb of tunnels covers over 30 acres the size of 20 football pitches.
Check out this BBC site for more information.
After the walk around the quarry area we began the walk back to where we had began, first though time for a little diversion to see a fine example of a stone built manor. Once back a Gastard, we had just enough time to take a look in the church and find the nearby church micro. A nice little series for an afternoons walk, but do it on a dry day!
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