What is Geocaching?

A popular pastime up and down the country, with an estimated 70,000 locations in the UK alone, geocaching is part treasure hunt, part exploration and trail finding. The aim of the game is to find hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices (such as smartphones), before sharing your experiences online for others to follow. These geocache boxes - often airtight tupperware-style containers - can contain pretty much anything. They'll usually have a log book for hunters to record their names and the dates on which they find with the stash. Much of the excitement, however, lies in seeing what other trinkets and souvenirs have been left.  It’s a great way to get the whole family outside to discover the natural beauty of the Isle of Wight, whatever the weather. 

A free activity, you never know exactly what you are going to find, which is half the fun!

Geocaching adventures on the Isle of Wight

Get the Geocache app

A bit like ‘Letterboxing’ where you hunt for hidden boxes and then use the stamp contained within to stamp your own notebook to prove you’ve been there, Geocaching is the modern-day equivalent. Download the app and then you can search for a Geocache near you. Many are included with the free app, or you can upgrade and get some paid-for ones too.

Pick the one you fancy (there are hundreds all with various difficulty ratings) and navigate to it - you can choose something close by or the other side of the Island, the options are endless. Some routes can be taken by car or bike, but many are off-road so a great excuse to get the kids out and trick them into a walk! Once you get there, you can use the app for clues to help you find it. When you’ve got it, sign the logbook and some allow you to take a treasure - but make sure you leave something new behind for the next adventurer.

Where to go Geocaching on the Isle of Wight

Well, the Island is really your oyster! You can choose to search close to home or further afield as there are hundreds to choose from, with each one giving a little description in the app, so you have a bit of an idea before you set off. There are different types of cache routes to choose from too, some of which are part of a longer trail where you will need to find them in a certain order; some are stand-alone, some that require you to solve a puzzle and others where you can do a Geocache coin swap. There are routes that young children will find easy with easy-to-spot caches and others that require some serious detective skills to figure out and a bit of firking about to find the cache.

Make the most of the Island’s diverse landscape and pick a trail that could take you over chalk downland, rugged soaring cliffs or marsh wetland. You can look out for a variety of wildlife on your route too. Or, if you find yourself with an hour to kill in one of our urban towns or villages, you can bet you are never too far from a geocache location, just have a look.

Some of our favourite spots on the Island for geocaching include Ventnor Botanic Garden where you can explore the stunning gardens and surrounds as you hunt out the cache, plus pop into the Plantation Tea Rooms for a celebratory post-cache cuppa. Or try some of the multi-cache series where you need to find several in one go - Carisbrooke Castle has one and the clue inside will help lead you to the next one and off on a historical adventure.

Or combine a brisk walk with your treasure hunting. Hamstead is a little-touched picturesque part of the Island that is well off the beaten track. Here you can get stuck into a 5-mile circular route towards the cache, which will take you towards Newtown Bay, through farmland, before arriving at a small and very quiet bay - plus there is no chance of cheating with this one, the only other way to discover the cache is by boat!