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Maps, clues, “X” marks the spot, buried treasure…is there anything more exciting than a treasure hunt?

That is exactly the level of exploration and adventure I found myself in when I took part in England’s Creative Coast’s Geocaching Tour; the world’s first ever art tour.

Not having any previous experience of Geocaching, meaning I am affectionately referred to as a ‘Muggle’, I didn’t know what to expect.  Getting started was easy, and made even more so by the help of Towner Eastbourne’s beautifully illustrated leaflet.  After downloading the app, I selected England’s Creative Coast’s GeoTour and that’s really where the adventure began.

The tour has a total of 28 geocaches spanning from Eastbourne to Margate along the South Coast of England, centered around 7 outdoor artworks in coastal towns along the way.  I took the East Sussex arm of the tour which includes all three venues along the Coastal Culture Trail.

Geocaching pins on a digital map replaces the “X” on a traditional treasure map, and it is here you can find how far away your next treasure is, and what type of geocache it is.  If, like me, you are new to this, then you will quickly learn that geocaches come in all types; traditional, mystery, puzzle just to name a few.  This particular GeoTour has traditional caches which means a physical object to find, and a log book to leave your mark and see how many people have also enjoyed the tour.

There are 12 geocaches in total along the Coastal Culture Trail spread across Eastbourne, Hastings, and Bexhill.  An exciting and engaging way to explore the stunning spaces that surround Towner Eastbourne, De La Warr Pavilion, and Hastings Contemporary.   All geocaches link back to the outdoor artworks at each destination and only deepens your experience of each artist’s work.

In Bexhill, just outside the De La Warr Pavilion, and in front of Holly Hendry’s outdoor sculpture Invertebrate, I found myself being led by the app to the landscaped verge on the lawns, searching, but for what? All I knew was that I was right on top of the cache, could I be looking for a box? A tub? A sculpture? As the anticipation built, I pressed the “hint” button on the app to get some additional help, and it told me to “follow your nose” referring to the scent of the nearby rosemary bush.  I got closer, and the scent of rosemary became overwhelming and at the same time, I saw a tiny flash of terracotta and I exclaimed out loud “FOUND IT!” and all of a sudden, I was a child again.  The lifting of the object revealed the log book underneath and I could see the many people who had discovered the treasure before me.  I felt part of a secret adventure, with dog walkers and passers by unaware of the treasure that had been under their noses this whole time.

How much more was out there? This summer, gather the family and head outdoors to discover the adventure and treasures for yourself.

There is plenty for families to discover along the Coastal Culture Trail, find out more on the family trail here.

 

by Katie Lineker

 

Posted by sally on Friday 23 July 2021