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Posts Tagged ‘Clent Hills’

Our technique for this has proved pretty successful of late. We were particularly pleased this holiday when we managed a walk that included one child who has been rather reluctant to walk of late. But when he was told we were going on a Treasure Hunt, he became quite keen.

What we do, of course, is go Geocaching. Which is using our satnav to go hunting for small pieces of plastic treasure (generally cracker gifts) hidden in small boxes in all sorts of locations. There are over 1.6 million geocaches worldwide and 13,062 in the UK on the day I checked. We visited the Clent Hills in Worcestershire where 32 caches have been hidden by enthusiasts. Some of the ones we found were hidden by Girl Guide troops. All you do is join the website (for free), log the GPS location of the caches in your satnav (there are also plenty of apps for mobile devices) and off you go.

Once you find your cache, you exchange a small item you have brought for one in the box, write your name in the log and rehide the box. We found four geocaches yesterday and managed to get the kids on a decent walk round the beautiful landscape and blow away some Christmas cobwebs.

Enthusiastic kids (honestly!) examining a geocache

Other than with our family and friends, the Vicar has also run geocaching sessions with the youth group at church and on our summer camp for 11-14s. As long as they don’t have to walk *too* far, the teens have loved it. It also seems to be popular with other clergy friends, if my Facebook feed is anything to go by. Free entertainment and a way to get the kids out and active, what’s not to like?

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The Vicar and I had such a lovely lunch out today. An unexpected bonus after a breezy walk around the Clent Hills on the Vicar’s Day Off. I used my extensive Googling powers to find a pub near to where we would be walking and was extremely pleased to find a Good Pub Guide recommended place. And not just recommended, but the winner of 2010 National Pub of the Year: The Bell and Cross.

The pub's cosy Red Room

The pub seems to comprise about five small rooms, each about the size of an average living room and packed with dining tables and chairs. So it’s not the place to go with an enormous family party. We ate in the Red Room and were very cosy. The service was quick, polite and efficient. We didn’t want a large meal as the Engineer’s godmother is coming for dinner later. So we ordered from the Lunchtime Bites menu.

The Vicar very much enjoyed his Potted Farmhouse Chicken Rillette, Fruit Chutney, Leaves and Baguette. The potted rillette was very tasty, almost gamey and the chutney excellent. He could have done with a little more baguette, but we had cunningly ordered extra side orders of fries and green beans, so he ate some fries with rillette in a rather unorthodox manner.

My dish of Skewered King Prawns with a Catalan salad was fresh and zingy thanks to generous chunks of chorizo and a piquant dressing. Very tasty and light.

As we had an important Praise Assembly to attend (the Joker had an award for knowing his Spanish alphabet better than his form teacher), we didn’t stop for dessert. The price for the two of us, including a beer, a white wine and a single coffee: £28. Not exactly a weekly possibility on a clergy stipend, but a good price for an excellent meal. And only 20 minutes away from our inner city Vicarage. Just need to save up for next time…

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