NOTE, THE FOLLOWING IS ALL SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO THE EVOLVING CORONAVIRUS SITUATION. EXPECT SOME STREAMLINING OF PLANS AND PLEASE FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR UPDATES. ANNOUNCEMENT LOGS WILL ALSO GIVE YOU REGULAR NEWS OF DEVELOPMENTS FOR THE GEOLYMPIX. WE'VE BEEN WORKING HARD BEHIND THE SCENES TO STILL OFFER A LOW-RISK FUN CACHING MEGA EVENT, JUST ONE ADAPTED TO RESPOND TO THE CHALLENGES OF THIS EXTRAORDINARY TIME.
GEOLYMPIX IV: STOWE 2020
- THE PERFECT VISION! -
Where: Stowe gardens, north of Buckingham, Bucks, UK. MK18 5EH/MK18 5EQ, depending which car park you need.
Approx. 50 miles/80Km Northwest of central London. As used for filming 1999 Bond movie The World is Not Enough, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, X-Men First Class, The Crown, Vanity Fair and more, the site is easily reached from the M1 (J13/15a) and M40 (J10/11) motorways, and London Luton airport. Also the A5, A43 and Grand Union Canal...
When: Sunday August 30th 2020. 9.30am to 3.30pm. Gardens open 9am-5pm.
What: An International Celebration of Geocaching, inspired by a certain sporting event. While it's not a competitive game/hobby/pastime/obsession as such, we know lots of cachers like to stretch - or challenge - themselves and we're setting up caches, series, Adventure Labs, and features to help you do just that around the fourth Geolympix Mega.
Who: Geocachers! The large estate and extensive gardens within it are GeoDog and GeoKid friendly (with care near water) and there are toilets, parking for those less able and various food vendors very close to the event. We pride ourselves on being very welcoming to new cachers and those new to cache events. We'll also be introducing 'muggles' (non-geocachers) to this great, family-friendly pastime. Wheelchair users will have access to loos, food and the majority of the site. The Mega venue is up a flight of shallow steps but the log will be at the bottom of them. Many of the garden's features have step-free access and there's great all-weather paths throughout.
Why: The original 2012 Geolympix was never intended to be a one-off, and summer 2016 and winter 2018 follow-up meets at Ashridge were a big success too. Now it's back, at probably the most spectacular venue of any Mega anywhere! Stowe Gardens are rightly regarded as among the finest in the country and often appear on TV and in garden design textbooks. Famous landscape gardener Capability Brown was married in the church within the grounds and the site has a fascinating history. Any excess funds to The National Trust & Geolympix Legacy fund, to support future projects ("Winter Geolympix 2022: Chilled Out Caching", TBC).
How: Getting to the Stowe Geolympix is easy. It's close to the M1 (J8-11) or M25 (J20, A41) and is a bus/taxi ride from Milton Keynes or Bicester railway stations. There's ample parking (free to NT members) and it's on low-traffic cycle routes (No bikes within the garden itself). Nearest Bus Stop is in Buckingham, approx 3 miles/5Km away. London Luton International airport is also close-by.
Parking (IMPORTANT!): Please note that while there's no charge for geocachers entering Stowe Gardens for the event via the northern car park (saving £15.60 per adult and £7.80 per child) there is a parking charge of £5 per car, which goes directly to the National Trust. We recommend car-sharing. Satnav: MK18 5EH
Alternatively, visitors who are NT Members should park at the main entrance (a longer walk to the Mega site) for free. They'd then gain free entry via the general public entrance by showing their membership card/s. Satnav: MK18 5EQ. See Waypoints for further details.
Side Events: We're planning a CITO Event, a Community Celebration event, and others from Friday to Monday. Please follow us on social media or via Announcement logs (by logging a Will Attend) to be kept up to date with developments, as the current situation demands changes need to be made.
Event Programme (subject to change!):
Fri 28 LATE HHHP20's 'Midnight at the Monument' event close to GC171, England's oldest surviving cache.
Sat 29 Geocaching Community Celebration event nr Stowe (location TBC)
Sun 30 Geolympix IV Mega!
Mon 31 CITO at Stowe (details TBC)
Links will be added on publication. Further updates to follow!
Caches: While the woods at Ashridge are still home to GC177, Europe's 8th oldest cache (England's 2nd oldest after GC171, set the same day at Coombe Hill, close by) and also GC18BC, the oldest Puzzle/Mystery/Unknown in the whole of the UK, Stowe is not without its attractions. A popular series from 2012 surrounds the gardens and many more caches will be published in the area on the run up to the event.
Challenges: Our 11-in-11 icon challenge (find 11 different cache types in 11 hours) was a huge feature in 2012 and we held similar challenges in 2016 and '18. This year, we're setting a different challenge; The Challenge Challenge! There will be nearly 30 Puzzle caches near by - which will be a variety of Challenge caches - the centre pages of the Show Guide will have a grid for you to fill in. Can you find them all? Can you log them all?! We're also running the National Series Challenge again: Find an example of as many National Series Caches (such as Church Micro, Really/SideTracked, Fine Pair, Little Bridges, LQ, Village Signs - No.1 is close by - A-Road Anarchy, and more) as you can on the day, or whenever you prefer. Other Geolympix challenges include finding every cache size in a day, and the return of the (unofficial) Icon Challenge. These are optional tasks for any cachers keen to test their mettle. Also, don't miss the Geolympix Adventure Lab Caches, going live at and around the Mega.
More Goodies: As well as inviting you to get lost in our all-new 'treemendous' Woodland LAByrinth again, once more we're giving you a chance to find some memorable, quirky photo-opportunity caches/Labs, so bring your camera/phone. There's also vendor stands for all your caching needs (caches, coins, other trackables) and so on. Additionally we're planning satellite events for Friday evening, Saturday and Monday in the area.
Additional Features: We can offer visitors to the area a lot more than just (just?!) caching. Landmarks and tourist attractions for the non-cachers in the family may enjoy near-by free-to-visit joys such as Claydon gardens (charge for house), charming County Town of Buckingham, Silverstone Racetrack (always something on!), shopping in Milton Keynes (or cinema, karting, crazy golf at a cost...), picturesque Brill (with its famous windmill) or for a fee, the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, home of the WWII Codebreakers. Local NT properties include Claydon House, Waddesdon Manor, Boarstall Tower and Duck Decoy... For cachers, don't miss the Geolympix Marathon, Big G and Ashridge legacy series or great walking series in the area. There's the popular The Flags of All Nations Puzzle series close by too. Others will be set for the 2020 Geolympix - as stand-alone caches and series.
GEOLYMPIX 2020 TIMETABLE
(subject to change)
8.30am: Site opens (access from North car park only!) for vender/team set-up.
9am: Stowe Gardens open for cachers.
9.30: The 2020 Geolympix opens to the caching community! There will be a log book (of sorts) to sign.
10am: Stowe Gardens open for general public.
12noon: 20 Lab Caches go live - This is the FTFrenzy for 2020!
3.00pm: The Cache of Dreams awarded to one registered Attendee (door prize; no entry fee)
3.30pm: The Mega officially ends.
5.00pm: The gardens close. Please make your way out of the gardens (wider estate remains open).
9pm: The estate closes (Please be quiet and leave Stowe in orderly fashion.)
Learn more at Events:
GC8C8M8 - Pain in the.. Temple. 2020 Geolympix Launch Event.
GC8E14N - Geolympix IV Countdown 10: Seattle USA.
GC8E14Y - Geolympix IV Countdown 9: Limassol Cyprus.
GC8GNRR - Geolympix IV Countdown 8 West Wycombe: Goodbye '19.
GC8HA2B - Geolympix IV Countdown 7: Singapore Thing.
GC8KEF1 - Geolympix IV Countdown 6: Six months to go @ Stowe.
5: March event dropped due to Covid19 situation.
4: April event dropped due to Covid19 situation.
3: May event dropped due to the Covid19 situation
GC8JZMN - Geolympix IV Countdown 2 & Celebration North Wilts. Redacted to be rescheduled
1: July event TBA.
Learn more Online:
Official Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/geolympix2020*
Local Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/BedsBucksHerts*
National Trust's Stowe page
* As the geocache owner, I ensure that this links to a local geocaching group that is active in the community and contributing to geocaching in positive ways. This link has not been checked by Geocaching HQ or by the reviewer.
Recommended Camping: While the Geolympix, unlike some other Megas in the UK, isn't a camping-centric event, we appreciate many visitors will want to make a long weekend of their visit. There are several options in the area, but we've partnered with near-by Whittlebury Park to offer camping Geocachers the chance to be put together. Select 'Geocaching - August 2020' to get the negotiated deal. Note this is the late August Bank Holiday weekend, which is also when the MotoGP is held at Silverstone. The area will be busy, and accommodation may be booked-up well in advance. Basically, don't delay if you plan to stay!
being held in the UK in 2020 now abandoned:
Piratemania 13. Bermuda Triangle - 01/08/2020 - Near Reading, the weekend before the Sussex Mega and UK Mega 2020 - Sussex - 08/08/2020 - In Sussex, at the South of England Showground.
Praise for past Geolympix Megas: The 2018 Winter Geolympix, the 2016 Ashridge & 2012 Oxford Geolympix events. Please read visitors' logs!
Please join us in August for
Groundspeak - The National Trust - Others TBC.
GEOLYMPIX IV: STOWE 2020
- THE PERFECT VISION! -