Cups and Rings
In Northern Scotland, United Kingdom
How Geocaching Works
Use of geocaching.com services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer
There is a good parking spot near the north end of the loch and it is a nice walk to the southern end of the loch where the cache is located, you can park nearer to the cache but the walk is a bit more strenuous.
There are 3 good reasons to visit this spot, first one is given by the name of the cache
On the shore of this small loch you will find a large boulder marked with 34 cup marks (11 of which are ringed). A local tradition recorded in 1870 explained the marks as being made by a fairy with pointy heeled shoes. The second is for a cache of an altogether different kind.
A sloop carrying French gold for Prince Charles Edward (Bonnie Prince Charlie) ran aground near Ard Skinid (Near Melness) around the year 1746.
Once on land, from the top of Ard Skinid, they observed the Sheeress (the government ship in pursuit) putting a party ashore to the north. Fearing an attack now from the shore and with his vessel out of commission Captain Talbot gave the order for the remaining crew to abandon ship.
The plan now, under cover of darkness, was for the soldiers and remaining crew to commence a march overland to Inverness more than a hundred miles away carrying the gold and stores with them. After burying some of their dead the long march began. They had not traveled far when they came across Melness House where they discovered the Laird William Mackay had Jacobite sympathies. Although the chief of clan Mackay, Lord Reay, whose residence was at Tongue house on the other side of the Kyle, was strongly against the Jacobite causes, William Mackay and his family had always been Stuart supporters. He therefore gave useful advice about the route to Inverness, sold two of his horses to the marchers to help carry the gold, and also sent his son as a guide. They were captured not more than 3 miles south of Tongue. Of the money, most appears to have been recovered although there are varying accounts of some having been buried en route around the Kyle, and of some being thrown into Lochan Hakel near the head of the Kyle. It is recorded that a single Spanish gold coin was found at the south end of this lochan in 1840. There are also traditional stories of a few local people becoming surprisingly wealthy after the events that took place.
And last but not least, the cache. This one should be easy to find and no further clues required, once you have found it take a look on top of the largest boulder on the shore of the loch and see the cup and ring marks for yourself.
(No hints available.)
Last Updated: on 8/7/2017 3:01:06 PM Pacific Daylight Time (10:01 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum