Tag Archives: backpacking

Bricking it!

I don’t know what’s so fascinating about things that are old and abandoned but there certainly is something!

It’s a complete adrenaline rush and a wave of different emotions, from the planning all the way to the ride home in the car. Urban Exploring has definitely become one of my favourite things to do!

This amazing find is an old abandoned brickworks called Allen Brickworks in Hipperholme.

Google maps however turned this into a complete adventure! Basically it took us the wrong long way around down some epic dirt paths resulting in us having to make friends with a random stone yard owner to be able to abandon the adventure wagon and commence foot patrol to our destination!

As long as you don’t mind hills this is a beautiful walk down into the bottom of the valley. It is possible to drive down closer but I wouldn’t advise it in anything other than a purpose built monster truck or a vehicle of that description!

We didn’t really know what to expect to be honest, but we certainly didn’t account for what we found, the place is massive! We were there for a couple of hours at least. There’s so many out buildings and building blocks to go in.

If you like street art this is the place of all places to see it! It’s literally the paradise of street art and design, Nearly every wall every floor, roof and brick is covered. The contrast is amazing the old bricks and buildings with their run down appearance are given a vibrant new look. The floors are littered with empty spray cans of all ages.

It’s always quite nerve-wracking exploring around derelict sites you just don’t know what to expect or who! We bumped into “people” for the first time ever and believe you and me it’s a bit scary at first. You don’t know why their here you hope there equally as adventurous as you are but due to the nature of the places there’s a chance some of the people might be up to “no good” luckily everyone we met were cool! A group of street artists looked as frightened to see us as we did them at first. There was also a couple the same as us exploring around taking pictures and then finally a group of younger people out with their pet dog.

There was so much to see but some of the buildings are just empty rooms due to a lot of the fixtures and original fittings being destroyed over time.

This place was brilliant but due to the sheer size of it, it would be impossible to upload and share everything with you all at once so stay tuned for part too with loads more photos as we adventure around as well as the people we met and the history behind the place.

Well that’s enough jabbering now for this one the pictures say it all! This is literally an adult adventure playground!

Happy Reading! 

Don’t forget to head over to my Instagram page for all the photos @geojoukblog link on the homepage 🙂 




People watching at Salts Mill and not in a creepy way!

People are fascinating creatures. Each one completely different from another. There’s never a better opportunity to see going about their business than in a busy setting. So with that said and armed with the camera a trip to the beautiful and historic Salts Mill in Saltaire.

Salts mill used to be a textiles mill but is now used as an art gallery, with places to eat and shop. It was built way back in 1853 by Sir Titus Salt. (side note, if you have never heard of this guy look him up!) When the mill was built it was the largest industrial building in the world! This was calculated by the total floor area, and quite rightly because its massive. The mill its self is situated in the heart of Saltaire and closed its doors as a textile mill in 1986.

Saltaire is a world heritage site, its beautiful, walking around is picturesque and perfectly reserved in its Victorian glory. All the houses and buildings are bursting with character from the Victorian period, hence why the site is so heavily protected. All the houses were built by Sir Titus Salt for his mill workers and staff. The houses are still being lived in today.

The day we decided to adventure here was the weekend that Roberts Park were hosting the Dragon Boat Racing event, so it was heaving around the area, as well as the blistering sunshine that had spontaneously come out to play.

Salts Mills art gallery houses several large rooms to display the very talented Bradford born artist David Hockney.

On the ground floor is my personal favourite part of the mill, the art shop. A beautiful period room renovated beautifully displaying art work, statues and ornaments as well as art and craft supplies and books all devoted to creative minds. The atmosphere is so calm and quiet, and it smells beautiful, floral and fresh.

This lady trying to decide which craft book to buy.
Look at this lady, I wonder what masterpiece she’s off to create.
This women had me mesmerised, so classy.

Around the room colours are everywhere, they stand out beautifully against the dark surroundings. The solid table benches used to display all of the shops items dominate the room. This creates a very old meets modern contrast which works perfectly. I could stay in here for hours.

I love the reflection of the windows in the glass
Gorgeous Artwork Lines the stone walls
the tall window arches create amazing light patches around the room
so many colours and details compliment the artwork behind
Look at the detail and craftmanship in these!

Out of all the pieces around the room my favourite had to be this elderly lady her face really tells a picture, their life in her eyes, history in her face. The way the artist has captured how she olds the saucer reminds me of how my own Nan used to. The longer I looked at it I couldn’t help thinking that’s someone’s grandmas.

My Favourite Piece

Looking around the mill other parts of the structure and decor caught my eye.

Ceiling and Beam

Victorian school desk, I wonder how many children used this

After a look round at the separate parts of the mill it was time to leave but before I did I managed to get a cheeky snap of the Man Himself!

Sir Titus Salt

Sir Titus Salt

Happy reading!

Follow me on Instagram @geojoukblog Link on the Homepage! 

The “Top Secret” cache

During my short time geocaching, I’ve been extremely lucky to find quite a range of different caches, starting with the tiniest micro caches to large containers filled with trinkets to swap.

But it wasnt untill this recent little adventure to the stunning Burley in Wharfedale that the three musketeers discovered our first “secretive” cache!

Burley in Wharfedale is situated in the Wharfedale valley in Yorkshire, where the River Wharfe is located. The area is beautiful to walk around from the village centre displaying historic buildings with stunning architecture such as St Mary’s parish church. Other quaint little buildings such as The Round House add to the characters of the village. For all you Countdown viewers Burley Woodhead was home to the late Richard Whiteley.

For fellow geocachers and outdoor enthusiasts, Burley in Wharfedale boasts some beautiful walking routes as well as being a great start for exploring around the lower part of the Yorkshire Dales.

The biggest attraction for a day in the great outdoors is Burley Bridge or the “Stepping Stones” as its more commonly known. This is due to there being no bridge to cross over the river, instead giant stepping-stones make crossing a lot more fun!

Here’s a panoramic photo I took so you can see just how beautiful this place really is.


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River Wharfe – Burley Bridge – Photo taken by myself – Jo Webster

The day we went the River was really high as a result of the recent floods that have effected the area, so the “Stepping Stones” weren’t as visible as they usually are. This made crossing very tricky!

A few people were attempting to cross as but either got stuck halfway and ended up turning back or made a series of Elvis like dance moves as they slipped and slid their way across. My explorer friend GeoJames decided he too wished to audition for Strictly Come Dancing, and decided to attempt to make his way over the river as we the “sensible” ones watched, and believe me it’s quite the distance!

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“Stepping Stones” – Photo taken by myself – Jo Webster

Needless to say the comedy value of this was outstanding! He had reached the other side finally, with extremely wet feet and trousers and a couple of interesting dance moves along the way. The only problem being that he wasnt aware that the stepping-stones are the only way to get across, and the only way back! Priceless …

After skimming stones across the river and enjoying the gorgeous scenery and waterfalls it was time to begin geocaching!

There isn’t that many caches located directly near the river, but one in particular caught our eye whilst scanning through the app. “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” 

We made our way down the country path with open fields either side with animals grazing in the sunshine. It’s always a busy location for other walkers, dog walkers and families so being careful not to attract the attention of “muggles” is quite tricky!

We kept following the compass untill we reached the area where the cache was hidden,  we spent ages racking our brains, searching all around for the cache. Whilst at the same time trying not to attract the attention of passers-by looking like a set of three crazy people searching through bushes and brambles.

There were no hints available with the cache, but the comments from previous cacher’s helped! The hiding place for this cache was ingenious and so creative, after what seemed like an eternity of searching trying to think outside of the box we noticed a fence post with a large silver but slightly aged padlock attached.

The penny ladies and gentleman finally dropped! “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” … the clue was quite clearly in the name! PadLOCK!

What a hiding place, a hollowed out old padlock, walked past everyday by people constantly, only known to a small few what it actually is, brilliant!

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Top secret cache – Photo taken by myself – Jo Webster

Inside a perfectly folded log sheet complete with lots of other geocacher’s usernames.

A little weathered but still in tact log – Photo taken by myself – Jo Webster

As you can see from the log sheet and what amazed us was three years this log has been going, stashed neatly away secretly in the padlock. All in all it was a successful and comical geocaching adventure from Geojames nearly drowning and been swept down the river to hunting for ingenious caches, and on that note I’ll leave you with this question …

Whats the most “secretive” cache you’ve found?

Leave a comment below, and for more pictures and to keep up to date with my geocaching adventures feel free to head on over to my Instagram or Facebook page! Links on the homepage.

Happy Reading

Geocaching in the dark!

So following on from our recent geocaching adventures it is with certainty that I have definitely caught the “bug”. So on a random saturday night when most people are relaxing eating a takeaway and catching up with some prime time television, the three musketeers decided to go off to do a quick bit of exploring!

Shipley Glen woodland is a beautiful area, which holds a lot of fond childhood memories from exploring as a youngster with family. It’s a very historic area which homes the Shipley Glen Tramway situated near the village of Saltaire, in West Yorkshire. The tramway which is one of the well-known attractions opened in 1895 and is still running to this day! In the late 1800’s Shipley Glen was home to a large Victorian amusement park and fun fair.

One of the biggest attractions of its time was the “Toboggan Slide”. This was billed as being “The Largest, Wildest, Steepest Toboggan Slide Ever Erected On Earth”. The Victorians clearly weren’t banking on the opening of Alton Towers!  According to the history the way this worked involved it being powered by a gas engine, people would sit upon a wooden sledge and basically be hurtled down the very steep bumpy incline through the woods. In all honesty it looks terrifying, and im pretty sure it would never meet any Health and Safety policy’s in our time!

The woodland area surrounding it boasts great views, as well as massive rocks and caves to climb leading down to the reservoir.

Arriving late at night I would advise anyone to make sure they have suitable footwear and lots of torches or lights as there is no lighting in the woods or around the rocks, the darkness can make you a little disoriented so it’s always best to be safe.

We were very excited for our first geocaching adventure in the dark and wasted no time in firing up the app.

Following the compass we made our way towards the location, navigating carefully around and over the massive rocks and boulders. The description left by the caches original owner point out the site used for the Toboggan slide, letting you imagine the hundreds of Victorian children and families in their best frocks lining up to have their turn.

Whilst exploring our way to the location we came across this little guy a Limax Maximus or more commonly called a Leopard Slug, happily making his way across the side of a rock, I’m not what you would call a fan of slugs but this guys markings are great!

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Limax Maximus (Leopard Slug) – Photo taken by myself – Jo Webster

The terrain is pretty difficult around the glen and woodland and with the darkness, the cache was harder to find. The “clue” for the cache read .

“Find the tree grown in two”

Now on an average day finding a tree grown in two shouldnt be too difficult to point out, but in a woodland area in pitch black its like finding a needle in a haystack! However we all love a bit of a challenge when it comes to geocahing don’t we, it adds to the excitement.

After scrambling around, looking in and out of cave like gaps in the boulders, checking trees and bases we found the cache!

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Searching for the cache by lantern – Photo taken by myself – Jo Webster
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The “Shipley Glen Tramway” ticket replica was a nice touch! – Photo taken by myself – Jo Webster

It’s amazing to see how long this cache has been here, so many signatures of fellow geocacher’s recording their find.

Being late at night there was no worry about muggles seeing us return the cache but due to the size of the cache itself it was tricky folding all the paperwork to get it back in the tiny container.

We decided to make our way back up to the top, which is much more level ground. We reached the top and decided to begin heading back for the night.

But what better way to end the night than to have a fresh brewed cup of Yorkshire Tea whilst sitting on the edge of a rock staring out across the picturesque night sky.

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GeoJames certainly knows how to make a good brew! – Photo taken by myself –       Jo Webster
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Perfect end to a perfect geocaching night! – Photo taken by myself – Jo Webster

Happy reading













When out and about 

Whilst visiting my good friend  Geojames in his new home in the town of Halifax , West Yorkshire I couldn’t help but take a few photos.

The old buildings and architecture inclusive of historic intricate designs are beautiful.

Each building a piece of history, still standing the test of time unchanged in what sometimes seems like a too modern world.

Walking around the city centre looking up paints a completely different picture than the brightly light shop windows, the hustle and bustle of the public rushing to keep up to their own busy schedules.

I’ve visited Halifax many times growing up not too far from the city, but I must admit this was the first time I have ever noticed the picturesque sights just above my head. I wonder how many times the beauty has gone unnoticed simply because people are now so caught up in their own lives or phones!


Lion head sculpture, photo by myself Jo Webster


The apartment where my friend has just moved is a second floor apartment with massive open windows showing great views across the tops of some of halifax’s biggest buildings, a particular view that caught my eye was two chimney tops.

Photo taken by myself – Jo Webster
Photo taken by myself – Jo Webster

I’ve always been a sucker for the more traditional dated look rather than the newer shiny modern look we seem to always steer towards. I love the character and intricate details. A great example is this street sign which is really old but sits perfectly in it’s surroundings.

Street sign still standing the test of time – Photo by myself Jo Webster


On my way through Halifax I saw this gorgeous building. I couldn’t help noticing the design of the entrance, engraved marble surrounded by aged stone, the street lights and the clear night sky really allowed the architecture to shine.

Post office buildings entrance – Photo by myself Jo Webster

For more information about the building which is an extension to the post office from 1923 and the architect behind it then just click here Post Office Buildings.

What beautiful buildings have you found? Feel free to drop a comment below. 

Happy Reading