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Thing Sites lead the way in Global Treasure Hunt

Published: 08 November 2012

The THING Project is pleased to announce the launch of the Thing Sites GeoTour, an innovative new tourism initiative linking sites in Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Shetland, Orkney, Highland Scotland and the Isle of Man. The tour, which has been developed with the assistance of the team over at Geocaching.com is a new and exciting way to explore our shared Viking heritage.


The THING Project has hidden geocaches in and around thing site locations in Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Shetland, Orkney, Highland Scotland and the Isle of Man. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game played using a GPS or an app on a smartphone. Players seek hidden items by downloading coordinates from www.geocaching.com.

Lauren Doughton, Place Names Assistant at Shetland Amenity Trust says "We’re really excited to be launching this new GeoTour. Geocaching is an excellent way of encouraging people to get outside and explore their local area. For our Norse ancestors the thing sites would have been a central location within their landscape. Today the only indication we have that many of them existed is their place names. The GeoTour is a great way of bringing these places back to life, and making them accessible to people again."

Geotourism is a growing movement worldwide, and GeoTours have been successfully developed by a number of organisations including the Jim Henson Company in the United States. The Thing Sites GeoTour is the first official tour to be set up ‘across the pond,’ and is leading the way in creating models for sustainable heritage tourism and interpretation

“The Thing Sites GeoTour harnesses the power of geocaching to bring these significant locations to life.” Jenn Seva of Geocaching.com says, “Geocaching has always been a global phenomenon. The first Northern European GeoTour pays homage to the roots of our activity and lets us be modern-day explorers ourselves. It’s an unparalleled adventure for geocachers and history lovers.”

Lauren continued "We wanted to create a resource that would show the links between all of these different places, and would really let people think about the landscape and how people may have experienced it in the past. Geocaching provided us with the ideal opportunity to do this. There was no need to set up expensive on-site interpretation, or intrusive signs. Anyone can take part so long as they have access to the internet, and most people’s phones come with GPS applications today. The caches are at a range of locations, and there’s something suitable for all ages and abilities."

Players can start their Thing Sites geocaching adventure by visiting www.geocaching.com/adventures/geotours/thingsites. From there you can view a list of all available caches and download the coordinates onto your GPS device or mobile phone.

Media Contact

For more information about the Thing Sites GeoTour please contact Lauren Doughton at Shetland Amenity Trust on 00 44 1595 694688 or email lauren@shetlandamenity.org

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