Eli Orzessek answers your travel questions.
In the last few years I've picked up metal detecting as a hobby and have found a number of interesting items while doing it. I'd like to take this hobby abroad and I was wondering if there were any tour companies that specialised in metal detecting and provided equipment for tourists?
As it turns out, there are quite a few metal detecting tours on offer — in particular in the UK, if that's a destination that interests you. But if you find anything over 300 years old, you probably won't be able to take it back home, as the country's Treasure Act means you're legally obliged to report it — but it's the finding that's the fun anyway, I'd imagine.
The company Metal Detecting Holidays operates on the border of England and Wales and puts you up in stunning Georgian accommodation near the Whittington Castle in Stropshire. The area has thousands of acres of detecting sites and they've recorded finds from the Neolithic, Norman, Elizabethan and Edwardian periods. As well as a full 12-day tour, the company also offers weekend and one-day tours of the area.
In Norfolk, Iceni Metal Detecting Tours offer two-week tours and eight-day mini-tours, and have an expert on hand to identify any interesting items you might find. The group visits a different field every day, until a hot spot is found — and members vote on which spots to return to. A tour of Norwich Castle Museum is also included.
If you're keen on some "mudlarking", Cotswold Metal Detecting Holidays offers tours in London under Tower Bridge and along the banks of the Thames, as well as excursions to Stratford-upon-Avon and Cirencester, a town rich in Roman history.
Metal Detecting Scotland also offers training courses and holiday tours (from September to March) for those looking to head further north. Based in Stirlingshire, the company also has metal detecting gear that visitors who want to go it alone can rent.
History Hunts is another company offering metal detecting tours in both the UK and the USA. Its guided small-group tours are run on private properties through partnerships with landowners and will also teach you about the history of the lands. Destinations include colonial settlements and Civil War sites in Virginia, beaches in Florida with Spanish shipwreck treasure and in the UK, thousands of acres around the city of Colchester — the oldest recorded town in Britain.
You can search for gold with a metal detector in several Australian destinations. Golden Triangle Tours (goldentriangletours.com.au) operates in Central Victoria, with full-day, half-day and overnight tours for small groups, and offers tours in Greta, NSW. Gold Prospecting Australia also operates in Victoria and offers training, weekend tours and special events.
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