Seventeen caches form the West Leake Hills (WLH) series, which is based on a scenic 6.5km (4 miles) circular walk to the north of the sleepy village of West Leake. Terrain is fairly level but has one hill with a 30m height gain. Majority of the route is on public bridleways/footpaths with reasonable surfaces but can become muddy in winter months or following heavy rain, particularly between caches #10 & #11 and to a lesser extent between #9 and #10. Final 0.5km between caches #16 and #1 (0.5km) is on a country road with no pedestrian path, but has a wide grass verge, so take extra care if accompanied by children and/or dogs.
The route provides very pleasant views west across the Soar valley between caches #5 & #6, north-east across Gotham towards Nottingham at cache #8 and north-east across West Leake Hills between caches #12 & #14. The route passes through both woodland and open farmland owned by the Kingston Estate (Lord Belper). Areas of pine plantation are being progressively harvested and the land replanted, so relatively rapidly changing scenery (for me anyway!). Wildlife is usually abundant during the walk, e.g. buzzards & ravens; talking to the estate gamekeeper recently he claimed to have seen red squirrels in Crownhead Wood up to a few years ago, but I suspect these now rare native creatures have long disappeared from this area.
Route passes close to several existing caches that might interest first time visitors to the area, including GC1QZB8 West Leake Hills, GC3FF7 Dew Point (S Notts) and stages of GC103EW GHW2 (Multi).
WLH series caches come thick & fast and hopefully provide a reasonable variety of containers & hides, with the occasional sneaky and/or challenging placement! There is also a parallel QR phone scanning trail deployed close to the geocache trail.
Good off-road parking is available at the first cache WLH#1 (N52° 50.345, W001° 13.344), with another off-road parking area on the eastern outskirts of West Leake village (N52° 50.068, W001° 12.705) providing an alternative starting point to the series (WLH#13 or WLH#14). Please park considerately leaving adequate access to fields and farm access tracks. Do not use the farm access track (Wood Lane) to the north of the series from Gotham via Kegworth Road if driving; there is a property at the top of this track close to cache WLH#6 and unusual vehicle activity and/or parking here will create problems for both the cacher involved and the reputation of geocaching.
GPSr accuracy is very poor under the trees so an extra hint: gz is just off the footpath to the right when approaching from #8, immediately after the semi-cleared area where the pine trees start again in earnest. Will keep an eye on logged comments.
WARNING: Please take care when attempting to retrieve this cache. Undertake at your own risk and only if physically fit & feel confident.
Log must be signed to claim a 'Find' - spotting container does not count.