What is there to do in Fineshade Wood?

Where is Fineshade wood located?

Fineshade Wood is a Forestry England property located just north of Corby, with a postcode of NN17 3BB

Why we love Fineshades Wood.

Fineshade Wood is simply perfect for a peaceful morning walk with my husband and our dog Archie. Whether it is the 3km or 5km. Plus if you are lucky you get to see a Red Kite or two flying over.

The 3km is slightly flatter and closely surrounded by woodland, while the 5km is more undulating, picturesque and has wider paths. Both have benches or picnic tables every so often.

If we have time and under normal circumstances, we then love to get a cuppa and a slice of cake from the café.

In the area outside the café there is a water tap and numerous water bowls for us to take to our table to keep our dog well refreshed.

When we lived closer we did the annual membership, making the parking costs really cheap over the year.

Cycling at Fineshades Wood

The Cycling trails are suitable for all abilities from the serious cycling enthusiast to the youngster still getting used to cycling (although they may need a bit of help on some bits!).

Cycling skills loops add interest for the more adventurous cyclists.

Walking Trails

3km – Smelters Walk (Yellow Arrows)

  • The 3km Smelters Walk is a short, circular family friendly walk.
  • The website describes it as being suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, however, I think they need to be sturdy for some parts.

5km – Dales Wood trail (Purple Arrows)

  • The 5km Dales Wood trail is a scenic woodland walk with nice wide paths.
  • There is a hill to be mindful of.
  • This walk passes one of the children’s play areas and some youth shelters.

10km – Mill Wood trail (Pink Arrows)

  • The 10km Mill Wood trail is a long woodland walk.
  • It is described as having some steep sections.
  • My daughter did this walk several years ago and felt it was very overgrown in places and not a pleasant walk. It may of course be different now.
  • There are not proper paths along all of this trail, so it could get muddy at times.

Dog friendly

Certainly, the last time we went there were no poo bins, so stick and flick seemed the acceptable answer. Or take it home (which is not really acceptable. We always found a stick and used that to send the poo into the undergrowth.

In the courtyard of the Café there are water bowls and a tap, so you can fill a bowl and take it back to your table.

So far on all our many visits, the dogs and their owners are very well mannered. Generally, dogs are off the lead, but most people put the dogs on a lead if one on a lead is heading their way.

We also put Archie back on his lead if we see cyclists or small children.

Picnic areas

There are lots of benches and picnic tables around Fineshade Wood and the Visitor Centre for you to enjoy a picnic, to have a drink or to just enjoy the view

Gruffalo orienteering

For £1.50 you can pick up a Gruffalo orienteering leaflet with a certificate and map for the young visitors.

Gruffalo Orienteering at Fineshade Wood | Forestry England


The toilets are found in the visitors’ centre, just before the café. While there are still social distancing rules, there are also temporary toilets in the car park.

Grounds Café

If you take your empty water bottle to the café, they will kindly fill it up for you for free.

The café has hot and cold drinks, tasty snacks and lunches. Here is the link to the café in case you would like an idea of their menu Menu – Groundscafe UK

They also have an online shop Shop Home – Groundscafe UK

Cycle shop with bike hire

You can book your bike hire via this link they also have toddler trailers available to hire. Bookings at Grounds Cycle Centre – Bike Hire at Grounds Cycle Centres

Play areas

We have not used the play areas, but they look well equipped and well maintained.

There is the Tree Houses area in the woods and the Oak Leaf by the visitors’ centre.


Membership cost £38 for the year and for that you get free parking (at just Fineshade Wood). So, if you are looking at visiting 10 or more times in a year, it is well worth the money.

  • You also get 15% off Go Ape.
  • 12.5% off Forest holidays
  • And discounts on clothing at Cotswold Outdoor, Runners Need and Muddy Puddles.

There are some limits to the above benefits see the attached Membership and gift voucher terms and conditions | Forestry England

Caravaning and Motorhome Club

It is open to members and non-members. Visit the Caravan and Motorhome website, via this link to make a booking or for more information Stamford Club Site | The Caravan Club

Before you visit, I suggest you check the website to check the current status of the facilities. Fineshade Wood – Activities | Forestry England


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