Monday 12 August 2013

Fineshade - If you go down to the woods!

I was awake bright and early last Friday, getting out all the waterproofs and wellies; the girls and I had kindly been invited to Fineshade Wood over in Northamptonshire, curtsey of the Forestry Commission to see what they have to offer families.

If I am totally honest I had never heard of the forestry commission until we received the invitation. Basically, the forestry commission is an organisation that that reports directly to parliament and is, amongst many other things, responsible for managing, restoring, protecting and conserving our nation's forests and woodlands.

I was feeling a mixture of emotions as I was taking both of the girls out on my own to a place that I had never been before and I was also a little nervous as I would be getting the opportunity to meet some fellow bloggers, all of whom have been blogging a lot longer than me. When we started off our drive towards Fineshade Wood, the weather was not being particularly pleasant, I did start to wonder if it was a good idea to be going on an outdoor adventure in the rain, however as we arrived, the rain disappeared and the sun starting to come out. 

Fineshade Wood was really easy to find and was only about a forty minute drive from our house. You can find out more details on their location on their website. We had been given complimentary parking for the day, however it is usually only £3 for the entire day to park, which I think is really reasonable and a price that I would have been happy to pay. 

We were the first to arrive so Ruby and I did a spot of bird watching while waiting for our fellow blog friends to arrive. We saw a wide range of birds; if I am being honest, I had no idea what type most of them were! 

We also spent some time at the outdoor play area located in the courtyard. Ruby absolutely loved all the different things there were to do, ranging from slides, climbing frames and dens.

Once everyone else had arrived, we were greeted by one of the rangers who is in charge of overseeing the forest. She explained a bit about Fineshade and took us on a short walk into the woods where we were took part in some den building. Ruby had been really looking forward to this for days and was very quick to get involved. 

As you can see from the photos she helped to make a fantastic den. 

It was then time to test the den to see how water proof it was; thanks to a very kind dad who took up the challenge of sitting in the den whilst the ranger poured some water over it. I was shocked that the den that Ruby helped to make was a lot more waterproof than I thought it would be! 

After a fun morning we walked back to the courtyard where there is a lovely restaurant. They serve a wide variety of snacks, cakes and hot drinks. We sampled a toasted sandwich and baguette with some home-made cakes. They were really deliciously and very reasonably priced, although as we were there to review the day, we received our lunch free of charge. The staff were very helpful and nothing was too much trouble for them, they were even happy to make up a sandwich to our own specification if they did not have something we wanted. I thought this was great as I know how fussy Ruby can be at times! 

After a lovely lunch we decided to go for a walk around the woods, it was so lovely and peaceful. It was nice to be away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and just admire the beauty of the forest. Situated in the courtyard is a place that hires out bicycles; unfortunately they do not offer bikes with stabilisers so Ruby was unable to get one that she could ride, but fortunately I had bought her balance bike with us. Ruby loved riding her bike through the forest and occasionally stopping to catch her breath and sit on a tree stump.

Lottie also enjoyed going through the forest and looking up at all the leaves on the trees.

There are three different bike trails to follow ranging in length;.we opted for the shortest one and came across a really lovely outdoor play area, unfortunately I think it was too big for Ruby, however in a few years I can see us coming back and Ruby having lots of fun on it. 

After our walk we headed back for one final play in the play area. Ruby really didn't want to leave; I think I must said we were going about ten times before we eventually left. Ruby said in the car on the way home, can we go back again? I think it is safe to say that Ruby had a fantastic time, as did I and we shall definately be going back again as it was such a lovely day out. 

If you want to know any more about Fineshade Woods details can be found here

Disclaimer: We were given complimentary parking and lunch for our honest review of Fineshade Wood. All thoughts and opinion are my own. 


  1. It was so lovely to meet you. I'm really impressed with Fineshade, we'll be back too!

  2. what a lovely place and it certainly looks like you had a great time.

    Thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments x

  3. We have been there, it's lovely and the larger play area is huge, I winced when my husband and 11 year old climbed up there!

  4. The forestry commission have some fantastic sites don't they? The playground there looks fantastic. Here via #mntbc