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Explore Top Lodge Fineshade Wood
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 4/5)

Enjoy a family adventure at Top Lodge, Fineshade Wood. Be challenged by our exciting play areas and cycling, or explore the wildlife and history on foot, before unwinding in the cafe or browsing in the shops.


Find out about me, my owner and my favourite place for a walk in Fineshade Wood, as well as great dog friendly places to eat and sleep near by. 

Trails for Everyone

Whether you're looking for an easy-going trail for all abilities, to explore the local history, or for a bit of peace and quiet to observe the wildlife, we've got a trail for you.

Family Cycling

Enjoy the family cycling route, or challenge yourself with the blue skills loops. Cycle hire, including buggies and trailer bikes, is available on site.

Events and activities

From time to time there are activities and events taking place for people of all ages to enjoy.  

Somewhere to stay

Groups with public liability insurance can book our youth shelters, which are tucked away in the wood.

There is also a Caravan Club site at Fineshade that is open to members and non-members alike.

Horse Riding trail

We welcome visitors to our horsebox car park, which is the starting point for the riding trail in Fineshade. The route also links with local bridleways, so that you can explore the wider countryside.

Wildlife watching

Although red kites often soar above, other wildlife can be seen from the wildlife hide, or whilst you're walking.

Food and drink

The Top Lodge cafe sells a range of locally-sourced food and drink. 

What do other visitors say?

Can we not bike after 5pm?

Very good place for me and my daughter to visit and bike round

Chris , 7/Nov/2016

Thank-you for your comment. The Visitor Centre, including the toilet facilities shuts before 5 in the winter, however, the car park remains open after this time. Please be aware that as it is now dark after 5pm, you will need to take extra care around the trails.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

What a fantastic place . The visitor centre and cafe are top notch and the investment and care built in to the way marked walks is excellent. I really like the way families are catered for with a lovely play area near the centre but best of alll the tree house which you have to walk into the woods to find .. . Magic. The other reviews bear no relation to the quality of the experience you get here and are astoundingly nit picking. Families will have a great time here

Peter, 26/Oct/2016

Thank-you for your comment, we always like to hear when people enjoy the woods and Visitor Centre. We hope you come back and visit us again soon"

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

Visited a couple of times to introduce my children to cycling forest trails. Its a lovely centre albeit very basic in terms of ride ability. The few blue technical loops were, mostly, great fun as an introduction to new trail riders/children, but would be great if there were a few longer/more technical bits for those with more experience. The whole trail is easy to get round and we did the loop twice with the kids. Fab views of all the Red Kites overhead and landing in some of the trees. As others have said before, dog mess can be a bit of an issue in places. And I just don't understand why a dog owner goes to all of the trouble to bag a turd and then tie the bag to a low branch - only to have it slap you in the face on a bike! A few dog bins would be a nice idea - but I guess that means someone has to be paid to go around and empty them regularly! Overall - I love the centre with the kids. Not 'exciting' enough though so after a couple of visits now having to look for other centres with the kids. Caf, cycle hire and courtyard play areas all nice.

Mark, 21/Jun/2016

Hello, have you tried Wakerley Woods? It is just across the A43 from Fineshade and has a trail which is all blue grade. Happy cycling!

Forestry Commission Response
More user comments

Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at if you have an enquiry, a complaint or would like a personal reply to your comments.

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Last updated: 7th December 2016

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What's Here?

  • Cycling
  • Cycling Hire
  • Walking
  • Toliets
  • Baby Changing
  • Baby changing is available in both the ladies and gents.
  • Buses
  • A bus and coach parking area is to the left of the main visitor centre, standard car parking charges apply.
  • Cafe
  • Freshly prepared with a variety of local produce.
  • Camping
  • Available for groups at the Danish Shelters
  • Caravan Site
  • Caravan Club Site
  • Dogs
  • Most picnic tables around the visitor centre have dog water bowls and karabiners to attach dogs to. Only registered assistance dogs are allowed within the cafe. Other dogs can go into the Little Barn seating area, when it is available.
  • Dogs on lead
  • We request that dogs are kept on a lead around the car park, play areas and visitor centre grounds.
  • Easy Access
  • We have an easy access trail and wildlife hide, as well as toilet and picnic provision and a sensory garden.
  • Educational
  • We have an easy access trail and wildlife hide, as well as toilet and picnic provision and a sensory garden.
  • Horse riding
  • There is special parking for horseboxes, standard car parking charges apply.
  • Parking (easy access)
  • There are 5 easy access parking bays 60m from the main visitor centre entrance. Blue badges and parking tickets must be displayed.
  • Parking (chargeable)
  • 1 hour £1.50
    All day £4.00
    After 5pm £1.50
    Coaches £10
    Parking can be paid for using the pay and display machines (which are cash only and do not give change) or by phone using PaySmarti.
  • Picnic
  • There is a seating area in the courtyard of the visitor centre and a picnic area next to each of the play areas. Other picnic tables and benches can be found on the walks.
  • Play area
  • There are two play areas at Fineshade, one for young children next to the visitor centre and an exciting tree house play area in the woodland for older children.
  • Visitor centre
  • Open 10am till 5pm, throughout the year, except weekdays from November till February, where it closes at 4pm.
  • Wildlife
  • We have an all access wildlife hide on site. Red kites can be seen most days throughout the year.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: SP980983
Postcode: NN17 3BB

Get directions


Central District Office

0300 067 4340

Opening & Parking

Opening Times:
Visitor Centre
10am-5pm Summer
10am-5pm on Winter weekends (Nov-Feb)
10am-4pm on Winter weekdays (Nov-Feb)
Fineshade Cycling
9:00am – 5:00pm
Friday to Sunday
Closed: Monday to Thursday,
Christmas Eve, Christmas day &
Boxing day
Top Lodge Café
10am – 4pm
Monday – Friday
9am – 5pm
Weekends except it is closed:
Christmas day
1 hour £1.50
All day £4.00
After 5pm £1.50
Coaches £10
Parking can be paid for using the pay and display machines (which are cash only and do not give change) or by phone using PaySmarti.
Discovery Pass
£28 for the year

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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.