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Your comments on Top Lodge Fineshade Wood

3 Stars 3 Stars

Came twice, once to ride which was great, nice trail, well maintained. Good ice-cream, so we returned for a second visit to walk the dogs.Couldn't find a bin for dog poo. I was shocked, when I asked, to find there was no dog poo bins at all and owners were expected to take it home. It is no surprise people leave dog mess about. I'm sure it wouldn't cost that much to have one or two dog poo bins. This is a real let down on the whole experience.

Anonymous, 17/Aug/2017

Thank-you for your comment. We currently do not provide dog bins as they attract vermin and we do not have the resources to maintain them. We do ask all dog owners to act responsibly and clear up mess, either with a bag or with "stick and flick" if this is outside of the main visitor area.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

A nice place, but I feel the sign posts need to be more informative. Started walking with my three children aged 11,7 and 4 and we kept getting lost as for ages after the grufalo walk there were no signs so we kept walking. We ended up on two different trails, also ended up doing about 6miles as we didn't know which way to get out. More exit signs and telling you how many miles left on each trail would be A lot more informative. This has put me off coming again which is a shame as we loved it at first but then got very tiring.

Anonymous, 11/Aug/2017

Thank-you for your comment. We are sorry that you feel like this has ruined your experience here. The end of the Gruffalo walk is at the visitor centre. In the visitor centre, there is a map board and maps to take away with you if needed. The signage is also reviewed regularly to make sure no-one does get lost whilst here. We will take your comment on board.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

We recently had a surprise party for my husband's birthday in the conference room. Matt and his team were very helpful, friendly and courteous. The food they supplied was freshly made, tasty and plentiful. Everyone had a really enjoyable time.

Mrs H., 10/May/2017
4 Stars 4 Stars

My husband and I have walked in these woods on many, many occasions. The woods are beautiful and full of wildlife. However, I agree about the comments about irresponsible dog owners. In particular the awful habit of scooping the poop and then throwing the little black bags all over the place or leaving them in little piles in the car park. Chldren love to kick leaves and pick up sticks etc., but are in danger of getting far more than they or their parents bargain for. If you have a dog please take your dog poo home and bin it. I have been a dog owner previously so am not anti dog but I also agree that if dogs cannot be kept under control they should be on leads. I have been accosted many times by friendly dogs and do not always welcome the muddy paws. I have also been confronted with aggressive dogs and whilst not scared do not appreciate these encounters. Cyclists manage to be considerate and polite why can't dog owners.

Anonymous, 8/May/2017
4 Stars 4 Stars

A great place for biking, we were unsure whether to come as out boys (11 and 12) love a good bike trail and jumps, but there was definitely enough for us to enjoy, we did the circuit twice and the blue runs several times.

Nickscal, 18/Apr/2017
4 Stars 4 Stars

Had a great time Gruffalo spotting on Saturday with our little one. Would be good to know if after finishing the trail do you retrace your steps or go through the gate? Instead we did the longer purple route, and had a nice cake and coffee in the cafe.

Steve King, 27/Mar/2017
3 Stars 3 Stars

Me and my family was looking forward to walking through the woods following the Gruffalo trail. Unfortunately our visit was ruined and we left frustrated by the behaviour of some dog owners. Dogs were running free and fouling all over the path and on the edge of the grass verges. I have a two year old boy and a four year old daughter that had to have eyes in the back of their heads. They was constantly dodging bounding dogs while concentrating where they were walking to prevent standing in dog muck. My son spent most of his time in his pram and my daughter in my arms fearing for her life. Why do dog owner think because they know their dog is a softy nobody should be afraid. The boy in me imagined my kids running through the forest playing with sticks a leaves like I used to at their age but unfortunately that wasn't to be. Dog owners please be more responsible when visiting this lovely forest and don't ruin it for others.

Anonymous, 5/Mar/2017
4 Stars 4 Stars

You can't beat a walk around the woods followed by a trip to the cafe. Lovely walks, well signposted with a range of distance options. Dog mess can be a small issue but on the whole our trip was mess-free. Unfortunately all the 'flick' signs in the world won't deter the selfishness of a few owners, or those who bag and then leave the bags on the path.

I've always liked walking here but the car park charges are horrific. 1.50 for an hour and then 4.00 for over? Most people will stay for more than an hour. I appreciate that these need to cover the costs of managing the wood, but surely there could be a staggered price system eg 1 hour, 3 hours (1/2 day) and all day? I arrived at 3.15pm and had to pay 4 for a 2 hour visit. 4 is fine for all day but really, anything over an hour?

H Crick, 18/Feb/2017

Great Woods. On the Yellow trail near the large group of Hazel trees. Lots of trip hazards of rusty chicken wire. Only a couple of yards from main path. Danger to animals and children. More info then contact me.

George Petter, 25/Jan/2017

Do you have a pair of Swarowski CL pocket binoculars for sale in your shop? I live in Harborough and would like to see some before buying.

Many thanks

Amanda Riddell, 14/Jan/2017

hello I would like to know if I camp there are you aloud to have a campfire for a better experience?

jonny, 6/Jan/2017
4 Stars 4 Stars

I give 4stars for the overall site cos its full of interesting history, nature and pathways. I like that it hasnt been developed too much with big play areas etc. As a cyclust I wouldnt change fineshade as its perfect for family rides but Wakerley could surely be enhanced as there are so many potential trails that could be developed with added feature's. Also there seemd a kack of signage warning walkers of the mtb dedicated trail which could lead to nasty accidents or confrontation. I think it is a great place and thank you for what you do.

darren, 13/Dec/2016

Thank-you for your comment, we always like to hear that people enjoy coming to Fineshade. Also, thanks for the suggestion about signage at Wakerley, we will definitely take that on board.

Forestry Commission Response

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
1 Star 1 Star

There are no bins on the site. I pay 28 a year for a car park pass, please put a bin on the site!

Mark Law, 21/Jun/2016

We do not have the resources to provide and empty bins and encourage people to take responsibility for any materials they bring onto site, by taking it home with them.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

I took my Grandchildren to Fineshade Wood today. I downloaded from the Internet a worksheet for the children to complete they needed like to find various insects in order to complete the sheet. What a wonderful idea you might say but NO all we found was dog mess, dog mess and yet more dog mess. I know you have the 'stick and flick' policy but this policy does not work! There is dog mess everywhere. Do you not see it? You cannot beat scraping off dog dirt from Wellington Boots on a Bank Holiday can you? Not happy please put in bins or shame the dog owners somehow!

Mrs Smith and family, 30/May/2016

We're sorry to hear of your experience at Fineshade. We do ask all dog owners to act responsibly and clear up mess, either with a bag or with "stick and flick" if this is not possible. The majority of dog owners respect the site but unfortunately there is a minority who do not. We will continue to emphasise this is a family site and that it is the owner's responsibility to clear up mess so the site can be enjoyed by everyone.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

I have just visited your woods together with my dog and together we did the 3 mile walk. I have to say I was very disappointed that on th walk there were no dog poo bins so virtually had to do the whole walk with the black bag. Also when got back to the car park there were no disposal bins either. We had bought a picnic and found there were no rubbish bins for waste either. I believe that if you have public places and you wish to keep them smart you need to provide wast bins at regular intervals,

Anonymous, 5/May/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

Thank you to all who tried to find my little Alfie the Boston terrier. He went missing worst hour ever. Only found on the path near the car park clever boy..

Bev, 28/Apr/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

We had a great family walk along the Gruffalo trail last year and we can't wait to help Stick Man this spring. A great facility, cheap parking, a really worthwhile family day out. The paths are great for pushchairs, there is a shorter walk for toddlers and a great park at the end.

Sarah, 2/Apr/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

A great spot for the whole family. Lovely cafe and facilities, a good playground and fabulous walks around the forest. The Stick Man walk keeps our toddler happy, the paths are smooth enough for our baby in a pushchair, and the dog always has a great time dashing about the woods

Anonymous, 16/Mar/2016
3 Stars 3 Stars

Visisted today and came back with 2 disapointed children. We visisted here because we were hoping to find a gruffalo sculpture which it clearly states on the website you have but were unable to find it after walking along way. We were told by a member of staff that worked in the cycling shop that it was there so they told us where to go but still no gruffalo. It would be useful if you could label where it is that is if it is still there.

Anonymous, 13/Feb/2016

We are sorry you couldn't find the Gruffalo. It is where it has always been, and so we are sorry you were misinformed.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

I can understand the need to selectively close trails when harvesting operations are taking place but I feel the blanket closure of a public right of way for six months is way over the top and quite un-necessary. I regularly walk (or used to walk) from King's Cliffe to Fineshade through the woods, especially in winter when other footpaths are very muddy. With so many alternative routes through the woods I cannot understand why you can't ensure that at least one through route is always open. Please, please will you give this some thought so that local people can continue to enjoy this wonderful resource through the winter.

Anonymous, 11/Dec/2015

The rights of way and all trails are now fully open. There may be some short (less than a day) closures in January 2016, to allow for safe forest machinery operations.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

I can understand why you might not provide rubbish bins and dog waste facilities but better signage and information on site and the website might encourage people to come better prepared to pack in and pack out.

John Crookes , 23/Nov/2015
5 Stars 5 Stars

I just wanted to thank you for all the assistance you give with the Remembrance 11k run. I've never been to Fineshades Wood before today and I'll definitely be back. Thank you again.

John Airey, 8/Nov/2015
5 Stars 5 Stars

Ee it were smashing just like being up north but warmer. Great facilities and ice cream.

Reverend Tofiapple , 4/Jul/2015

How much is the activity pack for the superworm trail? I cannot see a price.

Laura, 3/Jun/2015

It is £3.50, and available from the bike shop.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

fantastic place for young ones, we ride this at least 3 times a week!!

Great little blue skills trails dotted around the main green trail.

Highly recommend to anyone.

Rory , 24/May/2015
5 Stars 5 Stars

I love this place but it is upsetting i dont see the Albino deer no more...please tell me if he's still around

Rose, 15/Apr/2015

Deer roam over a large area, so he may have moved on to pastures new, or he doesn't appear when you visit.

Forestry Commission Response

Can you still visit the gruffalo and if so where is it located?

Anonymous, 5/Apr/2015

Yes, you can still visit the Gruffalo sculpture, although the trail has now been removed. The sculpture is located in Mill Wood - ask at the visitor centre for details.

Forestry Commission Response

Wondered if your facilities are open on Boxing Day? Nice place to take the children for some exercise! And even better if we can have a hot drink while there!

Jill Sheffer, 12/Dec/2014

Yes, the cafe and visitor centre are open on Boxing Day, from 9am until 5pm. For opening hours on other days over the festive season, please visit

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

I was so excited

Zaina Ahmed, 24/Oct/2014
5 Stars 5 Stars

We had a super day out in Fineshade wood. The wide and hard surfaced tracks make it perfect for a leisurely bike ride through a forest. Alternatively you go off road if you wish.

Finding the Gruffalo was a brilliant bonus.

The facilities at the Top Lodge were perfect. You can hire a bike from the shop and have something to eat or drink.

I made a video of our day out. It's a pity that the link cannot be posted

Thank you very much.

Everybody from Stamford Meetup

Stamford Meetup, 8/Oct/2014
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