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A scorcher of a weekend is promised, so what better time than today for a picnic!

Click HERE for a live map and directions

..and what could be more perfect than Fineshade Wood (the clue’s in the name!) for some fine picnicking in a Wood in the shade! – and it’s only a thirty-or-so minute drive away too! The Wood is managed by the Forestry Commission and is part of the former royal hunting forest of Rockingham Forest. Part of the Wood is publicly owned and part-leased by the Forestry Commission – and we remember it well from our previous visit a few years back.

Looks like the weather is on our side!

Well, on arrival, first impressions (compared to our previous visit) were disappointing! 😮

Why? Gone was the series of mini car-parking areas shaded with trees and with plenty of picnic tables. Instead, a humongous great open parking area…

…and rather ironically, the Forestry Commission seeedm to have felled a load of trees to achieve the new look! It all felt very disappointing, but we hoped we’d still find some picnic areas on our walk…

The Smelter’s Walk – A modest two-mile challenge!

Off we toddled on our two-miler, but it soon became obvious that picnic tables were not part of the scenery! Still, it didn’t ruin our walk, where the combination of great weather and tranquil surroundings made it all very enjoyable.

Just under two miles

But this definitely wasn’t the place for our picnic, so we consoled ourselves with a couple of extra-large ice-creams instead! Two large scoops (scoop 1 – Chocolate, scoop 2 – Salted Caramel) for Ann, whilst I wrestled with a scoop of Strawberry and a scoop of Salted Caramel. Boy! they were large cornets! 😁 Almost a picnic in themselves!!!!

So, where to go for our official picnic? We headed in the direction of the quaint village of Wansford and had a quick wander round. There’s was nothing suitable here that we could find (having unsuccessfully failed to find the path to the river), so it was back in the car, crossing county boundaries, heading for Barnwell Country Park.

On arrival, we knew we’d made the right decision! Plenty of areas to walk and (more importantly by this stage) plenty of areas for a picnic!

Just under a mile

Wow! It was a really enjoyable walk. We took in some impressive views along the route, and I think in the end, we actually preferred it to Fineshade Wood!

Mission Accomplished!

And our picnic was well-worth the wait! 😉😁

That’s what days like these are for!

Any comments?