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Burghley Park to Fineshades in the East Midlands

Burghley Park to Fineshades in the East Midlands

Due to the dash down south from York to celebrate Lottie’s birthday in Stamford, we’ve leapt at the chance to give the girls a sleepover and take in a little of the activities you can find around this corner of the East Midlands…..

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C lose to the tiny county of Rutland, lies the thriving market town of Stamford and it’s impressive Burghley House. A town perhaps left behind by the Industrial Revolution that remains full of timber framed buildings and numerous fine spired churches, cobble streets and mellow old stone buildings…
Opting not to go inside as we’ve seen our fair share of fantastic stately homes/castles recently (think AlnwickPembroke or York’s Barley Hall)… we strolled around the grounds of this fine Elizabethan  house. It’s withering array of spires and grand architecture are made all the better by the deer park nearby which offers some photo opportunities like our ones below.

Amazingly, it’s only ever been owned by one family (just think of the family heirlooms!) and has some apparently exquisite rooms inside with treasures aplenty (from Hells Staircases to a Heaven Room)… but it’s no less beautiful outside with lakeside walks, ornamental gardens (Garden of Surprises) and a Capability Brown inspired parkland landscape full of conker trees about to shed their seasonal load…. Perhaps made all the better by the welcome October sunshine!!

This isn’t the first time we’ve visited (as we passed through on the way down south as part of our John O’Groats to Lands End trip in January 2016) but this was perhaps the warmest….. but maybe not quite warm enough to repeat our paddle boarding fun at the nearby Nene Outdoors (some 15mins away near Peterborough)

So with the leaves falling and the nearby Forestry Commission woods at Fineshades only a quick 15 mins away (even in a motorhome)…. We thought we’d add this series of mountain bike trails and skill loops to our growing collection of Bike Adventures across Europe.

Although our bikes were in the motorhome, we’d previously hired bikes with the girl’s cousins when we visited the Rutland Cycles store at Nene Outdoors…. (including a first for us as we saddled up and headed out on a tandem around Ferry Meadows… ) so we grabbed a couple of bikes for a reasonable £10 and set off….

Every region should have Something special

WFineshades is far more of a mountain bikers paradise rather than the woods over the road at Rockingham. Plus it’s located very close to the nearby Caravan and Motorhome Club so has perfect motorhome parking opportunities.
It didn’t take our kids long to race off with their cousins… each desperate to outdo the other and beat their times on the skills loops… In fairness though, we were really impressed and it’s inspired both of our girls to return to Dalby Forest when we’re back in North Yorkshire to work on their mountain biking skills….

Fineshades doesn’t just have bike loops for families, there’s enough for a seasoned mountain biker or even toddlers to visit the Gruffalo nature trails or even enjoy some of the adventure playgrounds (perhaps the smaller ones than these below!)

Heading back to Stamford in time for the sleepover to start… we’d lucked in as Stamford hosts an October fair too on it’s conveniently located recreation ground (near the centre of the town). Much smaller than it’s Lent Fair in March… there’s still a number of rides and stalls which more than occupied the girls and their cousins …

And you can’t visit a fair without taking advantage of the dodgem cars and a chance to bump the parents…. or to visit a stall and win a prize to tuck under your arm on the way home….. So plenty of happy, smiling faces we returned back with tummies full of candyfloss…. what could possibly go wrong with tonight’s sleepover!!!

Burghley house

so where did we park the bus for the night?

We’ve visited relatives nearby, but we’d recommend the campsite at Fineshades. Perfectly located if your family enjoys bike rides through the forest

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About The Author


Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

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