Date of Visit: July 2021
The site is located around 8 miles south-west of Stamford and just over half a mile from the A43. The access road is single track, however there are plenty of passing places. It is however quite uneven. Please see our Site Arrival video.
The site is open to non-members and is adjacent to – and partially surrounded by -Fineshade Woods. The dog walk at the far end of the site takes you directly into the woods.
The site is normally open from April until November and has 84 pitches, 35 of which are hardstanding. Trees situated throughout the side give you the opportunity to pitch in at least partial shade if you wish, the majority of these pitches being grass.
It should be noted that the site does slope in places – particularly noticeable on those pitches to the left as you enter, numbered 1-13. Please see the Site Plan.
There is no toilet or shower block on site, neither washing up facilities or washing machines. There some basic provisions for sale in reception along with some caravanning essentials such as toilet fluid.
The information hut is just past reception and provides a wealth of information on things to see and do, where to eat, where to shop, church services and those essential details for vets, doctors, hospitals and service engineers.
There are two service points at either end of the site – the one by the entrance incorporating a drive over motorhome emptying point and a bike/doggy wash too.
Whilst it’s not a big site, another situated somewhere in the middle would have been welcome for those sited there.
I had no problem picking up a plethora of TV channels with a directional aerial and amp although the Club only rate reception as Fair.
The site Wi-Fi gets a Bronze rating but in my experience that’s being generous. The download speed barely scraped 1Mbps, upload was just a third of that.
Mobile wise both Three and Vodafone were dire indoors and almost unusable at times, there was some improvement outside. EE and O2’s coverage checkers suggest similar performance.
Thursday night is curry night, phone through by 3pm to have your curry delivered at 6pm. £8.95 each or two for £16. I had Beef Madras which while reasonably tasty but lacked the punch of a Madras. Curry afficionados might be disappointed.
Review of Site Pitch
I chose a hardstanding pitch no.12 – foolishly going for one of the sloping ones mentioned above. It’s not a pitch I would choose again given the hassle of getting the caravan level – had I not had some wooden blocks the back legs would not have reached.
The pitch was topped with the usual shingle and was wide enough to get car, caravan and awning alongside. No awning pegs were damaged in the writing of this review, however the pegs did loosen somewhat during the course of my stay.
Given the slope of the pitch, it was not surprising that it drained quickly when we had a downpour akin to a tropical storm one afternoon.
Around and about
First the basics; the nearest supermarkets are Asda in Corby, around 10 miles down the A43, or Morrisons in Stamford, around 9 miles the other way. Both sell fuel with Asda being some 6p/litre cheaper on my visit.
The nearest pub is in Kings Cliffe, a 45 minute walk through the forest and there is a shop there too.
Activity wise, there is no shortage of things to do, the nearest being right next door at Fineshade Wood. There are walking trails of different lengths including one designated as wheelchair accessible. In addition there is a cycling trail and bikes can be hired at the centre just a couple of minutes walk from the site, where you will also find a cafe to fuel and replenish, along with a children’s play area. There is a horse riding trail as well.
You can expend as much or as little energy as you like at Rutland Water, a 20 minute or so drive away. We chose the latter, parking at Normanton – one of four main car parks on the waters’ perimeter – grabbing lunch from the cafe and just sitting and enjoying the views. Sadly, I didn’t get to sample a trip on the Rutland Belle which offers cruises between Normanton on the South Shore and Whitwell to the north but it looked a very relaxing way of spending an hour or so. More energetic water lovers are catered for too with a variety of water-sports on offer from Whitwell on the North Shore.
There is a cycle trail around the Water and once again bikes can be hired and there are walking trails as well.
Motorhomes can park in all the main car parks and dogs are welcome in most areas aside from the designated nature reserves.
The attractive market town of Stamford is well worth a visit in my opinion, regarded as it is, as one of England’s finest stone towns. There are plenty of independent shops to browse alongside the usual chain stores and some very inviting looking pubs too. I did a Treasure Trail, a walk of around 1.5 miles starting at Wharf Road Car Park, charges for which were pretty reasonable at £4.10 for an all day stay. The trail was fascinating, taking me to parts of the town I may not have otherwise seen, learning more about it on the way.
Peterborough with it’s magnificent cathedral is a little further away but you could combine this with a trip on the excellent Nene Valley Railway – something I did a couple of years ago. It’s based at Wansford, just a 15 minute drive from the site and trains stop at the pretty Overton station where you can take tea in the delightful Victorian tea rooms and stretch your legs at nearby Ferry Meadows Country Park, catching a later train onwards to Peterborough.
A lovely site staffed by some of the friendliest and helpful wardens I’ve encountered on the Club network. The only downside for me was the internet connectivity but I certainly would not let that put me off coming again. The lack of showers and toilets means it is not as popular as some sites which is a shame because it’s a real gem and there’s plenty to do nearby too. Site Details.