Finemere Wood nr Quainton, Bucks is a quite rustic nature reserve which is part of the Bernwood Forest Living Landscape. I say rustic because it really is more nature reserve than tourist attraction, but it does make for a nice long walk. I wasn’t 100% sure if I should write up the review of Finemere Wood because it isn’t a particularly family friendly walk. It seems more suited to seasoned walkers. If the kids hadn’t been with us I think we would have been able to enjoy it more.
The wildlife walk
We decided to follow the wildlife walk which is approx 1 1/2 miles, but there are also various other paths you can take. It’s a figure of eight walk which is quite mixed in terms of accessibility. In some places it’s really narrow. The footpaths are barely wide enough for an adult to go through, and there aren’t really any passing places. In other sections it’s nice and wide. You can tell that it gets VERY muddy in much of Finemere Wood. Even though we’ve had weeks of glorious sunshine, it was still damp in places. What’s left behind is some very uneven ground and lots of exposed roots.
On significant sections of the route there are grasses and brambles that hang over the path at exactly toddler head height. This meant lots of scratched legs and me having to carry Smallest Child on my shoulders.
Generally it’s such an uneven path to walk that you don’t really get chance to observe the wildlife that’s around you. We just missed all of the bluebells this year but you can tell there are usually quite a lot. We saw a few butterflies and hear lots of birds. Possibly even a woodpecker which was nice. Just as we were about to leave we saw a hare running down the main avenue. It was about the size of a small dog! From the front and from a distance we actually though that’s what it was. It was really nice to stand there for a while watching it bouncing around and the kids loved it.
The wildlife walk took us about 90 minutes to complete, but that was at quite a slow pace to pick through everything.
Social Distancing at Finemere Wood
As I’ve mentioned above, quite large parts of the path are extremely narrow and it’s impossible to socially distance. In fact it’s hard to give enough space to be polite! Everyone has to duck into the brambles to make space. There are certain spots that are nice and wide and it’s not particularly busy which is something.
There is a stile to enter the path and multiple gates around the walk that must be opened and closed.
Our Finemere Wood Review
I can honestly say Finemere Wood was one of the least successful family walks I’ll do a review for. We didn’t really get to see much wildlife as we spent most of the time looking at our feet so we didn’t trip. It’s not toddler friendly and hard going under foot. In anything other than summer it seems to be basically a bog.
I am certain some people love it here, and it’s so quiet and peaceful. Free Time with the Kids is all about family days out and things to do. Sadly Finemere Wood doesn’t really offer that much for families.
Parking / How to get there
Finemere Wood is on the road from Quinton and Edgcott. If you’re coming from Quinton direction it’s just before the first railway bridge. It’s also slightly before the electricity line crosses the road. You’re looking for a gated chalk drive that goes under the electricity line. Park on the hard verge opposite the drive. Yes, it looks like you’re in the wrong place but if you go up to the gate there’s a wildlife trust sign. You are in the right place. Have a look at the BBOWT website for more information.
None on site or anywhere nearby.
Nothing on site. We saw some people having a picnic in a clearing but there’s no seating.
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with out three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook