Outdoor activities are really popular in Nottingham and the UK as a whole, especially when the weather is fine. Let us now take a look at the Top 5 parks (in no particular order) Nottingham has to offer for outdoor activities.
- Rushcliffe Country Park, Ruddington
Less than a mile to the south of Ruddington lies Rushcliffe Country Park. It is a beautiful place set in wonderful countryside. Within the park is a large network of footpaths, landscaped areas, conservation areas and grassland spanning around 5 miles. So, whether you’re wanting to jog, walk, cycle, have a look at wildlife or take part in some Tai Chi, Rushcliffe Country Park is a great place to come.
This is a park that is also ideal for a family day out. There is an extensive playground, which is suitable for children up to 12. There are around 20 different pieces of playground equipment and it’s all really modern. There is even a swing that is suitable for children with disabilities and some of the equipment is also accessible for those in wheelchairs. For the older ones who enjoy skateboarding, there is a midi half-pipe and there is also a BMX track too.
Rushcliffe Country Park is completely free! Parking is just £1 for the whole day, which is really reasonable in comparison to lots of other country parks. If you’re wanting to fill up your day with a pub lunch or it’s too cold for a picnic, the village of Ruddington has a few nice coffee shops and pubs. The village is only a short walk away from the rear park entrance (to the North West). Top of Form
- Vicar Water Country Park, Clipstone
Vicar Water Country Park has a great history! It has a Green Flag award and is spread over 78 hectares. During the Middle Ages, the stream was called Warmebroke (i.e. Warm Brook). It then became known as Vicar Water. In 1870, a dam was installed by the 5th Duke of Portland, thus creating Vicar Pond. Its use was a fishery with the intention of supplying Welbeck Abbey’s lakes. The early 1900s saw Vicar Pond being used for swimming and boating by soldiers who were posted at Clipstone Camp nearby. In 1912, the area around Vicar Pond (Anne Bower Hill) was leased by the 6th Duke of Portland to the Bolsover Colliery Company. 1976 saw the ceasing of coal tipping around the pond and woodland was planted. Vicar Water Country Park officially open in 1982. In 1999, it doubled in size and the visitor centre opened in 2000.
There are lots to do in Vicar Water Country Park. You can fish, go cycling, walk your dog, watch wildlife and can even sail model boats and go horse riding. There are three trails that are waymarked and you can find these for free at the visitor centre. The centre also has toilets and a café.
- Sherwood Pines Forest Park, Mansfield
This is the largest public forest in East Midlands, set in the heart of Sherwood Forest. Sherwood Pines has everything you need for a great day in the outdoors. There are excellent cycling trails, great walks through different habitats and playgrounds for children. What’s more, you can try Go Ape Tree Top Adventure or have a go at riding a Segway. Sometimes in the summer months, there are concerts. It is free to enter the park but parking is payable.
- Rufford Abbey Country Park, Ollerton
Rufford Abbey Country Park is a beautiful park set amongst the Rufford Abbey ruins, which date back to the 12th century. There are gardens, shops, a café, a restaurant and a tea shop. The park has lots of woodland and lakeside walks as well as a play area for young children. For those with pushchairs, prams, wheelchairs and mobility scooters, there is good access, including the toilets. The park is free to enter and is open every day of the year apart from Christmas Day. There is a charge for parking.
- Langold Country Park, Langold
Located 5 miles to the north of Worksop, Langold Country Park is in the village of the same name. The site covers the parkland of 300 acres and is managed by Bassetlaw District Council. It is a Local Nature Reserve that links into Dyscarr Wood, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is recognised as one of the finest examples of limestone ash-wych elm in Nottinghamshire.
Inside the park is a variety of woodland, butterfly meadows, wildlife, a large fishing area, open grassy areas and play areas. Langold Country Park is a really great place for the whole family to enjoy. In the summer months, there is a splash park too! The park also has a skate park, a football pitch, a café and toilets.
For activities, there are some designated walks around the park. They link to surrounding open areas and also to bridleways and public rights of way.