Country parks in Nottingham and Notts

Wollaton Hall Country Park

Things to do in Nottingham: visit University Park

Country Parks in Nottingham and NottsCountry Parks in Nottingham and Notts

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are incredibly fortunate to have a wide variety of very high quality country parks, even within the boundaries of Nottingham city centre. These vary in size from the comparatively small Nottingham Arboretum at 17 acres, which is Nottingham’s oldest park dating from 1852, to the very large and magnificent 3,800 acres of parkland, heathland and woods at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire.

We have chosen to list the Country Parks in Notttingham and Notts here in order of approximate size, as it’s so difficult to choose between them all otherwise! If your favourite park is not listed, or you have suggestions for improving this list, please let us know by emailing us.

Nottingham Arboretum, Nottingham: 17 acres

The historic and beautifully maintained Arboretum is close to Nottingham city centre. It’s Nottingham’s oldest park dating from 1852. It’s worth seeing the large collection of over 800 trees.

Nottingham arboretum’s website

Woodthorpe Grange Park, Nottingham: 20 acres

Woodthorpe Grange Park boasts a 19th century Grade II listed manor house, a Pitch and Putt golf course, a Tropical House and an environmentally friendly cafe in its wonderful open space.

Woodthorpe Grange’s website

Kelham Hall and Country Park, Notts: 44 acres

This beautiful Victorian stately home, designed by George Gilbert Scott, is a popular wedding venue and nestles within lovely surroundings. The Peacock Bar and Restaurant offers refreshments and afternoon teas.

Kelham Hall’s website

Forest Recreation Ground, Nottingham: 80 acres

Home of the world famous Nottingham Goose Fair, the Forest Recreation Ground also boasts children’s play areas, outdoor gym, multi-use games areas and the Forest pavilion, partly supported by lottery funding.

Read here about the dog-friendly Pavilion Cafe at the Forest Rec. It makes you want to down tools and just go there, now.

Forest Recreation park’s website

Highfields / University Park, Nottingham: 121 acres

This park is a real urban oasis; a jewel of Nottingham. You can wander through the grounds, hire a boat, play bowling, croquet or putting, visit the children’s play area and relax at the Lakeside Arts Centre for delicious coffee and home-made scones.

Highfields/University Park’s website

Rufford Abbey Country Park: 150 acres

There is plenty to do at Rufford Abbey County Park, including walking through the historic parkland, well maintained gardens and woodlands, and around the lake. You can also gaze at the ruins of the medieval monastery, try the maze, follow the sculpture trail and visit the children’s play park. There’s a restaurant and cafe too.

Rufford Country Park

Rushcliffe Country Park: 210 acres

Situated near Ruddington, there’s lots to do at Rushcliffe Country Park including:

  • over 8 kilometres of footpaths, grassland, conservation, landscaped areas around a lake, for walking, jogging, cycling, spotting wildlife and exercising your dog in the dog park,
  • let young children have fun in the extensive play area,
  • older children can use the skateboard midi half pipe, and
  • a 4X/ BMX cycle track.

Rushcliffe Country Park’s website

Colwick Country Park, Nottingham: 250 acres

Colwick Country Park, with a Grade II manor house,  is located on the outskirts of Nottingham city. In a similar way to Rushcliffe Country Park, it boasts many things to do including:

  • adventure activities,
  • cycling,
  • fishing, including club run taster sessions,
  • geocaching,
  • horse riding,
  • orienteering,
  • parkrun,
  • photography (birds, wildlife, landscape),
  • ranger-led activities,
  • swimming in the lakes (by prior arrangement only), and
  • walking, jogging and running along the extensive network of trails.

Colwick Country Park’s website

Holme Pierrepont Country Park (National Water Sports Centre), Nottingham: 270 acres

So near to Nottingham city centre, yet it feels so far away. We Nottingham folk are so lucky to have this wonderful resource on our doorstep. No matter if you prefer gentle activities like strolling round the lake and sipping coffee, or if you’re the adventurous type who prefers water sports like wakeboarding or white-water rafting, there’s bound to be something for you to enjoy here from this list:

  • adventure activities,
  • camping,
  • eCombat – outdoor laser combat game,
  • elite sports – 700m white water course, 2,000m regatta lake for rowing,
  • gym,
  • kayaking and sailing,
  • mini-golf,
  • raft building,
  • segway track (height and weight restrictions apply),
  • Sky Trail,
  • wakeboarding,
  • walking or jogging around the lake,
  • white Water Rafting.

National Water Sports Centre’s website

Newstead Abbey, Notts: 320 acres

Newstead Abbey is a beautiful historic house set in a wonderful landscape of lakes, ponds, waterfalls and formal gardens. It is famously the ancestral home of the Romantic poet Lord Byron, and you can see many of his personal items including his magnificent gilt wood bed. Many special events are held at Newstead.

Newstead Abbey’s website

Attenborough Park, Nottingham: 360 acres

Attenborough Nature Centre is an award winning Visitor and Education facility surrounded by the tranquil waters of the beautiful Attenborough Nature Reserve. This is owned and managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. The eco-friendly Visitors’ Centre informs the public and provides refreshments.

Attenborough nature centre’s website

Cotgrave Country Park, Notts: 400 acres

Cotgrave Country Park is an open green space near Cotgrave. It has more than 5km of paths and trails ideal for gentle strolling, running or cycling, and you can also do orienteering here. Horse riding and fishing are available too.

Cotgrave Country Park’s website

Sherwood Forest Country Park, Notts: 450 acres

Sherwood Forest Country park contains some of the oldest trees in Europe, and proudly boasts the world-famous Major Oak among its veteran trees – a tree which was recently crowned England’s Tree Of The Year by the Woodland Trust. The park is of course home to the legendary Robin Hood.

You can walk round the park on our self-guided trails, and you may spot some of our many different bird species along the way.

Sherwood Forest Country Park’s website

Wollaton Park, Notts: 500 acres

Wollaton Park is a deer park and home of Grade I listed building Wollaton Hall, Nottingham Natural History Museum and Nottingham Industrial Museum in the heart of Nottingham. It’s set on a hill with magnificent parkland leading down to a lake.

Wollaton Park’s website

Bestwood Country Park, Notts: 650 acres

This large Country Park offers woodland, meadows and a lake for you to explore, as well as the remains of Bestwood Colliery in the form of Bestwood Winding Engine House.

Bestwood Country Park’s website

Clumber Country Park, Notts: 3,800 acres

The ‘Mother’ of them all, Clumber Park outranks most of the other country parks in Nottinghan and Notts in terms of size. It is a beautiful expanse of parkland, heath and woods, covering more than a very impressive 3,800 acres. It was once the country estate of the Dukes of Newcastle. Today, however, Clumber Park offers the freedom for you to discover a ducal park – you can explore picturesque parkland and gardens, peaceful woodlands and a magnificent lake.

There are more than 20 miles of cycle routes here, and ample opportunities for walking. If you need reviving with food and drink we have several cafes to choose from.

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