Nottingham Parks and Gardens
(Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England, UK)
Many areas of green are dotted around the city of Nottingham, with the Sherwood Forest Country Park being one of the most famous places. Within the city centre and off Maid Marian Way, Nottingham Castle is surrounded by a pretty garden, with colourful bedding plant sculptures, shaded picnic tables and a fortress-style play area for young children.
You are able to escape the hustle and bustle of Nottingham city centre in a number of nearby country parks, which include both Colwick and Rufford, while those in search of wildlife should be sure to visit the Attenborough Nature Reserve. Here are Nottingham's main parks and gardens.
Sherwood Forest Country Park
Address: Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, NG21 9HN, England, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1623 823 202
Famous all around the world for its association with Robin Hood and his band of 'Merry Men', the Sherwood Forest Country Park is one of Nottingham's true highlights and most visited attractions. Covering approximately 450 acres / 180 hectares in total, the park is home to in excess of 1,000 old oak trees, many of which are more than 500 years old. In particular, the biggest and most notable of all the oak trees is known simply as the 'Major Oak' and features an enormous trunk and spread of branches. With a number of wildlife trails and seating areas, the Sherwood Forest Country Park features a visitors centre at the entrance, complete with two shops and a restaurant. The park becomes extremely busy each year at the beginning of August, when crowds of people descend for the free, week-long Robin Hood Festival, which features jousting, horse riding and many other medieval-style attractions.
Open hours: daily, April to September - 10:00 to 17:00; October to March - 10:00 to 16:30
Admission: free, charge for parking at weekends
Colwick Country Park
Address: Racecourse Road, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG2 4BH, England, UK
Tel: +44 (0)115 987 0785
Home to a large and historic 18th-century hall, which has become a luxury hotel, the surrounding Country Park lies on the south-eastern side of Nottingham and contains landscaped gardens, a large expanse of lawn and a number of lakes, where fishing is a popular leisure pursuit. Trout fishing is also possible here, along a stretch of the River Trent.
Open hours: daily
Rufford Country Park
Address: Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, NG22 9DF, England, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1623 822 944
Rufford Country Park covers an enormous area of some 150 acres / 60 hectares and lies on the very outskirts of the ancient Sherwood Forest. There is plenty to see and do here and the country park has grown in standing, to become one of the region's top tourist attractions, visited by around half a million people each year. With lakeside pathways, an imposing monastery dating back to the 1300s, a craft centre complete with gallery and gift shop, several on-site shops and a number of formal, landscaped gardens, areas of Rufford Country Park are believed to be haunted. Those looking for a spot of lunch at the park will be pleased to find a good selection of refreshments available at both the on-site Coach House cafe and also the Savile Restaurant.
Open hours: April to September - 10:00 to 17:00; October to March - 10:00 to 16:30
Attenborough Nature Centre / Reserve
Address: Barton Lane, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG9 6DY, England, UK
Tel: +44 (0)115 972 1777
Located approximately 7 km / 4 miles to the south-west of central Nottingham, the Attenborough Nature Centre is an important and rather stylish eco-friendly attraction, sited alongside the scenic River Trent. The nature reserve itself comprises a series of lagoons, marshes, wooded areas and walking trails. An important and protected area of green, the reserve is rich in flora and fauna, with the main wildlife attractions including waterfowl and other birds, newts, butterflies and even otters.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 16:00, Saturday and Sunday - 09:00 to 16:00
Admission: free, donation suggested for parking