Known as Batman’s gaff because The Dark Knight Rises used it as Wayne Manor, Wollaton Hall is one of the best places to get your chill on. It’s a short bus ride from the city centre, so you can easily wile away the day deer spotting, or have a nosey around the stuffed-animal-packed hall. There are a couple of pubs directly opposite for some hoppy refreshment, too. And remember, come winter time, it’s the prime spot to go sledging.
Attenborough Nature Reserve
A slice of country life, just on the outskirts of Beeston. The on-site centre is a great place to learn about the local birds, or you could simply take the hound in your life for a walk. If you’re feeling especially green, visit one of the four tucked-away hides and spot some of the wetland wildlife going about its business. Or just have a meander around the lake and appreciate nature for what it is – lovely.
Completed in 1870, and just as popular today. You can have a good, long look at the River Trent while swanning around in the gardens, pretending you’re in an awful indie rom-com. With plenty of water-based activities going down, it’s hard to get bored around here. There are also a couple of sports pitches nearby, so you can have a kickabout when you get bored. Oh, and there’s an awesome park… as well as a paddling pool, and loads of activities over the year like runs and bike rides. That’s summer sorted, providing you don’t get mauled by geese. Why must you be so aggressive, Nottingham wildlife?
A hippy’s paradise. All it takes is one ray of sunshine to pop out from behind the clouds and the bongo drums are rolling away, the slacklines are strapped to the trees, and some much stinkier clouds emerge. If you’re looking for the ultimate getaway from the hustle and bustle but can’t be bothered to venture too far outside of the city, this is the spot. Often swimming in events and interesting people, the Arb has trees, a bandstand, flower beds, a pond with a fountain, an aviary, cute pathways, and a nearby Sainsbury’s to get supplies. It’s also a stone’s throw from NTU, and the tram line runs next to it. Perfect. Gawd knows why, but a certain group of ducks keep making The Great Escape from the pond. Ungrateful boggers. Maybe they’re just rubbing it in the face of the aviary populace.
Colwick Country Park
Hop on the C1 or the 44A from town and whisk yourself away to a land of lakes and quaint country walks. There’s bags of stuff to do here if you’re after more than just a lazy day, with the lake open for sports of the water variety, including windsurfing, canoeing and powerboating. Plus, if you're the horsey type, the public bridleways make for the perfect pony trek.
photo: Clifton Grove Birds
Alright, alright. I know what you’re thinking, but trust meh. Park up at the very end of Clifton Village and have a wander down to the weir, or wade your way through the woods and check out the views. Come autumn, you can fill your pockets with conkers, and there’s even a random dungeon door around that area and you can chuck rocks down and shout ‘Echoooo’.
The opposite side of the weir sees a nice little pub where you can get a cuppa for about a quid. With its boats and pints, let’s face it, it’s a bit more picturesque than the Clifton side. But there aren’t loads of pebbles to play skimmers with so… potato, potarto.
photo: Alan Murray-Rust
Rushcliffe Country Park
It's got the spider web to end all spider webs. And some massive, open spaces – good for boomerangs and frisbees. And a zip swing thingymabob. And activities like sponsored walks, dog shows, and wildlife education. Squee.
If you’re not mounting a Segway, going ziplining, or hiring a mountain bike for a tazz around, you can always kick back with a picnic, or have a walk through the lovely place that is Sherwood Pines. But come on, Go Ape is a proper crack. Don’t be a wuss.
A walk is done in no time around these parts, making way for a swift one in the Ferry Inn pub afterwards. Well worth popping down – you could even start and end an Embankment trek here, with some lovely scoff as your reward, to put the cherry on the cake.
Another one you could really go in on if you were feeling fruiteh. Loads of crazy activities, like rowing, canoeing, white water rafting, are available. But, equally, you can just have a wander round and get exhausted sitting down and just watching all the active members of society do their thing.
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