Discover some of Nottingham’s best walks, as shared by a local!
Since I’ve been back in Nottingham I’ve been making the most of the nicer weather (don’t know where that’s gone recently!) and getting out and about around my hometown.
As May is National Walking Month, I thought I’d share five of my favourite walks around my hometown.
1. Wollaton Park
My Mum lives in Wollaton and five minutes from her house is the beautiful Wollaton Park – we have been spoilt during lockdown with this on our doorstep!
The 500 acres of park, woodland and and formal grounds are perfect for a wander and are home to year-round residents in the form of 90 red and 120 fallow deer. Over the years we’ve seen the park go through season after season, my favourite is spring because the woodland floors are covered in a carpet of bluebells – it’s so beautiful!
The Elizabethan Hall is the largest dedicated natural history museum in the country and sits at the top of one of the biggest hills in the city – you can see for miles from the top! We visited the ‘Hall for practically every school trip and it honestly never got boring, even though we know every corner!
And ask anyone who grew up here, they will always tell you about George the Gorilla, the full-sized gorilla mascot of the museum who even has his own Twitter account!
Fun fact: Wollaton Hall played the role of Wayne Manor in the Batman film Dark Knight Rises!
2. Martin’s Pond and Harrison’s Plantation
This gem is hidden within a residential estate and if you didn’t know it was there you’d be forgiven for missing it entirely, but because of that reason it’s so peaceful and serene.
Not just a pond to walk round, Martin’s Pond is actually a four hectare nature reserve with a fishing lake and boasts a large variety of habitats and wildlife – again, it was a great educational place for our school trips!
Martin’s Pond also links to another nature reserve called Harrison’s Plantation, all you need to do is cross a road from one to the other and suddenly you’re immersed in woodland again!
The volunteers who look after the area do such an incredible job, the paths and flower borders (or boats!) are always kept pristine. I’ve been coming here since I was little and it’s barely changed, which I love!
3. Beeston Canal
About four miles from Nottingham’s city centre, you’ll find Beeston Canal, where you can walk or cycle along the towpath of the waterway.
You get beautiful views of bobbing canal boats and wildlife habitats as well as the weir, and you might even get to see boats using the locks. When we did this route recently we walked about 5km then turned back and did the same route again, but if you carried on walking you’d end up in the Attenborough Nature Reserve – another childhood fave of mine!
A few years ago, Nottingham created 33 robin statues dressed as Robin Hood that were dotted around the city for people to find and one can now be found along the canal route.
If you give this superhero one any loose change you have, every penny goes to charity.
4. Strelley Hall
Strelley Hall is a grand period building set in parkland with the beautiful Strelley Village not far away, just under five miles from the Nottingham proper.
We quite often start walks here and wander through the woodlands and by the canal because there’s a great little 10km round route back to the car park, but you could easily walk for longer or shorter depending on how you’re feeling.
Even during lockdown we never really saw many people along our route, although you do meet some ever so friendly four-legged characters – dogs and horses!
The route we walk takes us across the M1 motorway bridge towards the Nottingham canal route which meanders its way towards Cossal, through the village and back towards the Hall.
It’s bizarre how you only need to go a few paces from the noisy bridge into the woods to find the calm again! It’s an easy route, but I would say if you go in autumn or winter (or even if it’s rained recently), wear wellies –some of the fields and paths get quite muddy!
5. Elvaston Castle
I’ll confess, this one isn’t in Nottingham exactly, but it’s only 25 minutes away in Derbyshire, and it’s very much worth the drive!
Elvaston Castle Country Park has 321 acres of open parkland, woodland and formal gardens surrounding a Grade II listed stately home, which will soon be going through a regeneration project.
It’s easy to spend the whole day getting lost among the various gardens and woodland. Pretty much everywhere you look and every corner you turn there’s an expertly-crafted wooden sculpture or elaborate topiary to find, and some of the trees are so enormous they take your breath away.
It’s perfect for children and adults alike because there is so much to see and do, there’s plenty of space for picnics and games as well as gift shops and cafes along the routes.
Again, we used to come here a lot when I was little and it’s barely changed at all, it was so lovely going back after all those years.
My brother and I used to call one particular tree ‘The Sitting Tree’ because the branches were in the perfect shape for having a rest, and it’s still there 25 years later!
Five great walks in – or near – Nottingham
Have you ever visited any of these great spots? Let us know where you’ll be walking this National Walking Month in the comment section below!