The Great Outdoors
Besthorpe, NG23 7HL (E5)
Besthorpe Nature Reserve has been transformed by the Wildlife Trust from a series of old gravel pits into a haven for wildlife, Consisting of two sites, there is a diversity of habitants including two traditional Trent Valley wildflower meadows which are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The meadows are a hotbed of activity in summer with vibrant wildflowers and insects and in winter are used by feeding fieldfares and redwings. A series of viewing screens across the reserve and a hide to the south of Mons Pool are positioned to enable visitors to enjoy a diversity of bird species.
Open all the time but daylight visits are recommended.
Newark was once an important inland port on the mighty River Trent. Today, exploring the lovely old riverside buildings provides a great family day out. The River Trent was a major working river until the second world war. At Newark, cargo such as wool, coal, grain and timber was unloaded on the wharves and stored in warehouses. Some of the old buildings have been converted into cafes and there are locks, bridges and boats to discover too. Take the kids and discover a magical waterway overlooked by Newark Castle.
0303 040 4040
Eakring, NG22 0DR (C4)
Duke's Wood offers something a little different to the Nottinghamshire nature lover! As well as the eight hectares of deciduous woodland to explore, an industrial archaeological trail around the reserve reveals how this was the location of Britain's first onshore oilfield.
Between 1939 and 1966 an oilfield at Duke's Wood produced 280,000 tons of oil. The pumps used to get this oil out of the ground were known as 'nodding donkeys' and a few restored examples can be seen around the trail.
Open all the time but daylight visits recommended.
For Nature Reserve: 0115 9588242
For Oil Museum: 01623 882446
Eakring, NG22 0AY (C4)
This nature reserve is one of the best remaining examples of species-rich meadow developed of damp, often wet soils, and is part of a nationally designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
A visit to the reserve will provide a chance to spot a great variety of grasses and wildflowers. A good variety of breeding birds have been recorded here plus many other species use the reserve for feeding and roosting.
Open all the time but daylight visits are recommended.
Rufford, NG22 9DF (B4)
Get up close and personal with owls and birds of prey, learn how to fly and handle the birds yourself and learn the art of falconry. Try one of our Hawk/Owl walks where you will meet these beautiful birds in the beautiful surroundings of Rufford Country Park.
Open weekends only 10am - 4.30pm
Winthorpe, NG24 2NY (E3)
There really is something for everyone at Newark Showground; from exhibitions to shows, fairs and rallies, horse and dog shows and many small animal events.
Open 365 days a year
Whether you're looking for a fun family day out, a relaxing short break or some delicious local produce, Nottinghamshire's wonderful farms have it all. Start exploring and discover your own little piece of country life.
0115 965 3479
North Clifton, NG23 7AT (E6)
The gardens feature in the AA book The Inspirational Gardens, The Good Garden Guide and The Most Amazing Gardens to Visit in Britain.
New for 2014 - Crystal Garden, carefully constructed as a replica of universal nature with mountains, rivers, streams, paths and beach all using a beautiful array of crystals and gemstones.
Open end of March to end of October Tue - Fri, 10.30a, - 5.30pm, Sat and Sun 10am - 5.30pm. Closed Mondays, except bank holidays.
Lantern lit evening garden during August and September weekends from 7-10pm
Normanton, Southwell, NG25 0PR (C3)
A peaceful relaxed area covering 11 acres. Home to many rescued swans and waterfowl plus a breeding programme for endangered species. Five lakes, landscaped with thousands of trees, shrubs and bulbs, all easily accessible with hard paths throughout. Tea room, licensed restaurant and seasonally themed gift shop.
Open daily, Mon - Sat 10am - 5.30pm
Sun and Bank Holidays 10.30am - 4.30pm
Rufford, NG22 9DF (B4)
Rufford Abbey Country Park is a beautiful country park set around the ruins of a medieval monastery on the edge of historic Sherwood Forest. Highlights include a contemporary Craft Centre with varied exhibitions, woodland and lakeside walks, the Abbot's Maze, and a sculpture trail. Lots of events throughout the year from falconry to living history. A cafe, restaurant and shops complete the visitor experience.
Open daily 10am - 5pm, shops and cafe open at 10.30am (A car parking charge applies at certain times.)
Newark, NG24 4AU (E3)
This historic park contains the Queen's Sconce - a 17th century Civil War fortification. After a recent £1.6m improvement project, the park now includes a footbridge over the earthworks, a network of pathways around grass and woodland including Devon Pastures Local Nature Reserve. The park also includes a football centre, a 600m fitness trail, children's play area and cafe.
Open daily 8.30am - dusk
Edwinstowe, NG21 9HN (B5)
Visit the legendary home of Robin Hood, which is part of Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve - an area of wonderful heath, birch and oak woodland. Marvel at ancient trees including the mighty Major Oak.
Facilities include an introductory video show, Robin Hood exhibition, woodland walks along the way marked paths. Lots of events throughout the year from archery to hawk walks, and the world famous Robin Hood Festival. A restaurant and shops complete the visitor experience.
Open daily from 10am - 5pm (A car parking charge applies at certain times)
Ollerton, NG22 9DR (B5)
Sherwood Heath is a 22 hectare Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Located near Ollerton, Sherwood Heath is open daily for the public to enjoy and is fantastic to visit in summer when bell and ling heather flowers create a haze of purples next to the vibrant yellow of gorse. The site is home to a variety of wildlife including yellowhammer, linnets, nightjar, woodlark, glow worms, 7 species of bat and numerous species of butterflies and moths.
Open daily dawn until dusk
Edwinstowe, NG21 9JL (B4)
Sherwood Pines Forest Park is the East Midland's largest public forest set within the great Sherwood Forest. With everything you could want for a fantastic day outdoors - great cycling trails and mountain bike areas, wonderful walks through mixed habitats, play areas for kids, Go Ape Tree Top Adventure and Forest Segway, Cafe, cycle hire and even live music concerts on summer evenings. The forest is a great environment in which to learn and we run a calendar of events including bushcraft days, star gazing evenings, photography courses, traditional woodland skills and wild food foraging.
Open daily 8am - 10pm during summer, 8am - 6pm during winter
Rolleston, NG25 0TS (D3)
Southwell Racecourse offers a unique blend of charm, excitement and comfort, making it one of the premier sporting venues in the East Midlands. With racing on both All-Weather and Turf tracks taking place throughout the year, whether you are a seasoned race goer or a novice, we are sure to have a race day for you!
Open all year.
For information of race days and specials events, please see the website.
Clipstone, NG21 9AA (A4)
Vicar Water Country Park has been transformed from a former colliery site to heathland, woodland and grassland offering spectacular views across to Derbyshire and Lincolnshire. Facilities include footpaths, cycle ways, a large fishing lake and visitor centre. For children there is a play area and a pond for duck feeding and model boats.
Open daily 8.30am - duck