So, after a rather long blog post the other day about the city of Nottingham and what Eleanor and I love about it, I would now like to welcome you to the blog post about Nottinghamshire! It's a big county with a lot on, and no matter which direction you head in, you're bound to end up somewhere beautiful.
Close to the city is the town of Beeston, which is so close it kind of ends up being merged into Nottingham anyway, but Eleanor and I love Beeston because there is just everything you need in one place. The charity shops are absolutely worth a wander around; they're better than the ones in the city centre, I think. Beeston also has some great independent shops. Like My Fabric Place, a crafting store full of - you guessed it! - fabrics. Christine's Delights is a lush cafe and dessert place with a Greek twist.
courtesy of happycow.net
You can get to Beeston on the canal walk I mentioned in the last post, but a little further down from Beeston is the village of Attenborough and the wonderful Attenborough Nature Reserve. I loooove the days I spend at Attenborough. I love walking along the lake and watching the ducks, geese and moor hens. I love wandering through the pathways that are always overgrown enough for you to feel like you're on an adventure, but not so overgrown that you fall over, you know? I love feeding the birds and watching wildlife flourish. It's a really good place to spend a relaxing Sunday.
Colwick Park is another wonderful green space just outside of West Bridgford (which itself is lovely to walk around). Eleanor talks about open-water swimming there all the time, and it sounds so good that I actually may attempt it myself. Maybe. Possibly. It's actually the home of the Nottingham City Open Water Swimming Centre, and a load of other activities are organised around Colwick Park and areas for fishing etc. It's a great place to bring the family for a day out, and it's also a site of special scientific interest because of the amount of dragonflies that breed there. Cool, right?
courtesy of Duncan Gray on wikipedia.org
Eleanor has also pointed out Clumber Park, which is a fair bit north of Nottingham but still well within traveling distance for a day. Clumber has almost six square miles of woodland, heath, and farmland, with the longest double avenue of lime trees in Europe. What a claim to fame! It's also where Eleanor and Dr Chris got married. Very cute.
A cycle route runs through Clumber Park that will lead you nicely to Sherwood Pines, and even if you aren't from Nottingham you absolutely have heard of Sherwood Forest. Sherwood Pines is a part of the ancient Sherwood Forest, the largest park in the East Midlands, and is chock full of activities for you or the family to enjoy. There's a visitor centre, cycling trails, loads of outdoor activites and the woodland is the perfect retreat to relax from everyday life. There's also a Centreparcs if you're looking to stay for a longer break! Just on the other side of Sherwood Pines is Rufford with it's own Rufford Abbey, an old country estate with the ruins of an ancient abbey among its woodland.
courtesy of wikipedia.org
As you can tell, we both love outdoorsy things and that's probably the heart of what Nottinghamshire has to offer. It's a beautiful place with a lot of exciting things to do and explore, but you're never far away from wherever you came from as it's so central. Nottinghamshire is lush and absolutely worth a proper visit if you have the time whilst you come and see our shop!