Living in Bassetlaw, we are lucky to be surrounded by a plethora of wonderful parks. In our area, there is truly something for everyone; woodlands, lakes, streams and fields. And to celebrate Love Parks Week, I’m going to explore just some of our nearest green spaces that we simply love to visit!
Clumber Park is one of the largest parks we have in our area and is visited by a huge 600,000 people every year. Owned by the National Trust and spreading across 1,537 hectares, the park is based on the sight of Clumber House, first a deer-hunting lodge and later renovated into a mansion. Due to its vast space, Clumber is a walker and cyclist’s paradise, with various routes within the perimeter of the park. A walk on the main route around the lake, stopping half way round for a coffee and an ice cream at the mobile café, makes for one of my personal favourite days out.
Just outside of Bassetlaw, Rufford Abbey Country Park covers less ground, but is equally as enjoyable – and is a perfect distance for walks with children. It lies on the site of Rufford Abbey, a 12th century monastery which was subsequently dissolved during the reign of King Henry VIII. Aside the abbey, there is a large field with ample room for picnics, or instead you could choose to eat at the Coach House Café in the courtyard area. A play area has also recently been built for the little ones to enjoy.
Another park steeped in history is Sherwood Pines Forest Park. Originally part of the ancient Sherwood Forest, the park is now abundant in tall pines, creating panoramic scenery throughout. An array of activities are available to get stuck into there too. The park is one of the most popular destinations for mountain bikers in the area, and the tree-top adventure Go Ape also has its home in Sherwood Pines.
Not too far away is Thoresby Park; the site surrounding the Grade I listed country house, Thoresby Hall. It is one of the four estates in The Dukeries, along with Clumber – and comes with a similarly beautiful park area. Along with the charming English countryside, the Victorian courtyard boasts a restaurant, shops and even a military museum.
Rother Valley Country Park, on the border between South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, is yet another ideal location for an action-packed day out. Canoeing, water-skiing, paddle-boarding and golf are just some of the activities you can try at Rother Valley – but if you’re not quite ready for all that action, a walk or cycle around the lake on a sunny day will be all the exercise you need.
And these are only some of the fantastic parks we are lucky to have nearby. Each showcases the best of English countryside and nature in its own special way, and provides wide open space and spectacular views for us to soak in. This Love Parks Week is a perfect opportunity to get out and support some of the wonderful locations we have right on our doorstep, and take full advantage of the Great British park!