Nottingham is world-famous for the legendary outlaw Robin Hood. Yet, the vagabond of Loxley is not the only famous son to call the Queen of the Midlands their home. From the less known outlaw Ned Ludd, through to literary and sporting figures like Brian Clough, Torvill and Dean, Lord Byron and D.H. Lawrence. Even Batman has called this city of legends home – well, technically. Many of these names have become intrinsically tied to the parks and woodlands surrounding the city. This city combines natural beauty with historic splendour for a series of unforgettable Dog Walks in Nottingham.
The Best Dog Walks in Nottingham
Attenborough Nature Reserve
From the site of a former gravel pit, Attenborough nature reserve emerged as a green oasis, like a phoenix from the ashes. After its opening in 1966, by the naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough, the reserve has been a firm favourite with locals and nature watchers. The once gaping pits have now been filled with water and host a cacophony of different bird species from ducks to pheasants and even a majestic grey heron.
Make your way around the paths which meanders alongside the River Trent with your pooch, or head into the quaint village of Attenborough itself. If you’re a cricket fan, the local team is more than happy for spectators on a Sunday afternoon.
Car park and café available at the visitor’s centre.
Many cities boast grand parks in their centre; few can claim an entire country hall and sprawling estate. But Wollaton Hall and Deer Park is just that! The park includes a variety of different landscapes, from lush grasslands to rolling hills, and even dense forest. There’s everything a pooch could ever want.
On a warm summer’s day, wander around the shaded lakeside which offers a mesmerising view of the park and the hall which stands proudly atop the hill. The gardens and hall are now world-famous having stood in for Wayne Manor in Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. However, what they neglected to show was the beautiful glass orangery, which is well worth the visit. Plus, under the giant firs, your dog can chase squirrels for hours.
However, as the park hosts many deer, it can be sensible to keep your dog on a leash when they’re nearby. If you’re looking for something unusual, we recommend the Plutus Dog Lead, which comes in a series of funky patterns unlike anything else on the market.
Car park and café available.
Once home to the great poet Lord Byron, today the house and gardens are open to visitors to explore. Dog’s are most definitely welcome, as Byron was a dog lover himself. His beloved Newfoundland dog he called Boatswain was buried at the Abbey, and his poem Epitaph to a Dog is inscribed above the grave.
Today, you can walk around the landscaped lawns, steams, Japanese garden, as well as the network of paths and trails that weave their way around the grounds like a spider’s web. Or admire the remains of the grand edifice of the once-proud Abbey.
The car park costs £6 for all day. Toilets are available. The café can provide dog bowls upon request.
No trip to Nottingham is complete with exploring the heartland of the outlaw in green. Sherwood Forest is one of my favourite Dog Walks in Nottingham. Go hunting through the woodland for the band of Merry Men, but don’t forget to check out their old hideout, the Major Oak. However, the 1,000-year-old colossus is looking a little worse for wear, requiring scaffolding to support its monumental weight. But, it still cuts a striking image, even in its old age.
Back when the tree was still an acorn, the vast forest covered most of Nottinghamshire. Unfortunately, today the wood is a shadow of its former glory. Even so, ancient Sherwood has been designated both a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation. In part due to the rich wildlife of ancient oaks, wood pasture, bugs and fungi that call the woodland home.
If you’re in the area in late-Summer, the woods host a week-long Robin Hood festival, complete with jousters, jesters, alchemists and all manner of medieval characters.
Car park available at the visitor’s centre.
The beautiful seat of the Dukes of Rutland lies in the heart of the Valley of Belvoir (pronounced Beaver), between the borders of Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. If the gorgeous castle doesn’t take your breath away, the sprawling gardens definitely will. Meander your way along the paths studded with statues, and wander by fountains and ponds where your dog can take a quick dip. There’s even a vast natural amphitheatre.
The grounds are perfect for a quick gander, or long stroll depending on your mood. Plus, there is a cracking pub and shopping area just over the road.
Car park available.
Formerly the historic seat of the Dukes of Newcastle, the grand house was unfortunately demolished in 1938 after a series of fires. However, it left behind one of the best parks in Nottinghamshire – a fact underscored by the Grade I listing on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
If your pooch likes to roam free, they’ll have plenty of opportunities as you wander around the vast serpentine Clumber Lake. Look out for the 18th-century grotto where you can rest your legs, as well as the imposing gothic revival Church of St Mary the Virgin.
There’s also a four-acre walled kitchen garden, with a monumental 450-foot glasshouse, as well as the longest lime avenue in Europe.
Car park available.
Greasley Estate and Moorgreen Reservoir
For the literary fans amongst you, this walk delves into the heart of D H Lawrence country near the town of Eastwood. It contains many of the locations he described in his once-controversial novels. The trail begins at the small car park at the Colliers Wood Nature Reserve, from there it follows the path towards the Moorgreen Reservoir.
The reservoir is a popular spot with local anglers, and perfect for your dog to have a paddle to cool off. As well as offering literary sights, such as the cottage featured in Sons and Lovers, it’s also a beautiful natural landscape in which you and your pooch can relax.
Car park available.
Further Reading on Dog Walks in the UK
There you have it! Ten fantastic Dog Walks in Nottingham through which you can explore the city and its heritage. If you are interested in dog walks in other areas, please check out…