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A region rich in folklore and home to the legendary Sherwood Forest, walks in Nottinghamshire reward with gorgeous woodland rambles and countryside strolls. The county’s delights are abundant, with wildflower meadows, tranquil glades, lush grasslands, vibrant waterways, grand country parks and numerous nature reserves all awaiting your hiking boots.
Follow Robin Hood’s footsteps amongst the glorious landscapes of Sherwood Forest. The finest hikes in Nottinghamshire explore this hallowed ground. Discover the awesome sight of Britain’s largest oak tree, experience the uninhibited riot of wildflower colour in spring and adventure to the various haunts of the Merry Men. Sherwood promises superb days reveling in the great outdoors.
Wide, flat valleys containing farmland and hedgerows interspersed by woods and charming market towns offer more lovely walking. Sated by rural bliss for a day? Change up and head for the city. Nottingham boasts extensive parkland, fine castle views and the trendy buzz of its canal and riverside walks.
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You sure would have a merry time
Once a royal hunting ground stretching over 10,000 acres (4,000 ha), today Sherwood Forest is mere tenth of this size, yet thrives as a protected nature reserve. The best hiking trails in Nottinghamshire explore this legendary landscape, synonymous with outlaw Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Experience the majesty of Britain’s largest oak tree, the Major Oak. Weighing an incredible 23 tonnes and boasting a girth of 32 feet (10 m), it is a great hiking objective.
Other precious pockets of the ancient forest still exist, offering more woodland hikes in Nottinghamshire. Your dogs are welcome amongst the 3,300-acre (1,335 ha) Sherwood Pines, the largest forest in the region. Haywood Oaks is smaller, but what it lacks in size it makes up for with the grandeur of its veteran oaks. Meanwhile, Budby South Forest’s beautiful heathland makes for a delightful ramble in spring.
The Dukeries and beyond
Popular through the ages with the nobility as a hunting ground, the Sherwood region spawned four lavish ducal estates: Clumber, Welbeck, Thoresby and Worksop, known collectively as the Dukeries. The rolling green fields and country gardens of Clumber are sumptuous, boasting the largest avenue of lime trees in Europe and a serpentine lake, whilst Thoresby Park’s grounds offer extensive parkland and woodland.
Staying with the country estate theme, more gorgeous walks in Nottinghamshire include Newstead Abbey, once home to the infamous romantic poet Lord Byron. Wander vast grounds, discovering beautiful Japanese gardens and strutting peacocks.
Trails around the city
In Nottingham, 500 acres (200 ha) of hilltop gardens and green spaces await at Wollaton Hall and Park. Look out for the deer that roam the grounds of this spectacular 16th century mansion. Alternatively, head for the city to the Beeston Canal region for great views of the historic castle and the buzz of the waterfront cafés and bars.
Just outside the city, Attenborough Nature Reserve’s 358 acres (145 ha) of lakes, wetland, grassland and scrub are a birdwatcher’s paradise. A number of rare species can be seen here, such as purple heron and sora.
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