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On the River Trent and surrounded by country parks, walks around Nottingham are often relaxing affairs. Lounging in low hills and the Trent valley, this historic city has a great choice of trails nearby for every mood.
Fancy exploring Robin Hood’s legendary stomping ground in Sherwood Forest? How about idling along a serene river path or the pretty canal? With ancient forests, lakes and secluded estates, hikes near Nottingham are varied and easy on the eye.
Short strolls will take you through picturesque nature reserves, while multi-day hikes will lead you from woodlands to quaint villages and across gentle farmland. Nottingham has its fair share of historic sites too, from stately homes and estates to ancient caves and civil war sites. When you begin exploring Nottingham’s beautiful surroundings, you’ll discover far more than you expected.
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Walks near Nottingham can take you north to Bestwood Country Park, a 650-acre (263-ha) area of stunning woodland and meadow. This is a fantastic place for a day’s stroll and you’ll not only get to enjoy vibrant trails but learn about the Victorian history of the area.
Once a busy coal mine, you can still see the Winding Engine House and stroll through the mine area, now reclaimed by nature. Head to the Mill Lakes to catch sight of the resident ducks and grebes.
Shipley Country Park to the west of the city is another great spot for hikes in the Nottingham area. This 700-acre (283-ha) greenspace has so many trails to explore that you’ll need more than a day to feel like you’ve got to know it. It’s a wonderful place for family walks as well as solo hikes thanks to its play area and gentle routes. You’ll find nature reserves, sleepy ponds and hay meadows here.
For some of the best hiking trails near Nottingham, it’s Sherwood Forest that will truly reward you. Less than 20 miles (32 km) to the north, this infamous forest is well known for being the home of legendary Robin Hood. You won’t find any green-hatted thieves here (hopefully) but you will get to wander in exquisite woodland and see the magnificent Major Oak.
The Major Oak has been busily growing in Sherwood Forest for around 1,000 years and has the 36-foot (11 m) circumference to prove it. Its old boughs are so heavy they have supports to keep them up. This tree doesn’t stand alone either. Sherwood has hundreds of other ancient oaks to admire.
Nottingham has some outstanding woodlands within easy reach but it’s also a city of water. The River Trent provides a huge array of walking trails to start exploring and the Nottingham Canal has even more.
Walking the entire length of the canal will give you an unrivalled tour of the city itself and you’ll start and end on the Trent. Beeston Lock, where the canal and the river meet, is a great place to stop for a packed lunch before continuing along the river itself. You can walk amongst the wetlands at Attenborough Nature Reserve and spot the huge amount of birds that call this their home.
The River Trent is exceptionally well-served by trails, so hike for as long as your feet will let you in either direction.
Explore more of England: Browse the best Hikes in other regions.