I travel as much as possible at home and abroad. I'm always ready for new experiences
Published November 12th 2011
A day trip to Nottinghamshire provides visitors with the opportunity to tour stately Midlands country homes and enjoy undisturbed parks and natural scenery. Nottingham is far enough outside of London to provide an escape from city life, but close enough that an overnight stay is not necessary. Although known for being a busy industrial city itself, Nottingham is surrounded by country mansions, including Wollaton Hall, which is a mere ten minutes from the city centre. The sixteenth century house contains a museum and ornate Elizabethan rooms, but the drawing point for many visitors is the 500 acres of gardens, country walks, and woodland reserves.
Nottingham is approximately a 2-hour journey from London. Trains regularly travel from St. Pancras station to Nottingham city centre. From Nottingham train station, Wollaton Hall is easily accessible via a number of bus lines, which depart from a depot right across the street from the train station. The most frequent buses depart every 6 minutes from 6.00 am to midnight, so there is little chance of arriving without transport. Call 0115 950 6070 or check Nottingham's journey planner for more detailed information.
If travelling by car, the Hall can be found by taking junction 25 from the M1 and following the brown signs labelled 'Wollaton Hall'. The postcode for sat navs is NG8 2AE. There are various entrances to the Hall and several car parks, which charge £2 for 3-hours or £4 per day. Disabled badge holders park free of charge.
However, for the full effect of the mansion, it is preferable to park outside the entrance on Middleton Boulevard in order to walk through the iron gates and approach the Hall by Lime Tree Avenue, a long, tree-lined path only accessible to pedestrians. Be aware that it can take over an hour to reach the Hall by this route and herds of deer frequently cross the path.
In the Hall's early history, the gardens were known as the finest in England. Trails meander through the modern gardens allowing the visitor to leisurely explore well-manicured and diverse plants and flowers. The Hall also offers a 'Sensory Garden' for visitors with sensory impairments, which provides plants specifically chosen for their tactile, smell or other sensory qualities. The gardens are also accessible for wheelchair users.
Wollaton Hall lake is located beyond the gardens. A lakeside path loops the entire lake and takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour to complete. The far side of the lake provides stunning views of the Hall and surrounding park.
Wollaton Hall from the lakeside path. Photo by Erin Connelly
Spread out amidst the 500 acres of parkland is the Wollaton Park Golf Club, which promotes itself as 'Nottingham's premier golf club'. Visitors are welcome to participate in open competitions or book a day package for a party of golfers. More details are available at the club's site.
Deer enjoying Wollaton Park Golf Course. Photo by Erin Connelly
In the Hall's courtyard, there is a café that serves hot and cold drinks, small snacks, and ice cream. For more substantial fare, Wollaton village is easily accessible from the Hall and contains a number of pubs, restaurants and local shops. The Admiral Rodney Pub and the Hemlock Stone and Dragon are popular traditional-style pubs with a range of menu items.