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Wollaton Park Trail

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Wollaton Park Trail
Author: NCT, Published: 20 Apr 2015 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Nottinghamshire, Nottingham
Walk Type: Garden or park
Wollaton Park Trail
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 3 mile linear trail through Wollaton Park in Nottingham. This walk is one of the Nottingham Walks By Bus series, created to allow walkers to access some of Nottingham’s best walking routes via Nottingham City Transport bus routes. The walking route follows the paths through the deer park and gardens of Wollaton Park, taking in the many highlights including the tree-lined avenues, the hall itself (which today houses a museum), the camellia house and the large lake.

The park gates are open every day from 8am on weekdays and from 9am on weekends. The hall and gardens open a little later, around 10am or 11am depending on the time of year. Closing times are around dusk. Entry is free to the park, gardens and hall. The route has just a few gentle slopes. The majority of the paths are surfaced, but there are a couple of stretches over the grass so sturdy shoes or boots are recommended. Dogs on leads are welcome in the park/garden and there are waste bins provided on the way round. You will need to negotiate a few single gates but there are no other obstacles so the route would be suitable for rugged pushchairs and disability buggies. There are public toilets at the courtyard, about half way round the route. You will come across free roaming deer in the park so take particular care if you have a dog with you. Allow 1.5 hours.

The walk starts at the Eton Grove bus stop on Wollaton Road which is served by NCT Bus Route Pink 30. The walk ends at the Wollaton Park Gates bus stop on Derby Road which is served by NCT Bus Routes Orange 35 and 36. Buses run frequently seven days per week. For timetable and route details visit www.nctx.co.uk or get the NCT App.

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Walk Sections

Start to Lime Tree Junction
Start to Lime Tree Junction

Start point: 52.9547 lat, -1.1992 long
End point: 52.9479 lat, -1.2057 long

Standing with your back to the Eton Grove bus stop/shelter on Wollaton Road, turn right and right again into Eton Grove. Follow the pavement heading away from the main road. At the bottom of the road you will come to a T-junction. Cross over and turn right along Harrow Road. After just a few yards turn left through the black metal gate to enter the grounds of Wollaton Park. NOTE: You may come across free roaming deer from this point so dogs must be on a lead.

Walk directly ahead down the long avenue of oak trees, known as Digby Avenue. Wollaton Park was first enclosed by Henry Willoughby, 6th Baron Middleton, and involved the destruction of the village of Sutton Passeys. Originally nearly 800 acres, today the park covers 500 acres and is home to herds of fallow and red deer. Other wildlife of note at the park includes a large corvid roost made up of rooks, jackdaw and carrion crows and you are likely to see plenty of these beautiful birds as you journey through the park.

A little further along you will see the golf course within Wollaton Park across the fence to the left. At the end of Digby Avenue, follow the path as it swings left (still with the golf course on the left). The path will lead you to a T-junction and if you glance to the left you will see one of the impressive lime tree avenues within the park.

Lime Tree Junction to Hall Gardens
Lime Tree Junction to Hall Gardens

Start point: 52.9479 lat, -1.2057 long
End point: 52.9464 lat, -1.2098 long

Turn right at this junction (heading away from the avenue of limes) and, after just 60 yards, fork left up the smaller tarmac path leading uphill. At the top of the slope (just as the path swings right), you will have your first view of Wollaton Hall ahead with the walled ditch (or Ha Ha) directly in front of you. Leave the surfaced path here and turn sharp left onto the grass, following the line of the Ha Ha on the right.

Ha Has were a common feature within the parkland of country estates, used to separate the house and formal gardens from the rest of the parkland. The grass ditch has one gentle grass slope and one vertical side created with a masonry retaining wall and was created to keep the grazing livestock out of the formal garden without interrupting the view from within.

Stay on the path as it swings right with the Ha Ha on the right and another section of the golf course on the left. When the golf course on the left ends, keep ahead on the grass path for a few more paces to reach a brick bridge over the Ha Ha. Cross this bridge and go through the gate to enter the formal gardens.

Hall Gardens to Courtyard
Hall Gardens to Courtyard

Start point: 52.9464 lat, -1.2098 long
End point: 52.9479 lat, -1.2115 long

Walk directly ahead, going straight on at the first flower circle, to reach the large white glasshouse. This is the Camellia House and is the oldest cast iron glasshouse in Europe. It houses a beautiful collection of camellias which are well worth a look if you have the time.

Standing back on the path facing the conservatory, turn left and at the next flower circle bear right on the wide path heading uphill. This path will lead you directly behind Wollaton Hall, the perfect place to pause and appreciate the architecture.

Wollaton Hall is one of the country’s finest Grade I listed Elizabethan mansions. The hall was built in the 1580s by Sir Francis Willoughby. It was completed in 1588, the year of the Spanish Armada. The building is in the English Renaissance style and its flamboyant design is considered to be a masterpiece. Since Wollaton Hall opened to the public in 1926, it has been home to the city's natural history museum (entry is free if you wish to visit). On display are some of the best items from the three quarters of a million specimens that make up its zoology, geology, and botany collections. Unsurprisingly, the hall is also a popular filming location. It featured as Wayne Manor in the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises.

Follow the main path to the end and swing left along the side of the house. Pass through the gate to leave the gardens and re-enter the park (remembering to ensure the gate is closed behind you to prevent the deer entering the gardens!). Walk straight ahead passing the turning circle for the hall entrance on the left. Keep ahead down the slope and then swing left heading for the visitor car park. At the crossroads keep straight ahead passing the phone box and car park on the right. Fork left through the gateway to enter the courtyard complex, the former stables of the old hall.

Courtyard to Lakeside Path
Courtyard to Lakeside Path

Start point: 52.9479 lat, -1.2115 long
End point: 52.9425 lat, -1.216 long

Go ahead through the first arch and you will find the public toilets and Nottingham Industrial Museum. Continue through the second arch to reach the cafe. The third arch leads you past the visitor centre and back out into the open (with a stone globe each side).

Turn immediately right onto the brick-paved path (with the courtyard building directly on the right) and then keep ahead down the avenue of horse chestnut trees. Cross the bridge and you will see the large lake across to the left. Keep straight ahead on the path which swings steadily left with the lake visible through the trees on the left. Through the fence to the right is the conservation area of Thompson’s Wood. You will emerge from the trees to reach a concrete path running directly along the edge of the lake.

Lakeside Path to End
Lakeside Path to End

Start point: 52.9425 lat, -1.216 long
End point: 52.9421 lat, -1.2043 long

Follow this path as it swings steadily left, taking time to enjoy the plentiful birdlife on the lake. Migrating wildfowl grace the lake in the winter and species of note include gadwall, northern shoveller, Eurasian wigeon and tufted duck. If you are lucky, as we were, you may be able to watch a grebe diving and swimming underwater through the shallows feeding on small fish and insects.

Just before you re-enter the trees, look back across the lake where you will have a great view of the hall. Stay on the main path passing an arched brick structure on the left. This false bridge was probably a boathouse designed to enhance the landscape.

Continue on the path through the trees with the lake still on the left. As you emerge from the trees, follow the path as it swings left past an area of reeds. After passing a bench on the right, leave the lakeside path (which bears left), instead keep ahead on the path heading for the hall in the distance. At the first junction, turn sharp right onto the path which follows the line of the fenced golf course on the left. Continue down the avenue of trees which leads you down to an impressive stone gateway, Beeston Lodge.

The lodge is heavy Gothic style with martello-type round outer towers with battlements. The square central gatehouse is connected to the towers at the second floor level. It has an arched carriage entrance with an oriel window above and is Grade II listed.

Pass through the doorway set within this gate to reach Derby Road. Turn left for just a few yards and you will come to Wollaton Park Gates bus stop from where you can catch the bus back towards Nottingham city centre.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author NCT and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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4 images to "Wollaton Park Trail"

4391_0Richard1429548862 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
This picture was taken as we walked the route. It is the back of the hall - in my opinion more impressive than the front.
4391_1Richard1429548862 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
As you walk through the arch having past the cafe and shop look to the left to see the hall again.
4391_2Richard1429548862 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
This is the grebe that we saw swimming in the shallows.
4391_3Richard1429548862 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
View of the hall from the lake as you approach the boat house.

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