12 BEST Walks In + Near Nottingham

Rocks and views

Nottingham has loads of great walks, maybe you’ve already explored lots of local places and are looking for somewhere different to visit?  

Having lived in Nottingham for most of my life I’ve done lots of wonderful walks in and around the area. I’ve also explored numerous other beautiful outdoor spots in Nottinghamshire and beyond that are aren’t too far away from my home.

During the summer months I do lots of weekly of evening local adventures. It’s a brilliant time of day to get out and visit those popular local places that are much quieter in the evening. And in winter, it’s great to go walking without needing to do a long drive so you can make the most of the daylight hours.

Here are 12 wonderful walks that you can do near Nottingham. These locations are ideal for a last-minute adventure as you don’t need to plan too far ahead and they are handy when the weather seems to change its mind all the time.

Whether you are looking for somewhere nice to go for a day hike without a long drive or maybe even go for an evening adventure, these are all great places to add to your adventure bucket list.

Let me know in the comments any more places near Nottingham that are great for walking.


Map for walks near Nottingham + top tips

For each location, I’ve included details for walks you can do, for places like the Peak District as you can see the list of walks is endless so feel free to visit my second website which is dedicated to the Peak District – peakdistrictwalks.net

To help with planning your walks I’ve included approximate driving times from Nottingham city centre, depending on where you live it might be more or less. See map below for walk locations.

Walk locations map near Nottingham

Top tips for your walks

Even if you’re planning a short walk from Nottingham, it’s handy to be prepared in case it’s a beautiful day and you want to extend your walk. Here are a few essential items to pack on your day walk. Keep a small backpack ready to go.

It’s worth investing in some comfy footwear for your walk, you can get a range that’s suitable for hillwalking and local trails – check out sale items here with Cotswold Outdoors. For my local walks in summer, I opt for a hiking shoe, but winter I normally swap to lightweight Goretex walking boots for muddy paths.

12 Walks in + near Nottingham

Peak District National Park

Stepping stones on the Chee Dale walk
Stepping stones on the Chee Dale walk

Time from Nottingham: 45-90 minutes (depending on where in the Peak District you go)

Location: Castleton, Derbyshire, Peak District (central location)

The Peak District is a wonderful place to visit on a day trip from Nottingham. It’s a pretty huge National Park, covering 555 square miles so there is lots to explore. 

From Nottingham, the Derbyshire White Peaks is closer for a shorter trip but even the furthest northerly points aren’t too far if you’re doing a longer day hike. There are smaller sections that cover Staffordshire, Cheshire, Yorkshire and even Great Manchester! The best Peak District Walks near Nottingham are from Baslow – you can hike along Curbar Edge, visit Chatsworth House or walk along the River Derwent.

Dovedale near Thorpe is a beautiful place to explore but it can be really busy so if you fancy a stepping stones walk then why not try Chee Dale stepping stones instead, hidden under the Monsal Trail they are a real treat!

Visit my Peak District website with all the best Peak District walks, go check it out and see which walks you can add to your list – I highly recommend Wolfscote Dale, Tideswell Dale and Mam Tor (for starters!) 

Read – Best walks in the Peak District

High Tor in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire

Person walking along edge of rocks
Walking along Giddy Edge near Matlock

Time from Nottingham: 50 minutes

Location: Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, DE4 3PQ

Matlock is a small town on the outskirts of the Peak District but a popular place to visit, the town sits on the River Derwent which winds its way through the town and makes a great place to visit for an evening walk when the town is quieter.

I did a lovely circular 6-mile/10 km walk from Cromford as an evening walk and absolutely loved how quiet it was, exploring caves and enjoying nature and wildlife. The route went off the beaten track from the town but then looped past some popular spots included High Tor and Giddy Edge overlooking the town below.

Here’s the online route I did.

The best thing about this route was definitely the fish and chips at the end in Matlock – a perfect way to end a walk!

Bestwood Country Park

Alexandra Lodges at Bestwood Country Park Nottingham
Alexandra Lodges at Bestwood Country Park

Time from Nottingham: 25 minutes

Location: Bestwood Country Park, Nottingham, NG6 8TQ

Bestwood Country Park is a beautiful place for a walk in Nottingham, with woodland paths and trails taking you uphill to some stunning vantage points of Nottingham. You can also see Bestwood Winding Engine House which is pretty impressive.

And there are a couple of children’s play areas if you need to keep the children occupied! And it’s a great place for dog walks.

If you complete a circular route of the park it’s roughly 3 miles but you can extend by picking many of the different paths into the woodlands.

There’s also another local park that’s great for walks – Bulwell Hall Park – check out this short route here.

Bradgate Park, Leicester

Walking in Bradgate Park, Leicester
Walking in Bradgate Park, Leicester

Time from Nottingham: 45 mins

Location: Bradgate Park, Newtown Linford, Leicester, LE6 0HE

Bradgate Park is not too far from Nottingham. It’s home to lots of deer, similar to Wollaton Park where they roam free in the park.

There are a few different entrances and from each one you can explore the park, heading to the highest point for great views of the city. It’s a popular place with locals so even on an evening expect to see dog walkers and runners in the park but because it’s so big there’s loads of space for everyone.

When I visited I did a 3-4 mile loop of the park, but there’s more to explore so you can extend or shorten your walk if you prefer. Here’s the online route that I did on my walk. 

Rutland Water, Rutland

Rutland Water in Rutland

Time from Nottingham: 70 minutes

Location: Rutland Water, Empingham, Rutland, LE15 8QL

Rutland Water is one of the largest man-made lakes in Europe which makes it an ideal location for a walk by the water. If you’re up for a challenge you could walk the full 24 miles around the water or you could simply pick your route by turning around once your legs are tired!

In 2019, I walked the length of the Rutland Water from the dam along the northerly edge of the water as part of my 950-mile hike across Britain that I did to raise funds for Mind mental health charity. 

Rutland Water is home to a large number of different wildfowl species so if you enjoy wildlife it’s a great place for some birdwatching, look out for Mallard and Tufted ducks, Mute swans, Great-crested Grebes, Coots and you might even be lucky enough to see Osprey.

If you decide the 24-mile walk isn’t for you then you could always take your bikes instead, there is a fantastic track all the way around the water, perfect for cycling. Oh, and don’t forget your picnic for the all-important lunch stop!

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Clumber Park, Worksop

Flowers and lake at Clumber Park
Lake with views to St Mary’s church at Clumber Park

Time from Nottingham: 50 minutes

Location: Clumber Lane, Worksop, S80 3BA

Clumber Park is another fantastic place for a day trip from Nottingham, with beautiful lakeside walks to exploring the woodlands. Oh, and in the summer months, you will probably find someone selling ice-cream too – always a bonus on a walk!

As you walk around the lake, there’s a picturesque view of St Mary’s Church. And on your walk there are also many different wildfowl you can spot, from an insane amount of swans, there are also ducks, geese, coots, moorhens and grebes to look out for.

One of the highlights of Clumber Park is a beautiful ornamental bridge that takes you across the lake, several years ago this was badly damaged but you can see what a wonderful repair job they’ve done to mend the bridge.

Wollaton Park + Hall

Wollaton Hall in Nottingham
Wollaton Hall in Nottingham

Time from Nottingham: 15 minutes

Location: Wollaton, Nottingham – Google location

As a child I spent many days exploring Wollaton Park and I didn’t realise how lucky I was! Wollaton Park in Nottingham is a wonderful place to visit all year round, it’s deer park so it’s likely you’ll see the deer on your trip.

There’s also Wollaton Hall that you can visit on a trip as well as a cafe and shop within the grounds to break up your walk. 

Check out my 6-mile route here which includes a loop around Wollaton Park and extending to nearby Highfields Lake (another fab walk location)

Another nearby park is Bramcote Hills Park – find another route here for Bramcote Hills and Erewash Canal.

Black Rocks, Cromford

Rocks and views
Views from the top of Black Rocks

Time from Nottingham: 50 minutes

Location: Cromford, Matlock, DE4 4GT

Black Rocks is another location that’s not too far away from the Peak District and the High Peak Trail. Go off the beaten track to explore the woods on the many different trails in the area, it’s easy to get lost but they aren’t too big so you can find your way back again!

For some stunning views, it’s worth hiking to the top of Black Rocks, it’s worth the extra effort!

Sherwood Pines, Mansfield

Pine trees in woods
Pine trees in the Go Ape area of Sherwood Pines

Time from Nottingham: 45 minutes

Location: Sherwood Pines, Edwinstowe, Mansfield, NG21 9JL

Sherwood Pines is a vast area of woodlands and if you’re looking for something shaded on a hot sunny day then it’s great for a walk and not too far from Nottingham.

As well as many different trails in the area, perfect for both walking and cycling. You can also include a fun activity you can do on your visit – Go Ape Sherwood is based in Sherwood Pines so you get to see the area from a tree-top perspective!

Carsington Water, Ashbourne

Wooden carving at Carsington Water
Wooden carving at Carsington Water

Time from Nottingham: 50 minutes

Location: Big Lane, Upper Town, Ashbourne, DE6 1ST

Carsington Water is popular for watersports but also a great place to spot wildlife with bird feeders on the water’s edge. You can see a range of different birds and wildfowl on the water, I even saw a woodpecker feeding last time I visited.

The walk around Carsington Water is around 8 miles around the whole reservoir or alternatively, you can do an out and back route and choose your own length of the walk. 

Burrough Hill, Melton Mowbray

Stone marker at Burrough-on-the-Hill
Stone marker at Burrough Hill

Time from Nottingham: 45 minutes

Location: Somerby, Melton Mowbray, LE14 2QZ

I visited Burrough Hill Country Park whilst on my E2W Challenge, whilst following the local trail the Leicestershire Round that goes directly through the old Iron Age fort.

The highlight is reaching the stone marker at 210 metres, not too tough to hike up to but since this is the highest point in the area on a clear day you can see for miles in all directions. You can see why they picked this spot for their Iron Age Fort!

Rufford Abbey + Country Park, Newark

Rufford Abbey
Rufford Abbey in Rufford Country Park

Time from Nottingham: 40 minutes

Location: Rufford Country Park, Ollerton, NG22 9DF

Located just outside of Nottingham, Rufford Country Park is a great place to explore for a day. As well as plenty of beautiful walks around the park, there are beautiful gardens, Rufford abbey and a children’s play area and maze to keep everyone entertained. 

It’s worth packing a picnic on a summer’s day then you can stay longer and enjoy the park and it’s surroundings.

Do you know any other great walks near Nottingham? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to the list!

Any questions about these walks near Nottingham? Ask me in the comments below.


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