Wollaton Park in Nottingham is certainly one of those top places to visit in the city, so why not do a beautiful walk to explore the park in full.
This Nottingham walk takes you around Wollaton Hall and Deer Park, but then on to another popular place, Highfields Lake and back to Wollaton park to complete your loop.
A perfect morning or afternoon walk exploring some of Nottingham’s idyllic locations, as well as some wildlife spotting too.
If you prefer, you can complete shorter walks at both locations, but here I’ve combined two beautiful places on a longer 6-mile route.
Here you can find details for the full walk, where to start, plus different options based on your location in Nottingham.
Ask me any questions about the walk in the comments below
Wollaton Park + Highfields Lake walk information
Where is it the walk?
Start location: Wollaton Hall + Deer Park, Wollaton, Nottingham, NG8 2AE
As I mentioned, you can start this walk at various points, I choose to start from the Harrow Road entrance (*see note below) to the park, which I used as a child! But you can also start the walk from the main car park in Wollaton Park, next to the Hall or from the Parkside entrance, which is near the lake.
Please note the Harrow Road* and Parkside entrances are street parking so please be considerate where you park.
*Update Nov 2020 – I’ve been advised by someone who did this walk that Harrow Road is now Permit only parking. I’ve not had a chance to find out how much of the road it covers but sadly, a fellow walker received a parking fine so please check notices before parking :(.
Alternatively, if you live the other side of Nottingham you can park at Highfields Lake, where there’s a small space for parking.
The route instructions for this walk start from Harrow Road, but as you can see you can easily adapt to suit your walk.
How to get here?
There are different public transport options depending on where you are starting your walk from, here are the two main places.
Wollaton Park – the no. 30 bus stops right outside the main entrance to the park on Wollaton Road
Highfields Lake – catch the tram from Nottingham city centre, they are pretty regular throughout the day.
Or alternatively, you can drive and park at Wollaton Park and Highfields Lake (as mentioned above). Parking is free at Highfields Lake, but there’s a charge at Wollaton Park (£3 for 2 hours or £5 all day – contactless card payments or pay by phone only).
Wollaton Park + Highfields Lake facilities
There are public toilets near the stable block in Wollaton Park, this is close to where the main top car park is near the hall. There is also a small shop and cafe, where you can sit in (the shop/cafe were closed at the time of visiting, however, the toilets were open).
At Highfields Lake, there is a cafe and public toilets at the Lakeside Centre, at the far end of the lake, near the car park. A perfect place to stop for a halfway break, once the cafe is open again.
You’ll probably see a couple of ice-cream vans on the walk too so worth carrying some cash with you for a treat.
Wildlife and nature
Wollaton Park is also a deer park, there’s quite a lot of them, you’ll spot most of them around the side between Parkside entrance and the lake. However, you can also see them on the golf course too!
Both parks have lakes so you’ll see plenty of wildfowl. During spring you’ll spot plenty of young birds, from ducks, swans, coots and moorhens. I’ve also spotted the very beautiful Mandarin Duck in Wollaton Park before, but that’s quite rare.
And there’s also a popular spot in the centre of Wollaton Park lake that nests lots of Grey Herons, take some binoculars so you can get a good view of the birds and their young.
On this walk, I spotted some Red Pochards at Highfields Lake and a few Eygptian Geese, as well as many other regular species.
There are also carp in Highfields Lake too – I spotted them just down from the bridge, near the lion statues.
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Wollaton Park + Highfields Lake | Nottingham Walks
Distance: 6.2 miles/10.4 km
Walk time: 2.5-3 hours
Wollaton Park to Highfields Lake walk map
From the Harrow Road entrance to Wollaton Park, walk straight down the path in between the trees all the way until you reach the base of the hill, you’ll spot Wollaton Hall through the trees.
Cross the grassy path immediately in front of you and then continue along the path with runs next to the golf course, behind the hall with the gardens on the other side of the wall on your right.
Follow this narrow path, then as you reach the open space, turn left and head downhill. You might want to pop in the gardens through the metal gate before you do this (once they are open again).
The path takes you down to the lake, but before exploring the lake, turn left just before and follow the path, which is now heading to the Derby Road entrance.
As you reach the gate, you can take an optional detour around the wooded area on your right, there’s a beautiful oak tree so it’s worth it just for this!
Go through the gate at Derby Road to leave the park, turn left, then cross over the road and turn right, so doubling back on yourself. There’s then a small alleyway which leads you through to the Nottingham University campus.
The path winds through the campus until you reach a side path on your left, walk up here and bear to the right. Then across a road and you’ll see Highfields Lake in front of you.
You can opt to walk in either direction since it’s a circular loop. I prefer to turn left, following the footpath down to two bridges across the centre of the lake. Then continue the walk on the other side with views to iconic buildings and clock on the opposite side.
Loop around the lake then back up and go back across the bridges in the middle and continue the walk on the other side. At the top, you’ll then come across some stepping stones to get you back over.
Once back over, you then follow the path until it meets back with the road and simply retrace your steps back to Wollaton Park entrance.
Once you go through the gates into the park, this time, turn left and follow the boundary wall of the park. This is a quieter section of the walk, albeit there is the hum of traffic from the road.
Continue following the boundary wall all the way through the woods, this is one of my favourite sections and it’s normally pretty quiet too. The path will eventually bend around the corner and bring you our at the lake, with views across to Wollaton Hall.
Walk around the lake and as you reach the top end, near a few benches and open space, turn left again, heading in the direction of the Parkside entrance, you can walk down the path and turn right or simply bear diagonally right across the grassy space.
This area is common with deer so be sure to look out for them in the woods.
Now head back up towards the main car park and stable block (where the toilets and cafe are). Follow the path and head up towards Wollaton Hall, before heading all the way down the hill towards the lower car park.
Bear right and cross over the concrete path, now heading towards a large open space with trees in the distance in front of you. Keep to the right of the park boundary, through the small wooded area, across the grass and you’re back at the path you started on.
More options for the walk
Fancy a shorter route? You can choose to do the two sections of the route as separate walks
The Wollaton Park loop is approximately 3 miles and the Highfields Lake is about 2 miles
Or alternatively, why not check out these other lovely Nottingham walks:
- Walks in Nottingham | Bramcote Hills Park, Nottingham Canal + Erewash Canal (6-Mile Route)
- Walks in Nottingham | Bulwell Hall Park Short Walk (Route + Map)
I hope you found this walking route useful. I will be adding more Nottingham walks to the website so please let me know what you think in the comments and if you have any recommendations where I should walk next.
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