Travelogue to Rufford Park, Nottingham

The Social Eyes travelogue rolls on to Rufford Abbey Country Park, which is an 150 acre free entry park and tourist attraction in North Nottinghamshire, centred around the ruins of a medieval abbey.

On the edge of Sherwood Forest 870 years ago, Rufford Abbey is today a romantic ruin, set in a beautiful park. Enjoy its nature, art, history, fresh air and fun. From swans and swallows to cheeky squirrels, there’s wildlife galore, woodland to wander, sculpture to admire. Spread a picnic blanket, grab a snack in the Café or celebrate with afternoon tea in Lord Savile’s Victorian kitchen. Paths are pram and mobility scooter friendly, so whatever your age, it’s easy to get around and explore. Set in the heart of Robin Hood Country the park, which is owned by Nottinghamshire County Council, offers native woodland, a lake and gardens as well as a range of attractions, activities and catering options managed by Parkwood Outdoors.

Set out and discover over 870 years of history into a short walk around the abbey ruins. Or alternatively take in the breath-taking surroundings and local nature and wildlife with a walk through the scenic grounds and woodland.

Apart from the Abbey ruins and some areas of rough ground out in the woodland, the site is flat and easy to get around. All public buildings can be accessed by wheelchair / mobility scooter.

Perhaps the main attraction at Rufford for those with a love of the outdoors is the fantastic Wilderness Woodland.

The wildlife highlight of the park is undoubtedly the lake.

Created in 1750 as a source of water for a corn mill, the lake is now a haven for wildlife of all sorts, but particularly waterfowl. Their different feeding techniques are always interesting to watch, and there are also good views on the eastern edge of the lake to watch the birds within the Silver Pool Nature Reserve.

There is a path of crushed limestone that circles the lake for those looking to explore on foot. Most of this circuit is flat, but there is one incline near “Scotland Bank” (indicated on the site access map), which may be a challenge to some wheelchair users.

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