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10 Reasons To Love….Rufford Abbey Country Park

by BecSorby (follow)
Nottingham residents are truly blessed to live in a city with easy access to so much natural beauty and outdoor space, and Rufford Abbey Country Park is no exception. With its wide open spaces, wilderness and gardens to explore and events for young and old, it truly is a fantastic public space for all. Here’s 10 reasons to love Rufford Abbey.

Image: Rufford Abbey website


It’s free to enter

Rufford Abbey Country Park is free to enter, and from the beginning of November 2017, it is free parking on all school days. A £3 parking fee applies all other times. If you have pre-schoolers, it’s a fantastic free day out when the big kids are at school.

Pushchair friendly walking paths

Fancy a walk around the historic grounds and gardens with your little one? The majority of the paths are pushchair friendly, with the exception of some of the woodland paths.

The Abbey Grounds and Gardens

You can explore the grounds and gardens extensively, along with the Abbey Abbey ruins, which are widely regarded as the most well preserved remains of a Cistercian abbey, with the ruins dating back to around 1170. Other notable grounds and garden include:

The Formal Gardens, which is home to modern sculptures
The Abbey Lawn and The Sheep Meadow, a fantastic spot for children to run around and have a play and for families to have a picnic.
The Lime Tree Avenue
The Abbot's Maze, an arrangement of wooden posts set into the ground in a wheel design that is wide enough for most pushchairs and wheelchairs

Image: Rufford Abbey website


Seasonal events and activities

Each year Rufford Abbey organises a number of wonderful family events during some of our favourite times, including Easter, Halloween and Christmas, such as Halloween movies at the outdoor cinema, Santa’s Grotto, Christmas carolling, a Christmas Market and even a Christmas-themed Punch and Judy!

Image: Rufford Abbey website


There are other events and activities just for kids

Rufford Abbey hosts children’s events and activities such as kids craft, nature activities and school holiday fun.

Outdoor cinema and open air theatre

The Abbey also hosts theatre and musical performances, including children’s movies and theatre. At Halloween, for example, visitors were treated to a screening of family Halloween favourite, Hocus Pocus!

Image: Rufford Abbey website


Play Village

Children can burn off a heap of energy at the Play Village, which has tunnels, playhouses and a sandiut to explore. There’s also a dragon gateway, sound sculpture and a space just for younger children.

Nature Trails

If you love being out and about in nature, the Wilderness Woodland is the place to be. Known as ‘The Wilderness’ since at least 1725, the woodland is now a wildlife sanctuary and the home of various mammals, including foxes, squirrels and birds. This forested area features informal crushed limestone paths that are largely shaded, making them a great place for a spring or summer walk. Look out for the famous 'Ice Houses', which date back to the 1820s and were constructed to help local residents preserve food.

Markets and Shopping

Rufford Abbey has a number of shopping outlets within the grounds, including the Outdoor Living Shop and the Craft Shop, and also hosts markets during the year, including Christmas markets. There is also various options for food and drink.

Image: Rufford Abbey website


Dogs are welcome

Bring your four-legged friend along to Rufford Abbey for a walk! Dogs are welcome among the grounds provided they are on a lead at all times.

If you haven’t visited Rufford Abbey, there is something to do all year round and for all ages, so plan a visit this week!

Essential information
Rufford Abbey Country Park
Address: Ollerton, Nottinghamshire NG22 NDF
Phone: 01623 821 338
Opening hours: Opens daily except Christmas Day
Cost of entry: Free entry, parking charges apply on weekends and school holidays
Website http://www.parkwoodoutdoors.co.uk/centre/rufford-abbey



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