The best places in Nottingham to enjoy the outdoors

With the end of university approaching and the summer months beginning, many students (myself included) are looking for ways to make the most of the glorious weather. Nottingham is a city full of places to eat and drink outdoors, as well as being surrounded by gorgeous countryside and picnic spots.

In terms of the inner-city, a personal favourite place of mine is 31K, located in Hockley. It has a sunny outdoor seating area and delicious food options. Their meatball-based menu allows you to choose your ‘ball’ (meat or meat-free), your ‘sauce’, your ‘carb’ and your ‘green’, which caters to both vegan and gluten-free customers. With their stunning cocktail menu, ‘120 hour-long happy hour’, and £8 cocktails on Fridays and Saturdays, this bar is perfect for students!

Another great place for outdoor seating is Bunk. With numerous establishments located around the city, this restaurant offers cocktails, wings, hotdogs and a variety of sides for exceptional prices. Offering a walk-in service, as well as both veggie and vegan options on the menu, Bunk is a perfect place to catch up in the sun with friends.

Canalhouse and Via Fossa, which are both located by the canal and near Nottingham Station, are bars with very lively outdoor areas. They serve a variety of food options including lighter snacks and meals, as well as cocktails and a classic drinks menu.

For something more lowkey, there are various pubs and beer gardens in Nottingham that are perfect for students. Bierkeller in the city centre has a gorgeous beer garden and lively vibes – I’m a fan of their £10 pitchers! Closer to campus and the Arboretum, Hole in the Wall has a lovely part-covered garden and Golden Fleece is another pub highly popular with Trent students.

When the sun’s out, I like to spend more time adventuring and finding new walks and trips in and around Nottingham. A couple of my personal favourites include:

  • Spring Lakes Water Sports and Leisure Centre based in Long Eaton, which offers an aqua park, opening water swimming and lots of water-based fun activities.
  • Colwick Country Park – a student hotspot that has a gorgeous lake for open water swimming. It’s the perfect place to take a picnic, speaker, football or inflatable rings!
  • Highfields Park, located by the University of Nottingham campus, tends to attract students with its stepping stones and boat rides.
  • Newstead Abbey, a historic house surrounded by waterfalls and gardens, is a short drive from Nottingham city centre. Popular attractions include wildlife, a waterfall which you can walk under, and a café.
  • Attenborough Nature Reserve, for those wanting a more low-key and quiet experience, is a lovely spot to take a picnic, book, and get a tan with a friend.
  • The Arboretum is another student hotspot, located right by our city campus. It has plenty of space to gather with friends, lay out a picnic blanket, or maybe even have a BBQ!
  • Along similar lines but a little further out of the city, Nottingham is a one hour drive from the Peak District. Accessible by train, this national park is a gorgeous day out for those who love an early start and a long walk!
  • Wollaton Hall and Deer Park has always been a favourite spot for me. While being just as pretty in the winter, Wollaton in the sun is a glorious place to take a picnic, go for a long walk, and see the deer and the wildlife. With a lake, gardens, the hall itself, a café, and benches that welcome those with picnics, Wollaton is an amazing place for a day out.

Whether you want to relax, have a few drinks, or get a nice meal in this sunny weather, there are plenty of options available in Nottingham!


By Beth Crosby

Featured image: Unsplash

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *