5 outdoor activities in and around Nottingham that are perfect for the family

It can be hard to think of things to do when the weather is nice and the kids are on mid-term or summer vacation. The city is full of family-friendly activity options that you can organize for a day.

With plenty of options, it’s worth booking ahead to avoid disappointment, but all of the ones we picked are very accessible from the city center by public transport. Some places offer great food and drink options or can be the perfect place for a picnic.

Here’s our guide to the five best outdoor activities for families.



Boaters take advantage of the warm sunny weather at Highfields Park in Nottingham.

1 – Boating

Highfield Park

The park has a huge lake ideal for walking or picnicking nearby. However, it should be noted that they also offer boat or canoe rentals. There are plenty of options available depending on how fast you want to run or if you prefer a quiet row while taking in the beautiful scenery.

Prices are really reasonable at £5 per hour for adults and £4 for children with many types of boats available including canoes, rowing boats and KataKanu.

2 – Archery

Sherwood Forest

The Adrenalin Jungle Activity Center offers visitors the chance to step into Robin Hood’s shoes and try archery in the middle of Sherwood Forest. If archery isn’t your thing, the center also offers a variety of different activities such as bubble football and ax throwing.

Some of the activities may be for adults only, but the archery offers a fun day out for families. If you fancy making it a bit more lively, there is an option to have it fight and test your hunting skills. It costs £20 per person for an hour of archery.



Colwick Park offers very refreshing wild swimming sessions
Colwick Park offers very refreshing wild swimming sessions

3 -Wild swimming

Colwick Park

This is one of the most refreshing activities you can do on a hot summer day. Whole Health hosts wild swim sessions at different times of the week, including a pre-work session at 7 a.m. The session is fully supported, so there are lifeguards on duty who can help if needed.

Although it may seem cold, the water warms up quickly and can often, on a good day, be slightly below pool temperature. The water is very refreshing and there is a lot to be said for drying off in the sun afterwards. Sessions cost £10 per person for a single swim with the option of beginners lessons and also annual subscriptions.

4 – Wakeboarding

Spring Lake, Long Eaton

The Spring Lakes Activity Center in Long Eaton offers visitors the opportunity to try wakeboarding. It is a sport where you ride on a board guided by a cable specially designed to gain speed.

In case that sounds a bit scary, expert coaches are on hand for the entire experience, letting visitors get their feet wet in the fast-paced water sport. There are many different options depending on your level of experience or what you feel comfortable with. Women-only sessions are also available.

5 – Alpaca hike

The Alpaca Center, Newark

Most people associate trekking with ponies, but it’s just as easy to do with alpacas – surprisingly. There are different options for determining how involved you want to be with the animals, from watching the alpacas through the cafe window to walking them through the park.

You can choose from seven different alpacas with experienced guides accompanying you on the walk. The walk will take around an hour with a few stops to feed the alpacas, admire the beautiful countryside and take plenty of Instagram worthy snaps. An adult ticket costs £25.

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