It’s been a long time coming but from Monday, April 12, outdoor attractions opened their gates to the public again.
Welcome back zoos, farm parks, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas.
Step 2 easing of restrictions also means that we can now enjoy trips to non-essential retail, get your hair cut or your nails done, visit the library or community centre, even the gym as long as you go alone or in your household group. Be aware that these venues may have reduced or altered opening times or require advance booking, at least until the restrictions are lifted completely, so check before you go.
And if you’re thinking about a trip to an outdoor attraction, well here’s a reminder of what’s on our doorstep in Nottingham or within 90 minutes drive of The East Wing at Rufford Park Lodge.
So, pack a picnic, or get ready to treat yourself to a venue takeaway, and enjoy some of the places and activities that you’ve been missing.
White Post Farm
White Post Farm is open for pre-booked admission and less than ten minutes drive away. They’ve got Covid safety rules in place, so you’ll have an allocated arrival slot, will have to wear a face covering and observe social distancing. Numbers will also be restricted. But if you’ve missed the cows, Meerkats, alpacas and more… and want to see some “leaping lambs” then this is the place to be, click here to book.
Go Ape, Sherwood Forest
In less than fifteen minutes by car you could take to the Forest for a treetop challenge. Ziplines, high-wire adventures, netted walkways and bouncy nets, whatever you fancy. Remember pre booking is essential and group sizes are limited to 6 people or two households.
Holme Pierrepont Outdoor Adventure Zone
The sky trail and mini golf areas of the Adventure Zone at Holme Pierrepont Country Park are open and are available to book, however the climbing wall along with sky trail, archery combat and segways are currently closed, according to the centre’s website.
Home of the National Water Sports Centre, this amazing Country Park is only 40 minutes away by car, and the Rapids activities, White Water Rafting and Tubing are now open.
Stonebridge City Farm
It’s been a tough year for Stonebridge City Farm, by March 2021 it had lost £100,000 in expected income during the Covid-19 pandemic but the good news is that the farm is back open and will continue to welcome visitors seven days a week from 10.00am until 4.15pm daily.
The city farm in Stonebridge Road, Nottingham, is home to a range of animals – the team call the venue “a small slice of the countryside in the heart of the city”, and just thirty minute drive away.
Manor Farm Park and Woodlands
Manor Farm in East Leake is open from 10.00am until 5.00pm daily from today. You’ll find more than 20 types of animals and over 25 acres of countryside to explore and with reduced visitor numbers to help maintain social distancing and the indoor play-barn and animal chat room currently closed in line with Government guidelines, the venue is doing everything it can to stay Covid safe. All visitors to the park, including annual pass holders, need to book via the website. You can be there in 45 minutes travelling via the A46.
Outdoor Cinema at Wollaton
Get your diary out, as May will see Wollaton Hall play host to outdoor cinema. From Friday, May 28, until Sunday May 30, 2021, the grounds will have a giant LED screen set up so you can see some film favourites in the open air. Movies will kick off rather aptly with The Dark Knight (Wollaton Hall was used as the set for Wayne Manor in batman film), then on Saturday it’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, followed by Mama Mia. Sunday will start with The Jungle Book and close with Les Miserables. Booking is essential. It is just forty minutes drive away via the A614.
Twinlakes Family Theme Park
Twinlakes Park at Melton Mowbray has reopened however, indoor areas will remain closed until at least May 17.
Tickets for the theme park must be pre-booked via the website – annual pass holders also need to pre-book but are still free of charge.
The park is only releasing tickets for the first five weeks of opening, until Sunday, May 16. Once more information is received about the next phase of the lockdown easing, later tickets will be released. The A6097 will get you there in fifty minutes.
The under 10s theme park in Rampton, near Retford is opening in stages from today and has already sold all of its tickets until Monday, April 19, 2021. Book via the website if you want to secure your place at the venue this month. 32 minutes away via the Old Rufford Road/A614.
A firm favourite with families, this Leicestershire zoo and conservation charity is around 30 miles from Nottingham city centre and can be reached in as little as around 40 minutes depending upon route and traffic, according to Google maps. The zoo is now open with exception of indoor areas, including soft play and cafes and tickets are available via the website.
Famous for its primates, the zoo is home to a huge variety of monkeys and apes, but also has a range of animals – around 500 in fact and 125 species ranging from Eastern Black Rhino, Zebra and Giraffe to creepy crawlies. Only an hour away via the M1 and A42.
Newark Showground Nightflix drive-in cinema
Go US-style and enjoy a drive-in movie! Big screen classics are now showing at Newark Showground and there’ll hopefully be some new releases in the line-up from August. Tickets are sold per car at £27 plus a booking fee of £1.75 and there’s a range of films to choose from including The Greatest Showman, Joker, Grease, Rocketman, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Wonder Woman 1984, Mamma Mia! Frozen, and Tom & Jerry to name a few. Take the A616 to get there in 25 minutes.
Conkers Outdoor adventures
At the heart of the National Forest, Conkers Outdoor Adventures has opened all of its outdoor spaces with only the 4D cinema, The Warrens and soft play still closed.
Tickets are available to book via the website, and all memberships have been extended by 95 days. The A38 will get you there in 70 minutes.
Robin Hoods Wheelgate Park
The sister site to Twin Lakes, Wheelgate Park is a family theme park at White Post, Farnsfield. Outdoor areas at the park are now open with indoor areas expected to reopen on Monday, May 17, in line with Government guidance. Advance booking is required via the website. Another attraction on our doorstep and just ten minutes via the A614.
Charnwood Forest Alpacas
From Friday, April 16, 2021, you’ll be able to book a Charnwood Forest Alpacas experience. Experiences at the 110 acre farm in Boundary, which is around 25 miles from Nottingham city centre and 63 minutes away via the M1, includes donkey walks, donkey rides, sheep treks and horse riding. Book via the website here.
Great Central Railway, Loughborough
Weekend passenger trains have now returned to the Great Central Railway. Be there in just 50 minutes via the A46.
Every Saturday and Sunday and selected weekdays until Sunday, May 16, four steam-hauled trains will be operating. After this date, restrictions are expected to be relaxed further which would allow timetables to be extended. Advance tickets should be booked via the website.
Drayton Manor Theme Park and Thomas Land
Home to Thomas Land, Wildlife Parks and adrenaline pumping rollercoasters, Drayton Manor Theme Park is an all rounder.
The site has opened its outdoor attractions including over 100 rides and attractions and the 15-acre zoo, around 80 minutes drive away.
Alton Towers Theme Park
Around 90 minutes drive from The East Wing, and open once again for adrenaline thrills and CBeebies giggles, the theme park is now back into full swing. You’ll need to pre-book via the website.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Just over an hour away from Nottingham city centre is Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Auckley. The zoo has around 400 animals and over 70 different species including polar bears. You can book your tickets via the website.
Don’t forget our closest attraction, Rufford Abbey Country Park which also includes the Mill and Lake.