Family walks, Vicar Water Country Park
One of my favourite short walks in Nottinghamshire is around Vicar Water Country Park. If you’re not familiar with Vicar Water then I’d definitely recommend taking a look. It’s situated just off the main high street that runs through Clipstone and backs onto Sherwood Pines.
Given its location, it’s not surprising that the Spirit of Sherwood visitor information and welcome point is found on the main entry car park. This is a crucial piece of woodland that helps knit together broader Sherwood Forest around some of the main visitor attractions.
Car parking until recently has been free although now a preferred donation of £1 is requested when you arrive. The main visitor centre is good too with refreshments well run by the team at Rumbles café. Behind the visitor facilities is a great children’s adventure play area which is well used too.
Vicar Water gets its name from the lakes there which are set at the foot a hill beyond them. The hill is actually a converted slag heap from Clipstone colliery (in fact the winding engines can still be seen and remain in excellent condition). The fairly steep walk to the top proves a worthy vantage point to view the surrounding area of Sherwood Forest.
I took the photo above on New Year’s Eve looking north with Clipstone to the left, the winding Engines straight ahead, and the beginnings of Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve (NNR) to the right. It has to be the best panoramic view in the county for me and even on a cold and wintry morning, it’s still a terrific sight.
Back at the bottom, the site has Sustrans Route 6 running along the back, which is a popular cycling route for off road enthusiasts heading as it does into Sherwood Pines, Sherwood Forest NNR, Thoresby Park and Clumber Park! Even on New Year’s Eve, we saw a good few cyclists enjoying the muddy tracks.
The walk around the lakes is excellent and not too long at all. The path gets reasonably close to the water at times, particularly at the back of the main lake but the paths are easy to navigate. The log stretch from the top lake to the bottom is perfect for a young child learning to ride a bike and we certainly tested my eldest daughters cycling ability here in the spring of last year.
Vicar Water Country Park has to be one of my favourite places in the county, given it’s terrific views of the Sherwood Forest area, the visitor facilities with children’s play area, and access to the cycling network.
If you feel that you’ve done all the main Nottinghamshire attractions and want family days out that are a little more off the beaten track, then Vicar Water Country Park is an absolute must as the next place on your list.