Lose yourself in Neverland at Nottingham’s Arboretum

Nottingham Arboretum by Alan Metheringham

As we have a look into Nottinghamshire’s literary heritage, we stop by the Arboretum in Nottingham, an inspiring green haven in the heart of the city.

The Arboretum in Nottingham opened on 11 May 1852 and was the first public park in the city. The idea was to provide the city with green spaces and a place where people could relax and contemplate. The park was designed by Samuel Curtis, a botanist who had also worked on the layout of Victoria Park in London. He designed the park’s layout so it would provide walkways as well as space for people to gather and spend time together. Over 1,000 trees and shrubs were planted on site at the time and some of those can still be admired today.

The Arboretum is also home to very special features such as its Victorian Circular Aviary, Chinese Bell Tower, lake and Bandstand, which once belonged to Nottingham Castle. It is amongst such unique features and whilst contemplating the park’s many trees and plants that author J.M. Barrie is said to have found inspiration for the Neverland he created in his famous book Peter Pan, the story of the child who wouldn’t grow up. J.M. Barrie worked for the local paper, the Nottingham Journal, in 1883 – 1884 and would have enjoyed exploring the city’s park on his spare time. 

Today you can wander through over 800 trees and even embark on a Tree Trail or Heritage Trail to fully appreciate the park’s rich history. The Arboretum is still one of the most popular sites in the city, attracting people from all ages and backgrounds. Students from the nearby university, city residents and workers enjoy this pretty and quiet green garden, whether to exercise, relax, get away from the hustle of the close-by city centre or get inspired.

The Arboretum is also home to various family-friendly events every year including the Green Festival and the Bands in the Park series of brass band concerts. Last year, the park celebrated its 160th anniversary with a full programme of entertainment, from street entertainers and live music to market stalls. To find out what events are coming up at the Arboretum, please visit http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=5569

‘Friends of the Arboretum’ are also involved in the park’s everyday life, taking part in activities such as bulb planting but also fundraising events and tours. If you would like more information about the ‘Friends of the Arboretum’ group, please contact 0115 915 2733.

All photos featured on this blog have been shared courtesy of local photographer Alan Metheringham.


Posted on 25 January 2013
Featured author: melissa.gueneau

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