University can be a pretty stressful place and often we’re so busy with lectures, projects and deadlines that we can forget to take in some of the beautiful green spaces University Park has to offer. Aside from Highfields Park and the lake, many of the gardens are sequestered behind buildings or just not close by the places we’re usually visiting. However, these secret spaces can offer a peaceful break from the library, a great setting for revision, and make for an #Instagrammable study spot! Here are my top 5 favourite gardens on University Park:
- Jekyll Gardens
This lovely garden next to Lenton Hurst has a lot of history behind it, which you can actually read about while you’re there, so I won’t spoil it for you. The gardens have some gorgeous flowers, so this is definitely a good one to visit in summer time! This garden is just a short walk from the Downs, and features a rock terrace and shrubbery that will make you feel like a turn of the century Marchioness.
- Millennium Gardens
Next to the Law and Social Sciences building is the Millennium Gardens, which you’ve probably seen and probably also posed on the island with your first year bestie. But, this garden is a great spot for reading in the summertime, thanks to the seating and the spacious lawn area. Plus, the little island has some serious Hunger Games vibes, as the fountains around it also tell the time, which is pretty cool.
- Lenton Firs Rock Garden
This teeny garden by the north entrance is my personal favourite, because it’s just so charming and peaceful. You may have seen the small gazebo at the top of the hill on the bus ride into uni, but behind it is a gorgeous rock garden, complete with a water feature. There’s not a lot of seating here, so it’s difficult to stay for long, but it’s certainly a sweet little place to visit.
- The Old Botanic Garden
Just by the Portland Hill bus stop, is a hidden patch of tranquillity on campus. What used to be a garden used for teaching botany is now a peaceful shortcut, albeit only from the bottom of the hill to the top, this leafy spot boasts great views over Highfields Park.
- Highfields Walled Garden
And finally, there’s the walled garden just by the Trent building. Built in 1797 and featuring a well and wrought iron gates, this secret little garden could be straight out of, well, The Secret Garden. This is usually a very quiet spot, so probably not your first choice for a natter with your friends, but the beautiful flowerbeds and privacy from the busy path to Hallward makes this a great outdoor spot for reading.