Article of the Month

The Best Places To Picnic In Notts

Photo of a picnic on a picnic blanket
Rebecca Herman

As of the 29th of March, six people or two households can meet up for a picnic – yay! This new lease of freedom means that we can all finally catch up with our friends and family with some well-deserved treats. The new rule also allows groups to meet in private gardens, but unfortunately this sort of luxury is not common for the student community of Nottingham.

So, if you’re like me, a student desperate to sit on a damp picnic blanket with some olives, hummus and a soggy sandwich, but you’re unsure where to sit, this list will ensure you pick the best place to pitch up!

A photo of the Nottingham sign on University Park campus on a sunny day

1.University Park Campus

They say don’t mix work with pleasure, but with a campus like ours who can resist? For first years especially, we must take advantage of all the secret spots on Uni Park and go beyond sitting on the cold, hard Portland steps.

The perfect location for a lunch time study break with a beautiful array of flowers and plants

The first ideal spot is the Hu Stu garden. This magical garden, located right next to Hugh Stuart Hall and conveniently opposite Hallward, is the perfect location for lunch time study break with a beautiful array of flowers and plants; I’d describe this spot as a paradox of serenity on a campus saturated with the hustle of uni life.

Sticking with campus, if you are craving the vibes of a large city park but don’t fancy the effort of the transporting yourself there, The Downs are for you. The Downs, the giant hill stretching from the Monica Partridge Building down to David Ross, is the place of ultimate summer vibes. It’s lucky the uni provide fridges in halls, because for this location you’re going to want your tinnies to be ice cold.

But not everyone seeks this busy lifestyle, some students will want somewhere a little quieter. Even with a campus the size of ours, believe it or not it’s possible to experiences these vibes somewhere more peaceful… The Lake. Behind Portland as I’m sure we all know, is a gorgeous lake containing benches, grass patches and even stepping-stones, so basically, The Lake has something for everyone. Take a walk around the water and then settle on a little hill and watch the sun set behind the clock tower; queue some chilled tunes and crack open the Dark Fruits. With vibes like this, its fair to say that the Lake is definitely the Shangri-la of Nottingham.

The Recs are definitely the place to go to be part of the action

2. The Recs

But as we know, if you don’t live on campus the journey can be quite the trek, and the last thing we need before a picnic is a profuse amount of sweat and exhaustion. This is when the infamous identical twins come into play – Lenton and Radford Rec. These local parks which sandwich Derby Road (see what I did there) are definitely the hotspots of Lenton, and if temperatures dare creep beyond the nine degree mark you will start to see a magnitude of students make their pilgrimage to find a spot to set up. Groups of students equipped with footballs, ice lollies and beers flock to find space in these grassy areas. The Recs are definitely the place to go to be part of the action. But don’t worry, if you don’t find yourself there this summer, you’ll see every square inch on everyone’s Snapchat story.

A photo of Wollaton Lake looking towards Wollaton Hall

3. The Big Parks – Wollaton, Attenborough and Colwick

You know how it is, when you wake up to bright blue sky and just know the right thing to do is sack off all your lectures and head to Sainsbury’s Local to stock up for an adventure. Nothing beats these sorts of days, especially when you venture out of your one-kilometre radius and hit the larger parks surrounding Notts.

Firstly, we have Wollaton – everyone’s favourite Notts tourist attraction, and absolutely on the list of where to take your home friends. Although Wollaton isn’t as close as Lenton Rec per say, the extra 15 minutes are very much worth it. From deer and quaint little cafes, to Wayne Manor, Wollaton gives you the option to sit in more intimate spaces for some alone time with your loved-one, but also gives you the opportunity to sit in a busier area – a magnet to happy vibes on a warm day.

Attenborough is the place to be for water lovers, with the plethora of rivers, lakes and everything in between

Coming up next we have Attenborough. Attenborough Nature Reserve is calling you and so its time you call your housemate who drives and ask them to drive you there. As you pass uni on your way, you can wave to your lecture halls – I’m almost positive you get extra credits for this. Attenborough is the place to be for water lovers, with the plethora of rivers, lakes and everything in between. Grab a coffee from the café and follow on a trail until you spot a bench which tickles your fancy and park yourself there for the afternoon. Attenborough Nature Reserve = guaranteed relaxation.

And finally, on the last spot on this list we have Colwick. In many ways, Colwick is somewhat of a shapeshifter or the room of requirement, because it can really fulfil your every desire. Festival? Colwick offers it. Swimming? Colwick offers it (only between the months of April until October, but still, it’s offered). Fishing? Offered. Horse-riding? Offered. Orienteering. Offered. Colwick has it all. But, if you haven’t quite decided what’s for you, or you trip is more of the spontaneous kind then Colwick is still a beautiful place for a picnic and to hang out with your mates under the blaring sun.

After the year we’ve had its vital we take advantage on the easing of lockdown and get some fresh air and that all important vitty D. So, grab your friends and open a cold one; make your way down this list and decide for yourself which one is superior picnic spot in Nottingham. And maybe even venture out and discover some more.

Rebecca Herman

Featured image courtesy of Juli Kosolapova via Unsplash. Image license found here. In-article images courtesy of Charlotte Smith. No changes were made to the images.

For more content including uni news, reviews, entertainment, lifestyle, features and so much more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page for more articles and information on how to get involved.

If you can’t get enough of Impact Lifestyle, like our Facebook page, or join our group to get involved as a contributor! To hear more from Impact Travel, follow us on Instagram.

Article of the MonthLifestyleNominationsPlacesTravelTravel Tips

Leave a Reply