5 awesome, local beauty-spots for you and your family in Nottingham and Derby this spring

Spring is very much here. We love spring, it’s the most exciting time of year for us. The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing and the evenings are getting longer (even if it did hail whilst I was writing this!) So, the weather is getting better, where should you go?

Here’s our guide to five awesome, local beauty spots in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

1. Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottingham

Attenborough Nature Reserve is one for the nature lovers. So if your little explorers love finding birds, bugs and bees this could be the place for you. There’s always something going on here regardless of the season and spring is no different. It is an incredibly peaceful, tranquil and calming spot brimming with life. 

Whilst this works as a perfect, peaceful get away for the adults, it's also a great place to explore with the little ones. There are monthly meetings of Wild Kids and Wild Tots.

On top of all this, there is the award winning Attenborough Nature Centre where incredibly helpful and welcoming staff will happily share their wealth of knowledge and guide you on the best things to do and see and explain all the latest sightings within the reserve.

The reserve is located 6 miles from Nottingham City centre whereas it's 11 miles from Derby city centre and is easily accessible by car, bus, bike, train or even walking if you're lucky enough to live nearby. Click here to discover the best route for you.

A stunning view from one of the many lake side observation decks and hides at Attenborough Nature Reserve

This friendly swan is certainly enjoying the spring sunshine last year at Attenborough Nature Reserve.


2. Colwick Country Park, Nottingham

This has to be one of our favourite places to visit and with stunning lakes, woodland and parks what more could you want?

There is so much going on at Colwick; angling, sailing, walking, jogging, yoga, stand up paddle board yoga and it's also one for all you budding photographers - there is so much to photograph with such a diverse range of wildlife.

We've had the pleasure of photographing a number of SUP Fitness UK events here on a number of occasions including one particularly stunning sunrise. SUP Fitness UK run fun and relaxed stand-up paddle boarding sessions and stand up paddle boarding yoga classes there - for more information visit their Facebook page.

The main entrance to Colwick Country Park is off Mile Road, Colwick Village, on River Road, with another car park at the end of Racecourse Road, past Nottingham Racecourse and Colwick Hall Hotel. For more information visit their Facebook page or the Nottingham County Council website.

SUP Fitness UK making the most of a beautiful sunny morning at Colwick Country Park in Nottingham


3. Oldmoor woods, Nottinghamshire

In any season, Oldmoor makes for a great place to visit. It’s a quiet, quaint like woods near Strelley and besides the M1 (although when you’re in the woods you’d have no idea you’re anywhere near the motorway, it’s so peaceful). By far the best season though has to be spring. Why? The carpet of flowering bluebells. It extends further than the eye can see and just goes on and on. There’s also the fantastic Mulberry Tree Cafe (located just around the corner in Strelley Hall.

Oldmoor itself is located just 6 miles from Nottingham city centre, 15 miles from Derby city centre and just off the M1 at junction 16.

Our favourite bluebell spot in Nottinghamshire - Oldmoor Woods.


4. Shipley Country Park, Derbyshire

We have lived incredibly close to Shipley Country park for a a couple of years but only discovered it in the last six months.

And we love it.

We visited a last spring with Amy's family and it was fantastic. Easily accessible with fantastic paths, stunning reservoirs, woods and not to mention the staff who are incredibly friendly and helpful.

There are absolutely loads of opportunities to get out and active at Shipley. To name just a few, there’s walking, cycling, horse riding, bird watching, angling, picnicking, kite flying, jogging, wayfaring, photography (yes, more great opportunities for photography - we couldn't help but mention it!), exploring the park and much more.

The main entrance to the park is signposted from Derby Road (A608) and from the motorway M1 Junction 26, there is a great little map showing the best way to find the park here and find out more information on their Facebook page.

With well-maintained and well sign-posted footpaths, Shipley Country Park is a fantastic place for a relaxed, family walk or explore.

There are so many colourful flowers and things to see in Shipley Country Park


5. The Peak District, Derbyshire

Okay, so this is a little vague.  The Peak District is massive. But it’s just a beautiful place and truly there are absolutely loads of great places to visit regardless of the season - I could have written a full blog about it. Whilst we still have A LOT to explore in the Peak District, we do have a few favourite places:

The Monsal Trail - The Monsal trail, is an 8.5 mile traffic free route perfect for cyclists, walkers, horses or wheelchair users running between Bakewell and near to Buxton. It was once a former railway line and combines stunning views of the Derbyshire countryside and several tunnels almost 400 metres long as it cuts through the hillside.

Mam Tor - if you’re feeling like a more challenging walk, Mam Tor could be just the place for you. The top of Mam Tor is stunning, you can see for miles and it really is a dramatic Peak District view. Here is a great circular walk from National Trust. At the base of Mam Tor is Blue John Cavern, a world famous cave and one of many in the area, is simply stunning and well worth a visit, Mam Tor and Blue John Cavern are locate just outside Castleton, Derbyshire.

P.S. if you're interested in booking a family photo shoot at one of these locations (or one of your own favourites) sign up to be email buddies to find out about family photography and our upcoming bluebell mini-shoots.