Top 5 dog-friendly things to do in Nottingham

4 June 2024 - 3 min read
Image of Old Market Square, Nottingham with an overcast sky

Exploring Nottingham with your dog? From Rufford Abbey to Wollaton Hall, the city and wider area has so much for dogs and their owners to do.

But where do we start? It's alright - we're here to pinpoint our five favourite dog-friendly activities in Nottingham.

Let's get exploring.

1. Wollaton Hall

Image of Wollaton Hall on a sunny day with people walking

Nottingham has plenty of dog-walking spots, but if you really want to breathe in some open air in 500 acres of spacious, green parkland, then Wollaton Hall is our pick.

The area is renowned for deer and it was even the set for Wayne Manor in The Dark Knight!

The hall itself is a Grade I Elizabethan mansion, with some breathtaking architecture. But the main appeal for dog owners is the outdoors, with the estate grounds housing a huge lake and lots of space to walk in.

Oh, and the area has some off-lead walking spots, so rejoice Springer Spaniel owners!

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2. Attenborough Nature Reserve

Image of a bench looking out at Attenborough Nature Reserve

Yes, this is named after the David Attenborough, and it's our pick if you want somewhere filled with natural wonder.

This 550-acre reserve was opened by Attenborough in 1966, and it houses eye-catching birds, waterside views and winding woodland. It's lovely year-round.

If you happen to be a bird-watcher, then it comes with a special recommendation. It's said to have over 250 species of birds and is one of the few places where you can reliably see a Kingfisher.

Dogs must be kept on a short leash and stay calm around the wildlife, though.

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3. Hardwick Hall

Image of Hardwick Hall on a bright day

You'll need to head near the Peak District for this one, which is never a bad thing. 900 acres of ancient woodland, parkland, wetlands and farmlands. We imagine this is something most dogs dream of.

The estate itself is built around Hardwick Hall, which is an eye-catching Elizabethan house filled with some lovely, antiquated furnishings, tapestries and all that good stuff. But much like Wollaton Hall, the real appeal here is the surroundings.

The estate grounds are a popular walking spot for local residents and those who live nearby. You can bring your dog to the Great Barn Restaurant or Hardwick Inn if you need to stop for a pick-me-up which, given how much there is to see, isn't a bad idea.

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4. Belton House

Belton House, Lincolnshire

1,300 acres of parkland, an hour's drive from Nottingham and a stunning Grade I country house: Belton has a lot going for it.

This National Trust property welcomes all dogs on short leads, and there's plenty of parkland, courtyards and vibrant gardens to explore.

They even have a second-hand bookshop on-site, if that's your sort of thing. We recommend stopping by the Stables Café, where the doggy ice cream is meant to be tail-waggingly good.

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5. Rufford Abbey and Park

Image of Rufford Abbey, Nottingham

Rufford Abbey and Park is yet another historic landmark in the Nottingham area. Featuring a 12th-century Cistercian Monastery, leafy grounds and a few spots to eat and drink, too.

With plenty of walking routes and corners to explore, it's perfect if you have an active dog. There's even a bustling events calendar!

We recommend the on-site pizza van, which might be the best kind of dog-friendly pit stop.

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Ben Newman
Editorial Content Lead

Ben is a writer and editor with years of experience in insurance. After spending a long time creating content for some of Britain's biggest brands as part of a marketing agency, Ben began to focus on insurance and hasn't looked back since. When he's not consuming copious cups of tea, you can find him reading a book, daydreaming about having an Australian Shepherd and shouting at Liverpool on the TV.