Bestwood Country Park
Nottingham's best Kept Secret
This 650 acre Country Park, once part of Royal Sherwood Forest, is open 365 days a year. It forms the northern boundary of Rise Park Estate, from which there is pedestrian access.
There are approximately 20 miles of well signed pathways, and horse trails. The park contains picnic areas, toilet block, campsite for organised groups and an environmental classroom.
It falls just outside the City Boundary and is owned jointly by Nottinghamshire County Council and Gedling Borough Council.
The sweeping panoramic view from Vincents View must be one of the best in Nottingham, taking in the Hucknall by - pass, the Rolls Royce Aerodrome, a glimpse of Wollaton Hall and stretching as far as the cooling towers of Ratcliffe on Soar Power Station (eleven miles to the South) and well beyond.
The seat here was installed in 2008 to commemorate the retirement of civil engineer David Vincent, who was responsible for a great deal of the restoration of this Bestwood Colliery Tip area.
The view is particularly spectacular on Bonfire Night - 5th November!!
The Winding Engine House Project
Work started in 2009 on a project to restore the historic Winding Engine House of the former Bestwood Colliery. The building is grade-two listed and is all that is left of a pit that once employed 1,300 people before it closed in 1971.
Over £1 million for the project came from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £290,000 was provided by the Greater Nottinghamshire Partnership. A team of volunteer engineers had previously worked for many years to get the machinery back into working order.
The Winding House is now open for tours by drop in visitors on Saturdays and Bank Holiday Mondays from 10 am - 12 noon, March to October.
Nearest car park is very close by - off Park Road, in Bestwood Village
Above - The Bestwood Colliery Winding Engine House soon after completion of the extensive renovation work and - now open to visitors at times mentioned above.
Photo at top of page shows the view towards the south with Ratcliffe Power Station cooling towers eleven miles in the distance
Bestwood Country Park (and the adjoining Mill Lakes) is claimed to be one of the top sites in the Midlands for birds, with 150 species listed.
There are over 200 different types of fungi here, and the sites' woods and grasslands shelter a rich flora.
Toilets and Disabled Access
There is a toilet block at the Bestwood Lodge Drive car park, under Gedling Borough management. Disabled access via RADAR key. Restricted opening hours. The Woodlands Toilet Block - near to Alexandra Lodge - was destroyed by arson some time ago but is about to be rebuilt. Facilities also in the Dynamo Cafe - when it is open - see below. (as at June 2013).
Disabled access - Many of the main trails can be accessed by wheelchair users with care and help from friends. Detailed advice is available by telephoning the Rangers office
Dynamo House Cafe
Next door to the Winding Engine House is the old Colliery Dynamo House, the shell of which has been restored. It is now used for events, and for a community volunteer café which serves coffee, tea, juices and cakes - usually home-made - on Saturday mornings throughout the year between 10 am and 12 noon.
For dog walkers - well-behaved dogs are welcome!
On the history side, there is a set of display boards and pictures showing the history of the whole park, from the Stone Age to the present day.
Arboretum and Japanese Garden
The arboretum to the south of Bestwood Lodge Hotel is a pleasant place to visit, with car park and a toilet block just across the Main Drive, approached by footpath from the Warren Hill and Bestwood Park areas or by car if you approach from the south eastern Arnold entrance off Bestwood Lodge Drive.
Within the arboretum you can also view the Japanese Gardens: some of the design and stone works were recently uncovered with the help of funding from Notts County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme, and a lot of hard work from volunteers!
Points of access
Important : Parking at Bestwood Lodge Hotel is officially for hotel users only and, on busy days, park visitors may be asked to move to make way for hotel guests
Some Useful Links
Rangers Team : 0115 972 3674 for general enquiries
Site Manager : firstname.lastname@example.org
For other information regarding events, volunteering, educational visits etc. Contact details are available via the nlinks shown in the left hand column of this page.
Please mention this Web Site if making contact as result of information shown here
Parking is free but please check the entry signs or visit the Parks web site for latest information in order to avoid being locked in !
It is believed that the car parks are normally open daily from 10am to 5pm March to October but closing at 4.30pm for the remaining winter months.
Events in the Park
The Park is managed by a team of Rangers, based at Alexandra Lodge, which is situated within the grounds.
There is a programme of events throughout the year - where you can learn about all aspects of the park, its' wildlife or conservation.
Learn about wildflowers, identify trees, try your hand at charcoal burning, join a guided health walk, take the children pond dipping etc. Or delve into the secret world of Bats on one of the organised evening walks.
Check Councils web site or the Friends of Bestwood sites (click links in left side column) for latest information. The FBCP site also carries a seasonal newsletter
Well behaved dogs are made very welcome in the Dynamo House Cafe. Limited opening times as shown above.
A short You Tube video of the Country Park and Mill Lakes, by a resident of the estate.