About Wollaton Park

Wollaton Park is a 500-acre park in Nottingham.

It is home to Wollaton Hall, an Elizabethan country house, as well as a deer park, formal gardens, lake and cafés. It also contains a Botanic Garden as well as a Natural History and Industrial Museum.

The park is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest: Local Nature Reserve, with a diverse population of Wildlife, Wildflowers and Trees.

The park is open to the public year-round and offers a variety of activities, such as walking, cycling, and picnicking. The park is also regularly used for concerts, festivals, and other events.

Volunteers from Friends of Wollaton Park work with the Park staff on the upkeep of the gardens and conservation tasks.

For the latest information please see the Deer Park and Gardens page on the Wollaton Hall website.

Brief History of Wollaton Park (Click to expand)

  • 1580: Sir Francis Willoughby begins construction of Wollaton Hall on the site of the former Wollaton Deer Park.
  • 1588: Wollaton Hall is completed and the park is landscaped in the style of an Elizabethan garden.
  • 1664: Francis Willoughby, a Naturalist, planted two avenues of “noble oaks” leading to Wollaton village.
  • 1707: Gardens below the southern terrace restyled, adding ponds and fountains.
  • 1720s: Park Wall built.
  • 1742: Stable Block built.
  • 1774: Lake enlarged and “Boat House” added.
  • 1784: Formal Garden redesigned.
  • 1786: 11,300 Oak trees planted.
  • 1788: Ha Ha was built around the lake, followed by the Ha Ha around the Formal Garden.
  • 1800: Lake further extended to current form.
  • 1816: Duck Decoy created.
  • 1823: Camellia House built.
  • 1826: Ice houses built.
  • 1836: Digby Avenue planted.
  • 1840: Lime Tree Avenue planted.
  • 1925: Park acquired by Nottingham City Council (see Lenton Times article).
  • 1926: The park is opened to the public and becomes a popular destination for visitors.
  • 1927: Golf course opens (see Lenton Times article).
  • 1940s: During World War II, the Park is used as a military camp and training ground by the British Army.
  • 1942: The park was handed over to the United States Army as a base for the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, a unit of the 82nd Airborne Division.
  • 1955: Royal Show, visited by Queen Elizabeth II.
  • 1980: Horse chestnut avenue between the stable block and lake was planted to commemorate the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday.
  • 1984: The park is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its rich and diverse wildlife habitats.
  • 1986: Major repairs to the lake, some restoration of the boathouse.
  • 1994: Sensory Garden laid out.
  • 2007: Doric temple restored.
  • 2013: Friends of Wollaton Park formed (FoWP History).
  • Present day: the Park remains a popular destination for visitors, who come to enjoy its natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and recreational opportunities, including walking, cycling, and picnicking.

Frequently Asked Questions about Wollaton Park

The Wollaton Hall website reports “BBQs & fires are not permitted in the park, as they pose a danger to the wild deer and other wildlife”.BBQs can also cause fires.  Fires can damage ancient trees.

Yes, picnicking is allowed at Wollaton Park.  Visitors are welcome to bring their own food and drinks. It is important to note that all litter should be disposed of properly in the designated bins to help maintain the beauty and cleanliness of the park.

Sign: Do not feed the birds

No.  Fishing is not permitted (unless you are a heron).

The Wollaton Hall website reports “We do not allow drone flying at any time over Wollaton Hall and Deer Park except by contractors commissioned by Nottingham City Council for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and are operating under controlled conditions”.

No.  Swimming is not permitted.

500 acres or 200 hectares.

An acre is an area in which you could park about 150 cars.

A hectare is about two-and-a-half times the size of an average football field.

No.

There are reports of blue-green algae in the lake, with is harmful to dogs.

Metal detectors need permission from the Park.

Dogs should be kept on a lead at all times to ensure that they do not disturb other park visitors or wildlife.

The deer may attack dogs that get too close.

Visitors are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.

A ha-ha is a sunken wall around the hall and the lake.

The purpose of the ha-ha was to give the viewer of the garden/lake the illusion of an unbroken landscape whilst providing boundaries for deer and other livestock.

Toilets are located:

  • In the Courtyard
  • By the 508 Cafe at the vehicle entrance
  • In Wollaton Hall