If you have time like we did, head to Rufford Abbey. It is only about 3 miles from Sherwood Forest Country Park. This is another good place for woodland and lakeside walks. The paths are also suitable for wheelchair and pushchair users. They also have Changing Places toilet facility, a campaign my sister in law is passionate about.
Right, get your coins ready if you are driving there. You pay £3 for parking. It was busy when we got there. I did not really know how big the car park is.
I first heard of Rufford Abbey from my mother in law. They came here to see the snow drops. Well, we are late for that when we visited. the very few we saw were nearly dead. But there are a lot to see and appreciate in the country park.
The abbey is owned by the English Heritage. This was one of the first abbeys in England to be affected by the Suppression of the Monasteries. The cloisters of the abbey are the only the few best preserved ones in the country.
The country park has restaurant, gift shops and cafe. This 150 acre park has a lot of walks one can enjoy. Look out for the signposts, it tells you how long the walk takes as well as where it is leading to.
We looked around the gardens first. There is a big kids’ playgrounds – enough to keep the little ones happy. We also found a maze – the Abbot’s fortune maze. It was a bit too complicated for me to learn in short time so we just tried to get to the middle and took a photo of the scary looking abbot.
The gardens have few sculptures. One of my two favourite is The Hand. It was based on the Makaton sign language meaning good. The other one is the bust of Diana, of whom i had a stare down contest. She won, obviously, i blinked after few seconds.
We walked around the lake. I imagine it can so nice and tranquil if it was far less busy whilst we were there. At the far end of the park, there is the Rufford Mill, a venue for weddings and other events.