16th March 2021
GREAT PLACES TO GET FIT BEFORE THE GYMS OPEN
If you’re anything like us, you’ll have left it to the last minute to remember how to move around before you are let back out into the real world again. There’s no ‘perfect’ time to start getting fit, but as the sun is starting to creep out, this might be the motivation you need before the gyms open and you can go back to your usual routine.
Apparently, there are 128 parks in Nottingham and you can’t go for a socially distanced walk for very long without coming across one. Most of them are great for running, roller skating or just having a big dose of fresh air.
Here are our favourites that we plan on getting good use out of before we are allowed to head back inside to a nice air-conditioned gym next month!
Forest Recreation Ground
A short walk from town or just a couple of tram stops away, this wide-open space is normally home to many runners and sports clubs, dog walkers and of course the world famous Goose Fair in October.
It also has multi use games areas, disability access and even a community garden if meditation is your thing. If working out gets your appetite up, there’s a great cafe on site where you can pick up a snack and a coffee afterwards.
For those of you who love a 5k run, Parkrun is also held here – keep your eyes peeled on its website and social media channels for when it’s expected to return in 2021.
Popular with students, this park is such a brilliant place to work out that even a Michelin-starred chef goes there. If you follow Sat Bains on Instagram, you’ll see him posting pictures of his various ‘Wollo Park Workouts’.
Wollaton can get very busy at peak times, especially on a sunny weekend, but it’s perfect for an early morning or evening run – just watch out for the deer! Parking can be difficult so why not get a bus or park slightly further out and walk in?
Woodthorpe Park is another popular place to get fit, ideal if you’re living in Mapperley Park or Forest Fields, and feel like getting off the beaten track a bit! From April, you may see regular Zumba or Yoga classes being held there.
The wide-open fields mean that it’s a great place for football and as soon as it is allowed, you’ll see us working on our golf game on its pitch and putt.
If you’re feeling peckish there is an onsite cafe, but if there’s a long queue (there often is), you can walk to either Mapperley or Sherwood shops for your flat white fix.
Overlooked by the grand University of Nottingham, this park has a real campus feel to it. No matter the weather, you’ll see students rollerblading, cycling and jogging around the lake.
When the world comes alive, the boating lake will open up and the Nottingham-themed mini golf course will be back open for you to beat your friends. This is a favourite of ours, got to love a lake with stepping stones – just don’t fall in!
Nottingham Arboretum is a lush green space, just a stone’s throw from the city centre. During the warmer months, and COVID restrictions permitting, its bandstands and proximity to NTU means there are normally lots of festivals there.
At the minute it’s still a great space to go for a short run, workout with friends or use to do your own circuit training or park bench workout.
Whilst it isn’t a park, it is ideally located for those living in either the city centre or West Bridgford, and a great flat running route for those of you sick of Nottingham’s hills.
There’s often an ice cream van too if you’re looking to cool off after a long walk or run – or why not extend your route and follow the river Trent down to Beeston or Attenborough? There’s a great route called The Big Track, which encompasses Beeston, Clifton and the city centre, so follow this if you are looking to stretch your legs and soak up some Spring air!
Beeston Marina and the canal
If you’re based in Beeston and don’t want to venture into the city for some exercise, then you’re in luck as you have plenty on your doorstep!
Head to the marina and Beeston fields for a traffic-free space to run, walk, cycle or meditate without the sounds of busy roads to worry about. Whilst you’re there, you can follow the canal towpath up into town, or down into nearby Attenborough Nature Reserve, opened by David Attenborough himself! Whilst you probably won’t see Sir David on your jog, you will definitely spot plenty of wild birds in the water – just be wary of nesting swans as they have been known to nip at those who get too close to their eggs.
Wherever you choose to exercise, remember to keep safe and to stick to the relevant Covid regulations.