Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, NG22 9DF
Telephone for mobility hire: 01623 821338
Review by John Lea - September 2012
Photographs Credits to Nottinghamshire County Council
This is a large block of countryside with about 150 acres of historic parkland, wood land, lake and Gardens and if that is not enough there is also the ruins of a mediaeval monastery. There is a superb restaurant by the monastery and two separate tearooms lie at each end of the park. There were manual wheelchairs available and two large breeze mobility scooters to hire for £2 per hour. They are in continuous use therefore you need to book ahead but they can be reserved up to a month in advance.
By late September the gardens were looking a bit scruffy, perhaps understandably because they are laid out with lots of attractions for children and look to have been enjoyed by many. This is Sherwood Forest area so there are large areas of woodland in which you and they can play at Robin Hood. The paths through the gardens are reasonably smooth and level but through the parkland the loose gravel paths are a bit joggy for small wheels, even with the large wheels of the breeze scooter I was happier on the grass.
On the path winding around the banks of the lake I saw lots of birdlife and waterfowl. Particularly where the path crosses wooden bridges onto small islands. It also goes by the second tea room situated in the old mill at the furthest end of the lake from the monastery.
I hired my scooter for 2 hours and to enjoy the park and path around the lake I could have taken longer but alas it rained, fortunately the helpful assistant had anticipated that and lent me a large umbrella along with the scooter. Had it not rained I would have enjoyed a considerably longer time there.
Sherwood Forest Park is only a few miles away and has the same scooter arrangements. The gravel paths in that park are smoother but this is more undulating. Again there are tearooms and all facilities and lots of interest for children as well as adults.
We have an access map to help visitors find the easiest routes around the park, and this can be downloaded from our web page www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk. Visitors can also pick up a leaflet with the map inside from our Visitor Information Office at the Abbey.
We also have an an audio loop in Visitor Information to assist visitors with hearing difficulties.
We now have Changing Places toilet with hoist and adjustable height changing bench. This is in the Craft Centre Courtyard next to our standard accessible toilet and RADAR keys can be borrowed from the nearby shop.
Information provided by Linda Hardy, Visitor Services Officer, Country Parks Service, Department for Children, Families & Culture Nottinghamshire County Council, Rufford Abbey Country Par, Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, NG22 9DF Telelephone: 01623 821328