Top Ten Free Family DAys out – Nottingham & derby

Top 10 Free Family Days out in Derby & Nottingham

We are pleased to bring you the top 10 FREE family days out as voted for by the mums of Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire. To join our facebook community click below.

1. Markeaton Park

Markeaton Park
Derby DE22 4AA

Markeaton Park has been a hit with our family for many years – There is something to keep the whole family entertained. The park its self is a free venue, just payment for parking which varies dependant on the amount of time you are staying. There are some payable activities such as canoes, bouncing castles and of course a cafe for the adults 

Big tip from us – if the kids love their scooters or bikes then pop them in the car. The pathways are perfect for the kids and as there is no traffic super safe.

2. Carsington Water

Big Lane

Carsington Water is such a gorgeous place to visit in the peak district. There are a number of outdoor activities that take place here such as sailing and water sports – great for any kids interested in water to watch. There is also an outdoor play area for all ages, teamed with a walk around the reservoir its sure to tire them out! 

Parking starts from £3 up to £5 for the whole day, so why not take a picnic or BBQ (they are permitted according to the website!)

Big tip from us – team this trip up with a wander around a peak district town such as Ashbourne , Bakewell or Buxton.

3. Stonebridge Farm

Stonebridge Road
St Anns,

This attraction was nominated by one of our group members and i have to say we will be paying it a visit! 

Stonebridge City Farm is a slice of the country in the heart of Nottingham City! They are free to enter and open every day for everyone to enjoy. Its ideals include providing a much-needed green space, sustainable buildings, distinctive local identity and people who care and respect the community. 

They’ve got big and small animals, including cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, ducks and turkeys and lots more! You can feed the bigger animals with food bought from the shop and get closer to the smaller animals with our animal handling sessions.


4. Wollaton Hall

Wollaton Hall Natural History Museum,

Wollaton Hall is a strong favorite of ours as it has so much to do. 

The hall itself is free to visit, they do have a donations box and any money raised goes back into the running of the Hall. The price for parking is £3 for up to 3 hours and £5 for the whole day.

There is a great outdoor play area and lots of walks in the ground of the hall – Not forgetting the amazing deer that roam the grounds!

Top tip – take a picnic and save some crusts to feed the ducks on the large lake


5. Lumsdale Waterfall


What else can you say about this place other than its beautiful!

The Valley is a listed conservation area cared for by the Arkwright Society and a team of dedicated volunteers. The access is steep and not suitable for pushchairs but the steep walk is so much worth it when you see the views!

There is no designated parking in the Valley and vehicular access in the Valley is for residents only. Parking at the top of the falls nearby highfields school is advised but please bear in mind the residants and do not park blocking access.

Top Tip – team this trip up with calling into Matlock Bath for some fish and chips and a quick go in the 2p machines!


6. Rufford Abbey

Rufford Abbey Country Park, 
NG22 9DF

We only discovered this place a few weeks ago so when it was nominated i was chuffed. 

Access to the country park is free – there is a £5 parking charge which is payable on entry. For the amount of things to do £5 is a bargain for a day out! As with anywhere there are some payable activities such as the boating lake but there is more that enough to keep the kids occupied!

The new play area was a big thumbs up from our kids, we also did a resonable walk – which for once the kids didn’t moan about! We have said that if when we visit again we would take the bikes for the kids as its a perfect place for them to cycle.

Top Tip – take a picnic and make a whole day of it


7. Dovedale - Thorpe Cloud


Another gem of the peak district!

There is a £3 parking charge, other that that and maybe the price of an ice cream its free.

The walk long the river is simply beautiful but the highlight for our kids is the stepping stones which are at the end which you need to cross. For those more active pack a picnic and follow the routes up to the top of Thorpe Cloud. We did this many times with my dad as children and ate our picnic at the top enjoying the views.

Top Tip – wear some comfy shoes! and the toilets are chargeable to use, i believe its 20p


8. Elvaston Castle

Borrowash Rd,
DE72 3EP

Entry to the park is free, parking charges do apply via pay and display.

The park consists of approximately 321 acres, some of which is not accessible to visitors. There are numerous foot paths to guide you through the castle grounds, along with tea rooms and a children’s pay area next to the main car park.

They also hold some great events ( which may be payable ) such as Halloween pumpkin party and a Christmas fair.

9. Matlock Bath


We love a visit to Matlock Bath – What else do you need apart from great scenery, 2p machines and fish and chips ?!

There are 2 car parks ( one at each end ) which are pay and display. We tend to cross over the bridge and walk along the river first, this takes you past 2 children’s play areas. As you come backover the bridge and down the main street there are numerous arcades and fish and chip shops to call in.

There are also events held here at certain times of the year ( some which are payable ) such as the illuminations.

Top tip – raid the change jar before you go for the arcades!


10. Sherwood Pines

Kings Clipstone, 
Sat Nav Postcode: NG21 9JL

This is a must for any little bikers out there!

Access is free, there is a car parking fee dependant on how long you wish to stay. This ranges from £3 – £6. Payment is due on you exit from the park, trendy machines track you car reg and you pay for what you have used.

Follow the walking routes and pass by a number of children’s pay areas – be sure to stay off of the main bike tracks as these are especially for adult bikers and they go go at some fast speeds!

There is a cafe onsite and a generous toilet block

Top tip – wear old clothes and let the kids wild in the forest. Build dens, find bugs and so much more!


Other Suggestions ..

Black Rocks

Codnor Castle

Cromford Canal

Crich Stand

Belper River Gardens

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