Highfields Park

Often confused with the University Park because of its close proximity to Nottingham University Campus. This 21 hectares park is well endowed with magnificent trees, exotic plantings and water features.

It also includes on site activities such as a boat hire on the lake, adventure golf, croquet, a children's play area, cafe and a variety of events at the Lakeside Arts Centre.

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Site Facilities

Park Restoration

The £4.8m restoration of Highfields Park is now complete thanks to £3.2m funding from the Heritage and Big Lottery Fund!

Works included:

  • Desilting the lake
  • Restoring bridges, stonework, pavilions, boathouse and ticket office
  • Tram entrance surfacing and lighting improvements
  • Park Ranger-led activities, events and volunteering

The main project was completed in Summer 2018 with path repairs and tree works to be carried out in winter 2018 to 2019. For ongoing site updates, please see www.facebook.com/highfieldspark.

Park History

The core of the existing Highfields Park originates from the landscaping carried out by Joseph Lowe and his son Alfred in the late 18th and early 19th century.

In 1920 the Highfields Estate was purchased by the founder of Boots and Co Ltd, Sir Jesse Boot, who conveyed the site for the foundation of the East Midlands University, now known as the University of Nottingham. The comprehensive plan, largely funded by Sir Jesse Boot, for the University Campus included a new road system and parkland setting to the south adding to the landscaping already created by Joseph and Alfred Lowe.

Since 1921 Highfields Park has remained the home of The University of Nottingham with the original Highfields House being absorbed into the campus as a staff annexe. The new park was designed by the architect Percy Richard Morley Horder to form a setting for the Trent Building which he designed and built between 1922 to 1928. As a result, Highfields Park has a strong architectural emphasis in both its structural layout and the quality of the buildings. 

A major element of the park design was the extension of the original 'fish pond' to form the existing Boating Lake, completed by Nottingham engineer WH Radford. The area around the original rock outcrop was left virtually untouched along with most of the pond, apart from the construction of some stone retaining walls around the water's edge. Tottle Brook was diverted to by-pass the Boating Lake and leave the Park via a culvert under the Boulevard.

Oral History Project

The social history of the park is also being compiled in an Oral History Project. Many anecdotes, memories and stories have already been gathered and this is an opportunity for you to tell us your special story of Highfields Park and to perhaps share with us some of your photographs. We hope to produce a publication of the park’s history which will include a selection of the stories people have submitted.

Share your story with us

Boating Lake

The Highfields Park Boating Lake is operated by Cloud9 Pursuits and further information can be found at https://highfieldsboatinglake.co.uk or https://www.facebook.com/HighfieldsParkBoating/

Boats to hire include rowing boats, canoes, kayaks and katakanus.  The lake is open during the Easter Holidays and then from May to October, 10am to 7pm daily. Please call us check their Facebook page to ensure they are open when you wish to visit.

Site Management

Owned by Highfields Leisure Park Trust in Nottingham, Highfields Park is a charitable trust of which Nottingham City Council is a sole Trustee.

Nottingham Model Boat Club

Nottingham Model Boat Club was formed in 1931 and was then known as the Nottingham Model Yacht Club. The Club sails at Highfields every Sunday morning from 9:15 am to 12pm, and at Colwick on Sunday mornings. Often members can also be seen sailing during the week.

For further information please visit the website http://www.nottinghammodelboatclub.co.uk/ which gives details on membership, sailing locations and more.

Nottingham Croquet Club

The Nottingham Croquet Club first played in Highfields Park in 1929 on lawns between the boating lake and University Boulevard, screened from the road by the rhododendrons. Croquet is a game of skill played on grass with mallets, balls and hoops, on equal terms by women and men of all ages.

The club is the major centre for croquet in the East Midlands, with a membership ranging from this year's beginners to top international players. New members are welcome, with a learn-to-play course starting towards the end of May each year. Please see the http://www.nottinghamcroquet.org.uk for further information.

Adventure Golf

Highfields Park is now home to a brand new 18-hole adventure golf course!  If you’re looking for a venue to celebrate a special occasion with some family-friendly competition, then pop in for a round or two and challenge the hazards, enjoy the undulations, and experience the professional golfing surfaces in a relaxed and peaceful environment at Highfields Adventure Golf!

For further information, please see http://hagl.org.uk/ or https://www.facebook.com/HighfieldsParkGolf/

Useful Links

Downloads

Contact Details

University Boulevard
Lenton
Nottingham
NG7 2RD