Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Places I'll miss about Nottingham #1: The Arboretum

My acquaintance with the Arboretum was quite a superficial one until recently. That probably goes for a lot of places in Nottingham that I've never needed to get to know well. For those of you who don't know the backstory, I have lived in my current part of town for six years and was assaulted in the street a month into that - it didn't make me very enthusiastic to wander around and explore, which had always been my habit before then. So I'm really only 'discovering' a lot of places now, in my last summer before moving away.

Anyway, the Arboretum. If you don't already know, it is right next to the tram lines, a few yards towards town from the High School stop. I've been there loads of times for events, but tended to stick to the central areas. Recently, however, I've been exploring a bit more. Of course every walk I have there starts with a circuit of the lake to visit the ducks. I've watched one particular family of ducklings grow from tiny balls of fluff to adult ducks indistinguishable from the rest of the flock to a casual observer. There are still new babies being hatched at this point, I'm a bit sad that I won't get to see them grow up. Oh, and I can't finish this paragraph without mentioning the little baby moorhens - they are the gothest baby birds ever, and they are basically balls of black fluff on massive stilts. They have the pathetic feed-me noises down to a finer art than the baby ducks too...

Working anti-clockwise from the High School entrance, the next attraction is a scented flower bed that would be somewhat maze-like if the plants came up higher. That makes a nice digression if you get bored with just doing a straightforward circuit of a park. Then there is a gun-tower - a cannon at each of the four corners and a bell at the top - which reminds me of some of the more militarily-themed tourist attractions around Helsinki. (it has loads) After that is the tunnel, which is pretty cool to walk through but rather boringly take you to a track leading to Mansfield Road. Then, if you want to get to the tram tracks, you can follow an earth/woodchip road part of the way, past more scented plants.

I've been having a walk in the Arboretum about once a week since I finished teaching for the summer. I appreciate having the time to do little things like this - it preserves my sanity to get back to the less fun stuff...

1 comment:

  1. Aw, you're making me want another walk round there now. Still, hopefully there will be plenty to explore (together) in Stirling.