Travel a little closer to home

Leia Morales on 11 May 2020
With it looking unlikely that many will be taking holidays abroad this summer, we will have to look closer to home for travel inspiration. With Travel Counsellors up and down the country, some of us have teamed up to make suggestions for what there is to see and do a little closer to home. This is my travel blog all about the beautiful South Nottinghamshire village of Ruddington, that I call home. Please note that some businesses mentioned will have social distancing measures in place, or reduced operating due to Covid-19. Please get in touch with me or the business direct to get up to date information.

Located 10 minutes from Nottingham City Centre, the village is easily reached on the number 10 or number 3 buses from just outside the train station, and once you are in the village everything is within easy walking distance. Alternatively, the village is easily reached just off the A52 if travelling by car.

If you are looking for somewhere to stay, The Cottage Hotel is centrally located and has 22 individually decorated guest rooms within a collection of 17th century cottages, set around a honeysuckle central courtyard. It has an on-site restaurant to serve a complimentary breakfast and if you didn’t want to explore any of the other dining establishments in the village, it also serves lunch and dinner.

Dining options in the village are plentiful, with a choice of pubs, cafes and restaurants to suit all tastes. Head to see Julie at the Black Cat Café for unusual homemade scotch eggs (such as Bombay potato), foot long sausage rolls (vegan options also available) or homemade pies and quiches. For a contemporary industrial styled coffee shop experience, Jaspers is the place to go. Serving all day breakfasts and afternoon teas or grab one of their picnic packages and take it into the Country Park.

In the evening, why not try the food at one of the village pubs. The pizza’s at the White Horse Inn are loaded with flavour, try the chicken tikka with mango chutney and mint yogurt if it is available on their monthly menu. Or head to the Ruddington Arms for a choice of British classics such as steaks, fish and chips or cheese boards. With options for Italian, Indian and fish and chips, all tastes are catered for within Ruddington.

The White Horse Inn is also the venue for the hugely successful Ruddington Village Market. Having moved to Instagram for a few months due to Covid-19 there are plans to relaunch with social distancing measures in place in the summer. Running the first Saturday of the month, the market usually features lots of locally made produce and crafts.

For those who have visited the battlefields in South Africa, you might be interested in the graves of three Rourke's Drift survivors in the Shaw Street Cemetery. Along with 150 comrades they successfully defended the Rourke's Drift garrison against an intense assault by 3,000 to 4,000 Zulu warriors in South Africa in 1879

The village is home to three museums. The Framework Knitters Museum is a unique surviving example of a 19th century framework knitters yard, that explains the history of 400 years of framework knitting which gave birth to the famous Nottingham lace industry. Visitors can also try their hand at using one of the circular knitting machines to take home a souvenir of their visit. The Ruddington Village Museum, located in a former Victorian school takes visitors back in time, to experience the world’s oldest surviving fish and chip shop and an Edwardian school room. On display are toys and games from bygone times, as well as agricultural, ironmonger, cobbler and chemist equipment. There is plenty to entertain and engage children and adults alike. Lastly, is the Great Central Railway Nottingham which is the boarding point for weekend train journeys to Loughborough onboard steam and diesel trains, as well as a collection of buses and a model railway.

The railway is also conveniently located adjacent to the Rushcliffe Country Park which is a highlight of any visit to Ruddington. With over 200 acres of open space and 8km of footpaths, there is plenty of space to explore the park and enjoy a picnic. The park features plenty to keep children entertained, from an expansive play area, BMX track and skateboard park to nature trails and rolling hills. There is even a dog agility course for four legged visitors.

And if there wasn’t enough to keep you occupied in Ruddington for the duration of your stay, it is only a short bus ride back into Nottingham city centre to have access to the Nottingham Caves and from early 2021, the newly renovated Nottingham Castle.

Some images have been provided by and were taken prior to social distancing measures.