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Exploring the ages as Rufford Abbey's new playground opens

17 September 2018

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Exploring the ages as Rufford Abbey new playground opens

Children like Sophie Marsden from Worksop (pictured) are encouraged to explore and use their imagination in a new adventure playground designed to reflect some of the country’s rich history.

A new adventure playground has opened at Rufford Abbey Country Park in Nottinghamshire following an investment of  £350,000.

Funded and developed by Nottinghamshire County Council, which owns the park, and Parkwood Outdoors, which has operated the site since February 2017, the revamped play space explores the ages, from the Tudors through to Shakespeare.

The historically themed play area occupies approximately 3,000 sqm and has been designed for children aged three and above. It incorporates historical details associated with past kings, queens and other important figures. These include an Edward VI inspired oversized throne, which has been designed following research into the boy king, and a ship-themed climbing frame reflecting the age of pirates and seafaring which took place under the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

The pathway leads to the ‘Globe’ amphitheatre that lies opposite a family refreshment area. The park is free to use and the adventure playground also features tunnels and netting inspired by the priest holes of King Henry VIII’s reign. These surround a large climbing rock that offers views of Rufford Abbey and the entire play area.

Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Communities and Place Committee, Councillor John Cottee said: “The new playground is an excellent addition to Rufford’s family-friendly facilities.

“Rufford Abbey Country Park, set in the grounds of a former 12th Century Cistercian monastery and country house, is regularly voted the county’s favourite free tourist attraction. Alongside the new adventure golf experience which opened earlier in the summer, the playground further bolsters what the park has to offer its younger visitors.”

Peter Fitzboydon, Managing Director of Parkwood Leisure, comments: “Seeing this project come to life has been immensely rewarding and we hope that visitors will enjoy the new play area and finding out more about this country’s rich history. Rufford Abbey Country Park is now a fantastic and affordable attraction for all of the family, since opening the park, it has proven to be very popular and we have taken on board customer feedback to help us make further improvements in due course, which will make the playground suitable for all abilities and become a fully accredited PIPA (Plan Inclusive Play Area) playground."


About Rufford

Founded 870 years ago on the edge of Sherwood Forest, today's Rufford Abbey is a romantic ruin set in a beautiful park. Enjoy its nature, art and history. From swans and swallows to cheeky squirrels our woodlands are full of things to see and explore. Spread a picnic blanket, enjoy a snack in the cafe or indulge with afternoon tea in Lord Savile's Victorian kitchen. Our paths are pram and mobility scooter friendly, so whatever your age, it's easy to get around and explore.

Set in the heart of Robin Hood Country the park, which is owned by Nottinghamshire County Council, offers native woodland, a lake and gardens as well as a range of attractions, activities and catering options which are being managed by Parkwood Outdoors.

About Parkwood Outdoors:

Parkwood Outdoors is the outdoor activity arm of Parkwood Leisure and we are proud to manage Rufford Abbey in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council.

We recognise the historical significance of the site and are determined to ensure that any

activities we undertake are in keeping with the traditions and history of Rufford Abbey.

Our vision is to help share Rufford Abbey with as many different people as possible and provide a wide range of activities and information for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy. We are looking to engage with all visitors so if you have any feedback on the Park or any ideas you would like to share with us please get in touch and a member of the team will get back in touch with you as soon as they can.
Key information

• Open every day except Christmas Day

• Free admission to park and Abbey ruins

• £3.50 car parking charge (£35 season ticket on sale in the Gift Shop)

• Car parks open 9.00 am - 5.30 pm

• Dogs welcome on a lead

• Lots of dining options from ice cream parlour to our beautiful Victorian kitchen restaurant

• Courtyard Shopping

• Mobility scooter hire & free wheelchair loan

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