The National Watersports Centre is located about seven miles by road from Nottingham
, near the village of Holme Pierrepont
, a mile from Radcliffe-on-Trent
. Designed to cater for a wide range of water sports and activities, it is important both as as sports and leisure complex, and a wildlife haven
Situated to the southeast of the city in the Trent valley, the sports facilties are surrounded by lagoons which have become important sanctuaries for wildlife, especially waterfowl, and there is a Nature Reserve to the south, near the village. The 270 acres (109 hectares) of parkland are well-supplied with pathways, making much of it accessible to wheelchair users, and the variety of habitats provide a pleasant and educational day out. The lagoons, water meadows and woodland have a wide variety of flora and fauna, including some rare orchids, including the Broad Leaved Helliborine and Southern Marsh Orchid.
The area occupied by the Centre was originally gravel pits, excavated from the 19th Century. The Centre was built in the 1980s to be a centre of excellence for all water sports, and is available to both groups and invididuals to enjoy a variety of water activity, from water skiing, rowing and canoeing through to white water rafting. The facilities include:
Angling is not forgotten - there are many places on the banks of the Trent where one can fish, and fishing licenses are available for short terms and seasons. In addition, just a mile to the North is the Colwick country park, a hilly, wooded area which is not as well-supplied with footpaths, but which contains some interesting scrambles, and there are areas set aside for mountain bikes.
Access to the Centre is fairly straightfoward. From Nottingham, follow signs for the A52, and the Centre is signposted from the main road. There are also frequent buses from the City centre, especially in the summer months. From the M1 motorway, take junction 24 or 25 and follow signs for Grantham, and follow signs for Nottingham from the A1.
Other local attractions include Nottingham itself, its castle, Sherwood Forest and the Major Oak, Green's Mill and many tourist attractions associated with Robin Hood. The Holme Pierrepont Hall hotel provides suitable refreshment, as well as some historical interest.
Although I am not much of a sporty chap, I have enjoyed many days here, enjoying the peace and quiet near the lagoons, enjoying the richness of wildlife and the open countryside, as well as the gently flowing Trent.