Explore This Unique Site

Nature trails wind across the park's grass and woodland habitats so you can see first hand nature at its most impressive! 
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Walks & Trails of Portland Park

Portland Park's numerous short walks and trails are a great way to explore this special site. Most of these are moderate to easy but please note there are some steep inclines on some sections of the site. The main bridleway through the park is also suitable for wheelchair and disabled scooter access and the more adventurous may like to try the 'Lovers Walk' through Grives Wood. Trails also start from the main car park through the unique calcareous meadows before descending into the deciduous woodland areas. Lookout for the rich and varied flora and fauna on the way - your sure to see something be it Common Spotted Orchids in summer or a skulking Woodcock on an autumn evening. There is always something interesting to see in any season.

Most of the paths in the park were ever named, and they were and still are referred to as Top Path, Middle Path and Bottom Path! One that was named though was Lovers' Walk, a long looping path through Grives Wood. It takes little imagination to work out how it derived it's name - at the height of summer back in the early 1900's the path was frequented by numerous courting couples enjoying an evening stroll and catching up on the gossip of the day!

Lovers' Walk

This is perhaps the most difficult of all on the site with undulating paths along the top boundary of the park. The path is signposted and starts by heading down the main track till you pass the visitor centre. Head up onto the trail and follow its natural pitch with Grives Wood on your right. Follow this till the end where it then descends right back to the main bridleway and you can return back to the centre for a cup of tea!

Other Walks

The other walks are more general and when familiar the paths can be joined into a pleasant string of circular walks taking in all the different habitats of the park. For example the 'Bottom Path' leads through a wetland section containing what remains of the Victoria Ponds but can be connected to either the 'Top Path' or Lovers' Walk and their mature woodland environment dominated by Sycamore, Poplar and Silver Birch.

Three Centres Trail

As well as the walks within the park, the centre is an ideal starting point for the Three Centres Trail (leading to Teversal - Pleasley Trails network) and many other adjoining trails. See resources at the bottom of the page and download a guide.
Pond area in Portland Park

Victoria Ponds form part of a wetland section found in the park including a stone bridge and weir that crosses the main stream and also features two shallow ponds. Several wetland species occur in this area including Branched Bur-Reed, Fools Water Cress and Water Cress. Important communities of liverworts, mosses and lichens characterise the stream banks and other damp shaded areas including the bridge stonework.

Calcerious meadows at Portland Park

The woodland is dominated by large mature Sycamore and Poplar with Silver Birch and Ash. Other trees include Elm, Hornbeam, Beech, Field Maple and Rowan.Amongst the many shrubs are Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Guelder Rose, Spindle Hazel and Holly. Typical woodland ground flora species found here include Hairybrome, False Brome, Wood Melick, Bearded Couch and Greater Stitchwort.

Views of Portland Park

Know Your Way Around - Site Map

Map of Portland Park
Further information and resources
Please see below for further information and resources related to walks and trails. There are links to sites you may find interesting and feel free to download the PDF trail guides and maps too!
Related links
Flora of Portland Park
Birds - Chaffinch
Birds of Portland Park
Fauna - Grass Snake
Fauna of Portland Park
Geology - Dolomitic Limestone
Geology of Portland Park
Walks - Bottom path, Portland Park
Walks of Portland Park
History - Bess of Hardwick
History of Portland Park