Gedling Country Park used to be a coal mining pit from 1899-1991. It was closed for a good number of years until just a few short years ago something was finally done with it. The pit was transformed into a country park, although some of it has been used to build houses.
It opened in 2015, but was pretty much just a piece of green land and paths to walk around, it was a couple of years later when the visitor centre and cafe were opened at a cost of 1.5 million pounds. Around the same time the play parks were added.
As Emma is close to popping out a child we have been going for more walks and last week we chose Gedling country park. It was the first time we had been there since the visitor centre had been built, as well as the cafe, aptly called Cafe 1899. There are two play areas next to the visitor centre, to the left of the path is a park for the older kids and to the right is a smaller park for the young kids. I like this idea as older children can get a bit too excited and not be that careful, so to be able to keep the younger children separate on their own park makes it better for everyone, I think.
There are several walking routes to take, all of varied difficulty. We went for the second easiest, as the easiest was the shortest and we would have made our way round too quickly. This did mean we had to take on a very steep hill, which was a lot of effort for a 39 weeks pregnant Emma.
The views of the park and of Gedling beyond are lovely, but the road noise kills the ambiance a bit. When we made it back to the top we decided to go for a cuppa at the cafe, it closed at 4pm but as it was only about 3:20 we thought we would be fine. But looking through the glass doors we could see that the place was empty, all the chairs were up on the tables and there was no sign of any workers. We were annoyed that they had closed over half an hour early, even though there were plenty of people wandering round the park and the car park was still rather full. So being denied the chance of a cup of tea is a big thumbs down to us!
But overall this country park is improving year on year and is becoming a good place to go to, especially when we have a kid in tow.