Kayaking, canoeing, whitewater rafting, ropes courses and mini-golf combine in one complex outside Nottingham, which also offers inexpensive accommodations.
England’s national canoeing team practices at the National Water Sports Centre. For other visitors, the center also offers numerous activities, from kayaking on the lagoon to ropes courses and laser tag. Paddle out onto the adjacent lakes or scramble up climbing walls, stop for a quick meal at the café and shoot and run through the laser tag course. At the end of the day, appreciate the clean and inexpensive accommodations available on site, the perfect springboard for another day of activities or a home base from which to explore Nottingham.
Rent a canoe or kayak to experience the water that England’s national teams practice on. Test your abilities against the professionals who race, improbably fast, over the surface of the water. Lift weights, try an erg machine or run on the treadmill in the enormous attached gym. Get a taste of the intense workouts undertaken by the elite rowers who train at the National Water Sports Centre. Get swept away, and try to hold on, as you follow the artificial whitewater rafting course, which runs alongside the River Trent.
Experience the outdoor adventure zone on dry land. Navigate through the ropes course, with varying difficulties for different ages and abilities. Head up the climbing wall either alone or assisted by an instructor who can help children and adults reach the top. Summon the last bit of energy for a laser tag competition, where a pitch-black room lights up with flashing laser rays and the laughter of fellow competitors.
Reach the National Water Sports Centre in Holme Pierrepont Country Park in 30 minutes via bus from the closest train station in Nottingham. Carlton train station is across the lake, an hour away by bus through Nottingham. Drive from Nottingham in 15 minutes. Parking is available in the on-site lot. Hours and opening days vary depending on the activity. The whitewater course is open daily from mid-morning until dusk. Lagoon activities are not available in winter.