The War Memorial Victoria Embankment

The Victoria Embankment in Nottingham was constructed between 1898 and 1901 with 10 miles of concrete steps, 7.5 miles of iron fencing and 150 seats.

It’s a pleasurable, relaxing place to walk, jog or cycle beside the river Trent and only a short distance from the city centre. The memorial gardens on the embankment, a century-old Nottingham landmark is to be renovated after £1.7m of funding was secured.

Nottingham’s Trent Bridge cricket ground is a short walk from the embankment as is the Nottingham Forest Football club.

The Trent Bridge is an iron and stone bridge that spans across the River Trent and is the principal river crossing entrance to the city from the south.

Flowers at the Memorial Gardens

Victoria Embankment

The embankment has a large open space area that has been a perfect location to host a wide variety of events, from the Armed Forces Day event, open air cinema events and even used for extra parking when large sporting events are happening in the local area such as matches at the Nottingham Forest club ground, special events and cricket matches at the Nottingham Trent Bridge Cricket ground or even at the Nottingham City Football ground which again is very local. 

Lovelocks on the Suspension bridge

The suspension bridge at the Victoria embankment was built in 1906 and was originally designed to carry a water supply to Wilford Hill reservoir. There now seems to love locks attached to the bridge and I’m not sure how long ago that trend began. 

Love Locks

As you might expect there is a statue of Queen Victoria at the embankment, however the statue wasn’t originally situated at there. It arrived in the memorial gardens at Victoria Embankment in 1953 after standing in the city centre’s Old Market Square since it’s unveiling in 1905.

The bandstand on the embankment is a Grade-II listed building and has been used to host brass bands during the summer in the past and is also used as a main stage for bands performing at the annual Riverside Festival. I can remember it being used for events on hot summer evenings when I would visit as child. Lovely memories. 

the bandstand

We now bring our grandson here to play on the park, and to walk along the riverside. It’s a really relaxing place to be, even if just sitting on the steps beside the river and watching the ducks, swans and geese or the many gulls that you’ll see along the river.

I feel it’s a lovely open public space for everyone to visit and spend time in the outdoors. Some people just come along and read a book on a bench or hold hands while walking beside the river.

Others like to go for a jog or a cycle ride, we all have our ways to wind down or destress and this stretch of embankment has room for everyone to do their own thing. 

Ice cream treat for our grandson

I always think it’s relaxing to walk around the Victoria Embankment Gardens, just I did when I was little and my mum would bring my brother and I to see the gardens and play on the park, back in the day.

We’d always get an ice cram from the ice cream van too which was a special treat. Even these days there’s quite often an ice cream van somewhere along the embankment, and on our last trip there with our grandson, we bought him an ice cream too. 

Victoria Embankment Memorial Gardens

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has given £1.1m, with The Transforming Cities Fund, The War Memorials Trust and city council have also contributed to the funding. The planned work, which will include various veteran groups, should begin in March of 2022.

Victoria Embankment Memorial Gardens

The memorial and gardens work to restore the pond and fountains, improve footpaths and new park furniture such as benches and bins is welcomed by its many visitors and locals alike and will help restore the heritage of this treasured place. 

My grandson had a lovely time exploring the gardens and watching the squirrels, he loved the flower beds too, which at the time had attracted lots of varieties of butterflies and bees.

Elijah was fascinated by the different flowers and shrubs he saw that day too, he asked lots of questions about what kinds of flowers they were, and he studied the bees as they busied themselves collecting pollen, completely unaware of their audience. 

Victoria embankment and Trent bridge.jpg

Trent Bridge

The Trent bridge is a local historic landmark. Most know the name because of the Trent bridge cricket ground but not so much of the actual history of the bridge itself. was designed by Marriott Ogle Tarbotton, construction started in 1868 and was completed in 1871.

The iron and stone bridge across the River Trent is the main river crossing to the south of Nottingham city.

The cricket ground, of course is internationally recognised as one of cricket’s finest venues and is home to Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, and for many years was also where my father-in-law worked as a groundsman.

According to the history records, it’s thought that the bridge dates back to medieval times and was first constructed in 920. After that, the bridge was developed again twice, once in 1156 when it was named the Hethbeth Bridge and then again in 1551. 

The bridge was unfortunately damaged by floods several times and was finally declared unsafe and so a project to replace it started in the 1860s, which is the bridge we can see today, Nottingham’s Trent Bridge. 

On the northern abutment of the bridge, ‘flood marks’ carved into the stonework can be seen, which were first recorded in 1852, when the bridge was known as the Hethbeth Bridge. The highest flood mark is dated October 1875. It’s an interesting bit of history see. I spotted it one day while out and about purely by chance. 

Watching the wildlife

Conclusion

Victoria embankment, the gardens and the historic bridge hold many fond memories for myself and my family and also to many others who have spent so many happy hours relaxing in this beautiful green oasis in Nottingham, something for everyone.

There’s a little café on the main road serving take out hot and cold drinks and light food, and of course quite often an ice cream van around for those of us who enjoy an ice cream or an ice lolly. 

The children’s park is a nice open plan place for little legs to stretch and imaginations to be sparked. There is a mini road layout with pretend road markings and traffic lights for little ones to learn about road sense and practice on their first bike or scooter, which I think is a lovely idea. 

Elijah enjoying the Memorial gardens

Through the summer months there are often events to attend, the most popular is most likely the Riverside Festival. A fun festival for all ages with music, rides, food stalls, crafts, and entertainments beside the river. The festival ends with a finale of fireworks. A diverse and interesting park with lots of historic links and heritage, all set beside the beautiful river Trent.

There are lots of other equally interesting and historic places to visit while you are in Nottinghamshire such as the lovely Wollaton Hall, home of Batman. The relaxing boating lake at Highfields Park or perhaps a wander through Attenborough Nature Reserve and enjoy the tranquillity of the natural world watching the birds and wildlife. I hope I have in some way inspired you to visit, or at least to spend more time outdoors enjoying all that it has to offer your mind and body.

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