Six great things about Mansfield

Mansfield's award-winning Carr Bank Park.
Mansfield's award-winning Carr Bank Park.

Journalist Ashley Booker grew up in the district and lists six great things about Mansfield.

Award-winning parks - The town, and wider district, boasts some fantastic parks, including five which have the prestigious Green Flag status - which means they are among the very best in the UK.

Carr Bank Park, King George V Park, Titchfield Park, all in Mansfield, plus Peafield Park and Yeoman Hill Park in Mansfield Woodhouse are among a record-breaking 1,582 parks and green spaces given the Keep Britain Tidy Green Flag Award - the mark of a quality park or green space.

Ok, the weather might not be great at the moment, but why not go out and take a stroll in one of the parks - whether it be with your dog or taking your children to the playground.

In total, there are 150 parks and green spaces in Mansfield district - where there’s something for everyone, including pétanque (French boules) for the more cultured among us.

Sport - Ok, so we all know about Mansfield Town Football Club. But there are other sports clubs dotted around the district worthy of our support. Mansfield Rugby Club ply their trade in Midlands Two East (North) and play their home games at Eakring Road in the town.

Even if rugby is not really your thing, then it’s still worth a visit on matchday. You’re guaranteed to get a hospitable welcome in the clubhouse - and the beer is good too!

The club also has a thriving junior section, so if you have a little one who fancies taking up the game then why not pop along on a Sunday morning to find out more about joining.

We also have a basketball team which plays to a national standard - the Men’s Third Division of the National Basketball League. The Mansfield Giants play their home games at the Oak Tree Leisure Centre - which has seating for around 300 people - and also has a women’s senior team too, as well as sides from under 12 upwards.

And who can forget cricket. The area boasts many sides and produced many players who have gone on to play for their county - and even their country.

What’s more, the district now plays host to county championship matches with Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club playing games at the John Fretwell Sporting Complex at Sookholme - in addition to the world famous Trent Bridge.

The Brown Cow - this is a must visit for any real ale lover. The Ratcliffe Gate boozer boasts a wealth of beers - including a range of Everards and RAW cask and keg ales, plus those from other local brewers, as well as a full range of world beers.

Its beers are so popular they have previously won two CAMRA awards, for Pub of the Season Autumn 2014 and The David Brett Award for best pub serving Mild on the Mild Trail 2014.

The Brown Cow also won our own Pub of the Year 2014 competition.

As well as its beers, the pub also has themed nights - including folk music, quiz nights, acoustic night and live music.

And of course being a real ale pub, it regularly hosts summer and winter festivals.

Indian restaurants - Our big brother Nottingham may be blessed with dozens of swanky restaurants, but here in Mansfield we also have a number of decent Indian restaurants.

In fact, we are spoilt for choice with a host of eateries dotted around the town and district - including Mangrove which is the top rated Indian restaurant in the town on travel website, TripAdvisor.

Of course, there are other Indians in the town such as the Chand, the Mint, Cinnamon Spice, Naaz and Vhojon among others . . .

Mansfield Museum - The Leeming Street venue really is a gem and an award-winning one at that. The museum is definitely worth a visit for the Made in Mansfield exhibition.

Situated in the arcade, the exhibition celebrates the people and companies that made our town a centre of industry.

It features artefacts, photos, film and audio relating to the major, past and present employers of the town - including Metal Box, Shoe Co, Mansfield Brewery, Barrs Soft Drinks, hosiery, precision engineering, mining, foundries and quarrying.

As they say, the best things are life are free . . . and the museum is free to visit and one of the best things about Mansfield life.

Location - Seeing as this is a list about why Mansfield being so great, you maybe wondering why I am directing you out of the town. Well, I am not actually. I’m just highlighting how great it is to live smack, bang in the middle of the country where we are less than two hours away from the coast, the Peak District and major cities like Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham and Manchester.

Of course, London is not that far away too if you want to hop on a train from the town’s station and get a train to Nottingham - and then onto our capital city.

We literally have everything on our doorstep . . .