I visited the Arboretum to see how it could have inspired J.M. Barrie's Neverland I visited the Arboretum to see how it could have inspired J.M. Barrie's Neverland
I visited the Arboretum to see how it could have inspired J.M. Barrie's Neverland

The Arboretum: 5 things that caught my eye while walking around Nottingham's 'Neverland' park

I retraced the steps of J.M. Barrie to try and see how the park could have inspired Neverland

Here in Nottingham, we’re fortunate to have quite a few public parks within walking distance of the city centre. 

These green spaces are perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of the main streets, particularly at weekends when the city is at its busiest. 

In fact, parks and open spaces cover an impressive 20% of the city’s surface - not bad when you consider Nottingham is the 11th-biggest city in England. 

One of the city’s most popular green spaces is undoubtedly the Arboretum

Nottingham’s oldest public park and the closest to the city centre, the Arboretum’s tranquillity has been a calming presence for millions of people since 1852. 

Just a few weeks ago new research revealed that the Arboretum is officially the quietest place in the city. 

With more than 800 trees, seasonal flowers and a large pond, it’s unsurprising that many visitors use the Arboretum to briefly escape from reality and become immersed in the wonders of nature. 

One of the many visitors to have fallen under the park’s spell was Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie. 

The Scottish author spent a fair amount of time in Nottingham and even started his career by writing for the Nottingham Daily Journal.

Barrie lived just around the corner from the Arboretum and is thought to have frequently visited the park on his route to or from work at the Daily Journal.

It’s said that these visits inspired Barrie to come up with Neverland, the fictional home of Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Tinker Bell. 

Intrigued to see what inside the Arboretum may have prompted Barrie to invent the famous Neverland in his mind, I had a stroll around the park myself. 

Here are five things that caught my eye.