Things to Do in Nottingham: Top Tips and Fun Facts
If you’re looking to find fun and interesting things to do in Nottingham, we have created this detailed blog post all about the best places and activities to visit. From fun things for couples, solo travellers, family days out and more, there are plenty of ideas here for everyone!
What are the best things to do in Nottingham?
One of the top attractions in Nottingham. Nottingham castle is a great day out for families, especially during the summer with plenty of outdoor activities on offer. There are regular reenactments at the castle that allow you to experience different periods in history in a fun and interactive way. With plenty on offer at Nottingham castle, why not try your hand at archery, crossbow shooting or even jousting!
Nottingham Castle has a fantastic museum and art gallery which is home to over 300 years of history from Nottinghamshire’s past as well as hosting some impressive exhibitions on modern craftsmanship. There are also plenty of galleries open until late so if you want something more cultural or hands-on then this is the perfect place for you!
Address: Lenton Rd, Nottingham NG1 6EL
Read more about Nottingham Castle in our previous blog post here.
National justice museum
If you are looking for something out of the ordinary to do in Nottingham, the National Justice Museum is the place for you. This museum chronicles the history of crime and punishment in Nottinghamshire. The exhibits date back to 1878, with pieces on display from when Nottingham was a county town for executions.
Address: National Justice Museum, High Pavement, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG1 1HN
The legendary Robin Hood
Robin Hood is Nottingham’s most famous son and many of the stories that are told about him have their origins in true events. There are a number of Robin Hood sites to visit in Nottingham including Sherwood Forest, The Major Oak Tree where he supposedly met his end and Loxley Chapel (read more below).
Loxley chapel is a tiny chapel that was built in the early 1100s and is Nottingham’s oldest building. It stands on a picturesque spot by the River Loxley and has been well preserved over time.
Address: Loxley Rd, Loxley, Sheffield S6 6RL
Sherwood Forest is Nottingham’s best-known landmark and is where the legendary Robin Hood was said to have lived. The forest has been owned by the National Trust since 1951 who are responsible for a number of wayside exhibits that tell you about Nottinghamshire history as well as offers guided walks, horse riding and bike rides through the parkland.
Address: Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, NG21 9RN. For satnavs, please use postcode NG21 9QB
The Nottingham Contemporary
The Nottingham Contemporary is a modern art gallery that opened in 2013 in the popular Lace Market area of Nottingham and has been a popular attraction ever since.
If you are an art lover, this is a great gallery to visit to see the contemporary art on display. Contemporary art is always changing so there is never a dull moment with this gallery.
Address: The Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery, Weekday Cross, Lace Market, Nottingham NG1 2GB
City of caves
What is the city of caves I hear you ask? Nottingham has a huge network of underground caves and tunnels that date to Roman times. Nottingham was once the capital city of England, with one in every four citizens living down below ground from 1330-1550 AD
The City of Caves is an experience not to be missed when visiting Nottingham. You can even book tours on certain days so there are plenty of options for all ages.
Address: Nottingham City of Caves, George Street, Nottingham NG31NG
The Arboretum, Nottingham
The Arboretum is a very popular tourist attraction in Nottingham, with over a million visitors every year. The forest opened in 1857 as the first public park of its kind and was created by Sir Joseph Paxton, designer of the Crystal Palace. There are also three lakes within the arboretum making it perfect for all sorts of water activities such as rowing, sailing and canoeing.
Address: Nottingham Arboretum, Clough Lane, Nottingham NG14QR
The National Water Sports Centre
The National Water Sports Centre is home to the head office of the British Canoe Union and offers a wide range of water sports including white water kayaking, raft building and paddle boarding just to name just a few! The centre also offers a whole range of courses and qualifications in these sports.
Address: Nottingham Water Sports Centre, University Drive, Nottingham NG11LG
Wollaton hall is a superb example of Jacobean architecture and is the perfect place to visit for anybody interested in seeing how life was between 1607-1643.
Wollaton Hall has some fascinating features including a massive gatehouse and the Great Hall which has some of the finest plasterwork in Europe.
Address: Wollaton Hall, Nottingham
Green’s Mill and Science Centre – George Green
If science is your passion then there is no better place to visit in Nottingham than the Green’s Mill and Science Centre. Named in honour of George Green, it is an excellent day out for curious minds. The centre offers lots of interactive exhibitions that are designed for people aged three years upwards.
Visitors will need to plan ahead and pre-book tickets when visiting the Nottingham Science Centre, which is home to over 130 interactive exhibits, live shows and more than 500 new artefacts on display each year.
Address: Windmill Ln, Sneinton, Nottingham NG2 4QB
The Lace Market and Hockley
The Lace Market and Hockley Village are a must if you want to explore Nottingham’s past. The area is filled with Tudor buildings which have been redeveloped into unique apartments, bars, galleries and restaurants that will help bring the historic feel back to this part of town.
Address: Nottingham City Centre
Newstead Abbey country park
Newstead Abbey, now a country park, is a major tourist attraction in Nottinghamshire. The history of the Abbey and its surroundings are very interesting to explore, while the park itself offers an escape from many urban problems including traffic pollution and noise.
Address: Newstead Park Road, Wollaton Vale NG11 0AY
For more contemporary culture you can’t beat a trip to the theatre and in particular the Theatre Royal. The building has a long and rich history, dating back to 1760 when it was built as Nottingham’s first purpose-built theatre.
Address: Theatre Square NG25 0NN
19th Century History – Papplewick Pumping Station
The Papplewick Pumping Station is a fantastic place to visit if you’re a history fan or you’re looking for something to do with the kids. The Victorian / 19th century Pumping Station is home to an interactive museum, exhibition spaces, art studios and cafe.
Address: Papplewick Road NG12 0ER
What is there to do in Nottingham for free?
Working to a budget? You can still have a great day out in Nottingham for free. There are plenty of places to visit around the city centre, or you could head off into the countryside and experience some beautiful scenery at your own pace.
The best things in life are free after all! Take in Nottingham’s green and leafy surroundings and look out for plenty of wildlife along the way. Family parks like the Nottingham Arboretum are a great place to enjoy a picnic, and you’ll be able to see plenty of rare plants from all over the world.
There’s also no need for entry fees at Nottingham Castle anymore – explore its grounds out in Clumber Park or ride your bike on the King’s Forest Trails. You could even take a trip out to see the deer at Rufford Abbey if you’re a wildlife lover.
If that’s not enough, Nottingham also has plenty of markets and festivals to enjoy throughout the year for free! Some popular ones are Sneinton Market each week on Thursday mornings, Finders Keepers Bric-a-brac in September, Christmas Markets which come alive in November and The Nottingham Christmas Parade which sets off in December.
What can couples do in Nottingham?
If you are looking for more of a romantic city break, Nottingham has plenty to offer.
You could explore the quaint streets of Lace Market or take in a show at The Royal Concert Hall where you can expect an evening filled with everything from classical music to comedy nights and even stand-up! If that doesn’t suit your tastes, why not head over to see some beautiful art at Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery. Plenty of offer to get those romantic feelings flowing.
As well as being a beautiful city to explore Nottingham has countless romantic places to visit with your loved one, such as Sherwood Forest or Lenton Abbey which is also the resting place of Robin Hood and Maid Marian!
There are plenty of restaurants too if you are looking for intimate dining, such as the acclaimed Nottingham Restaurant, or why not try international cuisine with some of Nottingham’s excellent and award-winning Indian restaurants.
What is Nottingham famous for?
Here are a few key facts…
– The city is also known as “The City of Roses”
– Nottingham is famous for its lace and the people who made it.
– Nottingham was an important centre of carpet production in the 18th century, due to a large number of skilled weavers working there.
– The city became known as “The Queen’s City” because of its role in King Charles II’s escape from Parliamentary forces after the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
– Nottingham was a focal point for an important rebellion by radical lace makers, who had been impoverished by large scale importation of French lace after 1806.
Is Nottingham worth visiting?
Hopefully, after discovering this great round-up of places on offer in Nottingham, you will agree that it is indeed a superb place to visit with friends and family of all ages. There really is something for everyone no matter your interests or your budget.
Are the venue attractions in Nottingham Covid safe? In order to remain open, all the tourist businesses in Nottingham have to comply with strict Covid safety regulations. Please check with the specific business to find out more about the measures they have in place for your safety.
Our aim in this article:
To write a blog post all about things to do and the best places to visit in Nottingham, England. We wanted the article to be filled with top tips and interesting facts that readers will enjoy. Hopefully, you will agree that we’ve hit the mark – if so please feel free to link to this article from your own website and/or share this page via your social media platforms.