Things to do in Nottingham, United Kingdom

things to do in Nottingham

Written by Sarah Mukaddam

An engineer turned content writer, Sarah is a self-proclaimed bookworm. Armed with a keen sense of story and the gift of the gab, she works as a content writer at UniAcco.

February 4, 2020

Nottingham is a unitary authority area in Nottinghamshire. Situated in the East Midlands region, it is a tourist destination, since it received the highest amount of overnight visitors in the region. The city is known for a lot of ties with history, especially production industries like lace-making, bicycle manufacture, the tobacco industry. It was declared “City of Literature” by UNESCO in 2015, a well-deserved title since it is known for being the grounds for animosity between the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham and the benevolent Robin Hood. Here is a list of the best things to do in Nottingham.

Top Attractions in Nottingham:

No matter the purpose of your visit sightseeing is a must. Attractions are an identifying trait of a place and sometimes also are the reason for someone to visit. Here are some of the top things to see in Nottingham.

1. Nottingham Castle

 Nottingham Castle, things to do in Nottingham

Nottingham’s castle crowns a sandstone outcrop worm-holed with caves and tunnels. Established by William the Conqueror, the original castle was held by a succession of English kings before falling in the English Civil War.

  • Address: Lenton Rd, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG1 6EL

2. Wollaton Hall

 Wollaton Hall,  things to do in Nottingaham

Built-in 1588 for coal mogul Sir Francis Willoughby by architect Robert Smythson, Wollaton Hall sits on 200 hectares of grounds visited by fallow and red deer. Tours lasting 45 minutes lead you through extravagant rooms from the Tudor, Regency and Victorian periods.

  • Address: Wollaton Park, Derby Rd (0115-876 3100)
  • Tour hours: noon & 2pm, grounds 8am-dusk Mon-Fri, from 9am Sat & Sun
  • Tour prices: adult/child £5/free, grounds free

3. Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard – The underground passageway Mortimer’s Hole, at Nottingham Castle, emerges at Brewhouse Yard, where five ethereal 17th-century cottages house the Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard.

  • Address: Castle Blvd

Top Speciality Museums:

Museums are the place where history comes alive. For all those who love history and want to enlighten themselves about Nottingham must visit the below-listed museums.

1. Nottingham Industrial Museum

Discover the people, companies and industries that made Nottingham famous around the world. Nottingham Industrial Museum has five galleries, each relating to a vital Nottinghamshire industry: textiles, transport, communication, mining and power.

  • Address: Wollaton Hall The Courtyard, Wollaton Hall and Deer Park, Wollaton, Nottingham NG8 2AE
  • Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours (Sat-Sun 11:00 am – 4:00 pm)
  • Cost: Adults £3 – Concessions and Students £2 – Kids go free

2. Framework Knitters’ Museum – Nottinghamshire folk, have been Framework Knitting for over 400 years. Discover how the Knitters lived and worked, visit the workshops and see a Framework Knitter in action and create your own souvenir on a circular knitting machine.

  • Address: Chapel Street Ruddington, Nottingham NG11 6HE England

3.The Haunted Museum – Here at the haunted museum they house many oddities and spooky items from around the world are present, once an old cinema with many of the original features intact, their tearoom within the museum has a five-star food rating with excellent low prices.

  • Address: Woodborough Road, Nottingham NG3 5GJ England
  • Suggested Duration: < 1 hour

Top Fun Things to do in Nottingham

All work and no play makes jack a dull boy, ever heard of this phrase. If you are a believer in this philosophy of life here are some fun places to indulge the kid in you.

1. Logiclock Escape Rooms – Logiclock is an entertaining puzzle-based live escape game; designed for small groups of 3-5 people. The goal is simple: escape from the room or series of rooms in 60 minutes using only the mind, logic and teamwork, solving all the puzzles and mysteries.

  • Address: 6 Trinity Walk, Nottingham NG1 2AN England
  • Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours (Mon – Fri 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM & Sat-Sun 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM)
  • Contact: +44 7950 205499

2. Skirmish Paintball Games Nottingham – Arm to the teeth and go all guns blazing in sone of the finest and most exhilarating paintball games zones. Experience the Adventure while you duck and dodge paintballs, dispatching foe and claiming victory at this paintball venue. 

  • Address: 6034 Ollerton Road Budby, Nottingham NG22 9FG England
  • Suggested Duration: More than 3 hours (Sun-Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm)
  • Contact: +44 115 945 2427

3. The Adrenalin Jungle – The Adrenalin Jungle offers the very best in outdoor entertainment including paintballing, quad biking, 4×4 off-road, archery, assault course, blindfold driving and off-road karting activities available to the general public in the Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Doncaster and Lincoln area.

  • Address: Off A 614 Deerdale Lane, Nottingham NG22 8SY England
  • Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours (Sun 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM & Mon-Sat 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM)
  • Contact: +44 1623 883980

Top Shopping Places in Nottingham:

No trip is complete without a little shopping. These are some of the well-known places for the shopaholic in you.

Debbie Bryan

An award-winning, independent creative retailer with an in-house design studio, gallery, creative space and tea room– Debbie Bryan is one of Nottingham’s hidden treasure and one of the finest souvenir of the historical legacy of the Lace Market. Specialising in British and International craftsmanship, Debbie Bryan’s own brand collections sit alongside selectively picked handmade work of talented designers.

  • Address: 18 St. Marys Gate The Lace Market, Creative Quarter, Nottingham NG1 1PF England
  • Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours (Sun 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Thu – Fri 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM & Sat 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM)
  • Contact: +44 115 950 7776

2. Notts Derby Wine School – Fun and informal wine tasting for all in the heart of Nottingham and Derby. Notts Derby Wine School offers an array of wine tasting courses, including Introduction courses, 8 Week World of Wine, WSET qualifications, corporate and private events. 

  • Address: Station Road Jurys Inn, Nottingham NG2 3BJ England

3. Dukki Ltd – A local gift shop, celebrating Nottingham and the East Midlands. Homeware, humour, memento. They have plenty of gifts for visitors and those local to Nottingham.

  • Address: 18 St. James’s Street, Nottingham NG1 6FG England
  • Suggested Duration: < 1 hour (Sun 11:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Mon-Wed 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM & Fri – Sat 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM)
  • Contact: +44 115 941 3800

Top Sights & Landmarks:

We all have heard that history repeats itself, no one knows how true it is but we have been fascinated nonetheless. What better way to witness history other than visit the landmarks and sights it has left behind. For all your history aficionados here’s a list of some of the oldest buildings in Nottingham.

1. Green’s Windmill

Green’s Windmill is a19th Century tower mill, once the abode of mathematical physicist George Green. Turning again since 1986, climb atop the windmill and see how the sails turn grain into flour. In their interactive Science Centre discover the remarkable story of George Green, and experiment with light, electricity and magnetism. There’s something for all the family!

  • Address: Windmill Lane Sneinton, Nottingham NG2 4QB England
  • Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours (Wed-Sun 10:00 am – 4:00 pm)
  • Contact: +44 115 915 6878

3. Old Market Square

The Old Market Square (Slab Square) is an open, pedestrianised city square forming the heart of the city. The Eastern end of the square is dominated by the Council House, which functions as Nottingham’s town hall. The square means is often used for large local events, fairs, concerts and exhibitions.

  • Address: Nottingham’s City Centre, Nottingham England

4. Holme Pierrepont Hall – The earliest built brick building in the county. Constructed by Sir William Pierrepont in 1500 and still inhabited by his descendants, the house surrounds a Courtyard Garden of 1875 possibly influenced by Nesfield on three sides with the local Parish Church of St Edmund on the fourth. The East Garden which was established in 1973 has a winter flower garden full of snowdrops, aconites, daffodils and hellebores among other plants.

  • Address: Holme Lane, Nottingham NG12 2LD England

Top Natures & parks:

Mary Davis so rightfully said “To walk into nature is to witness a thousand miracles”, for those nature lovers who truly believe that, here are a few parks and natural spaces to help you feel serene.

1. The Arboretum

The Arboretum is the first designated public park in Nottingham selected under the authority of the Inclosure Act 1845. The park was planned as a botanical collection and as a tranquil place in which to relax. The Arboretum has become one of Nottingham’s ‘green lungs’. It is the city’s oldest public park and also the closest park to the city centre.

  • Address: Waverley Street, Nottingham NG7 4HF England
  • Contact: +44 115 941 7065

2. City of Caves – A set of man-made caves dating from 1250 AD that was discovered under the local shopping centre. Part of the National Justice Museum.

  • Address: Garner’s Hill Next to the Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham NG1 7LL England
  • Suggested Duration: < 1 hour (Sun-Sat 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
  • Contact: +44 115 988 1955

3. Highfields – Highfields Park is a Grade II listed park. The park includes a boating lake, complete with boats to hire throughout the summer months. To the south of the lake the Tottle Brook, a tributary of the River Trent, flows on the surface, this brook is culverted for much of its length. At the eastern end, there are kid’s play facilities and a pavilion with a cafe.

  • Address: University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD England
  • Contact: +44 115 915 2733

Top Theatres in Nottingham:

Food is for the body and art is for the soul. Here are a few theatres for the love of Shakespeare, that every Bardolator will love.

1. Nottingham Playhouse – It was first built as a repertory theatre in 1948 when it operated from a former cinema in Goldsmith Street. Directors during this period included Val May and Frank Dunlop. The current building opened in 1963.

  • Address: Wellington Circus, Nottingham NG1 5AL England
  • Contact: +44 115 941 9419

2. Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall – The Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall are 2 first-class entertainment venues in Nottingham. Come and see top West End musicals and plays, opera and ballet, pop, rock and classical music, children’s shows and side-splitting comedy.

  • Address: Theatre Square, Nottingham NG1 5ND England
  • Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours (Mon-Sat 9:00 am – 8:30 pm)
  • Contact: +44 115 989 5555

3. Lakeside Arts – Founded on University Park campus Lakeside Arts is the University of Nottingham’s public arts and heritage programme. From evenings out to family day trips, from exhilarating experiences to relaxing afternoons, from a stroll in our gorgeous parkland to a delicious bite – there’s something for everyone at Lakeside.

  • Address: University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD England
  • Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Contact: +44 115 846 7777

Top Shopping Malls:

Malls are the go-to place for a little browsing, shopping, mingling. Here are some the best shopping malls Nottingham has to offer.

1. The Exchange – This place is charming with a range of high-end shops but well worth wandering through to see the gorgeous ceilings.

  • Address: High Street, Nottingham NG1 2DD England
  • Contact: +44 115 947 0591

2. Flying Horse Walk – Look for the flying horse wire statue and come through the doorstep of this little covered passage. Loads of little independent shops are waiting for you. Whether you like art, cheeses or Nottingham made craft gifts, you’ll find interesting things there.

  • Address: 2 Flying Horse Walk, Nottingham NG1 2HN England

3. The Corner House – The building looks fantastic, it houses a cinema, bars and restaurants and play areas for the kids. It seems cool, especially when illuminated at night.

  • Address: The Cornerhouse Burton Street, Nottingham NG1 4DB England
  • Contact: +44 115 950 5168

Nightlife in Nottingham:

For the night owls and party animals here is a list of some the well-know bars and pubs in Nottingham.

1. Be At One Cocktail Bar – A cocktail institution – you can expect great service, an unbeatable party atmosphere and a pretension-free attitude!

  • Address: 20a Victoria Street Nottingham Central Station, Nottingham NG1 2EX England
  • Suggested Duration: More than 3 hours (Sun – Thu 4:30 PM – 1:00 AM, Fri 4:30 PM – 3:00 AM & Sat 3:00 PM – 3:00 AM)
  • Contact: +44 115 822 4503

2. Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem – Carved into the cliff below the castle, this ambient alehouse claims to be England’s oldest pub. Established in 1189, it supposedly slaked the thirst of departing crusaders, and its warren of rooms and cobbled courtyards make it the most ambient place in Nottingham for a pint.

  • Address: 1 Brewhouse Yard Castle Road, Nottingham NG1 6AD England
  • Hours: 11 am-11 pm Sun-Thu, to midnight Fri & Sat
  • Contact: +44 115 947 3171

The Lost City – The Lost City is a fun, interactive adventure for everyone and challenges you to ‘put’ your skills to the test in our Inca-themed rainforest. Challenge your team to play amid a thunder and lightning storm on our “carpeted” greens, avoid the crush of our venomous 23 foot animatronic snake, risk the jaws of our snap-happy alligator, and witness talking idols and rumbling walls. Both the courses have been designed to be wheelchair user-friendly so all adventurers can play!

  • Address: The Cornerhouse Burton Street The Corner House, Nottingham NG1 4DB England
  • Suggested Duration: < 1 hour (Sun 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM & Mon-Sat 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM)

Food & Wine Tours:

Clubbing history and food is always a great combination. For the foodies who want to know how its made too this is the way to go.

Raglan Road Irish Bar – Modern Irish Bar in the City Of Nottingham showing major sports! Massive Rugby, Football & GAA, Live Music & DJ, Open Mic nights & Trad Irish Sessions 4 Nights a week. Partly built into the caves with outside garden terrace and lounge.

  • Address: 69-73 Derby Road, Nottingham NG1 5BA England
  • Suggested Duration: More than 3 hours (Mon-Wed 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM & Thu – Sun 12:00 PM – 2:00 AM)
  • Contact: +44 115 958 3359

Redsmith Distillery – Micro distillery situated in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter, just outside the city centre. Distillers of the award-winning Redsmith London Dry Gin. Other expressions include Nottingham Dry Apple Gin and Rose Old Tom.

  • Address: Unit 33 Sneinton Market Avenue C Nottingham Creative Quarter, Nottingham NG1 1DW England
  • Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Contact: +44 7904 837595

Castle Rock Brewery – Built in 1977 as “tynemill” by former Camra chairman Chris Holmes, Castle Rock has grown strong over the years, developing a reputation for both inviting and unique pubs, and excellent quality real ale.

  • Address: Queens Bridge Road, Nottingham NG2 1NB England
  • Contact: +44 115 985 1615

Food and drink places:

The best way to know a new culture is through its cuisine. Food holds history, culture, memories and all of that can be learnt while enjoying a scrumptious meal and speaking to the chef. Below are a few of the famous eateries in Nottingham.

1. Delilah Fine Foods in Nottingham (DELI) – Immaculately selected cheeses pâtés, meats and more from artisan producers are available, housed in a former grand bank with mezzanine seating. It does not take reservations, but you can preorder customised baskets for a gourmet picnic.

  • Address: 12 Victoria St
  • Contact: 0115-948 4461
  • Hours: 8am-7pm Mon-Fri, from 9am Sat, 11am-5pm Sun
  • Price: Dishes £4-10, platters £17-20

2. Larder on Goosegate in Nottingham (BRITISH) – Floor-to-ceiling windows fill this 1st-floor restaurant with light and provide bird’s-eye views of busy Goosegate below. On Fridays and Saturdays, afternoon tea is served on antique bone china. Blue goats cheese and beetroot cheesecake, Shetland Queen scallops with wild-garlic butter and roast spring lamb with smoked aubergine are among its superbly executed British dishes. Book ahead.

  • Address: 16-22 Goosegate
  • Contact: 0115-950 0111
  • Hours: 5.30-10 pm Tue-Thu, noon-2.30 & 5.30-11 pm Fri & Sat
  • Price: mains £13.50-22, afternoon tea from £16.50

3.Aubrey’s Traditional Crêperie in Nottingham (CRÊPES) – Traditional down to its savoury galettes made with buckwheat flour, sweet crêpes comprising salted caramel and its Breton ciders, this small hole in the wall is a charming spot for lunch. Alongside classics like ham, egg and Emmental, there are galettes you’ll never see in Brittany, such as chorizo, egg, caramelised onions and cider mustard cream sauce. No reservations.

  • Address: 14-16 West End Arcade
  • Hours: 11am-5pm Wed-Fri & Sun, from 10am Sat
  • Price: Galettes £4.50-8.50, Sweet crêpes £3.50-7

4. Annie’s Burger Shack in Nottingham (BURGERS) – More than 30 different burgers are on the menu at Annie’s, a popular joint in the Lace Market that remains true to its owner’s US roots (and adds real ales to its offerings). Midweek breakfast menus feature American classics (blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and bacon; Boston franks’ n’ beans). Book ahead.

  • Address: 5 Broadway
  • Contact: 0115-684 9920
  • Hours: 8-10.30am & noon-11pm Sun-Thu, 8-10.30am & noon-midnight Fri & Sat
  • Price: burgers £8.90-13.20, breakfast £6-10

5. Alley Cafe Bar in Nottingham (VEGETARIAN) – Down a narrow alleyway, this old-school, beat-spinning hippie hideaway serves vegetarian and vegan dishes like tofu, tempeh and hemp-seed burgers, alongside organic beers, wines and ciders. It hosts events such as open-mic nights and exhibits local art.

  • Address: 1a Cannon Ct
  • Contact: 0115-955 1013
  • Hours: 11 am-8 pm MonThu, to midnight Fri & Sat, noon-6pm Sun
  • Price: mains £6.35-9

Best accommodations in Nottingham :

When travelling for either leisure, work or education accommodation is the most important aspect to consider. Without a good night’s rest, one cannot function properly and one cranky person can ruin the trip for everybody. Here are some of the best accommodation Nottingham has to offer.

1. Roomzzz Aparthotel Nottingham City – 106 Individual apartments, including a stunning penthouse. All rooms have been made in a vibrant contemporary style, with all the usual touches you would expect from Roomzzz. The penthouse features a modern luxury interior and city views.

  • Address: Talbot Street Stanley Place, Nottingham NG1 5GS England
  • Price: £65 a night

2. Premier Inn Nottingham City Centre (Chapel Bar) Hotel – Stay in the centre of town at our Nottingham Chapel Bar hotel – they’re within walking distance of all Nottingham’s top attractions, from the Capital FM Arena to the National Ice Centre and the Galleries of Justice Museum. Rock out at Rock City, watch Shakespeare come to life at the Nottingham Playhouse Theatre or see what’s new from your favourite brands at intu Victoria Centre. You’re even close to the historic Lace Market, the magnificent Nottingham Castle and England’s oldest pub, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem if you fancy a taste of some Nottingham history.

  • Address: 7 Chapel Bar Chapel Quarter, Nottingham NG1 6JS England
  • Contact: 087152 79508
  • Price: £46 a night

3. Jurys Inn Nottingham – The hotel’s 264 bedrooms have recently been refurbished and now feature stylish, modern decor. All bedrooms are furnished with spacious bathrooms with complimentary toiletries, a hairdryer, flat-screen TV with Free view and Free WiFi. The hotel also features an all-day Costa Coffee bar and a stylish onsite bar to relax in after an eventful day exploring the city.

  • Address: Station Street, Nottingham NG2 3BJ England
  • Price: £65 a night

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