Welcome to Nottingham, home to Robin Hood and rebellious writers, secret cocktail bars and legendary music venues, curious caves and fantastic family festivals. Sitting in the heart of the UK, Nottingham is famed for its lace, breweries and rebellious spirit. Today, both international visitors and natives visit Nottingham to find an attractive, friendly city, brimming with vibrant culture and creative charm. Here is our definitive list of things to do when visiting.
Nottingham Contemporary is one of the largest galleries of contemporary art in the UK. It’s recently been shortlisted for the prestigious Museum of the Year Award and was once named the most inspiring gallery in the UK by the Guardian. The gallery hosts regular changing exhibitions of international art, and is set in an iconic building, designed by the award-winning architects Caruso St John.
Alongside the exhibitions, Nottingham Contemporary runs a full programme of events, including talks, film screenings, music and performances. Free drop-in family activities take place every weekend and throughout school holidays.
Visit the National Justice Museum; a 15th century gaol and courtroom, which features permanent and temporary exhibitions detailing crime and punishment throughout the centuries. Feel the fear of thousands before you as you descend into the depths of the prison. Here you’ll explore the underground cells and hear tales of the condemned. Medieval banquets, dramatic trials and murder mystery nights are just some of the events that take place here.
Robin Hood is one of the world’s best loved folk heroes, and Nottinghamshire is proud to be where this spirited outlaw called home.
The multi-award-winning Robin Hood Town Tour is the definitive way to learn all about the world-famous legend and find out the best that Nottingham has to offer. You’ll follow a trail of historical facts to discover how simple ballads over 700 years old grew into one of the greatest stories ever told. This fun, theatrical exploration of the legend is told against the backdrop of the city.
You really can’t come to Nottingham without visiting Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. Said to be the oldest inn in England, this historic gem is carved into the cliff on which Nottingham Castle stands. By Old Market Square you’ll find another historic pub The Bell Inn, built on the site of a 12th century Carmelite monetary. Nearby you’ll also find Nottingham’s stunning Victorian music hall, the Malt Cross.
In need of some tropical vibes? Head to the rainforest themed, state-of-the-art golf complex, The Lost City Adventure Golf. It features two 18-hole courses with dramatic interactive features such as talking Inca statues and musical landscaping. Their tiki bar serves some fabulously fruity cocktails and mocktails too.
Part of Nottingham’s Creative quarter, Hockley exudes bohemian charm and buzzes day and night. Here you’ll find an eclectic mix of unique shops, stylish bars and great restaurants. Visit the brilliant independent cinema and hub of creativity Broadway, seek out The Hockley Arts Club, an exquisitely decorated cocktail bar hidden away from the bustle, or get some seaside vibes and hit the arcade at the quirky Penny Lane.
Nottingham’s foodie scene is thriving, and you’ll find something to suit every taste. Discover the delights of World Service, which excels in creating gourmet cuisine with style. For tasty tapas dishes created with fine dining flair, Iberico World Tapas is the place to go. If you fancy a curry, head to Maid Marian Way, home to no less than five fantastic Indian eateries, including award-winning restaurants MemSaab, Calcutta Club and Cumin.
Annie's Burger Shack has become something of a Nottingham institution, renowned for its flippin’ marvellous burgers, all available as vegan, veggie and meaty. Alternatively, taste traditional dishes at The Larder on Goosegate, which has an outstanding reputation for the quality of its modern British fair
Head to Zero Latency – the world's first multiplayer, free-roam virtual reality arcade. Groups of up to eight people can team up to take down zombies or rogue drones, explore alien worlds and investigate strange disturbances on spaceships. Some things have to be experienced to be believed – trust us, we don’t use the words ‘mind blowing’ lightly.
Nottingham has a host of incredible escape rooms to challenge your creative problem-solving skills in a unique afternoon out.
Escapologic, iLocked and Logiclock have a huge array of themed rooms between them, from thrilling horror themed adventures, which are not for the faint of heart, to family-friendly challenges that are heaps of fun.
Descend into Nottingham’s subterranean world for a gothic Dracula-themed adventure at Cave Escape. Ludorati Game Centre and Escape Rooms has a unique escape room challenge in the form of their EscapeDrome which has loads of games to choose from, including the chances to help Sherlock Holmes solve a range of baffling cases.
Glide into the exciting world of ice skating at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham. Choose from a variety of fun sessions throughout week including family skate, club sessions and foam parties. A lively and fun activity to enjoy with family or friends, ice skating is guaranteed to get your body moving.
For more ideas on things to do in Nottingham, check out visit-nottinghamshire.co.uk
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Flights to Nottingham
- Alex Broughton