Get to Know Nottingham
A lively city in the central Midlands, Nottingham boasts a variety of historical landmarks, fun activities and beautiful parks. It is also worth exploring nearby Sherwood Forest, stomping-ground of the legendary Robin Hood and his merry men. Here are our favourite things to do in the city, and the top refreshment spots, including England’s oldest inn!
This 500-acre park in the heart of Nottingham, is home to wild deer, which roam free around the stunning parklands and lake. It’s a great place for a day out: explore the different trails with family and friends, hunting for clues and claiming prizes at the end of the activity! Stroll around the lake or hire a boat from the boathouse and take a leisurely paddle. If you are interested in greenery, wander into the Botanical Garden and Formal Gardens with its statues and Camelia House.
If you’re a Batman fan, you might recognise Wollaton Hall, as it was used as Wayne Manor for the filming of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ in 2011. The magnificent mansion houses Nottingham’s Natural History Museum and various exhibitions exploring art and the environment.
Located on a high rock, Nottingham Castle is the place to capture some amazing views over the city. The historic site will always be associated with Robin Hood and has been the centre of rebellions and sieges since medieval times, including the start of the Civil War. Completely destroyed after this war, the castle has since been rebuilt many times; the latest major redevelopment should be completed in 2020 and will include some fantastic new features, such as a land train, adventure playground, exhibitions and openings to the caves and tunnels beneath the building.
Fancy challenging your mates to a gruelling game of crazy golf? Lost City is where adventure golf becomes epic! Situated in the Cornerhouse, it is open all year round, 7 days a week and you can just turn up to play if your party is smaller than 10 people. It’s a hugely popular destination for families, students and birthday parties. After your rainforest experience, be sure to enjoy a drink at the Tiki Bar overlooking the courses.
Visit one of the largest contemporary art galleries in the UK, situated in the middle of the Lace Market, presenting an array of free exhibitions, music, performances, special events and family activities. The iconic green and gold building was inspired by warehouses serving Nottingham’s historic lace industry.
Described by the Guardian as ‘the most inspiring gallery in the UK’, it is renowned for its innovative research and learning programmes. Since the opening in 2009, more than two million people have come to visit the 50+ exhibitions.
Fun Bars & Restaurants
With a unique, creative alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktail menu, an evening at Boilermaker is a little bit different. Hidden within the streets of Hockley, Boilermaker’s owners insist on making drinking complicated, quirky and entertaining, but emphasise the importance of relaxing and being waited on in this fun-fuelled bar.
Explore the celebration of the unconventional, dark and controversial, at this electric cocktail chain, which has recently opened on King Street in Nottingham. With a delicious food menu and drinks that bubble and explode, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Nestled beneath the castle walls, England’s oldest inn is as much a museum as a pub. Built in 1189, its bars, nooks and crannies are filled with relics of Nottingham’s history (including ghosts, allegedly!) Beneath the pub are some of the city’s extensive network of caves, which you can visit; as well as being used as a brewery over the centuries, there is also an old cockfighting pit and cells that were part of the Castle Gaol.
The word ‘trip’ means a stop or rest, and the inn got its name when King Richard the Lionheart and his men gathered there, before journeying to their Crusades in Jerusalem. Follow the tradition and stop off at this quaint inn, to enjoy a pint or pub lunch as you soak up its history.
Born and raised in Rhode Island, Annie grew up where the first ever diners opened. Moving to Nottingham in 1994, she created Annie’s Burger Shack, combining a fantastic range of individually selected real slow cask ales and handcrafted traditional American burgers. Annie’s Burger Shack isn’t a fast food joint, they are all about the experience; and the best part is that the whole menu can be made vegan or vegetarian!
Whether you’re after a quick bite for lunch, or a chillout after a long day, or even a big night out, this bar is the place to be. Serving street food, ranging from pizzas to burgers with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, it is the perfect indulgent treat to be enjoyed with friends. Das Kino also offers Olympic standard ping pong tables that are available throughout the day and night, but book online before your visit!
This independent coffee shop is the best place to relax with friends, crack on with some laptop work or get stuck into a book. The owners roast their coffee at a slightly lower temperature than normal, yielding a smoother and deeper taste, which is then served at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, hence the name! Striving to achieve high standards in everything they do, from the delicious coffee to staff delivering exceptional service, they have managed to create a peaceful retreat within the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
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Find out more about Nottingham:
City breaks, nightlife & historic attractions
Other places in this series:
Get to know London
10 fun affordable things to do in & around London