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Things to do in Nottingham

Nottinghamshire is synonymous with the legend of Robin Hood. While there are many things to do in Nottingham that follow the legend, there are also plenty of other fun things to do in Nottingham, with kids, or as a couple or group. Here’s our pick of the best.

Book your break in Nottinghamshire

1. Explore the City of Caves

Below the pavements of Nottingham lies a maze of mysterious caves. The man-made structures have been here since the Dark Ages and offer a time-travel experience through the history of the city. Book ahead for this popular activity.

2. Drop into Batman's stately home

Wollaton Hall is a breath-taking Elizabethan Manor, just outside Nottingham city centre. Surrounded by 500 acres of parkland and gardens, it houses the Natural History Museum, Industrial Museum, and was also the filming location for Wayne Manor in The Dark Knight Rises.

3. Walk down Limetree Avenue

Spring, summer, autumn or winter, Clumber Park draws you in and shows you each season at its best. Walk down the famous Limetree Avenue, learn about nature at the Discovery Centre and enjoy the wide open spaces. It’s one of the best free things to do in Nottinghamshire.

4. Find out about the English Civil War

Newark on Trent is famous for its role as a Royalist stronghold in the English Civil War. It is now home to the only museum dedicated to this tumultuous period in England’s history. Newark is a handsome town and has a market bursting with delicious produce and local crafts, perfect for a romantic afternoon or a family day out.

5. Drink at the oldest pubs in England

One of the fun things to do in Nottingham is to take a tour of its famous pubs. Drop into Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, which claims to be the oldest pub in Britain – as does Ye Olde Salutation and the Bell Inn!

6. Get your skates on

Nottingham is home to the National Ice Centre, an Olympic-size rink where many ice skating champions have trained. You may not be quite up to Olympic standard but it’s a great choice if you are looking for things to do with the kids in Nottingham.

7. Find out where 35 million Americans descended from

With the unlikely names of Scrooby and Babworth, two humble North Nottinghamshire villages are key to the story of the Mayflower and the birth of a new population in America. Follow the Pilgrim Trail and find out what events led to the epic transatlantic crossing 400 years ago.

8. Be kings and queens of the castles

Bolsover Castle sits high on a hill, where you can survey the surrounding county. Just over the border in Leicestershire, Belvoir Castle has an equally envious elevation and a long and illustrious history. Newark has an atmospheric castle ruin and Nottingham Castle will reopen in 2021 after a multi-million pound renovation.

9. Discover a whole new world of visual arts

Looking for free things to do in Nottingham? The New Art Exchange is the largest gallery in the UK dedicated to culturally diverse contemporary visual arts. With an ever changing programme of exhibitions, performances and film screening it is family-friendly and free to visit.

10. Make a splash at the National Watersports Centre

Wacky water fun for all the family is guaranteed at the National Watersports Centre in Holmes Pierrepoint Park. Take the Lagoon Wipeout challenge, try canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding, go white water rafting or take it easier and go Lazy River Tubing.

11. Follow in the footsteps of Robin Hood

A great thing to do in Nottingham with kids is follow in the footsteps of the county’s favourite son, Robin Hood. When you stay at our Sherwood Forest location you are right in the heart of things, with Sherwood Forest on your doorstep, the Major Oak nearby and the church where he reputedly married Maid Marian just up the road in Edwinstowe.

12. Make memories in the forest

Stay in a woodland cabin at Sherwood Forest and enjoy a host of forest experiences. As it’s Robin Hood country, try your hand at archery or explore the forest with our Forest Ranger. Follow the ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ Discovery Trail with the little ones, go pony trekking, try a forest art class or join a forest yoga class. All these Nottinghamshire things to do can be booked with us in advance when you stay at Sherwood Forest.