Things to do in Nottingham

Tuesday 04 April 2017 by Florence Evans Nottingham may be a small northern city but it's certainly not short of attractions and places of interest - as summer approaches, the city really becomes a hotspot for simply enjoying the sunshine and historic and cultured surroundings this city brings.

Take in the history

Although Nottingham isn’t the largest of cities, it’s certainly not short of history and culture. The city centre boasts cobbled streets, fascinating historic landmarks and delightful shops, bars and restaurants to browse as much as you please. The Old Market Square is a must-see hotspot in the heart of town, and the listed building of St Mary’s Church alongside the Galleries of Justice Museum both provide plenty of insights into the city’s history that you can ponder over.

Shop around

Nottingham has many charming shops - including The Nottingham Exchange, which has been at the heart of Nottingham for decades. This beautiful arcade of shops is within a grade II listed building, with lovely dome ceilings that let in loads of natural light. This experience is truly an architectural feat – a sight to behold in itself. The exchange offers high end designer boutiques, such as Karen Millen, Jaeger, Austin Reed, Radley, and Dr Martens. If you’re looking for a less formal shopping experience, the Intu Victoria shopping centre hosts an unrivalled collection of popular high street stores, including John Lewis, House of Fraser, Next, Topshop, Office and River Island. Spend an hour or a whole day here - there’s plenty to indulge in with an array of eateries, regular fashion shows and free holiday activities for little shoppers.

Visit Nottingham Castle

On top of the infamous ‘Castle Rock’, Nottingham Castle overlooks the city in a commanding position boasting spectacular views and stunning architecture. During medieval times it was an important fortress and occasional royal residence. ‘Ducal Mansion’ was built there during the 18th century which nowadays is home to a museum and art gallery. Here you can take in the local history and work by renowned international artists. Nottingham Castle is a great day out for all the family, with the beautiful gardens, exhibitions and events, tours of the underground cave network, and of course, the statue of Robin Hood.

Visit Nottingham Contemporary

Nestled in the historic Lace Market quarter of the city, Nottingham Contemporary is an architectural feat unlike most of the local listed buildings - strikingly modern and minimalistic, and one of the UK’s largest modern art centres. The structure itself still retains some of the city’s historic culture with a traditional lace cladding embossed on the side of the building. The centre provides the perfect setting for getting creative, with modern art galleries, regular engaging exhibitions, a learning area and café. The centre is a local hub, with a regular live music programme playing in the social space every Saturday, so whether you browse the collections, participate in a workshop or simply sit and enjoy the atmosphere, it’s bound to get those creative juices flowing.

Stroll around one of Nottingham’s Parks

Nottinghamshire is famous for its lush oak forests and expansive countryside. It’s also home to many beautiful parks surrounding significant country houses. If you need to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre, visit the beautifully maintained Arboretum Park, home to an important collection of over 800 trees planted in the 18th century and a pretty spot to relax in. Not only is it the perfect spot to take a stroll, but the park hosts a busy and varied programme of entertainment throughout the year including the Green Festival – a celebration of locally grown fresh produce.

Wollaton Park is a deer park and home of Wollaton Hall, the Nottingham Natural History Museum and Nottingham Industrial Museum - in the heart of the countryside. Stroll around the beautifully kept botanical gardens and visit inside the Hall itself for some interesting displays and exhibitions, or take a picnic and enjoy the open space and fresh air and try and spot some local deer. There’s even a delightful café so indulge in a cream tea or a refreshing drink whilst your there.

Sherwood Forest Country Park

This fascinating 450 acre country park is part of the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve and was once the stomping-ground of legendary Robin Hood. The forest lies just north of Nottingham and is a wonderful day out for all the family. The Forest Table Restaurant is a cosy and relaxing place to have lunch whilst out for a day exploring the great outdoors. There are events throughout the year at Sherwood Forest Country Park – from country crafts like willow weaving and shelter building to wildlife walks and bird-spotting trails.

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