things to do in mansfield

Picture this: a sunny morning in Mansfield, the air crisp with anticipation as you step into the heart of a town brimming with historic charm and lively attractions. Whether you’re a family in search of memorable experiences or a solo traveller eager to explore, Mansfield offers a plethora of activities that cater to all interests.

It’s easy to find yourself wandering through the Mansfield Market Place, chuckling at a story from a local vendor, or perhaps marvelling at the history embedded in every corner. In one direction stands the Mansfield Museum, an invitation to delve into the town’s rich heritage. Another leisurely stroll brings you to the outskirts of the enchanting Sherwood Forest, where the whisper of legendary tales practically brushes your ears.

From the excitement of family-friendly activities to the allure of cultural events, Mansfield promises something for everyone. Embrace the opportunity to blend enjoyment with education, all while staying kind to your wallet—several Mansfield attractions and events are entirely free. Ready to discover what’s on in Mansfield? Allow us to guide you through the best it has to offer.

Things to Do in Mansfield

1. Explore Newstead Abbey

Newstead Abbey stands as one of the premier Mansfield tourism spots, celebrating its rich heritage and the legacy of Lord Byron. Nestled just 15 minutes from Mansfield, this historical treasure was once the ancestral home of the iconic poet. Today, the Abbey opens its doors to visitors, offering a captivating glimpse into history through a carefully curated museum displaying Lord Byron’s memorabilia.

Newstead Abbey

Explore the enchanting gardens that adorn Newstead Abbey’s expansive parkland. From the serene Japanese garden to the lush Sub-Tropical garden, each section of the grounds provides a unique horticultural experience, making it a standout among historical houses in Mansfield.

These verdant spaces not only highlight the beauty of Newstead Abbey but also enrich the Mansfield tourism landscape by blending historical intrigue with natural splendour. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or a nature lover, a visit to Newstead Abbey promises a memorable exploration of one of the most cherished historical houses in Mansfield.

2. Discover Sherwood Forest

Rich with history and legend, Sherwood Forest is an iconic destination linked to the famous stories of Robin Hood. Visitors can delve into the myth and natural beauty of this ancient woodland through a variety of engaging experiences.

Trails and Walking Paths

Sherwood Forest offers a myriad of trails in Mansfield that cater to all preferences, whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll or a more adventurous hike. The Visitor Centre provides detailed maps, guiding you through the forest’s unique landscapes and highlighting notable spots such as the ancient Major Oak. These outdoor activities in Mansfield are perfect for all age groups, with themed play areas and backpack activities available to enhance the exploration for young adventurers.

Sherwood Forest

Legend of Robin Hood

The Robin Hood legend is deeply interwoven with the roots of Sherwood Forest, adding an enchanting layer of intrigue to your visit. The forest serves as the legendary backdrop to the tales of the notorious outlaw and his band of Merry Men. Feel the essence of folklore while wandering through the same woods that have inspired countless stories of bravery and adventure.

3. Enjoy a Show at The Palace Theatre

Experience the vibrant pulse of Mansfield entertainment by attending a show at The Palace Theatre. This iconic venue is a cornerstone for live shows in Mansfield, offering a stimulating calendar packed with diverse performances. Whether you’re interested in dramatic plays, comedy nights, or enthralling live music, there’s always something happening at this theatre.

The Palace Theatre

The Palace Theatre’s historic charm enhances every event, making it an ideal locale for a memorable night out. The venue continuously attracts talented artists and performers, ensuring that events in Mansfield remain engaging and fresh. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the cultural richness showcased here, epitomising the best of what Mansfield entertainment has to offer.

  • Wide range of performances – from theatrical plays to live concerts
  • Family-friendly shows and children’s theatre productions
  • State-of-the-art sound and lighting systems

Whether you are a local resident or a visitor exploring events in Mansfield, be sure to check out the schedule at The Palace Theatre for an unforgettable experience. The venue not only serves as a hub for showcasing fantastic talent but also as a gathering place for the community, celebrating the arts in all its forms.

By offering a varied programme, The Palace Theatre truly encapsulates the essence of live shows in Mansfield, ensuring there’s always something for everyone. Celebrate the arts and create lasting memories at one of Mansfield’s most treasured entertainment spots.

4. Mansfield Museum: A Peek into History

An award-winning attraction in the heart of Mansfield, the Mansfield Museum superbly captures the essence of the town’s historical connection to trades such as mining and textile production. This museum stands as one of the most notable museums in Mansfield, offering an engaging experience for both adults and children.

Permanent Exhibitions

The permanent exhibitions at the Mansfield Museum provide profound insights into Mansfield history. Visitors can explore a variety of displays that detail the local heritage and the town’s industrial past. Exhibits rich in artefacts and illustrative narratives offer a deep dive into the historical tapestry of Mansfield. As one of the key museums in Mansfield, the museum’s permanent collections are meticulously curated to reflect the town’s unique contributions to industry and culture.

Interactive Galleries for Kids

Tailored for younger audiences, the interactive galleries provide family-friendly activities in Mansfield that are both educational and entertaining. These galleries feature dynamic, hands-on displays designed to engage children’s curiosity. Led by the museum’s very own ‘Eco Dude’ character, these activities entice kids to discover and learn while having fun. It’s a brilliant way to introduce Mansfield history to the younger generation, making Mansfield Museum a top choice for family outings.

5. Relax at Vicar Water Country Park

Embrace tranquillity at Vicar Water Country Park, a perfect destination for outdoor activities in Mansfields. This rejuvenated expanse of nature parks in Mansfield is ideal for a leisurely day out, uniting history and nature.

Vicar Water Country Park

Lake and Trails

The heart of Vicar Water Country Park is its serene lake, bordered by accessible walking trails. These paths cater to all ages and fitness levels, proving it to be a quintessential spot for outdoor activities in Mansfields. Along your stroll, you can spot various flora and fauna that embellish this nature sanctuary.

Panoramic Views from Ann Bowers Hill

Ascend Ann Bowers Hill to experience some of the most breathtaking panoramic views in Mansfield. On clear days, the view from the summit extends to Lincoln Cathedral, over 30 miles away. This scenic viewpoint magnificently encapsulates the grandeur of nature parks in Mansfield and offers a splendid reward for the climb.

6. Shopping at Mansfield Market

Mansfield Market Place has long been a cornerstone of the town’s rich historical fabric and a delightful hub for those who love retail therapy. Established under the town’s streets Improvement Act of 1823, this lively market continues to thrive, offering a vibrant mix of stalls that attract both locals and visitors.

Mansfield Market

Whether you’re looking to participate in shopping in Mansfield for fresh produce or unique artisan crafts, Mansfield Market never disappoints. The market is particularly well-known for hosting a variety of Mansfield events, including special seasonal bazaars and themed markets that can add an extra layer of enjoyment to your shopping spree.

One of the most appealing features of Mansfield Market is that it often features things to do in Mansfield for free. From live music performances to community art displays, the market ground transforms into a lively social space where people come together not just for transactions but also for socialisation and entertainment.

“Mansfield Market offers a unique blend of history and modern retail. The spirit of community can be felt in every corner, making it a must-visit for anyone engaging in shopping in Mansfield.” – Local Visitor

The range of goods available at the market is extensive, from fresh local produce to eclectic antiques and handmade crafts. Shoppers can also enjoy a delicious treat or meal at the food court, which contributes to making the market an all-encompassing experience for visitors.

For those wondering what to do in Mansfield for free, look no further than a leisurely stroll through the market. Engage with friendly vendors, participate in impromptu workshops, or simply soak in the lively atmosphere.

Event Description Date
Farmers’ Market Showcasing local farmers’ fresh produce and goods. Every Thursday
Artisan Market Featuring unique crafts and handmade items from local artisans. First Saturday of Every Month
Live Music Free performances by local musicians in the market square. Every weekend

Overall, whether you are a seasoned patron or a first-time visitor, Mansfield Market offers a dynamic and engaging experience that encapsulates the essence of the town’s community spirit.

7. Adventure Awaits at Sherwood Pines Forest Park

Sherwood Pines Forest Park presents an expansive landscape filled with exhilarating opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. With activities ranging from cycling to treetop adventures, it caters to a wide range of interests and skill levels, making it a premier destination for thrill-seekers.

Cycling Trails

For those who enjoy cycling in Mansfield, Sherwood Pines Forest Park offers a variety of trails that are perfect for all skill levels. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced rider, you’ll find a path that suits your pace and preference. The well-marked trails make it easy to explore the beauty of the park while getting a good dose of exercise.

Go Ape Adventure

If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, the Go Ape adventure course is a must-try. This course features thrilling rope challenges and ziplines that take you high above the forest floor. Additionally, the Nets Kingdom offers a unique 2,000 square metre playground in the treetops, providing an adventurous escape among the canopies. This is one of the most exciting things to do in Mansfield for adults and families alike.

Activity Description Suitable For
Cycling Trails Variety of trails for different skill levels All ages
Go Ape Adventure Rope courses and ziplines Adults and teens
Nets Kingdom 2,000 square metre treetop playground Children and adults

8. Visit Historic St. Mary’s Church in Edwinstowe

Nestled in the quaint village of Edwinstowe lies St. Mary’s Church, an exquisite landmark among the historic churches in Mansfield. This venerable church, with its origins in the 12th century, stands as a testament to the area’s deep historical roots.

Stained Glass Windows

One striking feature of St. Mary’s Church is its magnificent stained glass windows. These intricately crafted windows not only illuminate the interior with a kaleidoscope of colours but also portray significant religious scenes and local legends in Mansfield. The artistry embedded in each pane captivates both history enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

Robin Hood and Maid Marian Legend

St. Mary’s Church is also enveloped in the romantic lore of Robin Hood and Maid Marian. This legendary couple is said to have been married here, making the church a pilgrimage site for fans of the Robin Hood tales. The intertwining of these local legends with the church’s rich history makes a visit to St. Mary’s Church an enchanting experience.

9. Portland Park Nature Reserve: A Haven for Wildlife

Portland Park Nature Reserve is a sanctuary that showcases the rich biodiversity of Mansfield. This beautiful reserve blends natural habitats with educational opportunities, offering a retreat for both nature lovers and curious minds alike. It is a prime example of the dedication to conservation and the enjoyment of the natural world.

Flora and Fauna

The Portland Park Nature Reserve is home to an impressive array of flora and fauna. Visitors to this gem among nature reserves in Mansfield can encounter a diverse range of plant species that provide habitats for local wildlife in Mansfield. From vibrant wildflowers to towering trees, the flora within the reserve offers shelter and sustenance to numerous animal species.

  • Various species of butterflies and moths
  • Native birds such as woodpeckers and owls
  • Small mammals, including foxes and hedgehogs

Guided Walks and Tours

To fully appreciate the natural beauty and ecological importance of Portland Park Nature Reserve, visitors can take part in guided nature walks in Mansfield. These tours provide an insightful look into the conservation efforts in place and the diverse wildlife in Mansfield that these efforts support. Experts lead these walks, sharing valuable information and personal anecdotes that deepen one’s understanding and appreciation of nature.

Guided tours explore various aspects of the reserve:

  • Seasonal changes and their impact on local ecosystems
  • Spotting and identifying flora and fauna
  • Conservation projects currently underway
Flora and Fauna Guided Walks Insights
Variety of wildflowers and trees Understanding seasonal changes
Bird species like woodpeckers and owls Identifying local flora and fauna
Habitats for butterflies, moths, and small mammals Overview of conservation projects

10. Things to do in Mansfield for Families: The Old Library

The Old Library Mansfield stands as a beacon of learning and fun for families. It offers an array of engaging activities that are perfect for keeping kids entertained while also learning something new. This treasured community hub is where creativity and knowledge intertwine beautifully.

Workshops and Events

The Old Library Mansfield frequently hosts educational workshops in Mansfield, designed to ignite curiosity and foster creativity among children and adults alike. These workshops vary from crafting sessions to science experiments, catering to all sorts of interests and introducing participants to new skills in a fun and engaging manner.

Children’s Reading Programmes

One of the standout family-friendly things to do in Mansfield includes participating in the children’s reading programmes at The Old Library. These programmes are thoughtfully crafted to develop a love for reading early on. Children’s activities in Mansfield often highlight these reading sessions, which not only entertain but also advance literacy among younger audiences.

Whether you’re seeking family-friendly things to do in Mansfield or looking to delve into children’s activities in Mansfield, The Old Library Mansfield presents an array of educational workshops and events that promise enriching experiences for all.


Mansfield, a delightful blend of history, culture, and outdoor adventure, offers an array of attractions that cater to a diverse range of preferences and interests. Whether you are delving into the rich historical tapestry of Newstead Abbey or embarking on a thrilling adventure at Sherwood Pines Forest Park, there are countless places to visit in Mansfield that promise to make your visit memorable.

The town’s colourful history is brought to life through various activities, from exploring the legendary Sherwood Forest to experiencing live performances at The Palace Theatre. Families will find a wealth of engaging activities, such as those offered at the Mansfield Museum and The Old Library. Nature enthusiasts can unwind at Vicar Water Country Park or explore the biodiversity of Portland Park Nature Reserve, ensuring a perfect balance of entertainment and relaxation.

For those seeking a retail experience, Mansfield Market provides a vibrant atmosphere where shopping is complemented by community events and live performances. With so many things to do near Mansfield, the town proves itself to be a versatile and inviting destination. As you plan your visit using this Mansfield entertainment guide, you will undoubtedly discover the unique charm and rich variety of attractions that this remarkable town has to offer.


What are the top attractions in Mansfield?

Mansfield boasts a variety of attractions, including the historic Newstead Abbey, legendary Sherwood Forest, family-friendly Mansfield Museum, and the scenic Vicar Water Country Park.

Is Mansfield a good destination for family activities?

Absolutely! Mansfield offers an array of family-friendly activities such as the interactive galleries in the Mansfield Museum, themed events at The Old Library, and the play area in Sherwood Forest’s Visitor Centre.

Are there any free things to do in Mansfield?

Yes, several attractions offer free entry, including exploring the trails of Sherwood Forest, visiting Mansfield Market, and enjoying the natural beauty at Portland Park Nature Reserve.

What can I see at Newstead Abbey?

Visitors to Newstead Abbey can explore the museum showcasing memorabilia of Lord Byron, walk through themed gardens like the Japanese and Sub-Tropical gardens, and enjoy the stunning parkland.

What are the highlights of Sherwood Forest?

Sherwood Forest is famous for its association with Robin Hood. Visitors can enjoy various trails, including paths around the Major Oak, and there are plenty of activities for children at the themed play area and Visitor Centre.

Are there any cultural events in Mansfield?

Yes, Mansfield hosts a range of cultural events at The Palace Theatre, which features dramatic plays, live music, and dance performances that cater to diverse tastes.

What can kids do at the Mansfield Museum?

Mansfield Museum offers interactive galleries full of engaging educational displays, including exhibitions led by their character ‘Eco Dude’, designed to captivate and educate young audiences.

Can you recommend outdoor activities in Mansfield?

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy various activities in Mansfield, such as cycling and adventure courses at Sherwood Pines Forest Park, hiking trails in Vicar Water Country Park, and guided nature walks at Portland Park Nature Reserve.

What are the shopping options at Mansfield Market?

Mansfield Market offers a vibrant shopping experience with a variety of stalls, a food court, and live performances, providing both retail therapy and social engagement.

What activities are available at Sherwood Pines Forest Park?

Sherwood Pines Forest Park features multiple cycling trails for different skill levels, and adventurous visitors can enjoy rope courses and playground activities at the Go Ape centre.

What historical insights does St. Mary’s Church offer?

St. Mary’s Church in Edwinstowe provides a fascinating glimpse into history with its 12th-century origins, stunning stained glass windows, and its connection to the Robin Hood and Maid Marian legend.

What can visitors expect at the Portland Park Nature Reserve?

Portland Park Nature Reserve offers rich biodiversity, with various flora and fauna, and provides guided walks and tours to help visitors engage with and learn about the conservation efforts within this natural habitat.

What family-friendly activities are available at The Old Library?

The Old Library hosts numerous family-friendly workshops and events aimed at fostering creativity and intellectual growth, as well as children’s reading programmes designed to encourage a love of literature.