things to do in nottingham

Last Updated on: 18th June 2024, 07:30 am

Hello, and welcome to my guide on the top things to do in Nottingham, UK. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, there’s always something new to discover in Nottingham. As a Nottingham tourist guide, I’m excited to share with you all the exciting things this city has to offer.

From exploring Nottingham’s historic sights to immersing yourself in nature, indulging in the city’s vibrant markets and nightlife, there’s something for everyone. So, if you’re wondering what things to do in Nottingham or things to do in Nottingham UK, look no further. Let’s dive into the best this city has to offer.

Things to do in Nottingham

1. Explore Nottingham’s Historic Sights

Nottingham is a city filled with historical landmarks and attractions. These places to visit in Nottingham offer an insight into the city’s past and are must-see attractions while sightseeing in Nottingham.

One of the most popular attractions in Nottingham is Nottingham Castle, which sits atop a high rock and is known for its association with the legendary outlaw Robin Hood. The castle houses a museum and art gallery that details the history of the city as well as exhibitions on the folklore of Robin Hood and other historical characters.

The Lace Market is another well-preserved area of the city that is known for its lace heritage. This area boasts 19th-century warehouses that have since been converted into trendy apartments, shops, and restaurants. The buildings themselves are an attraction, with their ornate embellishments and grand architecture.

Attraction Description
Nottingham Castle Historical castle with a museum and art gallery, known for its association with Robin Hood.
The Lace Market Well-preserved area of the city known for its lace heritage and 19th-century warehouses.
The Galleries of Justice Museum Museum housed in a former courthouse and gaol, offering an insight into Nottingham’s history of crime and punishment.

The Galleries of Justice Museum is another popular tourist attraction in Nottingham. Housed in a former courthouse and gaol, the museum offers an interactive experience that highlights the city’s history of crime and punishment, complete with recreated prison cells and courtroom scenes.

Be sure to include these historical attractions in your Nottingham sightseeing itinerary for a well-rounded exploration of the city’s past and culture.

2. Immerse Yourself in Nature at Nottingham’s Parks

Nottingham is renowned for its beautiful parks and green spaces, offering numerous opportunities to enjoy nature’s serenity. Whether you want to unwind, explore, or take some time out from the city’s hustle and bustle, Nottingham’s parks and green spaces have something for everyone.

Wollaton Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and families alike. Set in picturesque surroundings, this expansive park boasts lush greenery, stunning gardens, and a picturesque lake. Don’t miss a visit to Wollaton Hall, an impressive Elizabethan mansion with a fascinating history.

Another popular park to visit is the Nottingham Arboretum, the oldest public park in the city. This green oasis spans across 17 acres and features beautiful tree-lined walkways, tranquil lakes, and floral displays. The Arboretum is an idyllic destination for picnics, strolls, and time in nature.

Whether you’re looking for things to do in Nottingham town centre, activities in Nottingham this weekend, or simply a place to unwind, Nottingham’s parks and green spaces will not disappoint.

3. Experience Nottingham’s Vibrant Markets

When in Nottingham, exploring the city’s lively markets is an absolute must. Things to do in Nottingham for adults include visiting the Nottingham Craft Market, where you can find unique handmade crafts created by local artisans. This is an excellent place to pick up souvenirs or gifts for loved ones back home.

For a more historic shopping experience, head to Nottingham’s Market Square, where you can find a variety of stalls selling everything from fresh produce to antiques. This top thing to do in Nottingham offers a vibrant atmosphere and a chance to explore the city’s rich past.

In addition to the Nottingham Craft Market and Market Square, the city offers a variety of other markets, including vintage and flea markets. Whatever your shopping needs might be, Nottingham’s markets are sure to provide a unique and exciting experience.

Nottingham’s Markets: A Snapshot

Market Description Location
Nottingham Craft Market Handmade crafts by local artisans Smithy Row
Nottingham’s Historic Market Square Stalls selling fresh produce, antiques, and more Market Square
Nottingham’s Vintage Market Vintage clothing, vinyl records, and more Jubilee Market
Nottingham’s Flea Market Second-hand items, antiques, and collectibles Lace Market Square

“Nottingham’s markets are the perfect place to explore the city’s rich history and culture while finding unique and exciting products.”

4. Discover Nottingham’s Thriving Cultural Scene

If you’re looking for what to see in Nottingham, you won’t be disappointed by the city’s vibrant cultural scene. Nottingham is home to a range of museums, art galleries, and iconic theaters, making it the perfect destination for culture vultures.

One of my top recommendations is to visit the Nottingham Contemporary, one of the largest contemporary art galleries in the UK. The gallery showcases thought-provoking exhibitions and hosts a range of events throughout the year, making it a must-visit for art lovers.

Nottingham Contemporary Gallery

The city is also renowned for its theatrical performances. The Theatre Royal and Nottingham Playhouse offer an array of shows throughout the year, from classic plays to modern productions. No matter what your taste is in theater, there’s always something to see.

“Nottingham’s cultural scene is truly unique, with a diverse range of experiences and events to discover.”

If you’re looking for a comprehensive Nottingham city guide to culture and the arts, be sure to check out the Nottingham Cultural Education Partnership website. It offers a wealth of resources and information on upcoming events and exhibitions.

5. Unwind in Nottingham’s Quaint Cafes and Restaurants

If you’re looking for things to do in Nottingham town centre, look no further than the city’s range of delightful cafes and restaurants. Whether you’re in the mood for a cup of tea and a scone or a spicy meal with friends, Nottingham’s eateries have got you covered.

For a charming afternoon tea experience, head over to Betty’s Tea Room, located in the heart of Nottingham’s bustling shopping district. Housed in a stunning Art Deco building, Betty’s Tea Room offers a delicious range of cakes and light bites, perfect for indulging in while watching the world go by.

If you’re looking for a more experimental dining experience, look no further than Iberico World Tapas. This trendy restaurant serves up an array of small plates, blending traditional dishes with unique and exciting flavors. Be sure to try their signature dish, the Iberico pork pluma!

For a more laid-back vibe, head over to The Herbert Kilpin, a gastropub located just a stone’s throw from Nottingham’s historic Lace Market. With a menu packed full of comfort food classics, including hand-stretched pizzas and juicy burgers, you’re sure to leave feeling full and satisfied.

“Nottingham’s cafes and restaurants offer a diverse range of cuisines to satisfy every palate. From quaint tea rooms serving traditional afternoon tea to trendy eateries dishing up exciting fusion cuisine, there’s something for everyone.”

6. Shop ’til You Drop in Nottingham’s Retail Therapy Destinations

As someone who loves to shop, I can attest that Nottingham is a true shopper’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for high-street brands or high-end designer labels, this city has it all. And the best part? There are plenty of retail therapy destinations to choose from, so you can indulge in some shopping no matter where you are in Nottingham.

Two of the most popular shopping centres in Nottingham are the intu Victoria Centre and Broadmarsh Shopping Centre. At these sprawling malls, you’ll find a wide range of stores, from fashion and beauty to electronics and homeware. Plus, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes where you can refuel between shopping sprees.

If you’re looking for something a little more unique, be sure to head to areas like Hockley and Bridlesmith Gate. Here, you’ll find a plethora of independent retailers and boutique shops, each with their own style and personality. Whether you’re in the market for vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, or quirky gifts, you’re bound to find something that catches your eye.

If you’re looking for activities in Nottingham to fill your day with, a shopping spree is definitely a must-do. Just be sure to bring your walking shoes and plenty of energy!

Nottingham’s Top Retail Therapy Destinations

Name of Destination Type of Stores Location
intu Victoria Centre High-street and designer brands, Food and Drink Victoria Centre, Nottingham NG1 3QN
Broadmarsh Shopping Centre High-street brands, Home and Garden Broadmarsh Shopping Centre, Nottingham NG1 7LH
Hockley Independent retailers, Vintage clothing and furniture, Gifts Hockley, Nottingham NG1
Bridlesmith Gate Boutique shops, Independent retailers, Fashion and accessories Bridlesmith Gate, Nottingham NG1

Activities in Nottingham

7. Experience Nottingham’s Thrilling Nightlife

When the sun sets, Nottingham transforms into a bustling hub of activity with a vibrant nightlife that has something in store for everyone. From live music at the legendary Rock City to the city’s popular nightclubs, Nottingham’s nightlife scene is no less than a treat to the senses.

If you’re looking to dance the night away, you have a wealth of options at hand, including Pryzm, one of the largest nightclubs in Nottingham that never fails to bring in the crowds. For those into house and techno, The Brickworks Nottingham is a great option. But if retro tunes are more your style, then head over to Reflex, where 80s classics soundtrack your night.

Perhaps you’re looking to unwind with a drink in hand instead? Nottingham’s got you covered there too. For a fun night out with friends, you can indulge in a few rounds of drinks at Boom, a bar with a great atmosphere and even better music. Or why not visit Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, one of the oldest pubs in the city that’s steeped in history and legend?

All in all, Nottingham’s nightlife is a must-see experience and one that shouldn’t be missed. Whether you’re in town for a quick visit or reside in the city, give yourself a chance to immerse in the vibrant Nottingham nightlife.

8. Explore Nottingham’s Surrounding Countryside

One of the best things about visiting Nottingham is the opportunity to explore the beautiful countryside that surrounds the city. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing stroll or an exhilarating hike, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy just a short distance from Nottingham.

The legendary Sherwood Forest is a must-visit attraction in Nottingham. Home to the legendary outlaw, Robin Hood, you can wander through ancient woodland and even see the famous Major Oak, a tree which is believed to be over 800 years old.

attractions in Nottingham

Another stunning natural attraction is the Peak District National Park, which offers stunning scenery and a range of outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling. Just a short drive from Nottingham, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the Peak District and soak up the fresh country air.

Top Outdoor Activities in Nottingham’s Countryside

Activity Description
Hiking Take a leisurely hike through the stunning countryside and experience the natural beauty of the area.
Cycling Explore the country on two wheels and enjoy the fresh air and scenic views.
Picnicking Choose a scenic spot and pack a picnic for a relaxing day out enjoying the views and nature.

“The countryside around Nottingham is simply stunning, and I always love taking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life to explore the natural beauty of the area. Sherwood Forest and the Peak District are two of my favorite places to visit, and I highly recommend taking a trip there if you have the chance!”

Overall, Nottingham’s countryside is a hidden gem that is just waiting to be explored. With a range of outdoor activities and stunning natural attractions, there’s no better way to escape the city and experience the beauty of the UK’s countryside. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to explore!

9. Dive into Nottingham’s Sporting Culture

If you’re a sports enthusiast, Nottingham is the place to be. With a rich sporting heritage, there are plenty of activities in Nottingham to keep you entertained. Whether you want to catch a game or get active yourself, Nottingham has something for everyone.

Watch a Match

One of the top things to do in Nottingham for sports fans is to catch a game. Head to Trent Bridge to watch a cricket match and soak up the atmosphere of this iconic venue. If football is more your thing, visit the City Ground, home of Nottingham Forest Football Club, and experience the thrill of a live match.

Get Active

If you prefer to get active yourself, there are plenty of opportunities for sports and fitness in Nottingham. Visit the Harvey Hadden Sports Village for a range of facilities, including a gym, swimming pool, and athletics track. You can also explore Nottingham’s many parks and green spaces and enjoy activities like cycling, running, and outdoor yoga.

10. Visit Nottingham’s Museums and Galleries

If you have a passion for art, history, and culture, Nottingham is home to a diverse range of museums and galleries that you don’t want to miss! One must-visit destination is the Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery, which features a collection of fine and decorative art you won’t find anywhere else.

Another fascinating museum in Nottingham is the Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard, where you can learn about the city’s rich history, and have a first-hand experience of what it was like to live in Nottingham during the industrial revolution era. The museum explores the various trades and crafts of the local residents, and includes exhibits such as a large sweeping brush factory, an original cobbler’s workshop, and an Aladdin’s cave full of curiosities.

places to visit in Nottingham

With so much to see and explore, Nottingham’s museums and galleries are a must-visit for any tourist, making it the perfect addition to your Nottingham travel itinerary.


In conclusion, Nottingham offers a plethora of exciting experiences and attractions for both visitors and residents. Whether you are interested in exploring historic sites, immersing yourself in nature, indulging in vibrant markets and nightlife, or discovering the city’s thriving cultural scene, Nottingham has it all. With its beautiful parks, diverse museums and galleries, and bustling sporting culture, there is always something new to discover in this gem of a city. So why not start planning your visit today? I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!


What are some must-see historical attractions in Nottingham?

Some must-see historical attractions in Nottingham include Nottingham Castle, The Lace Market, and The Galleries of Justice Museum.

What are the top parks in Nottingham for nature lovers and families?

Wollaton Park and Nottingham Arboretum are top parks in Nottingham known for their picturesque surroundings and tranquil atmospheres.

Which markets should I explore for a unique shopping experience in Nottingham?

Visit Nottingham Craft Market, Market Square, Vintage Market, and Flea Market for a diverse shopping experience reflecting Nottingham’s rich history and culture.

What cultural attractions should I not miss in Nottingham?

Don’t miss Nottingham Contemporary for contemporary art exhibitions and Theatre Royal and Nottingham Playhouse for a range of theatrical performances.

Where can I find diverse dining experiences in Nottingham town centre?

Explore charming cafes like Betty’s Tea Room, trendy restaurants like Iberico World Tapas, and gastropubs like The Herbert Kilpin for a variety of dining experiences in Nottingham.

Which shopping destinations are a must-visit for retail therapy in Nottingham?

Check out intu Victoria Centre, Broadmarsh Shopping Centre, Hockley, and Bridlesmith Gate for a wide range of shopping options in Nottingham.

What does Nottingham offer for nightlife enthusiasts?

Nottingham’s nightlife scene includes venues like Rock City, Pryzm, The Brickworks Nottingham, and traditional pubs like Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem for a variety of nighttime entertainment options.