Top 10 things to do in Nottinghamshire

By Benedict Cooper

There are so many things to do in Nottinghamshire, but here are the top 10.

Newstead Abbey

Not only is Newstead Abbey interesting for being the home of playboy poet Lord Byron, it’s also one of the finest stately homes in the region. Built in the 12th century, the abbey has survived earthquakes, the Civil War and the wild parties held by its most famous owner.

Take in a show

There’s always plenty going on so take your pick. You could catch a gig at the nationally-renowned Rock City, see a play at one of a number of theatres around the county, laugh your socks off at a comedy club or lose yourself in a poetry recital or literary reading at one of the many societies in the region.

Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham

Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham

Explore Sherwood Forest

No trip to Robin Hood Country is complete without a visit to the forest where the Sherwood outlaw was said to roam. Even if you don’t buy the legends, it’s a superb wild forest with an abundance of dramatic woodland life and scenery.

Stroll around Wollaton Hall

The dramatic stately home Wollaton Hall is a must for the sheer grandeur of this unique 16th-century building and the sight of the deer that roam the grounds. There’s also plenty to see and do at the hall. Enjoy natural history exhibits, tours of the house, formal and botanical gardens, cafes, shops and much more.

Visit Attenborough Nature Reserve

A short hop outside the city – you can get the train – takes you to a truly idyllic spot, the Attenborough Nature Reserve, managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. You can stroll for hours around the lakes and wooded areas taking in the sights and sounds of nature and really get away from it all.

The Brewhouse Yard

The Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard, at the foot of the castle, is the quintessential document of the city and beyond. Celebrating more than 300 years of life in the county, it’s the perfect way to get your historical bearings.

Have a night out

Whether you want a slick lounge bar, a quaint old pub or a jumping late night venue, Nottinghamshire has it all in spades. And Nottingham itself is a city jampacked with exciting gig venues and nightclubs. The nights here are full of energy – from the trendiest bars to atmospheric pubs rumoured to be the oldest in England. Just south of the city, West Bridgford also offers a fabulous high street, but one of its true treasures is the amount of great places to grab a pint or cocktail.

Discover quirky shops

Whether you’re in Nottingham, Newark, Southwell or Beeston, the county has a wealth of quirky independent bookshops, clothes stores, delis, bakeries and bars to explore, all full of local charm and character.

The Exchange offers a stylish and atmospheric shopping experience in Nottingham city centre

The Exchange offers a stylish and atmospheric shopping experience in Nottingham city centre

Tour the caves

There’s a whole hidden world of caves underneath Nottingham, with a trove of secrets to unfold. There are a number of tours starting from various places including inside the Broadmarsh shopping centre, and even underneath the beautiful old music hall turned pub, the Malt Cross on St James’s Street. A particular treat is the tunnel known as ‘Mortimer’s Hole’, which legend has it was used by Edward III to enter Nottingham Castle to kidnap Roger de Mortimer in 1330.

Get on two wheels

It doesn’t matter if you’re a city slicker or more of a rural type, there can be no better way to explore this county than by bicycle. There are some excellent routes available both for Nottingham and the surrounding countryside.

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Image credits: ©Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust;; Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall Nottingham; The Exchange

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