Nottingham is a great destination for a family holiday and there are lots of tourist attractions.
Our Nottingham Tourist Information guide below lists all the attractions in Nottingham with links to OFFICIAL tourism websites.
Nottingham is a city in Britain’s East Midlands in the county of Nottinghamshire, 150 miles north of London. The county Nottinghamshire has a population of around 667,000 whilst the city of Nottingham has a population of around 300,000 people. Famous for its links with the Robin Hood legend and his merry men, and home of the 165 square-mile Royal forest -Sherwood Forest, this is a big Nottingham tourist attraction contributing to the 300,000 overseas visitors that Nottingham receives each year. The Sherwood Forest visitor centre is based 19 miles north of the city and has plenty of information on the exploits of Robin Hood and is perfect to visit before you explore the forest for yourself and see the huge, ancient Major Oak tree that Robin allegedly hid in from the Sheriff of Nottingham’s men.
Many visitors to Nottingham are unaware of Nottingham’s man-made caverns beneath the city, believed to be 400 in all, which have many uses, in the past as wartime air raid shelters during the Second World War and now cellar spaces, storage, extensions to rooms to name a few uses.
Nottingham also boasts one of only 20 remaining Turkish Baths in the UK.
Shopping in Nottingham
Nottingham is a fantastic city to shop and it is not surprising that it is considered to be one of the UK’s top shopping destinations, in 2007 ranked 5th in the retail shopping league of England behind London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. The excellent shopping facilities are particularly ideal for the fashion-lover as Nottingham is highly regarded in the world of fashion design. Nottingham has a wide variety of shops from market traders, fashionable chic shops, boutiques, high street stores and department stores. The compact city centre also means that all of Nottingham’s shops are within convenient walking distance.
There are two main shopping centres in Nottingham: Victoria Centre and Westfield Broadmarsh. Established on the site of the former Victoria Railway Station and the first to be built in the City, the Victoria Centre is the biggest shopping centre in Nottingham with two levels home to 120 shops such as John Lewis, House of Fraser, Top shop, Monsoon, Wallis, Next, Boots and the Disney Store. Around 23 million people visit Victoria Centre each year and transport is catered for with parking for up to 2,400 cars and a bus station.
Westfield Broadmarsh is an indoor mall with over 80 stores, including Argos, Dorothy Perkins, Ernest Jones, Bhs and TK Maxx, and Westfield Broadmarsh even houses the entrance to the intriguing network of caves beneath Nottingham’s city centre. Work has begun on redeveloping Westfield Broadmarsh to increase the number of stores to 400.
For designer names you will find many famous designer stores in the Bridlesmith Gate area including Kurt Geiger, Office, Dune, Whistles, Limeys, Hugo Boss, Ted Baker, Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood. Byard Lane is home of the original Paul Smith boutique store, designed by Sir Paul himself, the flagship store is a five-floor, grade II listed building, whilst next door on Low Pavement is Jass Interiors, the second best contemporary furniture store in the UK.
Nottingham has a number of department stores including the likes of House of Fraser, John Lewis, and Debenhams. Derby Road is home to many specialist shops and independent outlets from vintage clothes to rare vinyl, shops like Wild Clothing, Ice Nine, Birdcage and Selectadisc, and health and beauty stores like Molton Brown and Aveda are also close by Nottingham city centre.
Nottingham East Midlands Airport
Nottingham East Midlands Airport (NEMA) is an airport in the East Midlands of England, located at Castle Donington, North West Leicestershire. Nottingham East Midlands Airport is situated between the cities of Derby, Leicester and Nottingham, all within a 20 mile radius of the airport.
Nottingham East Midlands Airport mainly serves European destinations such as Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, Oslo and Amsterdam, internal flights to Edinburgh and Belfast and limited services to trans-continental destinations such as Barbados, Mexico and Sanford, Florida. Passenger numbers reached a record high of over 5,620,000 in 2008 making it the 10th busiest airport in the UK by passenger traffic.
Sport in Nottingham
Nottingham is the home of two football clubs: Nottingham Forest and Notts County FC, a test match cricket ground at Trent Bridge, Rugby League’s Nottingham Outlaws RLFC, Rugby Union’s Nottingham R.F.C., Nottingham Tennis Centre and National Ice Centre. Nottingham Tennis Centre is the premier tennis venue in Nottingham, one of the largest of its kind in the country and is where the former annual Nottingham Open is held.
Football clubs in Nottingham
Nottingham is home to 2 professional football clubs: Nottingham Forest F.C who currently play in the Football League Championship (the second tier of English football) and play their home matches at the City Ground, which stands in West Bridgford on the banks of the River Trent.
Nottingham is also home to Notts County F.C, the World’s oldest professional Football team, founded in 1862, and they play their home matches at Meadow Lane stadium on the opposite side of the River Trent to Nottingham Forest.
Museums and Galleries in Nottingham
Nottingham’s various museums tell the past, present and future of topics such as literature, science, fashion, childhood and justice – you’ll be amazed at what there is to do and discover at Nottingham City Museums and Galleries.
The famous Nottingham Castle is a magnificent 17th century ducal mansion built on the site of the original Medieval Castle on top of ‘the castle rock’ offering superb views. Now home to a vibrant museum and art gallery, the ducal mansion displays collections of silver, glass, decorative items, art collections, galleries on the history and archaeology of Nottingham and the surrounding areas, and the regimental museum of the Sherwood Foresters.
Highlights include the 15th Century Nottingham alabaster carvings, watercolours by Richard Parkes Bonnington and Paul Sandby, the Joseph Collection of Wedgwood Jasperware, the Ballantyne Collection of contemporary ceramics, salt-glazed stoneware and a costume collection including Nottingham lace making.
Nottingham Castle is ideal for an educational activity for children, with interactive displays, led gallery bringing paintings to life plus a medieval-style playground in the grounds to appeal to children.
Nottingham Castle is just a 10 minute walk from Nottingham City centre, with easy access from train and bus stations, and parking close by. Ticketing for Nottingham Castle is combined with admission to the Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard where you will find out what it was like to live in a Victorian house.
The Galleries of Justice Museum is based at Nottingham’s old courthouse and gaol at Shire Hall in the Lace Market. Here you will be delving in to the dark and disturbing past of crime and punishment in Nottingham when Nottingham Shire Hall was the only place in the UK where you could be tried, incarcerated and hanged on the front steps.
Get active by trying your hand at the process of turning grain to flour on a tour around Green’s Windmill, or perhaps knitting with a 19 century sock machine at the Ruddington Framework Knitters’ Museum. If transport is your thing then the Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre in Ruddington is a museum of local transport and well worth a visit.
Other museums in Nottingham include: Green’s Windmill and Science Centre, Nottingham Industrial Museum, Nottingham Museums of Costume and Textiles in Castlegate, Nottingham Natural History Museum.
Nightlife in Nottingham
Nottingham is home to a vibrant mix of bars, clubs and restaurants, and with slightly more relaxed drinking laws than other cities in the UK and a thriving student population, Nottingham is a great lively city for a night out. There is plenty of choice for the keen clubber in Nottingham, with Gatecrasher the club to hear dance anthems played by world class DJs, or the multimillion pound super club Oceana with 3 bars, 2 full size clubs, six plush themed rooms, a restaurant and a VIP section, it is ideal for a stylish night out.
There is Stealth for underground electronic and Drum n Bass and The Rig for indie hits. Media is a stunning converted theatre and well worth checking out and the funky Market Bar features sumptuous decor and late night grooves.
There are plenty of bars in Nottingham, from inexpensive student bars like Templars and Varsity, bars with a warm atmosphere and friendly service such as Muse, and unique bars such as Pitcher & Piano, an upbeat bar set in a converted church in the busy area of The Lace Market.
For a quite drink there is numerous wonderful country pubs across rural Nottinghamshire. For something a bit different visit the pub/cave combination that is ‘Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem’, reputedly England’s oldest pub founded in AD1189. Here you can buy a beer and sit in a room literally hollowed out of the sandstone!
Music and Entertainment in Nottingham
Nottingham is one of the centres of live popular music in the UK and there is the 2,500-capacity Nottingham Royal Concert Hall and 9,500-capacity Nottingham Arena, playing music from classical to pop and attracting plenty of big names. For a more intimate atmosphere Nottingham has plenty of smaller venues such as Rock City, The Salutation, Seven and The Old Angel, playing less mainstream acts, and there is something to suit all tastes.
Nottingham Playhouse is the major producing theatre in the city, first established in the 1950s, and performing around 13 bold and thrilling productions per year, viewed by more than 100,000 people per year.
Castles in Nottingham
Nottingham is home to several historic and fascinating castles such as Newark Castle and Belvoir Castle. Newark Castle was built in 1133 and the curtain wall that runs alongside the River Trent was rebuilt in the 14th century and remains today. Originally designed to impress guests and reflect the wealth and power of the castle’s owner, the three-storey gatehouse is still standing and is the most complete example of a Romanesque gatehouse to survive in England.
Belvoir Castle was the family home of the 11th Duke and Duchess of Rutland and the current castle is the fourth to have stood on the site since Norman times. The current castle was completed in the early 19 century and highlights included the elegance Elizabeth Saloon, the State Dining Room, the Regents Gallery and the Guards Room, Belvoir possesses some of the most stunning interiors of this period.