Nottingham is a great city. It has everything that a student could need to live, study and party all day, any day. But, sometimes you need to get out for a while, and going home may not be an option. So, why not explore the surrounding area? Nottingham is the biggest hub in the east midlands, with train and bus links all across the country. If you’re looking for some new ideas for a day trip, this article is where to start. Here are 5 epic day trips from Nottingham.

1. Peak District

peak district - day trips from Nottingham

If you’re in need of some nature, the Peak District is not that far away from Nottingham. It’s only just over an hour from the city centre by car, although it’s about 3 hours on public transport as you have to get a train then a bus. But, once you’re there, it’s worth it. You can walk along the many trails across the centre, go cycling or even horseback riding through its varied landscapes. If you want to make it more than a day trip, you can even go camping on site. 

How to get to the Peak District

Start your journey on the A52 west from Nottingham. Continue on this road until you reach Derby, then switch to the A6 north. This scenic drive will take you straight into the heart of the Peak District, with its breathtaking landscapes and charming villages. The journey is approximately 60 miles and will take you about 1.5 hours without traffic.

2. Birmingham


Sometimes you just need to leave one city to go to another. Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK and pretty easy to get to from Nottingham – it’s just over an hour by car and about an hour and a half by train. While there, you can enjoy the many things Birmingham offers, from Cadbury World to the city’s many museums, the iconic Library of Birmingham and rich sporting history. As I’m sure you can assume from being the city’s second-largest city, there’s something for everyone. 

How to get to Birmingham

For a trip to Birmingham, you will need to take the M1 south from Nottingham. Continue on the M1 until junction 19, then take the M6 west. Take the exit towards Birmingham City Centre. The journey is about 75 miles and will take you around 1.5-2 hours without traffic.

3. Melton Mowbray

Melton Mowbray - epic road trips from Nottingham

This is another fun and interesting city that could make a great option for day trips from Nottingham. It’s especially one to check out if you’re a foodie. Melton Mowbray is famous for its Melton Pork Pies, as well as its food markets every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. It’s quite easy to reach from Nottingham, as it’s about 50 minutes on the train (changing at Leicester) or 35 minutes by car from the city centre. There are also specific food festivals, including the UK Piefest at the end of July, the East Midlands food festival at the beginning of October and ChocFest in mid-November. 

How to get to Melton Mowbray

To reach Melton Mowbray, start on the A60 south from Nottingham, then switch to the A606 west. You’ll pass through some beautiful countryside on this short trip. The journey is approximately 20 miles and should take you about 40 minutes without traffic.

4. Grantham

Grantham - road trip from Nottingham

The shortest of the trips, Grantham is a small market town 30 minutes by train and 45 minutes by car away from Nottingham’s city centre. Grantham is known for a number of different things, including being the birthplace of Maggie Thatcher, the site of Isaac Newton’s discovery of gravity and gingerbread biscuits. No matter what you’re interested in, Grantham will provide a fun and unique day trip from Nottingham. 

How to get to Grantham

Head east out of Nottingham on the A52. This route will take you directly to Grantham, passing through the charming town of Bingham along the way. The journey is about 25 miles and should take you around 45 minutes without traffic.

5. Sherwood Forest

sherwood forest

One of the most notable things about Nottinghamshire as a whole is Sherwood Forest thanks to its association with Robin Hood. Located in Mansfield, to the north of the city centre, it takes about an hour to get to the forest both by car and by public transport. At the forest, aside from being able to walk through it, there are a number of different events that take place. This includes archery, outdoor cinema and the Robin Hood festival from the 4th to the 6th of August. 

How to get to Sherwood Forest

To experience the legendary Sherwood Forest, drive north from Nottingham on the A60. After about 20 miles, you’ll see signs for Sherwood Forest. The journey should take you around 40 minutes without traffic.

Nottingham is blessed by being easily connected to many different cities, making day trips that much more doable. Plus, if you don’t have a car you can still venture around by using public transport. If you’re looking for more inspiration on what to do around the UK, check out our best day trips across the countries. Alternatively, why not take advantage of Nottingham’s abundant things to do with our guide to living in the city as a student.