The 10 best things to do in Nottingham

Nottingham is an amazing city with a population of over 330,000 and has an abundance of opportunities and activities. Not only is the city a perfect location for student life, but there is also so much to see and do!  This is our top 10 guide on the best things to do in Nottingham, to ensure you make the most out of your time in this wonderful city.

1. Nottingham Goose Fair

Goose Fair, Nottingham

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 this year’s event was sadly cancelled. However, the Nottingham Goose Fair is worth a mention. Located in Nottingham’s Forest Recreation Ground, the annual five-day fair usually attracts over 420,000 visitors and is great fun for people of all ages. There is a wide array of rides, attractions, and food stalls to experience. Nottingham Goose Fair is accessible by tram and normally takes place in early October, so here is hoping we can go next year!

2. Nottingham Castle

Castle, Nottingham
Source: Visit Nottinghamshire

Located in a prominent position above the city, Nottingham Castle sits on 130ft high cliffs and is truly a sight to behold! The castle was originally built in 1068 and was a major fortress during the Middle Ages. These days, the castle is used for history and art exhibitions. So, if you fancy a trip down memory lane, and would love to admire some notable pieces of art, this could be the perfect trip for you. Not only this, but the views from the castle are completely unmatched.

3. Wollaton Hall

Wollaton Hall, Nottingham
Source: Trip Advisor

Wollaton Hall is in the suburbs of Nottingham and is a beautiful Elizabethan manor house situated in 500 acres of stunning parkland. The old mansion was used as Wayne Manor for the filming of The Dark Knight Rises. Wollaton Hall is perfect for a day trip to admire the beautiful architecture and watch the herds of roaming deer. It is also possible to look around inside the house, and guided tours are available. Perfect for both walks and picnics, please check out this beautiful park!

4. The Park Estate

The Park Estate, Nottingham
Source: Belvoir

Situated just behind Nottingham Castle, The Park is a private housing estate, where you will find some of the most expensive properties in the city. Despite being located so centrally, The Park offers a surprising and unique atmosphere. The beautiful Victorian architecture, quiet streets and perfectly kept gardens ensure that it seems as though you are not in a city at all. We would recommend going for a stroll around this peaceful neighbourhood and taking some time to admire the beautiful mansions!

5. Attenborough Nature Reserve

Attenborough Nature Reserve
Source: PA Images

Located 5 miles south of Nottingham, you will find the beautiful Attenborough Nature Reserve. This activity is perfect for a sunny afternoon, and there are a wide variety of trails and walks to explore. The reserve has a local farm shop and café, so no need to go hungry! Take some time to discover the astonishing array of wildlife and admire the many lakes. In summertime, some even go wild swimming here in the near-by river Trent!

6. Nottingham Canal

Nottingham Canal
Source: Getty Images

Starting in Beeston, you can easily follow the canal through into the heart of the city and enjoy the beautiful sight of the gentle water as you walk. There are many pubs and restaurants to stop off at along the way, and you can enjoy the relaxing view with a pint in hand. This trail is perfect for both couples and families, and you can feed the ducks and go canoeing on the water. Once you have reached the city, the vibrant waterfront district is perfect for exploring!

7. Old Market Square

Market Square, Nottingham
Source: Andrew Stuart

The Old Market Square is found right in the centre of the city and is the ideal place to meet friends for both a night out and a spot of shopping. There are several landmarks in the square, including the beautiful Neoclassical Council House and Nottingham Playhouse. After marvelling at the stunning architecture, you can wander around the streets and visit the many shops and cafés. Major events like Riviera Beach and Nottingham Winter Wonderland also take place here. Overall, the Old Market Square is the social hub of the city!

8. Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem

The Oldest Pub in England
Source: Third Eye Traveller

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is nestled just behind Nottingham Castle and is actually England’s oldest pub. Crusader knights once frequented the inn, and it is even said that King Richard the Lionheart gathered here before travelling to Jerusalem in 1189 AD. Nowadays, the historic dwelling is a mixture between a pub and a museum. They serve not only excellent food but also have medieval furnishings, and you can even visit the old cellars.

9. Highfields Park

Highfields Park
Source: Visit Nottingham

Tucked away just next to the University of Nottingham, you will find the 23-hectare Highfields Park. With its beautiful lake, huge trees, exotic plants, and stunning water features, it is the perfect place for an afternoon walk. You will find a variety of activities available here, including boat hire, adventure golf, a children’s play area and a café. The Lakeside Arts Centre also hosts an array of events.

10. The Nottingham Nightlife

Nottingham Nightlife
Source: Nottingham Post

Nottingham has a fantastic and varied nightlife. From secret cocktail bars to traditional old pubs, there is absolutely something for everyone. There is a wide range of different night clubs and live music venues and even indie cinemas. Although sadly nightclubs are currently shut, when they reopen, Nottingham is the perfect location for a great night out!

And that is it, the 10 best things to do Nottingham! Hopefully, you are feeling inspired by this list, and if you are visiting the city, it is definitely worth checking these places out. If you are looking for more ideas, take a look at our previous article on 7 unusual things to do in Nottingham.

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