Things to do in Nottingham

100's of great activities and things to do in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

Things to do in Nottingham

Things to do in Nottingham brings you loads of great activity ideas and exciting things to do in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and the surrounding East Midlands areas - Nottingham is a beautiful place to visit with a lively nightlife. Visit Sherwood Forest, the Nottingham Caves, Wollaton Park, Nottingham Castle, Rufford Park, Clumber Park, Newark, Southwell and the Peak District. Try activities like karting, golf, spas, riding, farms, zoos, river Trent cuises, football, hot air ballooning, quad biking, cave tours, and much more.

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In this empty gap below our busy old computer is going to load a brilliant list of activities, but it can be a bit bloomin slow (especially if its 'black over bills muthas' as they say round here), so while you are waiting for our server 'robin hood' to get you details of 100's of great Nottinghamshire activities we challenge you to work out a bit of the Nottingham lingo (a free language lesson) (1) eyup mi duck (2) oo wari wee (3) wari wi imsen (4) gizarfonit. The queens English translation of these everyday Nottingham sayings are (1) Hello (2) Who was he with (3) Was he alone (4) Would you mind sharing that with me. If you were wondering 'black over bills muthas' is 'it looks as though it may rain!'


Things to do in Nottingham city centre

Nottingham City Centre is easy to walk around in a day. There are two major shopping centres (the UK equivalent of a shopping Mall!), the Victoria Centre with its famous water clock outside of the Boots Store (Boots is a Nottingham based business and one of the city's largest employers, which is why most people in front of you in the queue in this store will have a staff discount card!), and at the other end of the city the Broadmarsh Centre.

Roughly midway between the two shopping centres you have the historic Old Market Square which is the heart of Nottingham city centre. Numerous events are held in the Old Market Square throughout the year - it becomes home to typical a English beach in the summer, a Christmas Market with Ice Skating Rink in the winter, etc.

Nottingham Riviera is the summer beach resort which is set up on Old Market Square in high summer (22nd July to 3rd September in 2011) to transform land locked Nottingham* into a typical seaside town.  The beach is set up complete with a real sand beach, large paddling pool, traditional deck chairs, bumper boats, beachside cafes and bars and traditional funfair rides.

Visitor attractions within the city centre include Nottingham Castle, which is very interesting to visit but will be a visual disappointment if you have watched any of the big Robin Hood movies! The amazing Nottingham Caves are accessed through the Broadmarsh Centre, and in the Hockley district of the town you have National Ice Centre, the place where many years ago (in the old Nottingham Ice Rink) the famous Olympic Ice Dancing gold medallists Torvill and Dean honed their skills. This venue is home to the Nottingham Panthers Ice Hockey Team (a great start to a night out in Nottingham) and the venue for numerous concerts and entertainment events. A little further out of town (about 2 miles from the city centre in the Sneinton / Meadows area) you have the football grounds of Nottingham Forest (a team with a glorious past, having twice been European Champions under the control of the legendary Brian Clough) and its underdog neighbours Notts County, who I guess must have been the best team in the world at one time as they are the oldest football team in the world!  Who did they play?

* Nottingham is about 70 miles from the nearest coast at Skegness.  Now there is a traditional Nottingham day out to the seaside - you can take the train and see a British Seaside town it all it glory!

Nottingham Night Life

Nottingham is a buzzing place on a night, with literally 100's of bars, restaurants and night clubs. Very popular with youngsters, stag nights and hen parties! Too much to cover on one page but here is a simple guide.

Old Market Square and the city centre

Home to some of the city's most famous and historic bars like Yates' Wine Lodge, the Old Bell Inn and a little further afield the Salutation Inn and 'probably' the world's oldest pub - The Trip to Jerusalem (which is carved into the rock just down from the Castle).

Mansfield Road

The Mansfield Road is a popular pub crawl for lovers of Real Ale, good traditional beers are on offer from the bars as you head up Mansfield Road (up the hill from the Victoria Centre towards Sherwood and Arnold).

Hockley the Lace Market

East of the City Centre is the trendy Hockley and Lace Market areas, in the area of the old Nottingham Lace industries (Lace making was a huge employer in Nottingham in the industrial ages, and is still a popular gift in the Nottingham shops). This area has a host of trendy bars, wine bars and restaurants.


A nice area in the summer is the bars and restaurants located on the side of the Canal, including the old Fellows Moreton and Clayton.

Nottingham Restaurants

The most famous top end Nottingham Restaurants include Harts, The World Service and Jamie Olivers.

Nottingham Events

Some of the key events which take part in Nottingham each year include:

Nottingham Riviera

When - Late July until early September
Where - the Old Market Square, right in the centre of Nottingham City

This event sees the Old Market Square turned into a typical UK Beach Side Resort, with a sandy beach, paddling pool, fairground rides and stalls selling summer goods - including english ice creams of course! A bit like a land locked Skegness.

Nottingham Riverside Festival

When - early August
Where - On the banks of the River Treant at Nottingham Embankment. From the centre of Nottingham head out towards West Bridgford and the event takes place on the town side of the river to your right

This event is free to enter. Come along and enjoy the fun fair, steam engines, live music, dragon boat and charity duck races, craft market, street theatre, childrens zone, food stalls and much more. One of the highlights of the Nottingham Riverside Festival is the fireworks display at 10:30 on the Saturday evening.

Robin Hood Festival

When - around Mid August
Where - Sherwood Forest of Course - Head for Edwinstoew about 15 miles north of Nottingham up the A610 road

Come along to Sherwood Forest (where else!) and enjoy 5 days of medeival family fun as Robin Hood once again rides into Sherwood Forest to launch the world's biggest celebration of the famous outlaw. Entertainment at the festival includes Musicians and Entertainers, Falconry Displays, Live Jousting Tournaments and a host of traditional craft stalls.

Nottingham Goose Fair

When - the first weekend in October, starting at Wednesday lunchtime and ending on the following Sunday night
Where - the Forest Recreation Ground - head north from the city centre on Mansfield Road, towards Sherwood and the fair is on your left after about 2 miles as you start going down the hill

One of the biggest events on the Nottingham calendar, the historic Goose Fair fair is free to enter, you pay for each ride or attraction you choose to take part in. Nottingham Goose Fair has run for over 700 years, and is one of Europe's largest travelling fairs, with over 500 attractions, thrill rides, kids rides, food stalls and games to try in one place.

Winter Wonderland in Nottingham

When - around the third week in November until at about the 10th January
Where - the Old Market Square, right in the centre of Nottingham City

This event sees the Market Square turned into a wonderful Christmas scene / playground. With a Christmas Market selling traditional arts and crafts, and food and drinks, including of course the obligatory mulled wine! Additionally there is a open air skating rink and a range of children's rides. Nottingham Xmas Fun for all the family.

Nottingham Capital FM Arena

When - All Year Round
Where - Nottingham City Centre - about 1 miles east of the Old Market Square

Some of the larger acts visiting Nottingham in 2011/2012 include:

Duran Duran (6th December)

Diversity (3rd April 2012)

Snow Patrol (1st Feb 2012)

Olly Murs (13th Feb 2012)

JLS (27th March and 18th April 2012)

Westlife (22 May and 5 June 2012)

Michael McIntyre (3rd to 8th September 2012)