Top Ten Nottingham Highlights
- Nottingham Castle and Robin Hood Statue
Set high upon the Castle Rock and commanding spectacular views over the city, Nottingham Castle is not to be missed. It now stands as a municipal museum, the first of its kind outside London. You can't leave Nottingham without having a photograph with the famous Robin Hood statue either. He has stood in the shadow of the Castle since 1952 as an iconic centrepiece for Nottingham's rich history. Beneath the Castle a labyrinth of manmade caves and tunnels continue to tell the turbulent story of this historic site.
- Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem
Enjoy a pint of tasty real ale and enjoy divine food while sitting in a cave! Said to be the oldest Inn in England, its painted sign shows that it dates back to the 12th century. It sits at the foot of the magnificent Nottingham Castle, and there are numerous ghost stories about visitors who never left. The pub attracts tourists from around the world who are fascinated by its rich history.
- Nottingham Contemporary
One of the largest contemporary arts centres in the UK, Nottingham Contemporary, set in Nottingham's historic Lace Market area, boasts a 3,000sq meter floor space. Designed by the award-winning architects Caruso St John, to celebrate the area's history of lace manufacture, the cladding of the building is embossed with a traditional Nottingham lace pattern. It is built upon the oldest site in Nottingham – Garners Hill – which once housed cave dwellings, a Saxon fort and a medieval town hall before the Victorians swept it all aside for a railway. Along with four galleries, there is a performance and film space and a Cafe Bar. Free entry.
- Galleries of Justice Museum
An enthralling, if gory, experience awaits you at Nottingham's old courthouse and gaol. The award-meeting Galleries of Justice Museum is the only museum of its kind in Europe; it was once home to the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham and is the only venue where you can delve into the city's horrible history through performances, audio tours and exhibitions. Put your family on trial in the Victorian law court and venture down below street level into the cells and dungeons to hear about the terrible conditions endured by the prisoners.
- City of Caves
This promises for a walk around a shopping centre like no other. Here lies the entrance to the City of Caves, a hidden world of history beneath your feet. A well kept secret is that Nottingham is actually built on more than 500 man-made, sandstone caves which date back to medieval times. Descend far below street level and explore how the original leather tannery worked, where people went to escape the WW2 air raids and so much more.
- National Ice Centre
Situated a few streets away from the Galleries of Justice is the National Ice Centre and Capital FM Arena. Take to the ice and enjoy a couple of hours ice skating, whatever your ability, or visit the adjacent Arena, and check out what's on. With a capacity of 10,000, the Arena has been host to many big names including Coldplay, Katy Perry, Elton John and Jake Bugg over the years, so you might find something that takes your fancy.
- Wollaton Hall & Deer Park
This spectacular Elizabethan Mansion, built by Sir Francis Willoughby as a home for his family, and which now holds the city's Natural History Museum, shot to fame as Wayne Manor in the 2012 Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. Set in five hundred acres of spectacular gardens and parkland, which is just perfect to run or walk around, entry to the house and grounds is free although there is a car parking charge. It's not uncommon to see the many deer strolling through the park.
- Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall
Completed in 1865, this prestigious theatre has a proud reputation of showing the best in music, theatre and dance – from classic musicals to pantomimes and contemporary stage shows with big West End names. Over the years, the city's cultural hub has undergone many changes, including the addition of the Royal Concert Hall in 1982.
- Lakeside Arts Centre
Located just outside of the city centre in the picturesque grounds of the University of Nottingham, Lakeside Arts Centre hosts an eclectic programme of free music, dance, theatre, visual art, special collections and family events all year round. The centre overlooks Highfields Park, which features at its heart a beautiful boating lake or you can simply stroll or run around the leafy paths surrounding it.
- The Holme Pierrepont Country Park,
Home of the National Water Sports Centre
Now under a new name, The Holme Pierrepont Country Park, home of the National Water Sports Centre, is set in 270-acres and is well known for its beautiful country park and amazing water sports activities. Get wet on the waves of the white water course, crawl through the dirt in the e-combat laser tag zone, or explore the waterways by canoe. The centre also offers cycle hire and segway tours, plus onsite camping for an ideal active escape.