Things to do in Nottingham

Looking for things to do in Nottingham today, this week or during the holidays?  Great news, you are in the right place as we have all of the best attractions and events to keep you and your family entertained.

The guide is broken down into easy to use sections which provide useful information and links to pages with more details or direct to attractions and event websites for easy booking.

So sit back, grab your favourite drink and lets find something new for you to enjoy with or without the kids!

things to do in nottingham

Things to do in Nottingham

Nottingham is an old city rich in medieval history. The city’s castle and marketplace are some of the oldest in England and have attracted visitors for hundreds of years. This historic town is also famous for its association with Robin Hood. The folk hero who stole from the rich and gave to the poor was said to live in Sherwood Forest, just north of the city.

For lovers of British history, Nottingham can be a great place to visit. After all, the city played a major role in the development of Britain, especially in the beginning of the industrial era. The Arkwright’s spinning machine was invented here in 1769, turning Nottingham into the lace capital of England. Nottingham lace would go on to be known worldwide for it’s quality and beauty.

With that being said, there is much more to Nottingham than learning its history. The city also has a well-rounded food culture with many high rated restaurants. There’s an excellent selection of pubs available with a growing nightclub scene to boot. Shopping options range from boutique shops to large retailers. In recent years, the city has grown a reputation for being trendy and fashionable. After all, it is the home of design royalty Sir Paul Smith. Nottingham has adapted very well to the 21st century.

If you’re planning your own trip to the history city of Nottingham, keep reading. Here are some of the top rated shopping, nightlife, and attraction options available.

Shopping in Nottingham

While Nottingham may not have the amount of shopping centres as other big cities, they offer quality, high-end brands.

shopping nottingham

intu Victoria Centre

The intu Centre is a shopping centre located in the heart of Nottingham. It’s home to over 120 stores, including Topshop, John Lewis, Next, and Paul Smith. It’s not just a shopping centre either, as intu also offers many dining options. Some of the dining options include the famous Homemade Burger Co and fusion restaurant Thaikun.

Getting to the centre is easy as well. There’s parking for over 2700 cars and a bus station on site. This centre is inviting and has options for all comers. For directions and more details, head to into Victoria Centre’s website.

the exchange nottingham

The Exchange

The Exchange is the city’s oldest shopping centre and has been open for over 85 years. The buildings were constructed between 1927 and 1929, becoming the city’s first shopping centre in the process. Nowadays, it is one of the most exclusive shopping locations in town. The exclusive selection of stores offers designer clothing, jewelry, and more. Two fine dining eateries provide delicious food and drinks, including cocktails and adult beverages, all day long. The Exchange is the premier shopping destination in the city. For more details on the stores and designers available, check out The Exchange’s web directory.

What’s on in Nottingham tonight?

Nottingham has a nice mixture of new and old pubs as well as live music halls and nightclubs. No matter your fancy, a fun night on the town won’t be hard to find here.

Doctor’s Orders

Doctors OrdersThis pub is the first of it’s kind – a micropub – in Nottingham. This pub specializes in producing the best quality cider and ales available. They also have a wide selection of locally sourced wines and many different craft beers. For the driver of the group, their coffee and tea menu is also highly recommended. Another thing that makes Doctor’s Orders unique is the atmosphere. There are no TV’s hanging on the wall, and no loud music playing. The atmosphere is relaxed, social, and friendly. The staff is very personable. The end result is a friendly, lively pub with great drinks. For information on their specialty cider and ale available, check out the Doctor’s Orders website.

The Canalhouse

The CanalhouseThe Canalhouse is a large bar and restaurant that provides perhaps the most unique dining setting in the city of Nottingham. Built on the lower floors of the Canal museum, this establishment has a canal that literally extends into the building. The bar portion is known for having a huge drink menu, including over 150 types of beer from all around the world. The restaurant cooks classic pub grub, fries, pizza, burgers. The beer garden located outdoors is a great venue to enjoy a meal especially when the weather is nice. To see what beers are currently available, check out The Canalhouse’s website.

What to do in Nottingham

Looking for fun and interesting things to do before your night on the town?

Nottingham Caves

Nottingham CavesMost of the city of Nottingham is built on sandstone. Sandstone is a relatively soft rock, that is easy to dig into caves or tunnels. There are numerous caves and tunnels built underground, all over the city. Some were even used as WW2 air raid shelters. Some of these tunnels and caves are closed, but a great many are available to the public. Guided tours are available to explore the most extensive tunnels. If you want to take a deeper look into the Nottingham underworld, these tours are a great place to start.

Nottingham Castle

Nottingham CastleThe fortress known as Nottingham Castle has stood strongly for over 900 years. Sitting high above the city centre, the Castle is a reminder of city’s medieval history and fortitude. It’s now home to an art gallery and museum for the city. The gateway, featuring a gatehouse, bridge, and towers, heps set the tone for this historic location. The building has stood the test of time, although it was aided by a Victorian era restoration effort. For history lovers, this cannot be missed.

Visiting Nottingham

As you can see, Nottingham has an interesting and fun history that manages to shine through in every aspect of the city. It has the feel and looks of a very old place, which it is. If you love exploring and learning history, Nottingham has a long list of things for you to do. But for those seeking more modern amenities, this city has you covered as well. Although not known for shopping, the city’s few shopping centres carry top brands and designers. The nightlife options include classic pubs, live music venues, and clubs. For the tourist or visitor, Nottingham truly has it all.

More Information

If you would like additional ideas for things to do in Nottingham, why not take a look at more of the attractions and events in our other Nottingham guides: