The ultimate guide to visiting Nottingham

Friday, 29 March 2024

Nottingham has a rich history full of medieval English folklore making it an ideal place for any history fan to visit. As well as having historical hotspots, Nottingham has a thriving culture full of independent establishments and quirky attractions.

Of course, we have you covered when it comes to trains to Nottingham , but organising a trip away will look completely different depending on who you’re going with. Whether it’s whisking your partner away for the weekend, taking your family on a much-needed day out, exploring a new city with friends or planning a solo trip, we’ve got your back.

We’ve compiled a list of the best things to do whilst visiting Nottingham all in one place, to make the process of planning your visit a little bit easier. Take a look at our handy guides below for ideas of the best places to visit, explore and, of course, eat and drink whilst visiting Nottingham.

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Things to do

Days out for Solo Travellers

Solo trips can be daunting; however, Nottingham is a great city to explore at your own pace. Here is a list of some of the must-see things to do on your solo trip to Nottingham.

National Justice Museum

Nottingham has a very rich history and is jam-packed with things to explore and discover. Whether you are a true crime fanatic, or simply just want to learn something new, you must visit the National Justice Museum – a museum dedicated exclusively to crime, punishment and social justice. Housed in a former Victorian prison, police station and court room, the National Justice Museum allows you to discover the history of crime and punishment like never before through immersive stories of the past.

Interact with historical figures by watching court re-enactments as characters plead their cases and try to escape the hangman’s noose. Find out more about the National Justice Museum.

Still craving more after your visit? Book yourself a tour of Nottingham’s underground history and explore the hidden cave network that exists beneath the city.

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem

Nottingham is home to the oldest pub in the country, dating back to the 12th century. This historic pub is a gem for anyone who is interested in exploring Nottingham’s history whilst enjoying a delicious pub lunch. Legend has it that King Richard the Lionheart gathered his army at this location before commencing their journey to Jerusalem in 1189AD and, likewise, Robin Hood was said to once be a local at the establishment. Order yourself a drink and discover the ghosts that are said to haunt Nottingham – if you are lucky enough, you might even get to see “Yorkey” the old pub landlord who is reported to haunt the cellar caves.

If you don’t feel any ghostly presences at the old pub, don’t worry – you can join Nottingham’s ghost hunters on a ghost walk that conveniently leaves from the pub’s doorstep every Saturday at 7pm. Book a table at Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem.

Nottingham Caves

Unknown to some, Nottingham city centre is home to a huge network of man-made caves that snake below the streets of Nottingham. Download the Nottingham Caves App , and go on a fascinating journey into the past.

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Days out for couples

Broadway Cinema

Take a trip to one of Nottingham’s independent cinemas and be transported to the wonderful world of film. Broadway cinema is a nationally recognised cultural leader in independent cinema, arts and technology. Relax and enjoy a range of refreshments in Broadway’s Café Bar before and after your screening, or grab a bite to eat at Broadway’s Mezzanine Bar and relax in the original cinema seats designed by world famous designer Paul Smith. Book Broadway Cinema here.

Hockley, or the Creative Quarter

Nicknamed “the Soho of Nottingham”, Hockley is a hub for Nottingham’s culture. Home to some of the best bars and restaurants in the city, it is the perfect neighbourhood to explore. Wander the streets of the Creative Quarter and discover the murals of the rainbow streets. With some of the best vintage shops in Nottingham, Hockley is an ideal place for couples to explore in Nottingham.

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Travelling With Friends

Escape Rooms – Escapologic

Discover the legend of Robin Hood like never before in Nottingham’s Robin Hood-themed escape room, “Robin of Lockskey”. Can you find the golden arrow, save the sheriff, and protect the legend of Robin Hood? If not, don’t worry – Escapologic has 7 other themed escape rooms that you can try and crack. Book Escape Rooms.

Hatchet Harry’s

Image © Hatchet Harry’s

Hatchet Harry’s

Test out your aim at Nottingham’s urban axe throwing facility, Hatchet Harry’s. Learn how to throw axes from the experts and show off your skills by competing against the members of your party and discover who has the best aim. Book Hatchet Harry's.

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Days out with the Family

The Robin Hood Experience

If you’re hoping to go back in time and fully immerse yourself in Robin Hood’s world, you won’t be disappointed by The Robin Hood Experience , located in the heart of Nottingham’s city centre. Your family will travel back in time and hear tales of Robin Hood’s daring heroism, all with the help of a fantastic audio-visual experience that is sure to capture your little one’s imagination.

There’s no need to book this attraction, simply turn up during opening hours!

Si5 Spy Missions

On your visit to Nottingham, your children have the opportunity to play out their own spy adventures at Si5 Spy Missions. The mission is to infiltrate the ship and stop the missiles being launched without being caught, which is sure to give your children an adrenaline filled day out. This attraction is suitable for ages 6+ and is a must for any little ones who are hoping to the next super spy. Book Si5 Spy Missions.

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Places to Eat in Nottingham

Nottingham has lots of independent establishments that you need to try when visiting the city. Whether you are eating alone, on a date or eating as a group, here is a list of some of our favourite places you need to tick off your eatery list when visiting Nottingham.

Fat Hippo

If you love burgers, you need to visit one of the best burger joints in Nottingham, Fat Hippo. Located on Broad Street, Fat Hippo promises visitors some of the best burgers Nottingham has to offer. From classic American-style burgers to vegan burgers, Fat Hippo caters for everyone. If burgers are not all you fancy, don’t worry – Fat Hippo offers a range of starters and sides too. Book a table at Fat Hippo.


Image © ZAAP


Located just minutes away from Nottingham Castle, ZAAP is a walk-in restaurant that has brought Thai street food to Nottingham. It offers a bustling, family-friendly atmosphere with an open kitchen and a climbable tuk-tuk that can keep your children busy whilst they wait. With an affordable and creative menu, ZAAP is a perfect place to visit whilst in Nottingham for anybody who loves Thai street food. Find out more about ZAAP.

200 Degrees Coffee

Refuel yourself by visiting one of the best coffee shops Nottingham has to offer. With 2 locations across the city, and with one conveniently located just a few metres from Nottingham Station, 200 Degrees is the perfect place to visit before a busy day of exploring. Whether you are grabbing a snack to go or planning your adventures for the day, 200 Degrees has you covered – offering a range of hot beverages, fresh food and pastries, with a wide variety of vegan and vegetarian options too.


Experience fine dining at Alchemilla , that is known for its emphasis on seasonal ingredients and serves exquisite dishes with layers of original flavour combinations.

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Best Bars in Nottingham

Pit & Pendulum

With wickedly good drinks and sinfully tempting food, Pit & Pendulum is a gothic-themed, Victorian-inspired bar located in the centre of Nottingham. Book a table at Pit & Pendulum.

Hockley Arts Club

Image © Hockley Arts Club

Hockley Arts Club

Located in Hockley, Hockley Arts Club is a creative space for social eating and drinking. Divided across three stories, each floor has its own theme and feels like its own world. The first-floor level houses ‘Stockholm’, an independent bar inspired by mid-century Scandinavian décor.

Stockholm is open late, offers exclusive cocktails and is the perfect location to relax after a busy day of sightseeing in Nottingham. Go up a level and you will be greeted with ‘Blue Rooms’, the beating heart of the arts club. Acting as both a restaurant and bar, Blue Rooms is the perfect location for a date. The final floor is arguably the most glamorous, and where you will find the ‘Electric Garden’. The Electric Garden is a cocktail bar like no other, enabling you to relax in style with a range of bespoke cocktails. Book a table at Hockley Arts Club.


Bunk is one of the coolest bars in Nottingham, and rightly so – it’s underground. Offering a range of cocktails made to order, Bunk is the perfect place to visit with friends or your partner when visiting Nottingham. As well as cocktails, Bunk offers a selection of wings, burgers and hot dogs that can be ordered at the bar, with vegan and vegetarian options also available for specific items.

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Places to Stay in Nottingham

Park Plaza Hotel

The Park Plaza Hotel is perfect for anyone travelling to Nottingham from couples looking for a romantic getaway to families travelling with children of all ages. Located in the midst of Nottingham city centre, this hotel offers visitors luxury surroundings at affordable prices. Book Park Plaza Hotel.

Roomzzz Aparthotel Nottingham

If you are looking for a budget friendly option staying in the city centre, then Roomzzz Aparthotel is a perfect option. Close to all of the major attractions and Nottingham train station, you’re perfectly placed to enjoy everything the city has to offer in absolute comfort and style. Book Roomzzz Aparthotel Nottingham.

Hart’s Hotel

Want to stay in luxury during your trip to Nottingham? Look no further than Hart’s Hotel, this luxury hotel is just a short walk from Nottingham’s main attractions and is reasonably priced for the luxury amenities that it offers. This hotel boasts a well renowned eatery on site, so you won’t even need to worry about where you’re going to eat during your stay either. Book Hart’s Hotel.

Don’t just take our word for it – visit Nottingham for yourself and explore some of the hidden gems of the city.

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