From Robin Hood’s hideout to Batman’s home, Nottingham is home to some amazing tourist attractions. Intrigued? You should be! If the University of Nottingham is the only reason this city is on your radar, then you need to take a look at what else it has to offer. This large city has something for everyone, so without further ado, let us take you through the top 20 tourist attractions in Nottingham.
Museums in Nottingham
Nottingham has deep roots in England’s history, and the artefacts and pieces here give a look into the city’s past 500 years of history. From cultures across the globe, the thousands of items here are preserved for history lovers that come here to visit these museums in Nottingham. From the city’s lace trade history to Greek and Roman history, it has it all. The museums in Nottingham have a rich history ready to be explored.
1. The Haunted Museum and Oddities Collection
Location: BasementHopkinsons, 21 Station Street, Nottingham, NG2 3AJ
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Top review: “Had a great time at thus museum with my daughter. Lots of interesting items with lots of information about them too. For £8 entry it's well worth the visit. Got to hold a real human skull which I found interesting. If your into your odd and strange things I recommend this place.”
Looking for a frightfully good time? The Haunted Museum in Nottingham is just the place for a twisted soul. From Voodoo skulls to devils to boxes, visit the museum and have a look at some of the coolest and creepiest collections of haunted items from around the world. With over 1000+ items on display, this is one of the best museums in Nottingham.
2. DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum
Location: D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum, 8a Victoria Street, Eastwood, Nottingham, NG16 3AW
Opening hours: Thursday - Saturday 10:00 - 16:00
Top review: “Lovely little museum and unexpected gem that we came across. It gives you a great insight into life in a mining town all those years ago and of course D H Lawrence himself.”
One of the most well-known museums in Nottingham, the D. H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum is an Eastwood, near Nottingham, writer's house museum dedicated to D. H. Lawrence. It is one of the four residences the family called home in Eastwood and the home where he was born in 1885. Visitors can take a guided or self-guided tour of the building, which is now a museum. Afterwards, you can stop for a snack at one of the 20 best cafes in Nottingham.
3. National Justice Museum
Location: National Justice Museum, High Pavement, Nottingham NG1 1HN, United Kingdom
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Top review: “A great museum - interesting exhibits around issues related to justice, crime and punishment. A lot to see, including the various varieties of cells, execution area, laundry ... Also, there are enactments of trials and even executions which are brought to life by staff - interesting and educational. Great place to visit!”
Located in a former Victorian Courtroom, The National Justice Museum is an independent museum on High Pavement in the Lace Market neighbourhood of Nottingham, England. It was formerly known as the Galleries of Justice Museum and, historically, as the Shire Hall and County Gaol. This is one of the best museums in Nottingham for anyone looking to learn more about the history of the justice system in the UK.
4. Wollaton hall
Location: Wollaton Rd, Nottingham NG8 2AE, United Kingdom
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday, 9:00 am - 8:30 pm
Top review: “OH what a night woollaton hall light show absolutely fantastic and the drinks and food were reasonably priced will definitely go again next year well done to everyone involved you made the season very festive”
“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Sound familiar? Well, if you recognise this quote, you’ll love these next tourist attractions in Nottingham! The Wollaton Hall is an Elizabethan country house from the 1580s and is also featured as the Wayne Manor in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. The house is now the Nottingham Natural History Museum, and the outbuildings are home to the Nottingham Industrial Museum.
Love history? Check out our full guide to the 21 Best Museums in Nottingham.
Sightseeing in Nottingham
If you're making a list of sightseeing places in Nottingham, here are some places you should not miss. From science centres to castles and caves, Nottingham has something for everyone.
1. Sneinton Dragon
Location: Sneinton Hermitage, Nottingham NG2 4BT
Opening hours: Open 24x7, 7 days a week
This is one of the Nottingham sightseeing places that may not breathe fire when you yell “Dracarys”, but the Sneinton Dragon is still impressive in its own right. A seven-foot-tall stainless steel structure built by a local artist named Robert Stubley, the Sneinton Dragon with a 15-foot wingspan has been standing since 2006. If you’re super hungry after a day of sightseeing in Nottingham, grab a bite at one of the 20 best restaurants in Nottingham.
2. Green's mill and science centre
Location: Windmill Ln, Sneinton, Nottingham NG2 4QB, United Kingdom
Opening hours: Wednesday - Sunday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Top review: “My 7 years old granddaughter had a Scone baking session and loved it so much. Then the science centre for kids so captivating. Highly recommended”
Not familiar with George Green? Well, he was one of the most outstanding scientists of his time, but unfortunately, not many people are familiar with his work. Learn about George Green's incredible life and accomplishments in the modest science centre next to the mill and engage in experiments involving the phenomena that captivated him, such as light, electricity, and magnetism. One of the more relaxing tourist attractions in Nottingham, visit Green's Mill on a nice breezy day and watch the windmill in action.
3. Nottingham Castle
Location: Nottingham Castle Trust, Lenton Road, Nottingham, NG1 6EL
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Top review: “I brought two friends from Sri Lanka for a guided tour around Mortimer's Hole. Keri really brought the history of the cave, and Nottingham, to life. Really enjoyed it. Will be even better when Brewhouse Yard is open at the bottom.”
One of the most well-known tourist attractions in Nottingham, any history enthusiasts would jump at the chance to visit the castle thanks to the fantastic exhibitions and tours that will teach them more about the tales associated with this castle's past. Beyond the tours, Nottingham's Castle is also recommended because of its verdant green gardens, where you may relax with a warm beverage from one of their cafes. This should definitely be one of the places visited sightseeing in Nottingham. If you're planning on moving here, this is the cost of living in Nottingham: A comprehensive guide.
4. The Arboretum
Location: Waverley St, Nottingham NG7 4HF, United Kingdom
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Top review: “A hidden gen, well worth the visit to pass the time and enjoy some chill time. Well kept a real gem in our city centre.”
The beautiful Arboretum is a tourist attraction in Nottingham that attracts both locals and visitors. The Arboretum was chosen as Nottingham's first official public park by the Inclosure Act of 1845. Botanist and horticultural publisher Samuel Curtis oversaw the park's layout. The park made its formal debut on May 11, 1852. It was classified as Grade II* by Historic England in 1986. This park has won a Green Flag Award and is home to over 800 trees, perfect for a day out with friends or even a nice date.
5. The City of Caves
Location: Garner's Hill, Nottingham NG1 1HF, United Kingdom
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Top review: “A hidden gem, well worth the visit to pass the time and enjoy some chill time. Well kept a real gem in our city centre.”
Located right next to the National Museum of Justice, The City of Caves is a collection of the UK’s largest collection of caves - and is our personal favourite tourist attraction on this list. These caves have been carved out of sandstone and have served a variety of purposes over the years, including tanneries, beer cellars, and air raid shelters.
6. The Great Central Railway
Location: Mere Way, Ruddington, Nottinghamshire, NG11 6JS
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Top review: “Had a great time at this steam railway and enjoyed our ride through the lovely countryside. The sun shone for most of the day and we sampled delicious refreshments at Rothley Station. The trip fulfilled an ambition for our steam train mad daughter!!”
One of the more practical tourist attractions in Nottingham on the list, the Nottingham Heritage Railway, is a heritage railroad and transportation museum on the south side of the village of Ruddington in Nottinghamshire. It was formerly known as the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) and the Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre and is an amazing tourist place in Nottingham to visit.
7. The Lace Market
Location: 2 Barker Gate, Nottingham NG1 1JS, United Kingdom
Opening hours: The Lace market has a variety of shops and bars that usually open by 11 am and close by 5 pm
Top review: “Very pretty and interesting place; Nottingham lace is beautifully worked and not overpriced - that said it isn't 'cheap', but well worth the prices and experience.”
The Lace Market is a historically quarter-mile square in Nottingham and has been deemed as a designated heritage area and served as the epicentre of the global lace industry during the British Empire. The Lace Market is now home to a variety of taverns, eateries, and stores. This is the perfect tourist attraction in Nottingham for students looking for a lively area to spend their weekends.
8. Theatre Royal & royal concert hall
Location: Theatre Square, Nottingham NG1 5ND, United Kingdom
Opening hours: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Top review: “Visited to see Jon Richardson, well organised theatre staff, comfy seats for a theatre. Nice change to be able to take drink in to watch show. Drinks bit pricey but it's a theatre.”
The theatre royal & royal concert hall is known for hosting a variety of different events all year round, from musical performances to plays. If possible, you should definitely try and get tickets to a show playing while you’re here. Even if you’re unable to find a show, the theatre is a beautiful structure and always has a fun, vibrant atmosphere making it one of the must-visit tourist attractions in Nottingham.
9. Papplewick pumping station
Location: Rigg Ln, Ravenshead, Nottingham NG15 9AJ, United Kingdom
Opening hours: Wednesdays & Sundays, 11:00 am-3:00 pm
Top Review: “A really interesting place. Lots going on to entertain the whole family. Friendly staff. Nice cafe. Lots of parking just over the road”
This lovely location was created in the early 1880s to pump millions of gallons of fresh, pure water daily to Industrial Nottingham's fast-expanding population. You can still visit the most magnificent, preserved water pumping station in the British Isles today, thanks to the efforts of The Papplewick Pumping Station Trust. Located next to a beautiful lake, this is one of the most picturesque tourist attractions in Nottingham and is even a popular wedding destination.
Looking for a complete guide to the city? Check out our Student City Guide: Nottingham 2023 for a deep dive into the city!
Parks in Nottingham
Nottingham is very green and full of nature. Its parks and gardens are some of the more popular tourist attractions in Nottingham. With fresh air on a sunny day, and a stroll in one of the parks, nothing can go wrong so go out and explore nature in Nottingham.
1. Highfields park
Location: University Blvd, Lenton, Nottingham NG7 2RD, United Kingdom
Opening hours: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Top Review: “Free parking for a good play area, walk and picnic spot. Vs surrounding options of Holme pierpont and Wollaton park at £5 parking, Highfields has a decent play area, nice walk round the lake, boating and paid options like crazy golf. Good family spot for an hour or 2”
One of the popular tourist attractions in Nottingham for students of the University of Nottingham, the original Highfields House was included in the school as a staff annexe and has been a part of Highfields Park ever since 1921. The fish pond at the centre of the park is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon with friends and family.
2. Robin hood way
Location: The Meadows, Nottingham
Opening hours: Open to the public 24x7, 7 days a week
Top Review: “A lovely experience after visiting the castle in Nottingham, great for school age kids, a good set of questions to keep them occupied and to teach them about this great Nottingham legend, a great discussion point for the family too. Some aspects a bit creepy, scary for very young children but all in all a reasonably priced enjoyable experience.”
Named after the thief with a heart of gold, the Robin Hood Way is a long path through the Midlands and is the perfect tourist attraction in Nottingham for nature lovers. The path runs from Edwinstowe to Nottingham castle and is over 150 metres long.
3. Sherwood Forest
Location: Edwinstowe, Nottingham
Opening hours: Open to the public 24x7, 7 days a week
Top Review: “Was on limited time when visited,only completed one walk,(Robin Hood walk) ….but it was enchanting…truly beautiful and the ancient oak trees were breathtaking ! Magical walk …one of the best Iv been on and one which will remain with me.”
Another attraction made famous thanks to Robin Hood, the Sherwood Forest, is a very large forest spanning over 1000 acres. The legendary hideout of Robin Hood is the perfect tourist attraction in Nottingham for students who want to escape into a fairytale for a day.
4. Stonebridge city farm
Location: Stonebridge Road, Nottingham, NG3 2FR
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday 10:00 am - 4:15 pm
Top Review: “Lovely urban setting with farm animals , cafe, toddler playground and shop. Gardens to walk around and a relaxed family friendly atmosphere. Free to enter with suggested donation options.”
Do you love adorable farm animals? If the answer is yes, the Stonebridge city farm is one of the perfect tourist attractions in Nottingham for you. You can enter the farm free of cost and visit their farm animals and gardens or just take a walk around the area.
5. The Adrenalin Jungle
Location: Deerdale Ln, Newark NG22 8SY, United Kingdom
Opening hours: Monday - Saturday, 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
Top Review: “Had a fantastic time at Adrenaline Jungle - chose Archery and the Assault course for our family of five (17, 14 and 13). Don was endlessly patient teaching us archery and encouraging us over/under/through the obstacles on the assault course. A great couple of hours of family fun, thank you!”
Paintball, Archery, Knife throwing, laser tag, and so much more, the Adrenalin Jungle is a large open space with a ton of fun games for you to choose from. Grab a group of friends and visit one of the most exciting tourist attractions in Nottingham on a nice sunny day and enjoy the fun and games!
The night is always young in Nottingham! Check out our guide to the Top 20 Clubs in Nottingham
Events in Nottingham
From Christmas markets with handmade items, mulled wine and german style markets to a fair with all kinds of food and games Nottingham has some of the best events around.
1. Nottingham Christmas Market
When: Mid-November to 31st December
Where: Nottingham Market Square
Top Review: “We were delighted to find a traditional Christmas market held here against the background of delightful old buildings. The market had all of the usual stalls selling tasty snacks as well as fairground rides for all ages and a skating ring.”
When you hear the sleigh bells ringing and children singing, that's when you know its time to visit the Nottingham Christmas Market! Nottingham's Winter Wonderland is a classic German-style market that features all the delectable holiday fare, mulled wine, handcrafted items, and decorations one would want to see during Christmas.
2. Nottingham goose fair
When: First week of October
Where: Nottingham’s Forest Recreation Ground
Top Review: “Enjoyed a lovely, relaxing stroll around the park and woodland areas, taking in ghe sights and sounds. Pleasant places to stop for a coffee and cake to take out. Choice of playground areas for younger children to play while you sit and relax. Pkenty of parking space. Set just outside the city centre. Well worth a visit.”
One of the more strangely named tourist attractions in Nottingham, the Goose fair is an annual funfair that attracts over 400,000 visitors. The event had initially started off as a way to trade livestock - hence the name - however it has since evolved into a fair with games and rides for everyone to enjoy.
A beautiful city full of life, art and culture, Nottingham has so much to offer to both its tourists and its residents. From museums to events, you will always have something to do in the city. We hope you found this guide to the top tourist attractions in Nottingham helpful. Let us know your favourite attractions in the comment section down below!