The Best Places to See in Nottingham – A Local’s Guide
Are you interested in exploring the city further? This article provides insider information on the best places to see and do in Nottingham. There is much more to this city than just its notorious home football team, the Forest Reds. It’s the perfect combination of old and new, with beautiful parks, waterways, and buildings all situated close to one another. There’s something for everyone here, from historical landmarks to quirky independent stores. If you’re reading this as a local, hopefully, this article inspires you to explore what you normally wouldn’t in your city.
The City Centre
Many architectural gems are to be discovered within Nottingham City Centre. The scars of the Second World War bombings can be seen in the architecture of the buildings. The Victoria Shopping Centre is a perfect demonstration of the architecture of the 60s. The Old Market Square, once a vibrant hub of the city, is now the centre of many celebrations and events. The square is home to the Council House, the Theatre Royal, the Old Exchange Building, and the Central Library. The Council House houses are a fascinating exhibition about the history of the city. You can even sit in the seats used by the Lord Mayor and the Council.
When it comes to the best things to see in Nottingham, Nottingham Castle is a significant landmark in the history of the city. This building has stood in this location since the 11th century, making it one of the oldest castles in the country. The building has been a Royal Castle, a prison, a military base, and a tourist attraction. It is now a beautiful visitor attraction and exhibition space, housing many artefacts from Nottingham’s history. The castle is home to the Civil Wars 1642-1646 exhibition, which explores Nottingham’s role in the English Civil war. The castle is open every day, apart from Mondays and Tuesdays. Expect to pay £9.50 for adults and £7.50 for children.
Queens Park and Forest Recreation Centre
Queens Park is a stunning oasis surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the city. The park is one of the best places to see in Nottingham, full of wildlife and flowers, it’s perfect for the kids. Nottingham’s Forest Recreation Centre houses the Forest Explorers and offers activities for children between 3-12 years old. Activities such as Go-Karting, Archery, Bubble Soccer, Climbing Walls, High Ropes, and a Forest Train are available. There are also a few cafes in the park, where you can enjoy a coffee and snack. Nottingham’s Forest Recreation Centre is open every day of the year and Queens Park is open every day between March and October.
The German Centre and the Thao’s Restaurant
The German Centre is a charming building located in Queens Park has been converted into a space dedicated to celebrating German heritage and culture. The building is home to exhibitions, events, and a great café. Thao’s Restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a German-inspired meal, bringing Nottingham cultural variety. It serves delicious, hearty food, with a menu that changes regularly. The German Centre is open every day of the year, except for Mondays.
Riverfront and Jubilee Square
Nottingham City Council is currently developing the Riverfront area. It will be converted from a busy road into a pedestrian walkway, with beautiful gardens and green spaces. There will be a variety of different spaces for people to relax and enjoy the beautiful river views. There are also plans for Jubilee Square, Nottingham’s new transport hub, bringing trains, buses, trams, and taxis together in one place. This will expand the best things to do in Nottingham in the near future.
Rushcliffe Shire Hall
Rushcliffe Shire Hall is a large and imposing building built in the 1930s next to the River Trent in the home of Nottinghamshire County Council. It was abolished in 1998 when handed over to Rushcliffe Borough Council. The hall is now a major centre for arts and entertainment, hosting touring theatre companies and several other events and exhibitions. There are also many cafes and restaurants on the first floor.
Nottingham Contemporary Arts Centre (NCAC)
The Nottingham Contemporary Arts Centre (NCAC) is a unique arts and culture space, home to exhibitions, residencies, and a wide variety of events. Discover new art forms, particularly both visual and performance-based, this is for sure another of the best places to see in Nottingham! NCAC hosts a wide variety of events, from live music and theatre performances to dance and workshops. There are frequently events and exhibitions and the centre is open every day, except for Mondays.
Nottingham Theatre is a beautiful old building that has been standing since 1901. Its rich history has seen some of the most famous actors and actresses perform on its stage. The theatre is currently undergoing transformation into a modern venue, bringing new things to do in Nottingham. The first phase of the project has been completed, which has seen some of the most beautiful parts of the building restored.
Nottingham Forest Football Club Museum
Of course, one of the best places to see in Nottingham is the Forest Football Club Museum. If you are a football fan, this is a must-see. The museum hosts many interesting exhibitions including the tragic events of the 1989 stadium disaster. The museum is open every day of the year, except for Mondays.
Trent Bridge Cricket Ground
The Trent Bridge Cricket Ground is a historic landmark constructed in 1868 and completed in 1871. This is one of cricket’s finest venues and has been home to some of the finest cricketers in the world including Gary Sobers, Clive Rice and Richard Hadlee. Packed with family entertainment including batting, bowling and fielding exercises, Trent Bridge is suitable for children of all ages.
Canal-side Walkway and Boat Hire
The Trent Basin is a great place to spend an afternoon exploring Nottingham city from a different perspective. There is a delightful walkway that follows the River Trent from its source in the surrounding hills. It ends at the National Waterways Museum, which is well worth a visit. You can stop off at the Boat Hire Post, where you can rent a boat and row down the River Trent. This is a lovely way to spend an afternoon, especially if the weather is warm. West Bridgeford, located along River Trent is a quiet residential area with small parks and cosy pubs to explore. It is also home to some of the region’s major sporting attractions.
Living in Nottingham
Maybe you are considering moving to the City of Nottingham? If so, you should consider average prices concerning the cost of living and property/house prices. Per person, expect to pay roughly £1500 a month in total. Nottingham has an award-winning integrated transport system
The city of Nottingham is a vibrant place with much to offer. Here to explore the history and culture? Or generally, enjoy the outdoors? There is something here for everyone! If you are visiting Nottingham, make sure you also check out our article on the 10 Best Things to do in Nottingham. If you live in Nottingham, hopefully, this article inspires you to look at your city differently.