Nottingham Castle | Visit Nottinghamshire

It may not be the medieval fortress one might expect, but standing high on its craggy clifftop, Nottingham Castle is certainly a grand sight. While various castles have come and gone from great castle rock since the Middle Ages, the current ducal palace was built in 1875 and has remained a heritage attraction and art gallery ever since. After having closed its doors for a fantastic £13.9m Heritage Lottery Funded redevelopment, the Castle has now reopened its doors and is ready to welcome back visitors! Complete with a brand new visitor centre, adventure playground, land train, more cave tours and exhibitions detailing Nottingham's thrilling history, you're in for a treat!

We're all eager to find out what has taken place at our beloved Nottingham Castle and are ready to explore the castle grounds, but there’s still so much more to see in the city! Below we’ve put together some ideas of where to get a taste of the wonderful caves, history, art and nature in Nottingham. Read on and get exploring this wonderful city!

Please note that some attractions have changed their booking processes, opening times or facilities to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We recommend checking their website or social media when planning your visit.

Robin Hood

Robin Hood | Visit Nottinghamshire

With its themes of social justice, rebellion and adventure, the tale of Robin Hood is universally treasured. With a new gallery chronicling the history of our famous outlaw at the Castle you might be jumping at the chance to visit, but there's more than one place to discover the Robin Hood story in Nottinghamshire.


Trip to Jerusalem | Visit Nottinghamshire
Robin Hood wasn’t the only rebel in Nottingham’s thrilling history – we’ve also been a key location in the development of social and democratic ideas such as the Reform Act Riots, the Luddites, the Chartists, and the English Civil War. Within the Castle regeneration project, new exhibitions have been developed to do justice to this compelling history.

  • For a dramatic retelling of Nottingham’s tumultuous history with the man himself, join The Robin Hood Town Tour, which runs most Saturdays (March – October) at 2pm. This award-winning tour is led by the charismatic Ezekial Bone who gives a spirited and in-depth retelling of Robin Hood’s story, and a great insight into the culture of Nottingham today. 

  • While the Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard awaits your return, it’s neighbour Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem will give you a warm welcome, as it has done for the past 800 years. A must-see for any visit to Nottingham, its fantastic interior is carved out of the castle rock, making for cosy nooks and atmospheric rooms to explore. Make sure to check out some of the wonderful old pictures, maps and relics of Nottingham past on the walls of each room. To read our blog about this fantastic pub, please click here.

  • A more grisly side to Nottingham history can be found at the National Justice Museum. Situated in an 800-year-old gaol and courtroom, you can explore exhibitions on the history of crime and punishment through the centuries, be put on trial in the grand courtroom, or descend into the dark cave cells beneath. 

    To discover more about Nottingham's history and heritage, please click here.


Malt Cross Heritage Tour | Visit Nottinghamshire
The mammoth rock on which Nottingham Castle stands is not just there for decoration. Within it are numerous carved tunnels, such as the famous Mortimer’s Hole, which were used as escape routes, dungeons and more. While only one cave has been previously accessible to the public, as the Castle reopens more of the caves will be open. In the meantime, Nottingham has over 800 caves beneath its streets and ready for exploration!

  • Situated in Broadmarsh Centre you'll find the City of Caves, Nottingham’s prime cave experience. Chronicling the history of the city’s curious underground world, learn about the caves’ previous purposes, as bomb shelters, dungeons, tanneries, homes and more.

  • An ancient limestone gorge in the north of the county, Creswell Crags is a delightful spot for picnics, nature-spotting and country walks. It also happens to be home to the UK's only verified Ice Age rock art, and archeological findings around the site have included remains of hyenas, woolly mammoths and tools of ice age man. Take the Rock Art tour to see 15,000 year old carvings of bison and deer, or the Ice Age tour to find out how man used the area to survive during one of the most perilous times in human history. 

    To find out more about Nottingham's curious caves, please click here.

Stunning Views & Gorgeous Gardens

Nottingham Arboretum | Visit Nottinghamshire

Down in the city it’s easy to forget the peaceful serenity held in the outer bailey of Nottingham Castle. With historic gardens, shady trees and stunning views over the city, this out of the way haven provided a great place to relax and get a brilliant photo of Nottingham from above. While the newly improved Castle has an adventure playground set out to enjoy, there are more spots to check out not far away.

  • Nottingham Castle is visible from the top of Green’s Windmill in Sneinton, and the two feature on many old drawings at opposing ends of Nottingham. The mill is now a science centre dedicated to George Green, a working class lad from Nottingham who became one of the leading scientists of his day, and features a park and flower garden. 

  • For long afternoons of picnicking and a break from city life, it has to be the Arboretum. A short walk or tram ride from the city centre, this park boasts gorgeous greenery, charming hills and a small lake. It is even said to have been the inspiration JM Barrie’s Never-Never Land in Peter Pan!

To find more of Nottinghamshire's beautiful gardens and country parks, please click here.


New Art Exchange | Visit Nottinghamshire

After laying derelict for many years, the ducal palace was reopened in 1875 as the first municipal art gallery outside of London, meaning that art was finally made available for the general public. These days we are creative to the bone, and Nottingham has a blossoming art scene which sees some top notch international and local exhibitions.

  • With variety of exhibitions each year, Nottingham Contemporary is the city’s number one destination for international modern art. The RIBA award-winning building is bright and airy with a café and an eclectic mix of creative events, regular live music, cinema nights and workshops.

  • Elsewhere in the city you can find a fantastic schedule of exhibitions at New Art Exchange. The largest gallery in the UK dedicated to multi-cultural arts, the organisation celebrates the cultural diversity of its local area along with providing events, activities and exhibitions "dedicated to stimulating new perspectives on the value of diversity within art and society." Entry is free and the gallery is easy to access by Nottingham's Tram Network.

To find out more about Nottingham's fantastic galleries, please click here.


Bolsover Castle | Visit Nottinghamshire


Of course, Nottingham Castle is not actually a castle - we burnt our previous castle down in 1832. But it may be that you’re longing to see turrets and battlements fit for ages gone by. Luckily, there are quite the number of fortresses in Nottinghamshire, from the traditional stronghold to the idyllic fairy-tale home.

This blog was written by Sophie Gargett, Marketing Assistant at Visit Nottinghamshire.
This blog was updated in June 2021.


Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre & National Nature Reserve
Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre & National Nature Reserve

Home of Robin Hood and once part of a royal hunting forest, Sherwood Forest Country Park covers 450 acres and incorporates some truly ancient areas of native woodland.

Robin Hood Town Tour
Guided Walk
Robin Hood Town Tour Ezekial Bone | Visit Nottinghamshire

Now is your chance to see the sights, hear the stories and explore this cultural capital with Robin Hood as your tour guide to Nottingham.

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Nottingham

Situated at the foot of Nottingham Castle and nestled in the sandstone cliff rock, Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem is England's oldest inn and a landmark of Nottingham history.

National Justice Museum
National Justice Museum | Nottingham

Meet amazing, costumed characters from Nottingham's history in our Grade II* listed, Shire Hall. Explore the Victorian Courtroom, Georgian gaol, and ancient cells - all spread over five fascinating floors.

City of Caves
City of Caves

Enter and explore a whole new world in the caves underneath Nottingham city and descend into the dark depths of the original Anglo-Saxon tunnels, meeting real cave-dwellers from its dramatic hidden past.

Malt Cross
Malt Cross | Nottingham

Malt Cross is an Grade-2 listed Victorian Music Hall set at the heart of Nottingham city centre, just off Old Market Square.

Green's Windmill
Green's Windmill | Visit Nottinghamshire

Green's Windmill in Sneinton was built by the father of notable scientist and mathematician George Green in 1807. Today the working Mill is a popular museum and science centre.

Nottingham Arboretum
Parkland / Woodland Garden
Nottingham Arboretum

A historic, beautifully maintained park that is home to an important collection of over 800 trees, award winning Nottingham Arboetum is Nottingham's oldest public park and the closest park to the city centre.

Nottingham Contemporary
Nottingham Contemporary

Nottingham Contemporary is one of the largest contemporary art galleries in the UK, presenting free exhibitions, special events, and family activities.

Belvoir Castle
Pet friendly
Belvoir Castle Landscape

Belvoir Castle is an imposing castle that stands to the North East of Leicestershire, commanding outstanding views from where its name derives from the meaning `beautiful view’.

Bolsover Castle
Historic House / Palace
Bolsover Castle, Nottinghamshire

There's a fairytale quality to Bolsover Castle that makes it a firm favourite with anyone looking for a great value day out in the East Midlands.

New Art Exchange
New Art Exchange

New Art Exchange is the largest art centre in the UK dedicated to culturally diverse arts. Entry to exhibitions and events is FREE.



  1. Friar Tuck
    I would love to visit Nottingham and see a City steeped in history.
    As a child watched the television series about Robin Hood.

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