City Guide

Things to Do in Nottingham

Ben Maples  · Nov 30th 2021
Wollaton Hall Museum in Nottingham

Nottingham is one of the country’s oldest recorded settlements, is the home to the world-famous Robin Hood and is home to two extremely well regarded universities.

In this guide, we will look at the location of the city, the various things to do in Nottingham, the history and culture of the city, the universities in the city, the sport in the city and see which famous people come from Nottingham!

Things to do in Nottingham


Sitting thirty miles south of Sheffield and thirty miles north of Leicester, is the city of Nottingham, which has long been at the forefront of student education. The city has a rough population of 318,900 according to the most recent figures.

Things to do in Nottingham

The nightlife in Nottingham is one of the most popular in the UK, with everything from nightclubs to restaurants to bars and grills all the way through to comedy clubs all being catered for (If you’ll pardon the pun), well we’ve compiled a list of three places that we think would be perfect for your nights out in Nottingham.

The first place that we have is the nightclub NG1 CLUB, which is on Lower Parliament Street and has live DJ sets and laser strobe lighting. Do you like Stella Artois? Because if so then you’ll want to be going to the club at some point over the weekend as then all Stella Artois is only £1 before the morning! Second up we have PRYZM Nightclub which has featured on a lot of our city guides across the UK. But the nightclub is as enticing as it is anywhere else and has always had people interested, they offer something called “Playground” every Saturday, but we don’t want to spoil the surprise, you’ll have to head on down to see exactly what it is! And finally, we have Jongleurs Comedy Club, which is perfect if you’re looking for a night out of laughter and relaxation as you enjoy some of the best in the UK’s stand-up circuit with everything from storytellers to one-liner comedians, Jongleurs has most certainly got you covered!

Nottingham’s history has been a thing of legend around the UK and is one of the oldest places in the UK. The city itself has a number of museums that are dedicated to preserving the history of the city, all of which are accessible to the public and are affordable. Some of the museums include Museum of Nottingham Life, Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery and Nottingham Industrial Museum, all of which have excellent reviews and certainly give you an idea of the cultural heritage of the city.

For those of you that are looking for the very latest and greatest in Hollywood films, there is a huge range of cinemas that are in the city such as Vue Cinemas, Cineworld (Which has tiered seating) and Broadway Cinemas, all of which offer the latest films. However, if you want more independent films, then we recommend looking into one of the city’s many film societies.

Nottingham has a number of events that are run annually, which include a number of festivals such as Splendour, which is a festival showcasing some of the very best in live music as well as Sherwood Pines, which is another festival and allows you to see some of the most recent and up and coming chart toppers. However, you will have to hurry to get your tickets as they are both very popular festivals.


Nottingham’s transportation system has won countless awards over the years, and it serves the community well with its inter-connected city routes of bus stations and train stations.

The buses in the city are usually serviced by Nottingham City Transport (NCT), which is the biggest transport operator in the city. In fact, the bus service is so good, that more and more people are using the bus, which led to Nottingham being named the least car-dependent city in England, ahead of London and Manchester.

The main railway station in the city is Nottingham Station, with services mainly provided by CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway and Northern.

The city also has an extensive tramway network, which makes it one of only six cities in the UK to actually have a light rail system, the city opened up two further lines in 2015.

There is no airport in the city, those looking to fly internationally, commercially or indeed regionally, will need to head to the East Midlands Airport in Leicester.

Things to do with kids in Nottingham

Universities in the City

There are three universities in the city.

The first university in the city is Nottingham Trent University. The university was originally founded in 1843 as the Nottingham Government School of Design, though they received university status in 1992 and subsequently rebranded. NTU is also a member of the coveted University Alliance.

The student body of Nottingham Trent University is represented by Nottingham Trent Students’ Union (NTSU), which represents a number of the student sports clubs and the various societies. The union also represents the student magazine Platform, which is published online, TrentTV, which is the Student Union TV station and FlyFM, which is the student’s radio station.

The second university is the University of Nottingham, which was established in 1798 as a Teacher Training College, before receiving university status in 1948. The university is also a part of the coveted Russell Group of Universities.

The student body is represented by the University of Nottingham Students' Union, who also represent a number of the student societies. The union also represents elements of the student media outlets as well, such as Impact, the student newspaper, they also represent University Radio Nottingham and the university’s radio station.

The university also has a friendly rivalry with with the local Nottingham Trent University and compete in a number in of varsity and non-varsity events.

Also in the city is a campus of the University of Law. The University of Law was founded in 1962 as The College of Law and the college received university status again in 2012. The university also has campuses in Birmingham, Bristol, Chester, Guildford, Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham as well.


The settlement of Nottingham actually predates many of the Anglo-Saxon historical records. Nottingham was previously known (rather unfortunately) as Snottingham, after the former Saxon chieftain named Snot.

The city’s main castle, Nottingham Castle, was built in 1068 right by the River Leen. After this, the city began to have a number of settlements crop up around the castle and the settlement began to grow more and more.

The city is also known for the dramatic tales of Robin Hood, who famously stole from the rich and gave to the poor, with his frequent confrontations with the Sheriff of Nottingham and is the best known story associated with the city.

By the time the 15th century rolled around, Nottingham was established as an exporter of religious imagery and any sculptures that were made from Nottingham alabaster.

When the Industrial Revolution hit, the city was able to do a roaring trade in textiles and the city was an important part of the lace manufacture internationally as well as regionally. Nottingham officially became a city on the 18th of June 1897.

Things to do with family in Nottingham


The city of Nottingham is well known for its sport, mainly its football.

The city has two professional football clubs, Notts County and Nottingham Forest. The two clubs have their stadiums on either side of the River Trent and actually face each other, the two are actually the closest football grounds in English League football outside of ground shares. Notts County is the oldest professional football club in the world, as they were discovered in 1862 and play in the National League. Nottingham Forest currently play in League Two of the Football League and have a very rich history, especially under the famous Brian Clough. The club won the old First Division and the European Cup (what is now the UEFA Champions League) and held the longest unbeaten run in English football until they were usurped by Arsenal in 2005.

The city also has Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, who play at Trent Bridge, which is considered an international cricket club. The stadium is a Test Cricket ground host and was also one of the venues for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20.

There is also a Rugby Union club in the city as well, Nottingham R.F.C., who play at Meadow Lane, the homeground of the aforementioned Notts County and have done since 2006. There is also the Nottingham Outlaws, an amateur Rugby League club who play in the Rugby League Conference National Division.

Who’s from Nottingham?

There are numerous famous people from Nottingham including; Liam Bailey, Jermaine Pennant, Jermaine Jenas, Joe Dempsey and Sophie Bradley.

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