A Day out with the Kids in Nottingham Castle
Nottingham Castle is situated in a commanding position known as ‘Castle Rock’, with bold cliffs of more than 40 metres high. During the Middle Ages it was a major royal fortress, but over the centuries most of it was destroyed.
While little has survived of the original castle, the site affords excellent views of the town, and is an ideal spot for kids that love Robin’s legend and adults that find history or photography fascinating.
Voyage in Time – Nottingham Life Museum
Travel back in time and see what Nottingham was like 300 years ago, along with houses and shops at the dawn of the 20th century, and check up close a huge variety of everyday life items of the past, from toys to tools.
If you find time travel fascinating, D. H. Lawrence Heritage Centre it’s another great option: it houses a fascinating exhibition with recreations of a Victorian schoolroom, a grocery shop and a mock up of a mine that visitors can actually crawl through!
Touring Mortimer’s Hole
Over 450 caves exist in the sandstone underneath Nottingham, including the spectacular over 100 metres long Mortimer’s Hole stretching directly below the castle, reputed to be the route by which Edward III’s troops entered the city’s castle to capture Roger de Mortimer, in 1330. The caves have been used for centuries as storage and defense facilities and the best way to explore them is by taking a guided tour.
Holme Pierrepont Country Park – a water sport centre
Just 10 minutes away from the city’s centre, Holme Pierrepont Country Park boasts some excellent water facilities, a Family Fun Park and wonderful trails ideal for cycling and walking. Most visitors prefer a relaxing sailing, but you can also enjoy white water rafting and tubing, wakeboarding, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and power boating.
If some members of your company prefer dry land instead of water, the park offers numerous great options, including ECombat Laser Tag, XRunner Adventure Course, Sky Trail, Mini Golf, Segways and Foot Golf.
Boating & Rowing in Highfields Lake
Highfields Park, in the west of Nottingham, is a 121-acre park teaming with magnificent trees and exotic plants, while the nearby lake attracts families and couples that love boating and rowing. If you are interested in a romantic row, note that boating is permitted only between May and September.
The surrounding Park, except for being ideal for ramblers, is great for lawn bowling, croquet and putting, while kids can also spend their time in the children’s play area.
Orienteering in Arboretum Park
This Green Flag award winning park is Nottingham’s oldest public park (1852) and the closest to the city centre. Easily accessible, the park hosts several annual events and offers visitors an ideal place for relaxing strolling, jogging and running.
If you are searching for something more inspiring, you should try orienteering: using a map and compass you will have to navigate from point to point. The game requires map reading skills and excellent physical condition.
Colwick Park – An Activity Paradise
Colwick Park lies on the outskirts of Nottingham city and is easily accessible via public transport. Its greatest attraction is the wonderful surrounding lakes, whose shores are great for walking, and cycling. Its woodland, on the other hand, stage an ideal scenery for numerous wildlife activities, including angling, sailing, canoeing, bird watching, wildlife photography, horse riding, walking and jogging.
Most visitors though come here for fishing. Boats are available to hire or you can simply enjoy coarse and trout fishing from the lake’s shore.
Other fascinating options, especially for families and groups of youngsters, include Ranger led activities, Orienteering and Geocaching, during which participants use a GPS receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers called “geocaches”.
Experience Robin’s Legend in Sherwood Forest
The legendary home of Robin Hood is actually a 450 acre country park, boasting a fascinating eco-system, dominated by the famous Major Oak, England’s Tree of the Year for 2014. The best month to visit and explore this famous woodland is August, during the Robin Hood Festival, when special events and costumed characters offer kids the chance to experience their hero’s thrilling world.
Parkour in Bulwell Bogs
Bulwell Bogs, around 7 km northwest of the city’s centre, seems at a glance as a nice spot for kids and families, with its water park, picnic area and great promenade along the River Leen. In fact, it mostly attracts Nottingham’s adrenaline addicts with its Parkour facilities: there you will find a safe environment where you can practice your skills and moves, or even learn the basics!
If you seek something less “risky” but equally joyful, remember to bring your bat and table tennis balls: 2 permanent outdoor table tennis tables are available in the Park and free to use.