Rich in heritage and culture, our county is not just about Sherwood Forest. Among the legendary landscapes are literary giants, hidden caves and a crucial role in the development of Britain's history. Here’s just a few highlights of some places to visit when you’re taking a holiday in Nottinghamshire.
Historic city of Nottingham
Nottingham may be world renown as the home of Robin Hood’s arch enemy, but it also has some other very worthwhile claims to fame too. Firstly, you’ll find caves dating back to Anglo Saxon times underneath the city centre - you’ll be able to find out more at Nottingham Castle, venturing down to Mortimer's Hole.
In the 19th century Nottingham thrived on the lace industry and this luxurious, high fashion product led to it’s own sector of the city, the Lace Market. Although the industry declined following the Second World War, this area remains true to its heritage as a busy and popular centre of style with some of the city’s best bars and restaurants hidden along cobbled streets. Visit the Lace Centre near the castle to find out more and in the Lace Market itself, there's St Mary's Church featured in ballads of Robin Hood, and the Galleries of Justice Museum which gives a tour of crime and punishment through the ages.
Finally our recently renovated Old Market Square is one of the largest market squares in Europe and has always acted as a focal point for the city. Two lion statues proudly guard the Council House at one end of the square.
The Civil War and Newark
Nottinghamshire was of particular importance during the Civil War due to it’s central position as a dividing point between a Royalist south and the Parliamentarian strongholds in the north. Throughout this conflict, Roundheads and Cavaliers were locked in battle at key points around our county in a unique part of Britain's history.
Charles I raised his standard at Nottingham Castle to effectively signify the start of the conflict, while Newark Castle was held under siege at several points during the war. The ancient castle at Newark is also linked to the legend of Robin Hood as the place where King John is said to have died.
When you're in Newark don't forget to visit the Newark Town Hall which has housed the Mayor and the Town Council since it was built in 1776 by John Carr of York. It's a Grade I listed building now recognised as one of the finest Georgian town halls in the country.
Nottinghamshire is home to a wealth of literary greats. The controversial novelist DH Lawrence came from the humble beginnings of Eastwood and the surrounding landscapes were an inspiration for much of his work. You can find out more at the DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum.
The notorious poet Lord Byron had two ancestral homes around Nottingham. Newstead Abbey is now a country park and you can also access the historic house. Or if you want to stay at a venue with style then you can try Colwick Hall Hotel a grade II listed Georgian manor, another former Byron family home.
Market towns and villages
There are a wealth of cultural experiences to explore through our market towns and villages. Try Southwell, home to Southwell Minster, making it the smallest cathedral town in the UK, and here you'll also find a National Trust managed Victorian Workhouse telling the story of this 'welfare institution'.
In the north of the county there's another National Trust property in Worksop and at Mr Straw's House the 1920s seem frozen in time. Or why not head to Babworth and Scrooby and pick up the Mayflower Trail to discover more about the Pilgrim Fathers origins before they left for the New World.