10 Things to do in Notts (for less than a Tenner!)

There’s so much to do in Nottingham, especially in the city centre where a variety of shops, restaurants and bars are waiting around every corner. When it comes to making plans with friends or family, you’ll never be short on choice.

However the cost of social plans can quickly add up, which is why I decided to put together this budget-friendly guide of things to do and places to visit in Notts.

All ten of the places featured on this list are either located in Nottingham city centre or can be easily accessed via a single bus journey. Best of all, each one will cost you less than £10 to enjoy — in fact, four of them are completely free!

So why not give your bank card a break this summer and try my 10 things to do in Notts for less than a tenner.

Go boating at Highfields Park

Did you know Nottingham has its own boating lake? Highfields Park is the perfect place to enjoy the sunshine this summer, whether you’re looking for somewhere to walk, have fun with friends or simply soak up the sun. As well as hiring a rowing boat to take out on the lake, you can pay to play some adventure golf and football golf (exactly like the name suggests — a football on a crazy golf course with football-sized holes!) There’s also a brilliant playground with a large sand pit for children.

Google Maps location
Entry cost: FREE
Food & drink: Onsite cafe, ice-cream van
Additional activities:
Rowing boats (Adult £5, Child £4)
Adventure golf and football golf (Over 12s £4.95, Under 12s £3.50, Student £4.50)

Discover a city of crime at National Justice Museum

When people think of Nottingham history, the legend of Robin Hood and Nottingham Castle are usually the first things that come to mind. The National Justice Museum will provide you with a different but equally exciting insight into this city’s dramatic history, more specifically its colourful criminal past. If you enjoy watching the latest serial killer documentary on Netflix, you’ll love a visit to this museum. It’s worth the extra 95p for entry, I promise!

Google Maps location
Entry cost: Adult £10.95, Student and Senior £9.95, Under 18s £7.95, Under 5s FREE
Food & drink: Onsite cafe

Visit Batman’s house at Wollaton Hall and Deer Park

Superhero fans will best know Wollaton Hall as Wayne Manor from The Dark Knight Rises (2012). The Elizabethan building was built in the late 16th century and houses the largest dedicated Natural History Museum in the country. The Nottingham Industrial Museum also sits within its 500-acre grounds. From open air theatre and outdoor cinema to Nottingham’s annual Splendour festival, a lively programme of events takes place in the grounds every summer.

Google Maps location
Entry cost: FREE
Food & drink: Two onsite cafes and a number of fast food vans
Additional activities:
TITUS: T.Rex is King exhibition (Adult £13, Child/OAP/Student £8.75)
Open air theatre (Adult £16, Child £11, Under 5s FREE)
Outdoor cinema (Adult £16, Child £11)

Make animal friends at Stonebridge City Farm

If you haven’t heard of Stonebridge City Farm before, you might be surprised to learn there’s a farm within walking distance of Nottingham city centre. Too often overlooked in favour of the larger White Post Farm, Stonebridge is easier to get to and a good alternative for animal lovers who don’t own a car. During your visit, you’ll meet a wide range of cute critters, big and small. The farm grows its own fruit and veg too, so you can buy local produce (including eggs and honey) from the onsite shop.

Google Maps location
Entry cost: FREE (but the farm relies entirely on donations to stay open!)
Food & drink: Onsite cafe

Watch an indie film at Broadway Cinema

Broadway is an independent cinema in the heart of Hockley. It offers a refreshing alternative to the likes of Showcase and Cineworld and a cheaper ticket price (which means more money to spend on snacks of course!) As a nationally-recognised cultural leader of independent cinema, Broadway screens a variety of the best indie films from across the world as well as a number of mainstream film releases each year.

Google Maps location
Entry cost: Adult £9.50, Under 25 £5, Senior £7.10, Unemployed £6.90
Food & drink: Onsite cafe bar and cinema snack stand

Challenge your friends at Funstation

Funstation is an entertainment arcade on the second floor of the Cornerhouse. It’s not just for kids! Purchasing tokens allows you to play an assortment of games and win tickets that enable you to claim lots of different prizes, from the small (like a lollipop) to the large (like an actual TV).

Fun fact: I actually got my bedroom TV from Funstation five years ago. Yes, really. I’ve always been slightly obsessed with the 2p machines you find at the seaside and it turns out Funstation have their own versions. Several months of game playing and ticket saving later, and boom I had myself a TV!

Google Maps location
Entry cost: FREE (but tokens required – £10 for 40)
Food & drink: None onsite but several venues inside the Cornerhouse, including Bella Italia and Subway.

Experience the modern art scene at Nottingham Contemporary

At Nottingham Contemporary, art is made accessible to everyone. You can expect fascinating exhibitions from international artists, interactive workshops and talks, family activities and even film screenings. The versatile gallery is a great setting for a leisurely afternoon of art browsing, alone or with friends.

Google Maps location
Entry cost: FREE
Food & drink: Onsite cafe bar

Explore an underground labyrinth at City of Caves

Travel back in time with a tour of Nottingham’s ancient caves. More than 800 caves lie beneath the cobbles of the city centre, the biggest network of caves in the UK. The tour is relatively short (usually less than an hour) but it’s still a memorable experience and the audio guide included in your admission price will ensure you can fully appreciate the almost 1000 years of history that surround you.

Google Maps location
Entry cost: Adult £8.75, Student and Under 18 £7.65, Over 60 £7.95, Under 5 FREE
Food & drink: None onsite, but lots nearby! I recommend the Hungry Pumpkin (only a five minute walk away)

Ice skate at the National Ice Centre

Home to the world-famous ice hockey team Nottingham Panthers, the National Ice Centre is a great day out for ice skaters of all ages and abilities. You don’t need to own a pair of skates because skate hire is included in the entry price. If it’s your first time on the ice or you’re looking to develop your skills, you can also book lessons for an extra cost.

Google Maps location
Entry cost: Adult £9.50, Student £5.50, Child £8.50, Senior £4, Under 5s FREE
Food & drink: O
Additional activities:
Nottingham Panthers matches (tickets range from £10 to £20)

Enjoy a game of Tenpin bowling

Aside from a family game of Monopoly, few activities bring out people’s competitive sides like bowling does. Gather your friends and head to Tenpin for a couple of games. There’s arcade games, table tennis and a dedicated laser tag arena inside the venue to keep you entertained once you’ve finished destroying your mates at bowling.

Google Maps location
Entry cost: Adult £8.55, Student £4.28, Child £6.99
Food & drink: Onsite
Additional activities:
Sector 7 laser tag arena (£30 for up to 6 people)
Table tennis (£4)
Pool tables (£1.50)

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