30 free things to do
on a day out in Nottinghamshire
There's lots to do and see in
To help you make the most of
your stay we have put together 30 things that you can do for free on a
day out in Nottinghamshire. We have tried to provide a variety, from
trails of Robin Hood, local villages and Towns, to Galleries, Museums
and Art Centres.
Many are run by charitable organizations, most have no advertising budget so you will not of
heard of them, but all will offer a warm Nottinghamshire welcome and
hopefully you will feel predisposed to some charitable giving.
1) The Robin Hood Trail
A free self guided audio
trail for use in the car, it visits 12 places of significant
importance to Robin Hood around Sherwood Forest, with masses
of historic information on the sites and along the route. Full
tour can take several days but can be abbreviated. A CD and
map may be purchased from the Retford Tourist Office or from
The largest single work
of art in the east of England and of great significance to
Scottish art history since they were produced
by , these murals are to be found in
Clayworth Church. Entry is free but a request for a donation
is made for their upkeep.
Housing a turntable
built to turn trains around, this is one of the best preserved
in the UK and is still used as part of the mainline. Operating
as a charity offering storage and repair facilities to engine
owners, it houses ~30 steam and diesel engines which can be
seen by visitors up close and personal. There is a tea room
and small shop. Admission is free but a small donation is
the car park (which is not free, but can be avoided by parking
a short walk away) a trail starts that has a musical
influence. At regular intervals there are giant musical
instruments that can be played resounding around the forest
clearings. Great for youngsters.
the Newark Tourist Office to find out when concerts take place
in the open air park in the centre of the Castle. Its a superb
setting for a musical afternoon. Bring a picnic in summer to
sit out on the beautifully manicured lawns. And its free!!
The Harley Gallery
gallery has a wide variety of works of art from many young, up
and coming artists. Fascinating pictures, pottery, glasswork
and much more. There's a free museum next door with lots of
information and artifacts from the history of the locality.
Also on site is a Farm Shop which is worth a browse, pick up
some Stilcheon cheese, the original stilton only better, which
is made nearby.
refurbished and beautifully presented. A wide variety of local
artifacts and history including a boat of national importance.
A must see. Free but donations requested.
The Robin Hood Visitor Centre
visitor centre in Sherwood Forest contains rooms of
interactive displays within tableau settings detailing the
period of Robin Hood. There's also a film display. Both are
free. If bringing children, be prepared to go home with bows
and arrows from the shop. The Great Oak is a short walk away.
The car park is not free, but park further down outside
The Chesterfield Canal.
one of the oldest canals provides excellent walking through
the picturesque countryside. My favourite is North of Retford,
see www.robinhoodtourism.co.uk/walking.htm. Help a boat through the locks and you may get a free ride
down the canal!!
still operates strip farming and is the only village in the UK
to do so. This medieval method finished in the C17 in most
vilages, but somehow in this village that time forgot they
just never got around to sorting things out. Visit the fields,
see how its done, see the site of the castle then visit the
free museum in the centre of the village next to the pub to
find out more.
The old prison, Tuxford
the centre of the village on the green stands the prison. Big
enough for just a couple of cells and is intact. There are open days in the
summer, find out when from the village post office.
the heart of the smallest Diocese in the UK is Southwell
Minster, a fine beautiful setting in this most picturesque
town. Full of original old shops. There is a free
museum/information display in the cloisters that should not be
Scarecrows at Ranskill
traditional festival in the village of Ranskill where a
multitude of huge scarecrows are displayed. A Scarecrow trail
takes you around to view up to 50 scarecrows made by the
villagers. In addition there is a flower festival in the
village church and a fete. Village life at its best!!
Walking with the Giants
Giants being the infamous Oak trees around Sherwood Forest. A
walk starting at the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre takes in
many of the Oak trees including Robin Hoods major Oak. Some
are fallen and may be clambered on, around and even through by
some of the smaller party members. Information from the
centres Visitor Information point.
self drive trail taking in the significant buildings relevant
to The Pilgrim Fathers. At each place there are information
points provided by the local council and more information can
be found at Retford in the Tourist Information Centre, Museum
(see above) or Library.
May Flower Festival -
related to the Mayflower that sailed to America, this is the
annual village festival that includes the tradition of dancing
around the maypole. Join in the festivities with the Morris
dancing and the fair.
Littleborough Roman Crossing
is the site of the Roman Crossing of the River Trent
towards Lincoln. In the fields many relics of the time
have been found and are displayed in the Retford
Museum. The church is one of the smallest in the
country. Take a picnic, or stroll along the River
banks. Don't miss seeing the toll house about a mile
away on the road to the village.
20) Markets &
times a week a large market takes place in Retford Market
Square, Thursday & Friday are bric-a-brac and Saturday is
a general market. Once a month Farmers Markets are held in
Retford and Worksop. Farmers sell a wide variety of local
produce from the usual to the more unusual, try boar, venison
or local cheeses and honey.
Ollerton Village & Watermill.
picturesque village deserves a good walk around to
discover its old buildings, look out for Robin Hood
Cottage. But at the heart of the village is the
working watermill and museum. View from the outside or
pay a small admission charge. Above is a wonderful
tearoom that won best teashop in Britain.
was instrumental in the final days of the Civil War
and still bears many of the scars. This walk around
the town highlights many of its old buildings and
their importance in the period of the Civil War.
Details can be obtained from the Tourist Information
Centre or from www.robinhoodtourism.co.uk/towns/Newark_heritage.htm
where you can find a town map and details.
24) The Carrs
area around the River was drained by the Dutch in
the C17. What remains is a remarkably large area of flat land
that is peaceful. Follow the walk from the website www.robinh
Southwell Bands Competition.
bands from all over the area converge on Southwell for the
annual Scout Bands competition in May. Usually over 20 bands
march through the streets in an exciting spectacle on the way
to Southwell Minster where they hold their thinking day
The largest park in
Europe is owned here by the National Trust. Take a stroll
around the picturesque lake or further a field through the
Sherwood Forest. Bring a bike or hire bikes at the centre
(charges apply) where there is also a shop, restaurant and
information centre. Parking is free for trust members or park
off the entrance road and walk.
27) Pilgrim Fathers Inn
Scrooby is the start of
the Pilgrim Fathers story and retains several houses lived in
by the founders of the organisation. On the main road is the
pub, Pilgrim Fathers Inn, which houses a collection of memorabilia,
maps, books and information on the Pilgrim Fathers.
28) Sarah Mitchell
Galley - Tuxford
A gallery that contains
a wealth of fine local art as well as some names from further
a field, displayed in a wonderful relaxing setting. Ideal for
those who enjoy art.
Sundown Adventure Land
29) Childrens Playground
the fine church, its link to the Pilgrim
Fathers or the picture perfect pub on the
village green, duck pond and ducks. Sturton
has a great, modern, play facility that any
youngster will appreciate. A free alternative
to Sundown Adventure land in the nearby
village of Tresswell - which itself offers a
reasonably priced theme park for the young and
young at heart.
30) Percy Laws Gallery -
part of the museum building, this gallery has a regular
turnover of art exhibitions, so it could be pictures of steam
engines or photographs from the local photographic club.
Whenever you visit, you're sure to enjoy the display.
village has an active history group that has produced a
fascinating trail around the village. The trail can be
downloaded free from...>>>, or the club has a site
that contains a wealth of information at www.coddington.org.uk