Nottingham Castle

Nottingham Castle

Nottingham Castle stands tall, a testament to the rich history and captivating charm of this remarkable destination. From the historic grandeur of the castle itself to the vibrant waterfront development of the Castle Marina, this iconic landmark offers a diverse array of experiences that cater to visitors of all interests. Whether you're seeking luxurious accommodations, mouthwatering dining options, or a calendar of year-round events and celebrations, Nottingham Castle has it all. The castle and its surrounding areas boast a range of hotels, from the conveniently located Holiday Inn and Premier Inn to the opportunity to stay within the castle's historic walls. Foodies will delight in the culinary delights on offer, with a vibrant dining scene that includes fine-dining establishments, traditional pubs, and charming tea rooms, all within easy reach of the castle. And for those seeking to immerse themselves in the castle's rich history and cultural offerings, the extensive events and festivals hosted throughout the year promise to captivate and inspire. From the legendary tales of Robin Hood to the castle's impressive collections of art and artefacts, Nottingham Castle is a destination that truly has something for everyone. Whether you're a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply someone seeking a memorable and enriching getaway, this iconic landmark is sure to leave a lasting impression.

History & Origins

Nottingham Castle boasts a rich and captivating history that spans centuries, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and curious travellers alike. Perched atop a prominent hill, the castle has stood as a symbol of power and prestige, witnessing the rise and fall of dynasties and playing a pivotal role in the region's most significant events. The origins of Nottingham Castle can be traced back to the 11th century when it was commissioned by William the Conqueror shortly after the Norman Conquest of England. The strategic location of the castle, overlooking the River Trent, made it a crucial stronghold for the Normans, allowing them to assert their control over the region and solidify their hold on the newly acquired territory. Over the centuries, the castle underwent numerous expansions and renovations, with each successive ruler leaving their mark on the iconic structure. From the massive fortifications and impressive defensive walls to the ornate staterooms and grand halls, the castle's architectural evolution reflects the changing tides of power and the evolving needs of its occupants.


During the tumultuous 12th and 13th centuries, Nottingham Castle played a significant role in the political and military conflicts that shaped the course of English history. It was a key battleground during the Wars of the Roses, with the castle changing hands between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians as they vied for the throne. The castle also served as a royal residence for several monarchs, including King John and King Edward III, who used it as a base of operations and a symbol of their authority. In the later medieval period, Nottingham Castle transformed, becoming a centre of art, culture, and learning. The castle's halls hosted lavish court gatherings, while its grounds were the site of grand tournaments and celebrations that attracted the nobility from across the land. The castle's impressive collections of art and artefacts, many of which are still on display today, bear witness to the refined tastes and intellectual pursuits of its residents during this golden age.


The castle's storied history continued well into the modern era, as it weathered the tumultuous events of the English Civil War and the turbulent social uprisings of the 19th century. Today, Nottingham Castle stands as a testament to the resilience and enduring significance of this iconic landmark, offering visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of England's past. Through its extensive restoration efforts, the castle has been meticulously preserved, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience the grandeur and majesty of this historic site. Whether you're a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply someone captivated by the allure of the past, Nottingham Castle is a destination that will leave a lasting impression, inspiring wonder and a deep appreciation for the pivotal role it has played in shaping the course of English history.

Nottingham Castle

Legend of Robin Hood

The legend of Robin Hood is inextricably linked to Nottingham Castle, with the iconic outlaw's adventures and exploits said to have taken place within the castle's walls and the surrounding Sherwood Forest. This captivating connection has made Nottingham Castle a must-visit destination for fans of the legendary hero, who come to explore the castle's rich history and immerse themselves in the enduring legacy of this beloved character. According to the legendary tales, Robin Hood, a skilled archer and champion of the common people, frequently came into conflict with the Sheriff of Nottingham, who was the castle's ruthless and corrupt overseer. The castle, with its imposing walls and formidable defences, served as the primary stronghold of the Sheriff and the symbol of the oppressive rule that Robin Hood and his merry band of outlaws sought to undermine.


Visitors to Nottingham Castle can explore the castle's extensive Robin Hood-themed exhibits and attractions, which delve into the myths and legends that have made this legendary hero a global icon. From interactive displays that bring the outlaw's exploits to life to guided tours that reveal the castle's connections to the legendary figure, there are countless opportunities to immerse oneself in the captivating world of Robin Hood. One of the castle's most popular attractions is the "Robin Hood Experience," an immersive journey that transports visitors back in time to the days of the legendary outlaw. Through state-of-the-art multimedia presentations, interactive displays, and live-action reenactments, visitors can witness the thrilling escapades of Robin Hood and his merry band as they outwit the Sheriff of Nottingham and fight for the rights of the downtrodden. But the castle's Robin Hood connections extend beyond just the exhibitions and attractions. The castle's grounds and the surrounding Sherwood Forest have long been the subject of intense speculation and exploration, with many visitors seeking to uncover the hidden trails and secret hideaways that may have been used by Robin Hood and his outlaws.

Robin Hood Statue
Robin Hood Statue

Accommodations In and Near the Castle

When planning your trip to Nottingham Castle, finding the perfect place to stay is essential. Fortunately, the castle and its surrounding area offer a range of accommodations to suit every traveller's needs.

  • Holiday Inn Nottingham Castle Marina — Strategically located just a stone's throw away from the castle, this renowned hotel provides a comfortable and convenient base for your exploration. With its modern amenities, spacious rooms, and stunning views of the River Trent, the Holiday Inn Nottingham Castle Marina offers a truly remarkable experience.

  • Premier Inn Nottingham Castle Marina — Another excellent option, the Premier Inn Nottingham Castle Marina boasts a prime location, ensuring easy access to the castle and other nearby attractions. Known for its exceptional service and budget-friendly rates, this hotel is an excellent choice for those seeking a comfortable and affordable stay.

  • Castle Marina Nottingham Holiday Inn — Situated within the Castle Marina complex, this Holiday Inn property provides a peaceful and tranquil environment, yet remains conveniently close to the castle. Guests can enjoy the hotel's well-appointed rooms, on-site dining, and the nearby recreational facilities.

Dining Options Near and In the Castle

When visiting Nottingham Castle, you'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to dining options. Both in the castle grounds and the surrounding area, you'll find a diverse array of eateries to suit every taste and preference.

Near the Castle

  • Castle Marina Retail Park — Located adjacent to the castle, this vibrant complex offers a wide selection of restaurants, cafes, and casual dining establishments, catering to a range of cuisines and budgets.

  • Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem — This historic pub, situated at the base of the castle, is one of the oldest in England and offers a cosy, traditional dining experience with a menu of hearty, British fare.

  • Lace Market Restaurant — Just a short walk from the castle, this acclaimed eatery showcases the best of local, seasonal produce in its innovative, contemporary dishes.

  • Belgo Nottingham — This Belgian-inspired restaurant, known for its exceptional moules-frites and extensive beer selection, is a popular choice for those seeking a taste of continental Europe.

  • Pieminister — This beloved pie shop, located within the Castle Marina complex, serves up a delectable selection of gourmet pies, perfect for a quick and satisfying meal.

Within the Castle

  • The Castle Restaurant — Situated within the castle walls, this fine-dining establishment offers an exceptional culinary experience, with a menu that celebrates the region's finest ingredients and the castle's rich history.

  • The Castle Tea Rooms — For a more casual dining experience, the castle's charming tea rooms provide the perfect setting to enjoy a traditional English cream tea or a light lunch while taking in the stunning castle views.

  • Castle Courtyard Food Stalls — During the warmer months, the castle's picturesque courtyard plays host to a variety of gourmet food stalls, offering visitors a diverse array of delectable street food options.

Pub near Nottingham Castle
Nottingham Castle

Events & Celebrations at the Castle All Year Around

Nottingham Castle is a hub of year-round events and celebrations, captivating visitors with its diverse program of cultural, historical, and festive offerings.

  • Nottingham Castle Christmas Market (November-December) — This magical winter wonderland transforms the castle grounds into a festive oasis, featuring traditional wooden chalets, live music, and the enticing aromas of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.

  • Nottingham Castle Medieval Festival (May-June) — A captivating celebration of the castle's rich heritage, this annual event features reenactments, jousting tournaments, and historic demonstrations that transport visitors back to the Middle Ages.

  • Nottingham Castle Music Festival (July-August) — Throughout the summer months, the castle's grounds come alive with the sounds of live music, showcasing a diverse lineup of local and national acts.

  • Nottingham Castle Art Exhibition (September-October) — This renowned exhibition showcases the works of both established and emerging artists, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the vibrant artistic landscape of the region.

  • Nottingham Castle Outdoor Cinema (July-August) — As the sun sets, the castle's grounds transform into an open-air cinema, hosting screenings of classic films and family-friendly favourites.

  • Nottingham Castle Halloween Spooktacular (October) — For a truly spine-tingling experience, the castle hosts a range of Halloween-themed events and activities, from haunted tours to thrilling live performances.

  • Nottingham Castle Private Events — In addition to its public events, the castle also offers a stunning backdrop for private celebrations, from weddings and corporate functions to family gatherings and milestone events.

Nottingham Castle
Nottingham Castle

Nottingham Castle Marina

 As the name suggests, the Nottingham Castle Marina is a vibrant waterfront development located near the castle. This dynamic area offers a range of leisure and recreational activities, from boating and water sports to dining and shopping experiences, making it an ideal complement to your Nottingham Castle visit.

Boating and Water Sports

One of the primary draws of the Castle Marina is its direct access to the River Trent, which allows visitors to explore the waterways and indulge in a variety of boating and water sports activities.

  • Boat Rentals — Whether you're interested in a leisurely cruise or a more adventurous outing, the marina offers a selection of boat rentals, including traditional narrowboats, electric boats, and even self-drive skippered vessels.

  • Kayaking and Canoeing — For a more hands-on water-based experience, the marina provides opportunities for visitors to rent kayaks and canoes, allowing them to navigate the tranquil waters and discover the hidden gems of the riverscape.

  • Stand-Up Paddleboarding — Those seeking a unique and invigorating way to explore the river can try their hand at stand-up paddleboarding, a popular water sport that offers a refreshing and engaging workout.

Dining & Retail Experiences

Complementing the marina's water-based activities, the Castle Marina also boasts an impressive array of dining and retail options, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of visitors.

  • Waterfront Restaurants and Cafes —  Lining the marina's promenade, you'll find a variety of inviting restaurants and cafes, offering everything from traditional British fare to international cuisines, all with stunning views of the river.

  • Speciality Shops and Boutiques — The marina is home to a collection of unique shops and boutiques, showcasing the work of local artisans, offering a delightful shopping experience for those seeking one-of-a-kind treasures and souvenirs.

  • Outdoor Markets and Events — Throughout the year, the Castle Marina hosts a range of outdoor markets and events, providing visitors with opportunities to discover local produce, handcrafted goods, and lively entertainment.

Nottingham Castle Marina

Planning Your Visit to Nottingham Castle

during the peak tourist season. Visitors can purchase tickets online or on-site, ensuring a seamless and hassle-free experience.


Castle Marina Retail Park Nottingham —  Adjacent to Nottingham Castle, the Castle Marina Retail Park offers a diverse range of shopping and dining options, making it the perfect companion to your castle visit. From boutique shops to family-friendly eateries, this vibrant complex provides a well-rounded experience for all.


Nottingham Castle Car Park —  For those arriving by car, Nottingham Castle offers a convenient on-site car park, ensuring easy access to the castle and its surrounding attractions. Visitors are advised to check the castle's website for the latest information on parking availability and rates.


Nottingham Castle Opening Times — To make the most of your visit, it's essential to be aware of the castle's opening times. Nottingham Castle is open to visitors throughout the year, with varying hours depending on the season. Check the castle's website or contact the visitor information centre to plan your visit accordingly.

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