Summer in Nottingham: Top Six Things To Do

A guide to the best things to do if you are staying in Nottingham this summer

Some out of necessity, others boredom or just pure curiosity, many of us will become stuck in a ghost town that is an out-of-term Nottingham. When everyone has gone home you realise how empty the campus can actually be (besides the countless open days- honestly, how can you get lost on jubilee?), and the real question of what to do arises.

The first few days are bliss, with all the space and quiet you could possibly need. There are no drunk first years running around, no third years crying in the library bathrooms and no queues for anything. It is perfection. However, that happiness soon changes into an overwhelming feeling of boredom. Some may be fortunate enough to have friends staying back with them, but if you are a lone wolf do not despair. Here is a starting list of things to do in Nottingham that you can use so as not to become crazy by the time September arrives.

  1. Explore the Campus

You might think you know the campus well enough and would never go back there after the nightmarish grinds during revision but seeing the university as a “free person” is a strangely invigorating experience. You are no longer rushed by lectures or deep in thought about the essay due tomorrow. You can slowly walk around the gardens (did you know there is one behind the LASS building?) and explore the shortcuts and passages like the secret cut through way from the library to the Hugh Stewart Hall and Cripps.

  1. Give Beeston a Second Chance

It is that place you visited in first year, where Broadgate is, and where no one wants to live because it’s so far away from the city centre. What we forget is that it is also a beautiful little town with the cutest market on the weekends and a host of cafes, bars and restaurants to occupy your summer days.

  1. Wollaton Park and Chill

When you are on your way to Beeston or just passing University Park, why not have a look at Wollaton? You might have already been to see Batman’s house with friends or to visit the deer during revision breaks but it is completely different when you have nothing to do but relax for once. As an extra tip, grab a book from the library, take a blanket and have a good reading session.

  1. City Events

The events tab on Facebook will become your best friend. There are so many things happening in the city centre – most of them are even free. From music gigs to drawing sessions, there is something to satisfy that human interaction you’re craving. Rough Trade never disappoints with around three or more free gigs each week.

  1. Embracing Your Inner Tourist

There is never time or money to do the tourist things during term time that Nottingham offers. We are all kept busy with our course, societies and socials, but have you ever been to the Castle or Sherwood Forest? Have you explored the Contemporary Museum? Now there is a perfect excuse: you are saving money on club entry so there is the odd £10 to spare on tickets. Put on your walking shoes, cargo shorts, a camera in your bag and look at Nottingham through the eyes of a newcomer. Take it in, sit beside the Lace Market fountain, and catch the sun rays like a true tourist.

  1. Capital of Indulgence

Did you know that Nottingham has one of the most bars and cafes per square meter in Europe? There is the magical (and somewhat bizarre) Tearoom near the station, and the famous Kitty Café. For an extraordinary evening try the gem that is 400 Rabbits hidden in one of the alleys of Upper Parliament Street or even the Hockley Arts Club for a fancy cocktail in an amazing setting (go upstairs- you won’t be disappointed).


Whilst there is much more to see and do in Nottingham over the summer, treat this list as a starting point to finding your favourite spots in this vibrant city of ours. Remember you are on a break after all so sleep in, watch some Netflix or feed ducks for hours. There is no judgment during the holidays.

Ursula Konarska-Mikolajewicz

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