Nestled in the heart of England, Nottingham is a lively city containing an array of fun activities and places to see that are perfect for any couple looking to spend time together.
From the trendy nightlife to its mythical history, there’s enough to enjoy whether you’re looking for date ideas in Nottingham or planning a weekend getaway.
In this guide, we’ll break down some of the top things to do in Nottingham for couples so that you can plan your perfect itinerary.
1. Immerse in history at Nottingham Castle
Located on the clifftops above the city, Nottingham Castle is an iconic historical structure that’s the perfect destination for a romantic outing.
Inside, you can learn more about the city from various exhibits that cover everything from Nottingham lace to the legendary Robin Hood.
You can even join a tour that will take you around the caves located under the castle, or simply enjoy the views from its vantage point over the city.
2. Enjoy magical cocktails at the Alchemist
There’s no better way to feel the chemistry of a date night in Nottingham than by going for cocktails at the Alchemist.
This popular chain of bars has spread across the UK and it’s location in Nottingham is made even more special by the glamorous old building it inhabits.
With the use of dry ice, bubble makers, and even colour-changing concoctions, you’ll be able to experience some of the most unique and memorable cocktails that are bound to make your night special.
3. Learn more about Robin Hood
When most people think of Nottingham, one of the first things they associate with the city is the legendary outlaw Robin Hood.
Not only is there a statue of the mythical archer outside the castle (which is a popular spot for tourists to pose and take a photo), there’s plenty of other places to see and things to do related to this famous figure.
This includes the Robin Hood Trail, a self-guided walking route through the city where you can learn more about the legends of this hero and how fiction merges with history.
4. Take a cruise on the Trent
For a different view of the city, book a cruise along the River Trent and relax as you take in the views.
This is one of the best things to do in Nottingham for couples if you want to spend a couple of hours together away from the bustle of the city and instead enjoy time of the serene river.
You can even partake in lunch or dinner during the cruise, making it an even more romantic experience.
5. Explore the streets of the Lace Market
One of the oldest parts of Nottingham is the renowned Lace Market district, an area named due to its history of fashion and production of lace.
Today, it’s still one of the most colourful parts of the city and a great place to wander around and get lost in.
It’s full of vintage emporiums and other independent shops where you’re sure to find a hidden gem or two.
6. Discover the grounds of Wollaton Hall
In the outskirts of the city you can find the beautiful Wollaton Hall, a Grade I listed Elizabethan mansion that’s a perfect destination for a romantic day out in Nottingham.
With 500 acres of parkland, you can explore the romantic gardens around the hall and into the verdant deer park.
Take a look inside the hall itself and you’ll see the exhibits of Nottingham’s Natural History Museum, a collection full with 750,000 objects.
7. Watch a play at Nottingham Playhouse
Even an evening out at the theatre is always a fun idea for a date night, and Nottingham Playhouse provides the perfect venue for anyone looking to engage in the arts.
Check out what’s on and plan ahead – you may find there’s an upcoming play that will round out a fun day out in Nottingham.
Not only will you find plays hosted there, but it’s and elevate your romance at the Nottingham Playhouse. With its rich history and diverse repertoire, the theater offers an array of captivating performances.
From classic plays to contemporary productions, a night at the Nottingham Playhouse provides an opportunity for shared cultural enrichment, fostering a deeper connection between you and your partner.
8. Explore Nottingham Arboretum
One of the most beautiful gems of the city, that also happens to make for a great spot to have a romantic retreat, is Nottingham Arboretum.
Opened in 1852, this gorgeous green space is the oldest public park in the city and is home to over 800 trees, some of which date back to its opening.
There are plenty of paths to wander along, greenery and flowers to admire, and even a water feature that’s a perfect backdrop for a picnic on a hot day.
9. Go on a shopping spree
What Nottingham has in abundance is places to go shopping, with the city centre still bustling with shoppers, especially on weekends.
If you enjoy a good shopping spree, you’ll find everything you need from high street chains and luxury outlets to independent shops and vintage emporiums.
The Victoria Centre holds many shops and places to grab a bite to eat, and being inside it’s also a handy option to have in case the weather turns bad.
10. Learn about history at the National Justice Museum
When you’re wandering around the Lace Market area of Nottingham, you may across the striking National Justice Museum.
Found appropriately in a formed Victorian courtroom, prison, and police station, the museum is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in history, particularly around the criminal justice system in the UK.
You can explore free exhibits, which cover topics from protests to criminology, or plan ahead to take part in one of their events, including mock trials.
Where to eat for a romantic meal out
Nottingham is packed full of fantastic eateries, whether you’re after a romantic dinner in the evening or a quick bite to eat before heading out into the city. Here are some of our top picks.
If you love a good burger, Fat Hippo has some of the best in the city, especially if all you want to do is pig out.
Their burgers are perfect for filling yourselves up after a day exploring Nottingham, and their sides come in generous portions too.
Make sure to book ahead at Fat Hippo as it does get booked up well in advance.
Located near Nottingham Castle, Hart’s Restaurant offers a fine dining experience perfect for a memorable meal together.
Attached to a hotel, you might even choose to stay here if you’re also looking for accommodation in the city.
Iberico World Tapas
For couples who enjoy sharing a variety of flavors, Iberico World Tapas offers a romantic and social dining experience.
The stylish decor and low lighting enhance the ambiance, while the extensive tapas menu features a diverse range of Spanish-inspired dishes, perfect for a shared culinary adventure.
This award-winning tapas restaurant in one of the best options for eating out in the city.
How to get around Nottingham
Navigating Nottingham is a breeze, especially due to being one of the few cities in the UK to have a tram network. Here are a few ways to get around the city.
Nottingham boasts an efficient tram system that connects key areas within the city. The tram network is extensive, covering popular destinations such as the train station, university, and various neighborhoods.
There are several park and ride options around the outskirts of the city, and you can get a speedy tram right into the centre of the city.
You can find more about using the trams, including a timetable, here.
The bus network in Nottingham is comprehensive, with numerous routes covering the city and its outskirts.
While the trams are usually easier to hop on and off to most places you might want to go, buses are also convenient if needing to reach areas not served by trams.
Cycling can be a handy way to get around Nottingham, and there are options to hire bikes if needed.
The Nottingham City Cycle Route is worth checking out if you’re planning on cycling, as it’ll give you an indication of the best roads to use.
Nottingham’s city center is pedestrian-friendly, making walking an excellent option for short distances. Many of the city’s attractions, shops, and restaurants are within walking distance of each other.
Even the castle can be reached on foot, being only a 20 minute walk from the city centre.