Shot of Nottingham's council house from Nottingham beach in 2022 with text overlaid "Visit Nottinghamshrie guide to summer"

Summer Wonders: Visit Notts’ Ultimate Guide to Summer in Notts

Summer has well and truly arrived in Notts and there are plenty of fun filled activities to explore.  Whilst Nottinghamshire is best known for its association with men in green tights running through Sherwood Forest, there’s so much more waiting to be discovered. This historic county in the heart of England is bursting with amazing things to do this summer and Visit Notts have rounded up some of the best.


Whether you’re looking to indulge in a day out at the sports, enjoy a great festival, or looking for new ways to keep the kids entertained, inspiration is just around the corner. Not only that Notts has some great budget options, so family fun needn’t break the bank! There are even options where kids can eat for FREE! So, sit back, relax, and let Visit Notts help with your summer plans!


Unique Things to Do


Nottingham Beach in Old Market Square [Dates: 25 July – 3 September | Price: Free]

The beloved Nottingham Beach returns for 2023, offering an urban oasis where visitors of all ages can bask in the sun and enjoy the sandy shore. With fantastic slides for the little ones and a Giant Slip ‘n Slide featuring two giant inflatable waterslides, The Arrow and Little John, there’s plenty of refreshing fun to beat the summer heat.


Newark on Sea [Dates: 4 – 13 August | Price: Free]

Newark on Sea makes a splash this summer with its giant urban beach. Experience a seaside atmosphere with daily beach-themed activities, ice creams, dinky doughnuts, and entertaining seaside shows by the sand.


Budget-Friendly Options


Enjoy world class arts [Dates: Throughout Summer | Price: Free]

Nottinghamshire has a plethora of amazing art galleries which can all be enjoyed this Summer, without costing you a penny. The Nottingham Contemporary and New Art Exchange within the city, as well as the Harley Gallery in the county don’t cost a thing and are some of the best galleries in the East Mids!


Historical heritage sites [Dates: Throughout Summer | Price: Under £10]

Some of Notts’ best loved heritage sites don’t cost anything at all to visit and make for a great day out. With the iconic Wollaton Hall and Deer Park, the Bennerley Viaduct and North Notts’ Creswell Crags all free of charge to visit, there’s plenty to keep you busy.


Discover Robin Hood This Summer!


Robin Hood Festival in Sherwood Forest [Dates: 27th July – 28th August | Price: Free]

Experience the magic of the Robin Hood Festival in Sherwood Forest, complete with outdoor cinema screenings and thrilling jousting events. Don’t miss the Knights of Nottingham’s spectacular Medieval jousting show on 4th August, a must-see for the whole family.


Nottinghamshire Day Festival [Date: Saturday, 26th August | Price: Varies]

Celebrate Nottinghamshire Day at Sherwood Forest as part of the Robin Hood Festival, with a host of interactive events and activities, including storytelling, guided walks, medieval musicians, quizzes, archery, axe throwing, and more. Be captivated by The Sherwood Outlaws, bringing the legend of Robin Hood to life with their action-packed arena show.


Family Favourites


A day out at family favourites Conkers or; Sundown Adventureland [Dates: All summer | Price: Varies]

For little adventurers, Conkers offers family-friendly craft and ranger-led activities, a 4D cinema, and the new Conkers Cove splash park! Sundown Adventureland caters to younger visitors with rides, attractions, and indoor soft play, ensuring a magical experience for the whole family.


Scale to new heights at Clip n Climb or; Go Ape at Sherwood Pines [Dates: Throughout Summer | Price: Varies]

Families can take on the climbing challenge at Clip n Climb, with climbs suitable for those aged 4 and up, or they can venture into the treetops at Go Ape with its jumbo netted trampolines, Tarzan swings, and epic zip wires. Use code FAMILY15 to save on your next family adventure at Go Ape.

Dine out with the family!


Dining Deals which won’t break the bank [Dates: Various | Price: Various]

The summer holidays can be an expensive time for families, thankfully there are a number of places where kids can eat for free or cheap this summer. Kids can eat for free at Las Iguanas Nottingham, Cod’s Scallops and Bill’s. They can eat for just £1 at Gedling’s Willowbrook pub. And, they can eat for half price at the Pudding Pantry. Be sure to check T&Cs with each venue.


Adventure Playgrounds


Nottingham Castle and Belvoir Castle [Dates: Throughout Summer | Price: Varies]

Explore adventure playgrounds at Nottingham Castle, set in the shadow of Nottingham’s iconic landmark, or let imaginations run wild at Belvoir Castle’s woodland adventure park with giant timber castle, ship, and towers. Both are a great value day out for the whole family!


Summer of Festivals in Nottingham


Riverside Festival [Dates: Friday 4 – Sunday 6 August | Price: Free]

Enjoy a mile-long stretch of fairground rides, games, and attractions along the Trent River, complemented by street food vendors, bars, and market stalls. Experience Dragon Boat Racing, live music performances, and a vibrant atmosphere.


Nottingham Carnival [Date: 20 August | Price: Free]

Celebrate Caribbean, Brazilian, and African cultures at Nottingham Carnival, a cultural extravaganza filled with vibrant music, dance, and delectable food.


The Great Outdoors


Rufford Abbey Country Park [Dates: Throughout Summer | Price: Free, Some Activities May Have Fees]

Enjoy the beauty of Rufford Abbey Country Park with its boating lake, adventure playground, outdoor activities and magnificent ancient abbey. Entry to the park is free but visitors travelling by car will need to pay for parking.


Clumber Park Summer of Play [Dates: All summer long | Family ticket from £12.50]

Clumber Park’s Summer of Play offers five zones with activities for all ages, including sports, creative games, nature exploration, and imaginative play. There’s so much happening this summer at Clumber Park, it’s a must visit!


Sherwood Pines [Dates: Throughout Summer | Price: Free]

Explore Sherwood Pines, one of the largest forests in the Midlands, with beautiful woodland walks, cycling paths, and family-friendly activities. Join Zog’s forest adventure, take part in the Zog colouring competition and download the free app!


Summer of Sport in Nottinghamshire


The Hundred Cricket at Trent Bridge [Dates: 1st, 9th, 17th, 19th August | Price: Adults from £10, kids from £5]

Catch the action-packed cricket tournament, The Hundred, at Trent Bridge, showcasing 4 days of intense cricket and fantastic entertainment. This year’s tournament promises to be the highlight of summer sport here in Notts.


Ladies Day at Southwell Racecourse [Date: Sunday, 20th August | Price: From £39]

Indulge in a day of thrilling horse racing, sensational style, and live entertainment with a DJ set from Radio One legend Scott Mills. This is the ultimate day out in which to indulge yourself this summer!


Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg and there are plenty more ways to enjoy Nottinghamshire this summer. For more info head over to the Visit Nottinghamshire website!

Posted on 28 July 2023

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Featured author

Featured author

Jack Woolley