Hear tales of sieges, civil war, high treason and Robin Hood in this historic castle that conceals a labyrinth of underground tunnels.
Nottingham Castle is a 17th-century palace built on the site where a medieval royal fortress once stood. Browse the art gallery and museum that now occupy the historic structure to get a sense of the former stronghold’s role in the city’s history.
The first castle to be built here was a Norman motte-and-bailey construction. Most of that structure was destroyed during the English Civil War in the 17th century. Explore the ducal mansion that was built to replace the castle and learn about the castle origins and its ties with Robin Hood. The structure appears in several legends about the noble outlaw and the villainous sheriff.
Peruse temporary exhibitions covering themes such as photography and architecture. The Riot 1831 Gallery provides the opportunity to find out more about the 19th-century attacks that partially destroyed the castle. Download the Augmented Reality app to your phone to interact with the displays and hear first-hand accounts from virtual witnesses.
Kids will enjoy messing around in the medieval-style playground. The serene gardens are a great place to relax while taking in panoramic views of the city. Purchase souvenirs from the gift shop and sip a hot drink at the museum café.
A network of caves and tunnels are hidden in the sandstone outcrop beneath the castle. Join a guided tour to discover the subterranean maze, including the extraordinary Mortimer’s Hole, a tunnel traversed by King Edward III during his efforts to expose his father’s murderer, Sir Roger Mortimer. Be aware that this tour is fairly strenuous and includes more than 300 steps.
From mid-February to late October, the museum is open daily. From November through to mid-February, it opens from Wednesday to Sunday only. An admission fee is required to enter.
Nottingham Castle is north of the Nottingham Canal in the city center. Visitors with disabilities can avail of on-site parking, though it must be booked in advance. Otherwise, find on-street parking nearby.
Visit some of the many attractions that surround the castle, such as the Museum of Nottingham Life and Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem pub. Ride a bus to Central College stop or a tram to the Old Market Square stop.