2016 Nottinghamshire highlights
We thought 2015 was a year to remember, but 2016 is set to eclipse it with the plethora of great events and activities happening across Nottinghamshire. Whether you fancy staying the night in Byron’s back yard, watching international cricket or celebrating 200 years of Nottingham’s hidden gem, you’re bound to discover something exciting to do this year.
In early 2016 you will be able to check-in to the Gardener’s Cottage, situated in the stunning grounds of Newstead Abbey. Byron once called Newstead home and now you will too. Re-kindle the romance and explore the county from this period house, crammed with original period features.
The Nottingham night sky will illuminate this February with stunning displays as well as music, street theatre and much more at the city’s annual Light Night event. Many of Nottingham’s attractions and landmarks will transform for one night only so be sure to wander the streets in search of awe-inspiring sights as well as live performances in many of the city’s restaurants and cafes.
While you’re exploring the city, be sure to take a tour of one of Nottingham’s hidden gems – Bromley House Library. A time capsule of literature, this authentic 19th century library usually only opens its doors to subscribers. In 2016, to mark its 200th birthday, Bromley House will be conducting free tours for visitors as you venture deep through the archive of books, ranging from French literature to natural history – a genuine treasure trove of history on paper.
To make the most of your time in Nottingham, take the tram and travel on a newly expanded network which now runs from Hucknall in the north all the way out to Chilwell and Clifton. Some top attractions you can visit on the tram include Nottingham Contemporary, New Art Exchange, the Theatre Royal and Nottingham Playhouse. And to top off a stay, a few nights in the newly refurbished Lace Market Hotel will compliment your visit perfectly. Lace Market Hotel is fitting enough to grace any stay, offering a high-quality, boutique base to call home while you’re in Nottingham. Within the same gorgeous Georgian town house you’ll also find the traditional Cock and Hoop pub and the high quality Merchants Restaurant and Saint Bar.
For the sports fans among you, Nottingham boasts live international cricket at Trent Bridge this summer, with test matches for England against both Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the venue where home-boy Stuart Broad destroyed Australia in the 2015 Ashes series. Hitting the target in May will be the European Archery Championships. Nottingham is of course the home of archery with its ties to Robin Hood, so where better for our Olympic hopefuls to compete for their place in Rio this year. Meanwhile, the Nottingham Tennis Centre serves up another summer of top tennis with the return of the Aegon Open Women’s and Men’s events from the 4th – 12th June and 18th – 25th June respectively.
With a re-vamp to its various stages and the invitation to get on their bikes in the home of Raleigh, the Great Notts Bike Ride celebrates 35 years this year and offers participants the chance to see stunning scenery and iconic landmarks as they cycle across Nottinghamshire. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or beginner, the course lengths vary depending on how far you feel you can go – from 25 and 50 miles all the way to 100 miles. The Great Notts Bike Ride forms part of Cycle Live Nottingham which takes place across the weekend of the 25th & 26th June 2016.
For those who appreciate fine art and culture, then Nottinghamshire will definitely be putting on a great display of artistic works in 2016. The Harley Gallery opens its new gallery on 20th March, situated on the charming Welbeck Estate. The new gallery is designed by Hugh Broughton Architects, well known for designing the Halley VI Antarctic Research Station. The new space will house the Portland Collection which belongs to the Welbeck family and has been collected over many generations. The Harley Gallery will also be taking part in season 2 of The Grand Tour from March – June. Following on from the success of season 1, where visitors could re-live the artistic tours of the 18th and 19th century aristocracy, season 2 will take you on a modern twist of a cultural classic across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Artists taking part include Simon Starling, Rose English and Sir Peter Blake. As well as the Harley Gallery, venues opening their doors will be Nottingham Contemporary, Chatsworth House and Derby Museums.
It’s not every day you’re able to get up-close-and-personal with the works of one of the most famous artists the world has ever seen however, ten of the finest drawings by Leonardo da Vinci from the Royal Collection will be on display at Nottingham Castle for a special exhibition from 30th July – 9th October 2016. Leonardo took a keen interest in a variety of areas and the works in this particular collection will demonstrate these interests; from engineering to zoology.
Nottinghamshire knows how to throw a great festival, so make sure you’re part of the action at the annual Robin Hood Festival from 1st – 7th August to celebrate our legendary outlaw in his home of Sherwood Forest. With live jousting and entertainment across the 7 days as well as activities for all ages to get involved in, it’s a true highlight of the calendar for families. And if this wasn’t enough, October in Nottingham guarantees you the opportunity to fill your boots with all the festival fun you can handle. From Europe’s oldest travelling fair, Goose Fair, to GameCity celebrating our love as a nation for gaming, the city puts on a show for an entire month of family friendly activities and events. More information on these events can be found here.
Delving into history can bring up some interesting finds, so where better to dig than in the city of caves! With more than 450 man-made-caves beneath Nottingham’s streets, there are secrets to be explored at every turn. Download the Nottingham Cave Trail App and take a three mile walk through medieval caves and historic pubs and landmarks along the way.
If kings and legends interest you, then make sure you discover the story of the Magna Carta. Special itineraries taking you around Nottingham, Newark and Lincoln and their castles will unravel the tales of the Magna Carta alongside various Kings and Castles. Alternatively, Robin Hood’s itinerary offers you the chance to follow his story through Nottingham, Sherwood Forest and Lincoln Cathedral while the Pilgrim Fathers trail invites you to learn more on their pursuit of religious freedom and how Nottinghamshire played a huge role in the eventual rise of the USA. Find out more by clicking here.
Of course these are our highlights, but there’s plenty more happening so make sure you delve through the what’s on section of our website to discover more.