Discover the Nottinghamshire hidden beneath our feet

Caves in the dark - low res

The Royal Geographical Society have chosen Nottingham’s cave network as one of their Great British landscape highlights on their national ‘Discovering Britain’ walking trial.

Nottinghamshire’s Caves have been a big part of the city and county’s history and heritage for centuries and we have lots of different ways for you to explore them.

City of Caves

Explore the Nottingham’s original man-made caves found under the cobbles of some of the city’s most famous streets, including the infamous Drury Hill. Discover how the caves were built into the sandstone rock and how Nottingham dwellers came to call them home.

Nottingham Castle

Nottingham Castle contain’s one of the city’s best known historic sites – Mortimer’s Hole. Let Robin Hood himself be your guide to the labyrinth world beneath the fortress and learn about the gruesome history of the eerie passage to the castle and the part it played in the downfall of Sir Roger Mortimer.

Caves in Castle Rock - credit to John Arnold

Mortimer’s Hole

Galleries of Justice

Visit the caves of one of the most haunted buildings in the country at the site of Nottinghamshire’s old Courthouse and County Gaol. Some of the county’s most notorious criminals were imprisoned in the caves within the old Shire Hall building. Legend has it that Robin Hood was among those held captive by the Sheriff of Nottingham in a deep dungeon cave in the prison, only to be later rescued by Little John through a secret tunnel.

Cave Pubs

Enjoy a very authentic pint of ale in one of our cave pubs. The Hand and Heart pub is cut directly into a sandstone cliff which was originally beneath a Georgian manor. The mix of period features that have been added to the building over the years make for atmospheric surroundings.

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is widely believed to be the oldest pub in England and contains two levels of medieval caves to eat and drink in, as well as deep cellars and pits that are still used today to store beer.

Photo credit: VisitEngland

Photo credit: VisitEngland

Cellar Tours

As part of a Heritage Lottery Fund project in 2014, hidden caves were opened up beneath the Malt Cross pub. The public can now view the secret passageways, trap doors and concealed rooms that sit under the grade II listed former Victorian music hall building.


Madame Parboiled and Robin Hood

Join storyteller Madame Parboiled for a historical pub tour and venture into the depths of some of the most interesting pubs in Nottingham, including the Bell and The Sir John Borlase Warren.

Creswell Craggs

Outside of the city in Worksop, ancient caves at Creswell Craggs contain evidence of pre-historic life in Nottinghamshire, as well as boasting Britain’s only known ice-age art. You can explore deep inside the natural limestone gorge on the site’s rock art and ice age tours.

You can also uncover more of the caves secrets using our Cave Trail app or paper version, available from the Nottingham tourist information center.

The ‘Discovering Britain’ trail also includes St Anne’s Allotments and Sherwood Forest



Posted on 23 May 2016
Featured author: Jessie

Nottingham native and fan of all things music, arts and animal related.

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Featured authors

  • Sarah Louise

    A very lucky marketeer in her dream job. Passionate about all things Nottinghamshire and firmly believes if you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen!

  • Kinga

    Addicted to music and learning languages. Loves reading, gardening, travelling and everything new media related.

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    Originally from Preston – but now calling Nottingham home – Alistair’s a St Helens rugby league fan who loves travel and music.

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    Proud to represent the county I grew up in. Travel loving devoted mum of two who carries a torch for the city’s unsung hero, Captain Albert Ball VC.

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    Writer and amateur local historian with an affection for English eccentrics. Returned to Nottingham in 2013, only to fall in love with the creative and cultural goings of the city.

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