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Nottinghamshire’s top 16 for 2016

2016 highlights

From the opening of a new gallery of national importance to accommodation in ‘Byron’s backyard, Nottinghamshire is full of must-visit new openings and major events for 2016.

Gardener’s Cottage at Newstead Abbey

Opening in January 2016, visitors will now be able to stay in the original Gardener’s Cottage in the beautiful grounds of Newstead Abbey, once the home of the romantic poet Lord Byron. Set within the heart of the grounds, the Gardener’s Cottage is a charming Grade II listed cottage overlooking the original Rose Garden, refurbished to a very high standard while still retaining original features such as wooden floorboards and beautiful stone mullion windows. The Gardener’s Cottage sleeps up to six people, with two double bedrooms, and also has its own private walled courtyard, perfect for an alfresco breakfast or a glass of wine after a day exploring rural Nottinghamshire. Newstead Abbey is a visitor attraction known for its beautiful formal gardens, set over 300 acres and including a Japanese Garden, Walled Garden, Rose Garden and Spanish Garden. January 2016. http://www.newsteadabbey.org.uk/hire-us/gardeners-cottage

Light Night 2016

Nottingham’s annual Light Night transforms the city and brings it to life after dark through illuminations, spectacles, music, street theatre and much more. Highlights in previous years have included horse drawn carriage rides across the city, ethereal light sculptures at city landmarks and spooky ghost tours, plus music and entertainment in the grounds of Nottingham Castle. Make a night of it with music and performances in many of the city’s cafes and restaurants, and outdoor street food stalls adding to the festive after dark atmosphere. Friday 5 February, 5pm – late. http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/lightnight (link soon to be live).

New Harley Gallery to open March 2016

The new Harley Gallery at Welbeck, Nottinghamshire, opens on 20 March 2016. Designed by Hugh Broughton Architects, known for their award-winning design for the Halley VI Antarctic Research Station, the new gallery will house changing displays of the historic Portland Collection. The 800 square metre gallery space will provide a permanent home for The Portland Collection, which has been built up by the family at Welbeck over generations. The Welbeck Estate is a private estate in rural north Nottinghamshire, and also home to the Harley Cafe, Welbeck Farm Shop, the School of Artisan Food and a number of food and drink producers. FREE entry to the gallery. Opens 20 March 2016. http://www.harleygallery.co.uk/

200 years of Bromley House Library

Tucked away on one of Nottingham’s busiest streets behind a discreet door you’ll find one of the city’s best kept secrets – Bromley House Library, an historic subscription library which celebrates 200 years in 2016, set within a Georgian building. With over 40,000 volumes on everything from fiction and theology to natural history and French literature, the earliest book in the collection was published in the 16th Century. Bromley House Library is also home to a secret city-centre garden, with mature trees and decorative plantings, ideal for relaxing in with a good book on a sunny day. To enjoy the beautiful library, take part in one of the FREE weekly tours (Wednesday 2.30 and 4.00 booking in advance advised) or attend one of the 200th anniversary celebration events and weekly talks, including an outdoor Shakespeare theatre performance (April 2016) and a family fun day (August 2016). Talks and tours also available at £6 per person and must be booked in advance. http://www.bromleyhouse.org/

The Grand Tour: Season 2

Feast your eyes on the cream of classical and contemporary art on a Grand Tour with a 21st Century twist across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, with Season 2 of The Grand Tour, March – June 2016. Tuck into a sumptuous menu of timeless Old Masters and specially-commissioned works by a Turner Prize-winning artist in stunning countryside settings and stylish city venues. Simon Starling, Rose English and Sir Peter Blake will bring new artworks to iconic venues in the region, while Chatsworth offers sights of seldom-seen works from the Devonshire Collection. It’s the perfect recipe for a few days away to enjoy the very best of the area’s heritage, historic houses, galleries, museums, rural landscapes and city life. March – June 2016. http://www.thegrandtour.uk.com/

Nottingham to host European Archery Championships, May 2016

Nottingham will be the host city for the 24th European Archery Championship in May 2016. Returning to the UK for the first time since 1978, Nottingham is the home of archery and a fitting host for the elite European archers as they compete to qualify for Rio 2016. The finals of the Championships will be held in a purpose built arena in Nottingham’s Old Market Square, bringing world-class archery to the heart of the city. A European food market will take place alongside on 28 & 29 May. Tournament dates 23 – 29 May 2016. http://euroarchery2016.org/

International cricket at Trent Bridge

After an unforgettable summer of cricket in 2015, the seventh season in succession in which Trent Bridge has been voted as the Best Customer Experience in the game, the venue will host England’s Royal London One-Day Internationals against Sri Lanka on Tuesday 21 June and Pakistan on Tuesday 30 August in 2016. Book your ticket to catch world-class cricket action in the stunning setting of Trent Bridge, one of England’s most historic grounds, and the venue where England secured its Ashes victory against Australia in the summer of 2015. 21 June and 30 August 2016. http://www.trentbridge.co.uk/

Aegon Open Nottingham world class tennis

World class tennis returns to Nottingham Tennis Centre in June 2016 with two Aegon Open Nottingham grass court tournaments in the lead up to The Championships at Wimbledon. With over $1million prize money on offer, the Aegon Open Nottingham attracts many of the top international players, in the atmospheric surrounds of Nottingham Tennis Centre, on the outskirts of the city centre. Nottingham Tennis Centre. Women’s 4 – 12 June; Men’s 18 – 25 June 2016.


35 years of the Great Notts Bike Ride

Take in some of the most stunning countryside in Nottinghamshire on the annual Great Notts Bike Ride, which celebrates 35 years in 2016. With 25 mile, 50 mile and 100 mile rides, make a day of it exploring Nottinghamshire on two wheels, with plentiful stops along the scenic routes. The Great Notts Bike Ride is part of the Cycle Live Nottingham cycling festival taking place over the weekend, with plenty of opportunities to explore Nottingham by bike, including the family friendly Nottingham City Ride on the Saturday.  Stay in one of Nottingham’s cycle-friendly hotels, offering safe cycle storage and early bird breakfast before hitting the road. Cycle Live Nottingham 25 & 26 June 2016. Great Notts Bike Ride 26 June 2016. Early bird entries are now open, visit http://www.cyclelivenottingham.co.uk/

Leonardo da Vinci at Nottingham Castle

In 2016, ten of the finest drawings by Leonardo da Vinci in the Royal Collection will travel to Nottingham Castle for a special exhibition. The works have been selected to show the extraordinary scope of the artist’s interests, from painting and sculpture to engineering, zoology, botany, mapmaking and anatomy, as well as his use of different media – pen and ink, red and black chalks, watercolour and metalpoint. A programme of talks, tours and activities will run alongside the exhibition at Nottingham Castle. 30 July – 9 October 2016. http://www.nottinghamcastle.org.uk/

Robin Hood Festival in Sherwood Forest

Sherwood Forest will come alive with the spirit of Robin Hood in August, when the annual Robin Hood Festival returns. The festival is a favourite with families in the summer holidays and once again there will be a week of FREE entertainment and a daily programme packed with education and entertainment for all ages including archery, falconry, medieval music and entertainment, jousting and traditional food. Free entry, parking charges apply. 1 – 7 August 2016. http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/sherwood

Festival City in October 2016

Nottingham is the UK’s Festival City in October, with more than15 festivals and major events taking place across the city throughout the month. From a week-long celebration of Robin Hood, culminating in a three-day medieval pageant at Nottingham Castle, to the GameCity Festival, a celebration of all things gaming; and from a Family Arts Festival and various cultural venues, to the UK’s oldest travelling fair, Goose Fair, there is plenty for children and families to enjoy. Whether you love music, film, beer, videogames, arts or football, you’ll find a festival to inspire, as the city comes alive with fantastic events. The beautiful vintage Spiegel Tent will also return in October 2016.  http://www.experiencenottinghamshire.com/october

Lace Market Hotel opens its doors

Nottingham’s iconic hotel, the Lace Market Hotel, has recently reopened its doors after a complete refurbishment under new ownership, bringing Nottingham a stylish new boutique hotel. Highlights of the refurbished Georgian townhouse include Saint Bar, the Cock & Hoop ale house and aspirational dining restaurant Merchant’s, along with 42 rooms, each of which is individually styled to the highest standard. Located in the heart of the historic Lace Market area and within a stone’s throw of Nottingham attractions including Nottingham Contemporary, the Galleries of Justice Museum, St Mary’s Church and the Capital FM Arena, the Lace Market Hotel is the ideal base for a city break in Nottingham. Double rooms start from £125. http://www.lacemarkethotel.co.uk/

Explore underground Nottingham

You’d never know it, as you browse the shops or enjoy a coffee in the city centre, but Nottingham is a city with a secret. Dug deep into the soft sandstone rock below, are more than 450 man-made caves – many of which date back to the medieval period and beyond. The new Nottingham Cave Trail launched late 2015 and features a three-mile walk designed to give a special insight into what lies beneath, with everything from decaying dungeons to breweries, cock-fighting pits and cave houses waiting to be uncovered. Explore the Cave Trail via the FREE app or using a paper trail from Nottingham Tourism Centre. http://www.cavesofnottingham.com/

Discover castles, kings and legends in Nottinghamshire & Lincolnshire

Explore new itineraries linking Nottingham and Lincoln, including the Magna Carta, Kings & Castles itinerary linking Lincoln Castle, Newark Castle and Nottingham Castle; and the Robin Hood itinerary which brings together adventures in Nottingham, Sherwood Forest and Lincoln Cathedral. Explore Pilgrim Fathers heritage, following in their footsteps as they escaped England to pursue religious freedom, in the process planting the seeds from which the United States of America would grow. http://www.lincsandnottstours.com/ (link soon to be live).

Take the tram

Nottingham’s tram network has doubled in size, with phase two opening linking wider areas of the city and adding 28 additional tram stops. With an integrated tram stop at Nottingham Train Station, enjoy a green city break and easy access to many of Nottingham’s top attractions by tram, including Nottingham Contemporary, New Art Exchange art gallery, Lakeside Arts Centre, Highfields Park, the Theatre Royal, The Arboretum, Forest Recreation Ground and Nottingham Playhouse.  http://www.thetram.net/

A selection of relevant images for these 16 highlights is available for download here.


To arrange a media visit or for more information, please contact: Erin Huckle, PR Manager, Experience Nottinghamshire erin.huckle@experiencenottinghamshire.com / 0115 962 8304 / 07411 355 293


Posted on 12 November 2015

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