An Easy Guide to Planning a Day Trip from London to Nottingham

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Are you planning a stay in London for longer than a weekend? In that case, you can spice up your itinerary with a day trip out of the city. When you secure the best special offers London hotels it makes sense to keep the capital as your home base and travel in and out of the city on day tours. Nottingham is one of the coolest cities in the UK. If you’re curious about history and love kooky towns with a huge personality, then Nottingham is perfect for you. Here is our step-by-step guide to planning an independent day trip to Nottingham from London.

Where is Nottingham?

Nottingham is located in Nottinghamshire, the East Midlands. Located 110 miles northwest of London, it’s a perfectly feasible day trip during a stay at the Grand Royale London.

How to get to Nottingham

The best way to visit Nottingham from London is via train. Services connect London St Pancras International to Nottingham in as little as 90 minutes. 

You can consult schedules and fares on the Trainline or National Rail. If you download the free Trainline app, you can purchase digital train tickets via the platform. Otherwise, you can buy tickets on the website and have them posted to you at your accommodation Hyde Park London.

Otherwise, you can purchase train tickets in person at the train station. 

Alternatively, you can take the coach to Nottingham. National Express operates transfers from Victoria Coach Station that take 3.5 hours on average. However, you will use valuable sightseeing time.

We recommend that you book a train departure after 9.30 to benefit from off-peak fares. Advance booking tickets helps lessen the price even further. 

Where to stay in London for a Nottingham day trip

Hotels in Bayswater Road, London put you in a convenient location for getting to and from St Pancras International. You have multiple London Underground lines at your disposal or you can take a bus or short taxi ride. 

Things to do in Nottingham

It’s easy to fill an entire day in Nottingham. Pause from searching special offers London hotels and check out what the city has in store for you!

  • Nottingham Castle

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Roosted on top of Castle Rock, Nottingham Castle is the highest point in the city and its star attraction. 

William the Conqueror started building the fortification in 1068 but over the years it passed through the hands of numerous rulers and architects. The revered outlaw and rebel Robin Hood battled with the Sheriff of Nottingham over his ill-treatment of the poor. In 1642, King Charles I triggered the onset of the English Civil War at Nottingham Castle.

You can purchase a ticket to tour the grounds, visit the current exhibitions, and survey views of the city from the top of Castle Rock. 

  • Lace Market

Lace Market is a historic neighbourhood in the middle of the city where you can appreciate 19th-century industrial architecture. Keep your eyes peeled for original iron railings, gas street lamps, and iconic red phone boxes that recreate what  Victorian England looked like. This is the best area in Nottingham to snap up a hearty lunch that will keep you energised until returning to hotels in Bayswater Road, London for the night.

  • Robin Hood Statue 

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Right outside the castle walls stands a statue of Robin Hood. The bronze shows Robin as we know him from folklore: standing with his bow and arrow. You will learn more about the story and folklore about Robin Hood at the castle but do not miss the photo opportunity.

  • The Oldest Inn in England

Take a stroll down the walls of Nottingham Castle and you will find an inn called Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. This is the oldest pub in England and comprises an atmospheric interior and a beer garden. Pop inside and you will see how the tavern was built into the caves beneath the castle. Have a pint of beer or a glass of wine here before heading back to your accommodation Hyde Park London. The inn also serves traditional English pub food. But, be prepared: the pub is rumoured to be haunted.

  • Old Market Square

Old Market Square marks the epicentre of Nottingham. The square hosts the annual Christmas fair as well as other seasonal events and pop-ups. Domed City Hall dominates the square while fountains add a sense of calm. Old Market Square is lined with popular high street brands in case you fancy refreshing your wardrobe. 

  • City of Caves

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Nottingham contains the largest network of caves in the UK. Over 800 subterranean caverns lurk beneath the city streets. A selection of these has been transformed into an attraction that you can visit and learn about the significance of the caves. They have been used for a manner of purposes including storage and shelter during World War II. It is not mandatory to book tickets in advance. But for peace of mind, you could purchase yours online using the Wi-Fi at the Grand Royale London.

  • National Justice Museum

In tandem with touring the caves, you can visit the National Justice Museum. This museum occupies the Grade II listed Shire Hall. Costumed staff are on hand to explain the history of social justice, law cases, and human stories in Nottingham through the centuries. Interactive displays include the Victorian Courtroom, Georgian gaol, and ancient prison cells.

  • Wollaton Hall

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Wollaton Hall is one of Nottingham’s best family-friendly attractions. This is a Grade I listed, Renaissance-style country estate that was built during the 1580s. You can purchase a ticket to visit the interiors and gain insight into how the upper class lived during the Elizabethan times. 

The house is sited on 500 acres of parkland with a lake, formal gardens, and woodland. Deer roam freely and the house is a pleasure to visit year-round. 

Bear in mind that you will need to take a bus from the city centre to visit Wollaton Hall. Bus number 2 leaves from Upper Parliament Street (Stop U4) and takes 30-40 minutes each way.