Attending the University of Nottingham is a very singular and exciting experience, but it can be exhausting. Student life may drain your time and energy, but it shouldn’t have to drain your wallet. Have you ever needed to get out of your flat and relax without spending money? Worry not and read on to find out 10 free things to do around University of Nottingham.
1. Experience new things at the Goose Fair.
The Goose Fair is an annual event held in early October on the Forest Recreation Grounds. While admission to the grounds are free, not all of the exciting rides they have are. Instead, take a walk around the many booths, try some free samples, and have a conversation with a few vendors. As an international student, I can tell you that it’s a great way to become more familiar with Nottingham.
2. Take a trip to Green’s Windmill.
Visit Green’s Windmill and learn about history and science. The windmill, built in 1807 by George Green, is still functioning! So, take a windy afternoon to learn about the inner workings of this mill. You might even feel pulled to buy a bag of awarded flour and support the Green’s Windmill Trust. Note: The University’s George Green Library is named for this George Green!
3. Join the fun at Lakeside Arts Center.
Lakeside Arts Center, located on University Park campus, is home to the University’s very own Museum of Archaeology. Lakeside is open to the public year round, so head there on a non-performance night and take it all in. And for students, there are a myriad of opportunities to get involved in at Lakeside. You could volunteer, apply for an internship, or even audition for the next upcoming performance!
4. Take some time to explore the Attenborough Nature Reserve.
The Attenborough Nature Reserve is more accessible than you might think. The reserve is largely known for the birds it hosts, but it is also home to a number of mammals and invertebrate. Join a monthly nature walk on the first Sunday of the month. Take your family for a walk down the Heritage Trail when they visit. Gather some friends and walk the Skylark Trail and see just how many skylarks you can spot. The Attenborough Nature Reserve is a great way to get away from the city and connect with nature.
5. Find inspiration at New Art Exchange.
Step outside of your comfort zone and take an inside look at someone else’s life or culture. New Art Exchange is dedicated to representing artists who find themselves largely unrepresented due to their race, gender, religion, disabilities, etc. There are always wondrous exhibits waiting to change your perspective.
6. Explore the past at Creswell Crags.
Creswell Crags is home to one of the most northerly sites of preserved cave art. There are rock art tours, ice age cave tours, and some exhibitions are always on display. While these come at a price, you can walk around the lake and the gorge for free. The lake is a lovely site and the gorge will make you feel that much closer to the past.
7. Take a day to walk through Nottingham Contemporary.
Nottingham Contemporary is an art gallery dedicated to showcasing contemporary artists. The Contemporary is a non-profit gallery with a strong attachment to the local community. You could visit one of the many exhibitions, attend a Spot Talk and join in on a conversation regarding a particular artist’s work, or attend a Study Session and hear different perspectives on a particular work, artist, or theme.
8. Set aside a day to explore Southwell Minster.
Southwell Minster is the Cathedral of Nottinghamshire. While it is fairly distant from the university, the site itself is breathtaking enough to warrant a full day. The church grounds host a multitude of fun and affordable events.
9. Go for a stroll around Wollaton Park…
This list would simply be incomplete without mentioning Wollaton. Wollaton Park is located near the University’s University Park campus, so it’s always a great place to go. Grab some friends and a blanket and watch the clouds go by. Take a walk around the park by yourself, but be warned, it’s a safe place for deer. The park is large and lush enough to keep you busy for hours.
10. …and be sure to stop by Wollaton Hall.
Wollaton Hall is located near…drum roll, please…Wollaton Park! Are you surprised? Wollaton Hall is home to Nottingham’s Natural History Museum. Explore the different levels of the museum and have some fun! And, as you might notice, Wollaton Hall was used in the film the Dark Knight Rises as Wayne Manor! So take a few pictures and indulge your inner Batman…or your inner Alfred, it was his home too.
As you can see, there is something for everyone around the University of Nottingham. The next time you’re saving up or money’s a little tight, you’ll have something new to experience! Enjoy and let me know if there’s anything that we should add to this list!