Nottinghamshire is filled with tranquil villages that offer quiet and privacy while staying close to attractions like Sherwood Forest and Major Oak. When you stay in a Nottinghamshire village, you can explore all the historic sites, amusement parks and natural spaces in the vast district, but then retreat to your own quiet spot after sightseeing. Whether you’re planning a family trip with the little ones, a romantic country stay or a solo holiday, take a look at the 10 most picturesque villages in Nottinghamshire to find your best destination.

    1

    Southwell

    Immerse yourself in local history

    • Families
    • History

    Southwell is a lovely minster town with a variety of historic attractions and family-friendly activities to enjoy on your trip. You can tour Southwell Minster, a 12th-century Romanesque minster with stunning architecture, or explore the Museum of Timekeeping to see watch and clock artefacts. If you have the kids, they’ll love visiting Ferry Farm Country Park to play with farm animals. Kids will also like Robin Hoods Wheelgate Park, a theme park with rides and water activities following a Robin Hood theme.

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    2

    Barnby-in-the-Willows

    Discover local history in a charming village

    • Families
    • History

    Barnby-in-the-Willows is a quaint village in the Newark and Sherwood district that gives you access to vast parklands for outdoor recreation. From your base camp here, you can easily visit such places as the Beacon Hill Conservation Park, Langford Lowfields and Hill Holt Wood. The Flintham Museum is an intriguing and unique museum that serves as a time capsule of local history with incredible artefacts and exhibits. Other highlights include the Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene and the Governor’s House landmark.

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    photo by J.Hannan-Briggs (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    3

    Willoughby on the Wolds

    Explore the wonders of the English countryside

    • Couples
    • Families

    Willoughby on the Wolds is a beautiful village with quaint attractions, such as Bunny Old Wood and the Keyworth Meadow Nature Reserve, where you can take nature walks and enjoy the local wildlife. Located on the border of Nottinghamshire, the village offers peace and quiet for your retreat and also serves as a great base camp to explore the wonders of Nottinghamshire, such as Sherwood Forest, Clumber Park and Newstead Abbey. You’ll see many prominent landmarks, such as Major Oak and Rufford Abbey.

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    photo by M J Richardson (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    4

    Papplewick

    See the wonders of Victorian waterworks

    • Couples
    • Families

    Papplewick is a charming village and parish that boasts one of Britain’s finest Victorian waterworks and many other attractions. It’s home to the Papplewick Pumping Station, a Victorian pump house that’s now a museum. Other historic sites include Annesley Hall, a historic, stately home with a garden, and Papplewick Hall, a country house with vast, landscaped gardens. You could also see vibrant flowers in the Felley Priory and have a spot of tea in the onsite tea room. If you want more time outdoors, Mill Lakes is a fun outdoor recreation area for water sports and hiking.

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    5

    Bingham

    Have fun with the kids in theme parks

    • Couples
    • Families

    Bingham is a traditional English market town that offers peaceful surrounds and plenty of privacy while still being close to the attractions of Nottingham. The town is perfect for a family trip or quiet holiday on your own. You could take the kids to Ferry Farm Country Park to play with animals, or you can enjoy adventurous water sports in the Holme Pierrepont Country Park. Bingham has numerous other parks for outdoor fun and recreation, such as Colwick Country Park, which has a lake for fishing, and Skylarks Nature Reserve. Another highlight is the Sibthorpe Dovecote ruin site, which is all that remains of a former medieval collegiate religious complex.

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    photo by John Sutton (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    6

    Owthorpe

    Enjoy a quiet holiday in the country

    • Couples
    • Families

    Owthorpe is a peaceful and sleepy village with a rich history where you can enjoy wine tasting, tours and nature attractions. Once home to the Hutchinson family, the patriarch held a defiant and courageous stand during the Civil War to prevent the king’s men from obtaining the store of gunpowder in the county. He was later granted Governorship of Nottingham Castle. Owthorpe has plenty more to see and do, such as the Holme Pierrepont Hall historic home, the Naturescape Wildflower Farm and several wineries for tours and tastings on a romantic trip.

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    photo by Alan Murray-Rust (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    7

    Mansfield

    Explore rich heritage in local museums

    • Families
    • History

    Mansfield is a quaint market town in Nottinghamshire where you can spend a fascinating holiday marvelling at stately homes, exploring village history or trekking through a legendary forest. One of the best places to visit is the Mansfield Museum, which showcases artefacts and exhibits on the village. You can explore Newstead Abbey, a converted medieval abbey house and grounds, or spend your time touring the Hardwick Elizabethan stately home. Mansfield is also close to Sherwood Forest, the forest of Robin Hood legends. Along with lore, the forest has an extensive network of hiking trails and opportunities for outdoor activities like horseback riding, cycling and more.

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    photo by Enchufla Con Clave (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    8

    Edwinstowe

    Discover the lore of Robin Hood

    • Families
    • History

    The large village of Edwinstowe is famed as the alleged site of the Robin Hood and Maid Marian wedding and offers a mix of peace and privacy and fun-filled attractions. The village has several attractions related to the lore, including Major Oak, the landmark tree and a prominent feature in Robin Hood stories, and Robin Hood’s Larder, a veteran tree in Sherwood Forest. You could also visit the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre to learn more about the history and lore in the area, and you can spend some time exploring Sherwood Forest for yourself.

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    photo by Dave Bevis (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    9

    Newark-on-Trent

    Sightsee in fascinating museums

    • Families
    • History

    Newark-on-Trent offers an array of attractions, from a grand castle to museums to a Georgian market square, making for a memorable and fascinating holiday on the River Trent. You can visit places like the National Civil War Centre, a museum dedicated to the British civil wars, and the Newark Air Museum, an aviation museum with a collection of World War II aircraft. Several other historic landmarks are found in the village, such as Newark Castle and Gardens, a fortress with lush garden surrounds, and Town Hall Museum & Art Gallery, an art museum in an 18th-century town hall.

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    photo by David Hallam-Jones (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    10

    East Markham

    Experience unique attractions

    • Families
    • History

    East Markham is a small village and civil parish with many hidden treasures to explore, including the National Holocaust Centre and Museum and attractions tailored to kids. The museum is one of the few of its kind in England and features artefacts and exhibits on the Holocaust and its survivors. Another fascinating museum is the Museum of the Horse, which holds a wide array of artefacts about horsemanship, racing, riding, coaching and veterinary care. If you have the kids, be sure to visit Sundown Adventureland, a theme park with rides and games specially made for young children.

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    photo by Alan Murray-Rust (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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