Four and a half million people live across the region. It’s inspired some of Britain’s most famous scientists, artists, politicians, sportspeople, and business leaders. But what can you do in the East Midlands?
Nottingham’s legacy in sport, science, entertainment and the arts speaks for itself – built on coal and lace, the city’s now one of the UK’s most vibrant student destinations. There’s even more to explore throughout the county, and it’s all within easy reach. Nottinghamshire benefits from being in the middle of everywhere – within three hours, you can be exploring the Scottish borders, soaking up sun on the south coast, or roaming the Welsh valleys. But you don’t need to go that far.
There’s charming market towns, like Southwell (pronounced Suh-thull), Newark, and Papplewick – perfect for day-trips, if the pace of Nottingham gets a bit too much. Sherwood Forest is a must for any visitor, whilst Newstead Abbey is one of Notts’ hidden gems – the home of Lord Byron is loved by NTU’s Art & Design students, who flock here for the costume and textile collections.
NTU’s canoeing, mountain biking, rowing and scuba societies all take regular excursions out into the county. Simply, there’s something for everyone here – whoever you are, and whatever your background. Coming to us from a small town? You’ll love the range of opportunities on your doorstep – enjoy the excitement of city life, without getting lost in the crowd. Coming from somewhere a little bigger, and busier? You’ve got all the benefits of home, but with peace and quiet that little bit closer to hand. Coming from abroad? Nottinghamshire’s real – a place to properly discover England, and the English.
Mother Nature’s gift to the East Midlands, Derbyshire is famous for its rolling hills, beautiful countryside, and the stunning Peak District. Just pick an outdoor activity, and Derbyshire provides – NTU’s Walking and Climbing clubs both run regular weekend trips to the Peaks, and it’s a popular weekend jaunt for our students. If you’re planning on a day out, try to stop off at Buxton, where the world-famous mineral water runs free, for free.
For the culture vultures, Derbyshire has a number of National Trust properties, including Hardwick Hall, Calke Abbey, and the famous Chatsworth House. And for petrol-heads, the Peaks and surrounding towns are a motorcycle hotspot – Sundays at Matlock Bath are a particular treat, with international biker clubs descending on the town, to show off their rides. If chrome and diesel aren’t your thing, visit the nearby Heights of Abraham, for a more sedate activity – cable cars rise over 500ft above the Dales, giving stunning view in every direction. An incredible sight at sunset, it’s the perfect end to a day out in Derbyshire.
Derbyshire might have the looks, but Leicestershire’s got the action. Easily reached by train, Leicester is the region’s largest city by population, and it’s got a vibrant nightlife. What’s more, it’s also the nation’s curry capital – as an NTU student, you’ll need to make at least one trip there!
The city has long been mecca for rugby fans across the world – the decorated Leicester Tigers are England’s most successful club side, with alumni including Martin Johnson, the Underwood brothers, Joel Stransky, Alesana Tuilagi, and Martin Corry. Even if you’re not a fan, we’d recommend a trip to Welford Road. Across town, Leicester City F.C are flying the East Midlands flag in the Premier League, and flying it high. Both clubs offer generous student discounts.
The National Space Centre is one of the UK’s leading tourist attractions, and a great place to indulge your inner geek – there’s spacecraft on display, regular talks from serving astronauts, and Britain’s largest planetarium to enjoy. And plus, once you’ve paid, you can go back as many times as you like.
If you’re thinking of spreading your wings for a long weekend, Leicestershire’s also home to East Midlands International. It’s within easy reach of Nottingham – never forget that you’ve got a major airport on your doorstep, running budget routes throughout Europe.
Sausages and the seaside – we’ve got a lot going on here, but for generations of Nottinghamians, the Lincolnshire coast meant cheap and cheerful holidays. Mablethorpe, Skegness, and Cleethorpes – take them for what they are, and you’ll be guaranteed a good time. It’s not the Pacific coast, but a day looking out over the North Sea has its own undeniable charms.
Lincoln is a pretty and peaceful Roman city, and home to two thriving universities. It’s a nice change of pace from Nottingham, and worth a visit. The Cathedral is famous throughout the UK, but we think Lincoln’s biggest achievement is the Lincolnshire sausage – a staple of breakfasts nationwide.
As the birthplace of Isaac Newton and Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson, this sleepy county has certainly made its mark on the worlds of art and science. Depending upon your political persuasion, you might also want to take a trip to Grantham – there, you’ll find the flat where former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was born and raised.