Hear Nottingham and your thoughts may wander to the fantastical villain, the Sheriff of Nottingham, made famous by the legend of Robin Hood. Of course the times of angry sheriffs chasing after Robin Hood are long gone, and today Nottingham is a buzzing county capital more recently named a UNESCO City of Literature. Take a look at where local disabled people and visitors recommend to visit in Nottingham!
Places to stay in Nottingham with disabled access
The Nottingham Belfry is a luxury hotel on the edge of the city and was a finalist in the Accessibility Awards at The Cateys 2015. One guest wrote about their experience saying, “This hotel has several accessible rooms with walk in showers. The staff were friendly and parking good.”
Inside the parkland of the University of Nottingham, De Vere Orchard Hotel is ‘a stylish eco-friendly hotel’ with its own event venue, the De Vere East Midlands Conference Centre. The hotel is listed on Euan’s Guide as having ramped access and automatic doors.
Take a trip on The Trent Lady
This charming river cruiser sails the River Trent in Nottingham and was ‘purpose-built to carry disabled passengers for the St John Ambulance’s Waterwing’ before the Trent River Cruises took over operation. There are teas and coffees offered on board and the experience is a great way to ‘view the river in all its seasonal glory’. Passengers can board the boat via a ramp and all of the doors are double width to give room for wheelchair-users passing through. There is also a ‘wheelchair-accessible toilet with enough space for one wheelchair-user and carer(s)’ on board.
Discover D.H. Lawrence
D.H. Lawrence wrote classics such as Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and The D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum is the house where the writer was born in 1885. Today it has been restored for visitors to explore, although the Birthplace Museum does have limited accessibility, ‘but there is a virtual tour which guides can show visitors in the ground floor shop’.
Disappear into the Sherwood Forest
Watch out for bandits if you are exploring this renowned royal forest which has been rated 3.5 stars on Euan’s Guide. One reviewer told us:
"Once the home to Robin Hood, and now home to about a hundred squirrels, this forest is filled with wildlife and woodland walks. This forest is exactly what you’d expect to find if you took a forest out of a children’s book and placed it in the middle of England. Totally covered by trees and home to rabbits, squirrels and even the occasional owl".
This reviewer also told us that "almost all the walking paths were wheelchair accessible", and that the visitor centre, shop and restaurant "were all easily accessible."
Nottingham's nature reserve
Owned by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, Skylarks Nature Reserve was named 'the first accessible nature reserve in the UK' and is an excellent place to spot all kinds of birds, mammals, insects and plants! The reserve is listed on Euan's Guide saying: "Skylarks Nature Reserve has 1.5km of well surfaced paths suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, however they can still get muddy on occasion and there are plenty of other unsurfaced paths, so it is advisable to wear warm, waterproof shoes. Warm, waterproof clothing is also sensible, so as not to get caught out in a shower. If it is a sunny day, don’t forget to bring a hat, suncream and a bottle of water".
Visit The Canalhouse
This intriguing venue has a canal running inside it and offers over 160 world beers. The Canalhouse also boasts the largest covered beer garden in Nottingham which is open all year round. The venue is listed as having a ramped entrance and lift access to accessible toilets on the second floor.
Try wheelchair ice-skating
The National Ice Centre is located at the Bolero Square, named after Torvill and Dean’s famous ice-skating performance. The Centre was opened by Jane Torvill and is listed on Euan’s Guide saying they have ‘a dedicated Changing Places facility’. There is also the opportunity to go wheelchair ice-skating at this arena!
Explore Wollaton Hall and Deer Park
Perhaps better known as Wayne’s Manor from The Dark Knight Rises, Wollaton Hall and its grounds are situated in a tranquil setting brimming with wildlife. One reviewer gave this location 4.5 stars saying, "one of the best things is that you can’t visit without being greeted by hordes of deer wandering around the park and going about their daily business". They also told us that there were "great parking facilities" and that inside the house there is good wheelchair access.
Shopping in Nottingham
Intu Broadmarsh is a large shopping destination in Nottingham’s city centre. One reviewer gave this venue 4 stars saying, "the shopping centre has good disabled access, with level access available throughout the different entrances. There are numerous lifts located throughout the centre to reach all levels".
Visit Green's Windmill
Once home to mathematical physicist George Green, Green's Windmill is today an interactive science centre that is popular for a family day out! The science centre is listed on Euan's Guide saying: "With the exception of the upper floors of the windmill, the entire site is at ground level. Short videos in the Centre explain the workings of the mill".
Get tickets to a game
If you're in Nottingham for the football, Notts County Football Club, Meadow Lane Stadium, was rated 5 stars by one fan on Euan's Guide: "As a 27 year old using my wheelchair for the first time I can honestly say how fantastic the steward staff were with me. They couldn't do enough for me and made this experience enjoyable even as an away supporter".
Catch a show
Nottingham has a thriving music and theatre district where you can watch a concert or see a live theatre performance. The Royal Concert Hall and The Theatre Royal are ‘two of the UK’s most successful touring venues, leading the way for arts and entertainment in the East Midlands region.’ Both of these venues list assisted performances including audio described and BSL interpreted showings. Nottingham Playhouse is another Euan’s Guide listed venue that offers assisted performances and has disabled access features including accessible formats, dedicated seating and parking.
Have you been to Nottingham?
Please send us your photos and disabled access reviews of venues around Nottingham! We're especially interested to know about hotels and accommodation if you've visited this city.
Last updated - May 2018