Hardwick Hall was built in 1590-9 for Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury, also known as ‘Bess of Hardwick’. Built by Robert Smythson, Hardwick is one of the earliest English interpretations of Italian Renaissance architecture, and stands as one of the greatest of all Elizabethan houses. Huge grids of glass are used to great effect in this rectangular, turreted building, leading observers to rhyme ‘Hardwick Hall, more window than wall’. Each tower is crowned with a balustrade incorporating an ‘E.S.’ motif (for Elizabeth Shrewsbury), and each of the 3 main storeys has a ceiling higher than the one below.

Hardwick boasts arguably the most spectacular Elizabethan interiors in England, with plasterwork by Abraham Smith, overmantels by Thomas Accres, and a classical screen by William Griffin, all dating from the 1590s.

Hardwick was transferred to the National Trust from Bess’s descendants, the Dukes of Devonshire, in 1959.

For more information: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/place/hardwick-hall


Situated on a high rock, Nottingham Castle commands spectacular views over the city and once rivalled the great castles of Windsor and the Tower of London. A historic site at the heart of the Robin Hood legend and the starting point for the English Civil War, its history is chequered with sieges, murders and intrigue.

Totally destroyed after the Civil War, the medieval castle was replaced by a magnificent ducal mansion in 1674. Then in 1875 it was converted into the first municipal museum and art gallery outside London. Award-winning cave tours tell this history and take you down into the passageways and tunnels beneath the building.

During the two year redevelopment there will be some fantastic new features added to the Castle and its grounds including a land train, adventure playground, new exhibitions and cave openings, and a visitor centre.

For more information: https://www.visit-nottinghamshire.co.uk/things-to-do/nottingham-castle-p357581




City of Caves is part of a hidden maze of over 500 original sandstone caves underneath the streets of Nottingham dating back to the dark ages.

Take a tour to investigate the social history of the caves and learn more about the events that once happened inside these fascinating underground dwellings. As part of your visit you will see the only medieval underground tannery in the country, head to the Anderson air raid shelter where thousands of people sought refuge during WWII and explore the remnants of Drury Hill Victorian slums.

For more information: https://www.visit-nottinghamshire.co.uk/things-to-do/city-of-caves-p354851