After three years of closure, Nottingham Castle is set to reopen its gates after a £30 million restoration project.
The Castle closed in 2018 to begin redevelopment thanks to funding from Arts Council England, D2N2, National Heritage Lottery fund and Nottingham City Council.
The project aimed to make vital restorations to the roof and foundations, as well as redevelop the site’s visitor attractions and appeal to the public.
The Castle is to reopen on Monday, 21 June, which was originally meant to mark the end of lockdown restrictions before this was pushed back to mid-July.
Some details, such as ticket pricing has yet to be announced, but there will be a reduction for residents from the Nottingham City area.
We have taken a look at what changes Nottingham residents can expect to see from the new developments.
1 – Brand new visitor centre and café
Featuring a newly refurbished Castle shop and coffee shop, the visitor centre features a wide variety of upgrades.
The new coffee shop is also open to visitors who do not buy admission to the Castle, throwing their doors wide open to the Nottingham population, as well as the Terrace Café, located in Ducal Palace, which is also available for larger meals. The shop will feature gifts made from around the UK, as well as essential travel items like sun lotion and umbrellas, also available to customers without admission.
2 – Land Train
As part of the Castle’s recommended itinerary, a new eco-powered land train service will be on offer, taking visitors from Brewhouse Yard, along Castle Road, to the Ducal Palace entrance. The train will run every 20 minutes, offering a brief tour of some of Nottingham Castle’s must-see landmarks.
3 – New play area for children
‘Hood’s Hideout’ offers new opportunities for kids and young families looking for somewhere to entertain young children. This medieval-themed play area, set in a moat, offers kids the chance to explore large purpose-built wooden structures, like Marion’s Manor, overlooking the Castle itself.
4 – Rebellion and Lace Gallery
The Rebellion gallery is the perfect place to go for anyone wanting to discover a little more about Nottingham’s history. From the start of the Civil War in 1642 to the burning of the Castle in 1831, this gallery shows the Castle’s, and indeed Nottingham’s, tumultuous journey through time.
The lace gallery also explores Nottingham’s long history with the material, and how lace successfully placed Nottingham on the map in the first industrial revolution. An art gallery and collections gallery will also be available to the public for those with a deeper interest in art collected by the city over the years.
5 – Castle Caves
Ever since Nottingham’s caves were shut for Broadmarsh’s redevelopment, Nottingham has missed out on the opportunity for an enticing underground experience. The Castle Caves tour provides visitors with a 25-minute tour of the foundations of the castle, as well as exploring the dungeons and cellars located below.
A further tour, Mortimer’s Hole, is also available for an extensive 45-minute tour exploring the murder and intrigue that took place underground in the 14th century.
6 – Immersive Robin Hood experiences
Digital and interactive games are available for visitors wanting to test their skills at firing a longbow, hear stories and ballads in the Robin Hood Adventures forest clearing, and gaming tables giving guests the chance to see if they could survive medieval Nottingham.