Free things to do in Newark and Sherwood

Cycle the district

For cyclists there are many beautiful places to visit in Newark and Sherwood and Nottinghamshire. Our tourist information centres can provide advice on local cycle routes that are suitable for all abilities as well as providing free maps and leaflets and books to purchase.

Sherwood Forest Country Park

Explore the original Sherwood Forest with waymarked walks, footpaths and bridleway. Visit the famous Major Oak. See the Robin Hood exhibition and the video studio. Browse the Robin Hood shop and heritage shop. There is an adventure playground for young children. 

A short walk across the field takes you to the Sherwood Forest Art and Craft Centre created in a Victorian coach house and stables. As well as browsing the different studios, you can watch various demonstrations as people work on their craft.
Tel: 01623 823202

Car Park charges may apply

Sconce and Devon Park

This historic park provides top-class facilities for visitors and locals alike.

The park now has a ranger, toilets, cafe and play area, new footpaths and signs guiding visitors around the park to explain its history and ecology and a new bridge for pedestrian access to the Queen's Sconce - a 17th century Civil War fortification.

Rufford Abbey and Country Park and Craft Centre

Visit the attractive and varied parkland at Rufford Abbey Country Park with a 25-acre lake and the remains of a Cistercian Abbey. Wander around Rufford's woodlands via a network of paths. The Formal Gardens form a series of nine different garden 'rooms' differing in style and mood. Next door is the Children's Play Village, a play landscape designed to inspire children's imagination for games.

Tel: 01623 822944

Car Park charges may apply.

The Tourist Information Centre is located in the Abbey Courtyard 01623 824545 

Sherwood Pines

Take your bikes to the Sherwood Pines Forest Park, the largest forest open to the public in the East Midlands, and enjoy the waymarked cycle routes and mountain bike trails. Children can play on the adventure play area and there are pleasant picnic spots to sit and relax and a Cafe for refreshments.
Tel: 01623 822447

Car park charges apply

Nature reserves

The Dukes Wood nature reserve at Eakring is the location of the UK's first onshore oilfield. Some of the "nodding donkeys" have been restored and are sited around the wood adjacent to the nature trail. Eakring Meadow nature reserve, also at Eakring is one of the best remaining neutral grasslands in the county.
Tel: 0115 9588242

Newark Castle and Gardens

Enjoy the rich history of Newark Castle. Partially destroyed during the English Civil War, the remaining walls of the castle enclose the Victorian gardens, winners of the Green Flag award and location of many special events throughout the year including summer brass band concerts.

Newark Town Hall Museum

One of the finest Georgian Town Halls in the country with an elegantly restored Ballroom. You can visit the Civic Gallery or Mayor's Parlour where you can see Civil War Siege Pieces. Enjoy the fine art gallery or the changing exhibitions in the Spotlight Gallery.
Tel: 01636 680333

Newark Trails - Civil War Trail

Call in at the Tourist Information Centre at Newark and pick up one of the Newark Trails leaflets and explore the rich history of the town. The Newark Civil War Trail is a short easy walk around the town centre that takes in many of the sites and buildings that relate to the Civil War period.

Civil War Augmented Reality Trail

Get a taste of Newark under siege by downloading the app and bringing characters to life to tell their own, often heart-rendering stories.

Timber-framed buildings Trail

Newark's medieval timber-framed buildings trail passes by many of the town's most interesting timber framed buildings. The Newark malting and brewing trail visits many of the sites and buildings that relate to malting and brewing.
Tel: 01636 655765

Southwell Minster

Rich in historical and architectural interest, the Minster's Norman Nave is said to be one of the finest in England and the Chapter House carvings are world-renowned. The Visitor Centre incorporates the Minster Shop, Refectory and an audio-visual theatre.
Tel: 01636 812649

Donations are welcome.

Thoresby Courtyard

Enjoy the beautiful landscape of Thoresby Park as you visit Thoresby Courtyard. Browse the unique retail outlets and visit the working artists studios including the glass making at Ingrid Pears Hot Glass Studio. View the exhibitions in the Gallery and then take a pleasant stroll through the park and experience the relaxing environment of Thoresby.
Tel: 01623 822365

Visit Laxton

Laxton Visitor Centre houses displays and a video explaining the medieval Open Field farming system still in operation in the village. Enjoy the footpaths around the village and the Open Fields and visit the best preserved motte and bailey castle in the country
Tel: 01623 871586

Vicar Water Country Park

Vicar Water Country Park is just to the south of Clipstone village and has been mainly formed on the site of former colliery spoil tips, lying in the shadow of the headstocks of Clipstone Colliery.

The park has been transformed to heathland, woodland and grassland and offers spectacular views across to Derbyshire and Lincolnshire. Includes circular walk around the lake, children's play area and welcoming cafe.

  • 01636 650000

    Mon to Thurs 8.30am to 5.15pm
    Friday 8.30am to 4.45pm

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  • Get in touch:

    Newark and Sherwood District Council
    Kelham Hall
    Kelham
    Notts
    NG23 5QX

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