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12 of Nottingham's Best Museums

1 March 20 words: Ollie Heppenstall

We’re blessed with a cracking selection of museums in Nottingham, some quite obvious and others a little further off the beaten track. Here are some of our top picks – from the old favourites to the new arrivals on the scene.

The National Holocaust Centre and Museum

Set up in the early nineties and inspired by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Israel, The National Holocaust Centre and Museum has become one of Nottingham’s most poignant and moving museums. Covering the Jewish experience before the Second World War as well as the ‘final solution’, the kindertransport scheme and providing opportunities to speak to Holocaust survivors, Beth Shalom is a must-see – and will remain so for generations.

Website
Laxton, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG22 0PA

D.H Lawrence Birthplace Museum

Born in Eastwood, D.H Lawrence went on to become one of Nottingham’s most famous sons thanks to his poetry and novels. Revered and reviled in equal measure, his writing has inspired countless millions in the 90 years since his death. An authentically-restored miner’s cottage provides a glimpse into the man and how he came to be. It’s a need-to-see for anyone curious about literature or about the miner’s son who went on to write a slew of much-loved classics.

Website
Victoria Street, Eastwood, Nottingham, NG16 3AW

Great Central Railway Nottingham

For lovers of the locos that made tracks all across the UK, Great Central Railway Nottingham is the cherry on the icing on the cake. Featuring a mixture of steam and diesel engines, a hefty collection of busses from Nottingham’s recent transport past and a substantial 00-scale railway reimagining of the Ruddington station in the mid-20th century, you can’t go wrong with a step back into a more glamorous age for rail travel.

Website
Mere Way, Ruddington, Nottinghamshire, NG11 6JS

Green’s Windmill and Science Centre

One of the largest windmills in the Nottingham area, Green’s is jam-packed with an interactive science and technology centre as well as the mill itself having been lovingly restored to working order. It’s a wonderful monument to one of Nottingham’s greatest minds, and a great place to spend a day off. 

Website
Windmill Lane, Nottingham, NG2 4QB

Framework Knitters Museum

Based in Ruddington, the Framework Knitters Museum is a great insight into the beginning of the industrial revolution and the beginning of the lace industry for which Nottingham became famous for. With fully working knitting frames, and an exhibition dedicated to the at times violent history of framework knitting, it’s as much about social history as industrial history – and is definitely worth a look.

Website
Chapel Street, Ruddington, Nottingham, NG11 6HE

National Justice Museum

One of the fixtures of Nottingham’s thriving museum scene, and arguably one of its crown jewels, the National Justice Museum is home to all things prison and punishment – from Oscar Wilde’s cell door to evidence on the great train robbery, and the dock used in the trials of Roger Casement and the Kray Twins. There’s a huge amount more to discover, enough to warrant more than the one visit.

Website
High Pavement, Nottingham, NG1 1HN

The Haunted Museum

Set in an old haunted cinema, The Haunted Museum is a relative new kid on the block – but rave reviews and an immersive experience like no other have ensured its popularity. Chock-full of items guaranteed to leave you both shaken and stirred, it’s another one to add to the bucket list.

Website
Woodborough Road, Nottingham, NG3 5GJ

Museum of Archaeology

For all the wannabe Indiana Jones’ out there, you’ll find your museum of choice. Lakeside Arts, part of the University of Nottingham, has an archaeology collection that’ll make you want to don your fedora and leather jacket in no time. With exhibitions changing all the time, there’s guaranteed to be something that grabs your interest, and leaves you wanting to traverse the globe searching for all that’s valuable.

Website
Lakeside Arts Centre and Museum, Nottingham NG7 2RD

Newark Civil War Centre

England’s Civil War may have been four centuries ago, but at the Newark Civil War Centre it’s brought into the present brilliantly. There’s a hefty collection of period arms and armour, as well as two new upcoming exhibitions on fake news and on the rebuilding of a shattered society in the wake of the Civil War. Newark itself was a hugely important north-south during the conflict, weathering three sieges before its fall – making this crossroads as relevant now as it was to both sides.

Website
Appletongate, Newark, NG24 1JY

William Booth Birthplace Museum

Located in a small corner of Sneinton, not too far from Green’s windmill, is the birthplace of one William Booth – the founder of the Salvation Army. Opened by appointment only, it’s a remarkably humble beginning for the man behind an organisation so vast. Experience the poverty that Booth rose from on his journey – and drink in the greatness that came from small beginnings.

Website
Notintone Place, Sneinton, Nottingham, NG2 4QG

Brewhouse Yard Museum

Nestled in the shadow of Nottingham Castle lies the Brewhouse Yard. Under its roof and behind its doors are 300 years of social history, from the age of Queen Victoria to a WWII air raid shelter. Though closed for refurbishment, it was and will remain a fixture of Nottingham’s museums – as well as being situated across from Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, one of the world’s oldest pubs.

Website
Castle Boulevard, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG7 1FB

Southwell Workhouse

For decades, workhouses were the last place that the poorest in society wanted to end up. Nottingham has its very own, in Southwell. Built in the early 1820s, it became the blueprint for how other workhouses around the country were operated. Nowadays the workhouse is a much less foreboding prospect, with a restored infirmary and varying exhibitions throughout the year.

Website
Upton Road, Southwell, NG25 0PT

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