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Friday, May 29, 2020

Guide to Nottingham attractions opening FREE this weekend for the Big Day Out


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Many museums and heritage tourist attractions across Nottinghamshire are offering free entry to their exhibits for the Big Day Out on Sunday 28 April 2019.

The event is a celebration of the county’s history and heritage and is organised by BBC Radio Nottingham.

Breakfast presenter Andy Whittaker says “It’s time to discover more about where you live!  We’ve done this for a few years now and the attractions involved all want to show off what they have in their collections”.

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Printed copies of the 2019 programme are available from the Nottingham Tourism Centre, which provide full details of the venues taking part in this year’s event. Here are details on just a few of the attractions taking part in this year’s Big Day Out

Bestwood Winding Engine House is open for free on the Big Day Out from 10am to 1pm with volunteers on hand to explain how it works and the Dynamo House café will also be open serving homemade cakes. Children can be ‘History Hunters’ and dress up as both modern and Victorian miners and the family fun trolley has more to keep them occupied too. To find out more call 0115 976 2422

Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum contains a collection of items dedicated to the mining industry and the social history surrounding the community of Bilsthorpe. The museum is open from 10am to 4pm on the Big Day Out.

Creswell Crags‘ ancient limestone caves tell the story of life over 50,000 years ago, back in the last Ice Age. There’s free entry to the main exhibition for the Big Day Out with handling sessions of artefacts throughout the day, and also free behind-the-scenes tours of the
collections store which is jam-packed with bones! These tours will take place throughout the day from 10.30am and will take approx. 20-30 mins. Booking is required on 01909 720378. All day parking is £3.

D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum is giving a taster tour of the museum and the chance to see an interactive demonstration of a Victorian wash-house. It is suitable for all ages and a great opportunity to come and see the authentically restored mining cottage where the controversial writer was born. The event takes place from 11am till 4pm (last admission 3.30pm). There is no need to book and parking is available nearby. Please call 0115 9173824 for more details.

Framework Knitters Museum is offering a behind the scenes experience where you can have a go at some traditional spring tasks. Help plant and tend the cottage garden, choose an object for display, spring clean the cottages and even try your hand at knitting on an antique machine! The museum will be open from 11.00am to 4.30pm with last entry at 4.00pm on the day.

Green’s Windmill and Science Centre still has a working mill, and is also a popular museum and science centre, which teaches new generations of children about the valuable work of noteable scientist and mathematician George Green. The centre is open 10.00am – 4.00pm. Charges may apply for some activities. For more information call 0115 915 6878.


National Civil War Centre will plunge you deep into the heart of Britain’s deadliest conflict, exploring this dramatic era in British history through stories of gunpowder, plague and plot. Discover for yourself the clash between Roundhead and Royalist, brother and brother, and learn how a once all-powerful monarch lost his crown and his head! The Centre will be open from 10am – 5pm (last entry is 30 minutes before closing). Free entry is available to those who quote “BBC Radio Nottingham’s Big Day Out!”. For more information call 01636 655755.

National Justice Museum is giving you the opportunity to experience a thrilling actor-led re-enactment of the trial of
William Saville in the museum’s authentic Courtroom. Trials start at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3pm. These are separate from regular National Justice Museum events and booking for this free event is essential as there is a maximum 80 people per session. Visit the Big Day Out 2019 page on the Justice Museum’s website to book.

Newark Air Museum is located on part of the former World War Two airfield at Winthorpe in eastern Nottinghamshire. There’s a diverse collection of aircraft and cockpit sections covering the history of aviation. Open 10.00am – 5.00pm (last admission at 4.00pm). Admission is free for BBC Radio Nottingham’s Big Day Out but you must take a print out of the Big Day Out 2019 PDF, which can be downloaded to the right of this page.

Newstead Abbey Historic House and Gardens are the ancestral home of the poet Lord Byron but was founded as a monastic house in the late 12th century. To this day the house retains much of its historic character including medieval cloisters, Chapter House (now the Chapel) and a collection of medieval stone carvings and manuscripts. The house will be open from 12 noon – 4pm (last entry is 1 hour before closing). The café will be open from 10am – 5pm. Admission is free for BBC Radio Nottingham’s Big Day Out but you must take a print out of the Big Day Out 2019 PDF, which can be downloaded to the right of this page. Car parking charges still apply but cyclists and walkers are free. Charges may apply for some activities. For more information call 0115 8763100.

Nottingham Industrial Museum at Wollaton Park is an award-winning museum bringing its Raleigh Rally back to Nottingham for the 2nd year. Ride your Raleigh bike down to the museum to meet like-minded cycle enthusiasts and learn all about the history of Raleigh bikes in Nottingham. There’ll be displays, hands-on kids activities, and amazing diesel and steam engines will be in steam too! The whole museum will be open absolutely free, including its galleries of rare and unique textile and transport technologies, and exhibits reflecting local Nottinghamshire industries such as mining, railways, bicycles, motorcycles, lace, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, tobacco and printing. Volunteers will be on hand to give guided tours and to explain the history of the exhibits and how they were used. No need to pre-book, just turn up 11am-4pm (last entry  3:30pm). Please note Wollaton Hall car park charges apply.

Papplewick Pumping Station is Britain’s finest Victorian Water Works and the only one in the Midlands to be preserved as a complete working water pumping station. It was built between 1882 and 1885 to supplement the water supply for the growing town of Nottingham and was in continuous operation until 1969. It is now a museum and popular wedding venue. Admission is free on the Big Day Out and the pumping station and café will be open between 11am-4pm.

The Robin Hood Experience allows you to journey back through time with the Robin Hood Experience! This independent visitor attraction takes you back 800 years to Medieval Nottingham where you will meet Robin Hood’s friends, face his enemies and become part of Nottingham’s World-famous legend! This is an indoor, interactive experience over four floors so go prepared to have fun, put your imagination to use and climb stairs! Open for free on the Big Day Out from 10am to 6pm (last entry 5.30pm).

Rufford Abbey Country Park is set in beautiful parkland, offering over 870 years of history, from its origins as a 12th century cistercian monastery to its period as a Jacobean era family home. There is plenty to explore; with walks through the native woodlands, a lake and gardens plus a range of attractions, activities and places to relax and eat. For this year’s Big Day Out, Rufford will be offering free wildlife workshops in the new woodland activity base. Come and make bug hides, nature calendars and bird boxes with all the family. Car park open 9am – 5pm, activities start at 11.30am until 3pm (normal car parking charge applies).

Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve is the home of Robin Hood, and the 1,000-year-old Major Oak, the mighty ancient tree which legend tells sheltered the outlaw and his merry men. Explore 450 hectares of fabulous woodland, and the best collection of ancient oaks in Europe. Enjoy trails, archery, arts and crafts, and the Robin Hood-themed adventure play area. The Big Day Out will include the chance to join a talk at the Major Oak to discover some of Sherwood’s best-kept secrets. Visit the new visitor centre, which is fully accessible and includes a cafe and Changing Places facility. Open 10am until 5pm. Free entry to the forest. There is a charge for parking but it’s free for RSPB members.

Southwell Minster & The Archbishop’s Palace is a site where Christian worship has taken place for over 1000 years and the current minster dates back to 1108. As part of BBC Radio Nottingham’s Big Day Out, there will be FREE tours of The Archbishop’s Palace, including the magnificent State Chamber and gardens as well as free Minster Tower tours. Tours of The Archbishop’s Palace, State Chamber and gardens run from 11am – 3pm and you just need to turn up at The Archbishop’s Palace at any time where you’ll be met by one of the friendly guides. Minster Tower tours will run at 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm and last approx. 1hr. Please arrive 15 mins prior to ensure a prompt start. Booking is essential as the Minster can only take 15 people up at a time. All Tower Tour guests must be aged 7-70 for insurance purposes. Bookings can be made by emailing events@southwellminster.org.uk, specifying the number of your party and which tour slot you would like (12pm, 1pm or 2pm).

William Booth Birthplace Museum enables you to step back in time to see the birthplace of William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army, as it would have appeared in 1829 and learn about the life of the young William, who was shaped by the radical ideas of his time. An independent museum and Grade II listed Georgian terraced house. The museum is opening on a Sunday especially for the Big Day Out from 10am to 4pm. For more information call 0115 979 3464. Access the Museum via a walkway to the right of shops near the junction of Sneinton Road and Notintone Street.

Wollaton Hall Natural History Museum is set in an Elizabethan mansion located in a 500 acre deer park. Tours of the hall are available and give you a chance to see behind the scenes, such as the Tudor kitchens and the beautiful Prospect Room with views over the natural landscape (charges apply). The hall will be open from 11am – 4pm (last entry is 1 hour before closing). The cafes are open from 10am-5pm. Car parking charges apply. Charges may apply for some activities. For more information call 0115 8763100.

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