7 towns and cities near Nottingham that are ideal for a weekend away

The East Midlands has a whole host of fun places to visit for a mini-break

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Lincoln is a beautiful place to visit for a weekendLincoln is a beautiful place to visit for a weekend
Lincoln is a beautiful place to visit for a weekend

It's getting to that time of year when the inevitable conversations about a holiday begin to arise. But with January payday still a while off, an all-inclusive trip to the Algarve might not be possible.

But don't worry, there are plenty of places within a drivable distance of Nottingham, such as Derby, Lincoln, and Leicester, that will provide you with a lovely escape for a long weekend.

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Whether you're bundling the kids into the car for a few days away or you fancy some alone time with your significant other, we've put together a nifty guide for every need.

We've covered things to do, where to stay, what to eat, and why to visit.

1. Derby

Why? Derby is a hidden gem in the East Midlands, often overshadowed by bigger cities. It has great museums, excellent restaurants, and lovely stately homes nearby.

How far? Derby is roughly a 30-40 minute drive from Nottingham.

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What to do? Visit Chatsworth House, The Museum of Making, and go shopping at the Derbion.

Stay: At Kedleston Country House for a luxury escape. Book here.

Eat: Zorba the Greek in Derby for delicious Mediterranean dishes that will make you forget you're in the UK. Book a table here.

2. Leicester

The Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower is a prominent landmark in Leicester The Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower is a prominent landmark in Leicester
The Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower is a prominent landmark in Leicester

Why? Leicester is a unique city that offers cosmopolitan buzz while retaining its historic charm.

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How far? Leicester is around 50 minutes by car from Nottingham.

What to do? Explore the National Space Centre, King Richard III Visitor Centre, and Leicester Cathedral.

Stay: At the Belmont Hotel for a great location and Victorian Townhouse vibes! Book your stay here.

Eat: Kayal for amazing curries, a great atmosphere, and big portions! Book a table here.

3. Lincoln

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Why? Lincoln showcases Medieval Britain at its finest. It offers cobblestone streets, colourful shops, and historic buildings.

How far? Lincoln is an hour's drive from Nottingham.

What to do? Visit the historic Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln Castle, and the charming Bailgate area.

Stay: The Old Palace Lodge for unparalleled views across the city. Book here.

Eat: A Lincolnshire sausage. Or dine at The Jews House for remarkable tasting menus and delicious small plates. Book a table here.

4. Matlock Bath

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Why? Billed as Derbyshire's mainland seaside, Matlock Bath offers all the traditions of a British coastal town without the journey to the sea.

How far? Matlock Bath is 50 minutes by car from Nottingham.

What to do? Take a cable car at the Heights of Abraham for incredible views over the Derwent Valley or go for a relaxed wander by the vast river.

Stay: The Cables for an upscale B&B with a hot tub. Book your stay here.

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Eat: The Seafood Cave & Grill. It won a TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice award in 2023 and serves amazing surf and turf. Book a table here.

5. Bakewell

Bakewell, famous for its pudding and tarts, is a lovely place to visitBakewell, famous for its pudding and tarts, is a lovely place to visit
Bakewell, famous for its pudding and tarts, is a lovely place to visit

Why? Famous for its Bakewell Pudding, this picturesque town is located in the beautiful Peak District. It's great for people who love to go walking and then indulge in a treat afterward.

How far? Bakewell is just over an hour's drive from Nottingham.

What to do? Wander around the quaint cobbled streets, explore quirky shops, and stop off in every pub and bakery.

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Stay: The Manners for lovely hospitality, little touches, and a great location. Book your stay here.

Eat: Lovage by Lee Smith for delicious local dishes that make the most of seasonal produce. Book your table here.

6. Melton Mowbray

Why? Melton Mowbray is known as the 'Rural food capital of the UK'. This is the place to visit if you are ready to feast.

How far? Melton Mowbray is around a 40-minute drive from Nottingham.

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What to do? Eat a world-famous pork pie and explore the bustling markets (get as many free samples as possible).

Stay: The Harboro Hotel for a classic stay above a lively pub. Book a room here.

Eat: Ristorante Bellini for authentic Italian food that won't break the bank. Book a table here.

7. Loughborough

Why? Loughborough is home to the Great Central Railway and lively markets.

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How far? Loughborough is between a 30 and 40-minute drive from Nottingham.

What to do? Visit the Bell Foundry, Burleighs Gin Distillery and Quorn & Woodhouse Railway Station.

Stay: Quorn Country Hotel for high ceilings, chandeliers and oak panels. Book your stay here.

Eat: The Royal Oak for pub grub that "exceeds expectations". Book a table here.