With its wonderful landscape, ‘big sky’ and abundance of myths, legends and stories North Nottinghamshire offers families and visitors everything they need for a great day out and the encouragement to explore more.
Robin Hood has a constant presence across our area. Visit Sherwood Forest and the historic giant oak to discover more about the legend of Robin and his Merry Men. But we have far more stories than simply Robin. North Nottinghamshire was home to the men who initiated the emigration of the Pilgrim Fathers who played such an important role in the development of the USA. Creswell Craggs, a significant limestone gorge is home to the most northerly cave art in Europe dating from the ice-age while the area surrounding Worksop is known as the ‘Dukeries’ after the unusually close proximity of four historic ducal seats.
Our coal mining heritage and the Chesterfield Canal chart the history of the industrial revolution while The School of Artisan Food at Welbeck and the Thoresby Hotel and Spa reflect the way our area is moving forwards.
North Nottinghamshire offers a wide choice of hotel and bed and breakfast accommodation as well as self-catering which will allow you the freedom to visit the Yorkshire Dales, beautiful Lincolnshire Wolds, the Peak District and the stunning East Coast. We also have quality camping and caravan sites.
The first sign that spring is just around the corner is heralded by the annual Hodsock Snowdrop Festival. This event attracts visitors from far and wide to see the millions of snowdrops in fragrant winter borders.
During the height of summer a leisurely walk along the Chesterfield Canal is probably one of the best ways to enjoy a long summer evening, stopping to sample the delights of one the many picturesque pubs along the way.
Stunning autumnal displays seen in Clumber Park can easily rival those of America’s New England states. Probably the most enjoyable way to appreciate the colours is by hiring a bicycle from the centrally located National Trust Hire Shop within the park. Elsewhere the villages again come into their own with unique flower, ploughing and harvest festivals.
In winter the district is alive with seasonal concerts and festive celebrations. The light switching on ceremonies in Retford and Worksop are annual events as are Santa’s boat trips on the Chesterfield Canal.
If you are visiting North Nottinghamshire and you love food, then a trip to the Welbeck Estate is a must. Not only is this where the renowned School of Artisan food is found, but the Welbeck Farm Shop, home of award winning Stichelton cheese is also on the estate. With the Harley Cafe and Welbeck Abbey Brewery every possible taste is catered for. The Goacher’s name has been synonymous with Pick Your Own Strawberries since around 1850 when George Goacher started the ‘Wheatley Strawberry Tradition’. Another speciality of North Notts is Thaymar ice cream. The farmshop and tearoom at Haughton Park Farm have been making luxury dairy ice cream and real fruit sorbets since 1988.
Tuxford Windmill is Nottinghamshire’s only fully working, independent, wind-powered Flour Mill. You can sample the homemade produce in the Windmill’s tearooms and also purchase flour, muesli and other fresh produce to take home.
Micro-breweries are alive and well in North Nottinghamshire! You will find information on Double Top Brewery, Dukeries Brewery and Grafton Brewery on North Notts CAMRA website. The following breweries, Idle Brewery, Prior’s Well Brewery, Pheasantry Brewery, Springhead Brewery and Welbeck Abbey Brewery all have their own webiste. With so many speciality food and drink businesses in the area it is not surprising that Retford’s Farmers Market attracts visitors from across the country. The Farmers Market is held every third Saturday of the month.
The bustling town of Worksop boasts major retailers, the Priory Shopping Centre and cafes providing an all-round shopping experience. Its traditional street market is held on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays provides over 100 individual and distinctive stalls making the town a vibrant shopping destination all year round.
The picturesque market town of Retford is a genteel shopping destination with small independent art, craft and antique shops nestling among the larger well known retailers. Its traditional market held in the Georgian Market Square on Thursdays and Saturdays. Fridays see the Market Square host the weekly antique and collectors market.
One of the greatest stories is that of the Pilgrim Fathers, as it is from this area that the beginnings of religious Separatism can be traced. Three of the first four signatories to the Mayflower Compact came from Bassetlaw and the neighbouring county of South Yorkshire. This document is considered the earliest example of democracy in the United States and the forerunner of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
It was in 1607 that three of the original separatists, a Scrooby postmaster named William Brewster, William Bradford from Austerfield and a parson from Babworth called Richard Clifton, joined dozens of other religious pilgrims to start a new life in Holland and then in 1620 the pilgrims set sail on the Mayflower to America. William Brewster played a major part in founding the new society. Retrace the footsteps of the Pilgrim Fathers by following the Mayflower Trail, a circular tour of 38-40 miles visiting the historic villages and sites of Pilgrim Fathers’ Country.
In 2020 it will be 400 years since these brave pilgrims set out for America. In North Nottinghamshire Bassetlaw District Council, Experience Nottinghamshire and the Pilgrim Fathers Origins Association are working to make sure that this landmark anniversary is given the recognition it deserves. The Council has established links with Plymouth and Boston in the UK, and with Airlines, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants in America, Plymouth Plantation and a number of other partners including Visit England and Experience Nottinghamshire to ensure that visitors to North Nottinghamshire are able to celebrate the Anniversary in style.
The launch of the six year countdown to 2020 began with a major event in Plymouth on 21st November when leaders of destinations on the Mayflower Trail come together to sign The Mayflower Compact, an agreement to work collaboratively in the lead up to 2020. Other signatories included representatives from Boston, Leiden, Harwich, Gainsborough, Plymouth UK and Plymouth Mass, USA.