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Free Things to do in Nottinghamshire in July

Sharing their lived experience of keeping well, the students and volunteers at the Nottingham Recovery College have co-produced their list of Free Things to do in Nottingham for July 2019.

All of the listed places and event details are correct at the time of publication, but we cannot guarantee the information, and advise that you check the websites before visiting. Also, please check if any event needs to be booked in advance.

Accessibility information is available via the website links.

In the future, our blog co-production group is keen to include as many free events as possible on a monthly blog post. So if you know of events relevant to Recovery College students in Nottinghamshire, please contact us via our social media links at the bottom of this post. Thank you and we hope you have lots of fun in July!

Special Events

The £1 Comedy Night takes place at the Canalhouse in the city centre. These nights tend to sell out so it is best to book your ticket from the website in advance. The events feature a mixture of established acts trying new material and new acts. You never know who may become the next big star! We know it’s not free, but £1 for a night out is an absolute bargain! This month it takes place on the 10 and 24 July.

Nottingham Beach in the Market Square is back for 2019 on Sunday 13 July – Sunday 1 September. Enjoy a trip to the seaside without leaving the city! Get ready for some serious summer family fun with more sand and more entertainment than ever. At time of publication, it is reported that entry to the beach is free, but you will have to pay for some events and activities. Please refer to the website for further information.

Photo Walk at Thoresby Park A relaxed Photo Walk for photography lovers, all ages, all abilities, all cameras! A chance for you to pick up ideas, hints and tips to help you make better photos. Walks are led by Di Fisher of The Photo Den, on the second Sunday every month (14 July). Meet up in the Courtyard (wearing suitable footwear) and the group will set off at 11am, returning to the Courtyard at around 12.30pm.

Nottingham Pride 2019 is on Saturday 27 July 2019 across the city. Go along and celebrate sexuality, gender identity and equality in Nottinghamshire. Details are still being finalised but check the website for updated information on the parade, and other special events taking place throughout the day.

Stapleford Playday is a fun packed day for all the family! A free children's event on Ilkeston Recreation Ground that is full of arts and crafts and sport activities for everyone to get involved in. Activities for children up to age 12. Some activities may have a small charge. It takes place on Tuesday 30 July, from 12pm - 4pm at Ilkeston Road Recreation Ground.


There are many parks across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – ideal places to think, play and relax. Our favourites include Nottingham Arboretum, Colwick Country Park and Highfields Park. To find your nearest local park in Nottingham City, please refer to Nottingham City Council's website.

In July, there are also Bands in the Park on the Victoria Embankment. The Nottingham Shakespeare Company presents A Midsummer Night's Dream on Friday 5 July at 7pm.  The Melton Band will perform on Sunday 7 July at 2pm.

There are also Bands in the Park at the ArboretumThe Nottingham Shakespeare Company presents A Midsummer Night's Dream on Saturday 6 July at 1pm; Lincolnshire Hospital Band on Saturday 13 July at 2pm; Carlton Male Voice Choir on Sunday 21 July at 2pm  and  Belper Town Wind Band  on Sunday 28 July at 2pm.

There are also country parks and green spaces and across Nottinghamshire which also include nature reserves. If you aren’t sure where to go, here is a list of walks and cycle routes.

For those of you who would like to walk around the city centre, there is also a Nottingham Trail which takes you past local landmarks and sights.

Another cultural walk is the D. H. Lawrence walk in Eastwood, which is a 2 ½ hour circular route.

For more downloadable walks and trails, see the Visit Nottinghamshire website - you will be spoilt for choice!


At the New Art Exchange, a new exhibition opens on the 13 July – the NAE Open which is the inaugural 'open' exhibition. The exhibition will showcase the work of artists in Nottinghamshire, UK artists of culturally diverse heritage, and those exploring diversity within their practice living anywhere in the UK.

The Lis Rhodes: Dissident Lines exhibition at the Contemporary is running throughout July. Rhodes’ artwork crosses into installation, sound art, performance and writing. This exhibition will span almost 50 years of work. There are various tours and study sessions related to the exhibition, which are also free, but you may need to book in advance through the website. The gallery also hosts drop-in free family activities 11am–3pm every Saturday and Sunday in July.

Wollaton Hall and Park are open daily – please note that the Natural History Museum in the hall is also free!

Green’s Mill is free attraction is Sneinton where you can explore a working windmill and see for yourself how grain is turned into flour by harnessing the power of wind. It is open Wednesdays to Sundays.


Libraries are a great place to visit, especially if the summer sun isn’t shining as much as you would like! Whether or not you consider yourself a reader, it is worth checking out what is available at your local library. They all have books, audiobooks, specialist materials, daily newspapers, magazines and internet access. They are also good places to find health information or support, particularly as you can borrow books to help you on your recovery journey. If you are not feeling well or can’t get to the library, don’t forget you can also renew books online.

Libraries are also a venue for local events so check their notice-boards when you visit.

For further information and to check opening times for libraries in Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire, please check their websites.

Extra tip - If you use public transport and aren’t sure how to get to some of the places listed in this post, here is a journey planner.

Have you found this blog post helpful? We would love to hear from you on our Facebook page or via twitter. Alternatively, please email our blog co-production team on


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