10 must-do things in and around Nottingham and Derby this September

We LOVE autumn. We LOVE the beautiful, vibrant colours, the stunning sunrises and the misty mornings. We also LOVE how much there is to do in and around Nottingham this autumn. Here is our breakdown of just some of the fun filled activities going on for all the family this September.

One of the many Hoodwinked statues to be found across Nottingham throughout September

One of the many Hoodwinked statues to be found across Nottingham throughout September

Hoodwinked 2018

Saturday 7th July - Sunday 30th September, Various places across Nottingham

September will be the last chance to make the most of these amazing Hoodwinked statues which you may have found around Nottingham this summer. Thirty three quirky Robin Hood statues have taken pride of place across the city creating a fun filled trail to follow.

"Hoodwinked sees Robin trying to outwit the Sheriff again.  Robin Hood is everywhere . . . . . and apparently nowhere.  The Robin Hoods are all in plain sight but masquerading in coats of many colours.  Will the Sheriff spot him . . . . . or will he be Hoodwinked in this citywide game of hide and seek?"

A map of all the locations can be found here. Can you find them all?


Holme Pierrepont Open

Saturday 1st September - Sunday 2nd September, Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham

Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham, also known as the National Water Sports Centre, will play host to some high speed action! With the Sprint and Paracanoe National Championships taking place on the regatta lake, the Freestyle European Open and the Wild Water Racing National Championships on the white water course and the Polo British Open on the polo pitches next to the wakeboard park this is sure to be a great day out for all the family!


Robin Hood Festival

Monday 27th August - Sunday 2nd September, 11am - 4pm, Sherwood Forest Country Park, Nottinghamshire

Enjoy the last couple of days of the Roin Hood festival at Sherwood Forest Country Park. Visit the home of Robin Hood for the 34th annual festival. Throughout the festival there will be archery, nature connections, pony rides, along with music, magic, stalls, performers. On the Saturday of the finale weekend, there will be 'No Strings Puppet Theatre' keeping the whole family entertained, storyteller Alan a Dale, not to mention skirmishing between Legends of Robin Hood, whilst Sunday will bring the fun-filled Festival Finale!

The festival is free to enter however there is a £5 fee for parking.


A knight's trail

Monday 25th June - Sunday 9th September, Rufford Abbey Country Park, Nottinghamshire

There's just one more week of Rufford Abbey's themed walk, so take a walk around their grounds to find their knight's shields and the clues to gain a prize! Trail sheets cost £1 and are available from Rufford Abbey's visitor centre. 


The Park in the Dark:

We love the sunsets at this time of year - here's one over a lake in Colwick Country Park, Nottingham

We love the sunsets at this time of year - here's one over a lake in Colwick Country Park, Nottingham

SATURDAY 1st and THURSDAY 6th September 7-9pm,  Elvaston Castle Country Park, Derby, Derbyshire

Elvaston Castle Country Park opens it's doors to allow you to come and meet the nighttime residents, learn about he hedgehogs, birds and bats on their family friendly tour of the grounds. You'll get acquainted with hedgehogs, learning how to help them, spot the awesome owls and finally, as night falls head into the park with bat detectors to see how many different species you can see (and hear!)

During the course of this evening you'll walk around 2 miles and will need to bring a torch.

Costs: Adults £6, Children £4 - make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment!


Nottingham Cocktail Week

Monday 3rd to Monday 10th September, Various Venues, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Got a day or evening away from the kids? Why not celebrate with cocktails!! Fifty six bars across Nottingham are showcasing brand new and exclusive cocktails throughout the whole week based on one of three categories:

- Collaboration Cocktails with Nottingham based companies - the bars have been teaming up with all kinds of local places to give you something truly unique for Cocktail Week

- Nottingham Personalities - think Robin Hood reinvented

- Twist On A Classic - giving you an extra edge on all the old time favourites

There's tonnes more information and a digital menu available here.


Tracy, Rupert, Samuel and Katie Harker from Harker’s Farm Shop at Clipston-on-the-Wolds have really got into the spirit and have made a   50 foot hay bale bicycle  .

Tracy, Rupert, Samuel and Katie Harker from Harker’s Farm Shop at Clipston-on-the-Wolds have really got into the spirit and have made a 50 foot hay bale bicycle.


SATURDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER, Various locations throughout Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

The Tour of Britain, the UK's answer to the Tour de France, is the UK's biggest free to attend sporting event and this year the Nottingham leg will be starting on 8th September in West Bridgford, before speeding through Nottinghamshire and finishing the stage in Mansfield. To find how close the route will get to your house and find the best place to spectate visit Nottinghamshire CC website. 


American Civil War Society reinactments

Saturday 8 September - Sunday 9 September 2018, 10am - 4pm, Kelham Hall, Kelham, Newark, Nottinghamshire

The American Civil War society presents a full artillery battle and infantry weekend at Kelham Hall, Nottinghamshire. There will be a range of kids activities, muskets, cavalry, muskets, pyrotechnics and both Confederate and Union camps.


autumn family pictures nottingham derby photography WM-2015-4.jpg

Family Autumn Crafts:

Monday 10 September - Monday 22 October 2018, 4pm - 5:30pm, Beeston Library, Nottingham

Autumn will be in full swing at Beeston library with these great sessions involving a range of autumn arts and crafts. It's a great place to keep those little ones (aged 5+) busy and creating some amazing autumnal crafts which you can take home - these activities are free.


Derbyshire Woodland Festival:

Saturday 22nd and sunday 23rd September 2018, Elvaston Castle Country Park, Derby, Derbyshire

Derbyshire Woodland Festival is a great day out for all the family with lots of family activities from crafts including wood carvings, willow weaving and sculptures to new attractions such as the Vikings of Middle England living history encampment, with re-enactments, crafts and the Arbor (the 18ft tall part-tree, part-man!). 

Special event parking charges apply all weekend:

  • £10 per car all day

  • £5 per motorcycle all day

  • £15 weekend ticket available

For more information and a discount voucher visit the Derbyshire CC website


We'll miss summer - we've had amazing weather this year - but we do love autumn as well, and there is absolutely loads going on in Nottingham and Derby this September. Whatever you get up to we hope you have fun and get out and enjoy the natural world with your little explorers!

P. S. Have you been putting off getting a family portrait or updated photographs of your children? Autumn is now firmly setting in and with it's vibrant colours and soft lighting, it is certainly the best time of year for photography.

We've just released our Autumn Family Photo shoots - there are twelve slots available during the half-term holidays and each one includes £100 of FREE printing credit to spend on your beautiful images afterwards.

Don't let another year go by and miss that special opportunity to get a beautiful family photograph (not to mention you'll have a Christmas gift for the grandparents in the bag!)