Nottingham Castle set to welcome back visitors as council confirms reopening date

The castle will reopen at the end of June. Credit: Nottingham City Council

Visitors will be welcomed back through the gates of Nottingham Castle from Monday 26 June as it reopens following a takeover by the City Council.

It's been closed to the public since November last year after the trust which ran it went into liquidation.

Nottingham City Council says it will bring heritage back to the heart and soul of the city.

The announcement comes as part of International Museums Day this week.

New admission arrangements mean adults who pay £12 for entry can visit all year round, while accompanied children, 15 years old and under, go free with each paying adult.

"Nottingham without its castle is like Robin Hood without his merry men."

The castle has recently hosted a screening of the Eurovision Song Contest, while crowds visited the historic site for the King’s Coronation and Coronation Concert screenings earlier in May.  

Nottingham City Council's portfolio for leisure, culture and planning, Cllr Pavlos Kotsonis said: "I am delighted to be able to announce that Nottingham Castle will open again on Monday 26 June.

"Nottingham without its castle is like Robin Hood without his merry men, so it’s going to be fantastic to have it back at the heart of our city’s life.

"We’ve already seen with the Coronation events and the sold-out Eurovision event that people are eager to return to the site – and we’re very keen to welcome them back.

"With the final chance for a grounds only sneak preview with the new ‘Medieval Legends’ event, visitors of all ages can discover the grounds of the Castle during the bank holiday at the end of May ahead of the full reopening of the site.

"We hope this announcement will come as welcome news, as we have endeavoured to listen to what visitors didn’t like about the Trust’s admission arrangements, and I believe the simpler pricing and exceptional value we are announcing will help to encourage visitors, near and far, to come back again and again."

After Nottingham Castle Trust declared itself insolvent last November, Liquidators handed the historical site back to the City Council. In March, a decision was taken by the Council’s Executive Board to work towards reopening the whole site in June.

Following the site’s £31m redevelopment, there is a new visitor centre and café at the entrance, a Hood’s Hideout adventure playground in the moat, as well as interpretative signage around the grounds to discover the site of the lost medieval castle.

Inside the Ducal Palace, the galleries now offer modern, interactive experiences, including the Robin Hood Adventures and Rebellion Galleries and redesigned galleries for permanent collections of local art and crafts, and touring exhibitions.

The council will develop a programme of events, exhibitions, gallery talks and school visits, and offer the site for events such as weddings and corporate functions.

Opening times will be 10am to 5pm daily February to October and 11am to 4pm daily November to January.

Nottingham Castle overlooks the city, with parts of the original building's construction dating back to 1068. Credit: ITV News Central

Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director for Arts Council England, said: "We’re pleased to hear that Nottingham Castle will soon be reopening its doors to visitors – it’s a great asset to the city and a place for people to celebrate the rich history and creativity of Nottingham.

"This much-loved visitor attraction is home to important museum collections, great art and unique historic buildings, and we look forward to it reopening with Nottingham City Council at the helm."

Robyn Llewellyn, Director, England, Midlands & East at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: "Having supported the restoration and conservation of this very important historic site, we are looking forward to seeing Nottingham City Council re-open the gates to the Castle in June.

"We are heartened that visitors can enjoy this important beacon of the region’s rich cultural heritage once more."