A Student Guide to Date Night in Nottingham

This vibrant city has a lot to offer and attracts thousands of students every year, so you can find countless ways to have an unforgettable date night in Nottingham. After all, university isn’t always about studying – it’s about enjoying yourself too!

So, whether you’re dating for the first time or have already found a special someone, it’s time to explore love at its finest. In this post, we’ll look at the top romantic things to do in Nottingham with your significant other – if you didn’t already ruin Valentine’s Day, of course.

Our list of things to do in Nottingham for couples

1. Breakfast

Finding top breakfast spots in Nottingham is easy, and the food will taste even better if you share the experience with your favourite person. Whether you want to indulge in homemade Insta-worthy delicacies at The Pudding Pantry, try out an American-themed fry-up at Ed’s Easy Diner, or fuel up on carbohydrates at Toast, there are plenty of ways to impress your date right from the start of the morning.

2. Ice skating

Whilst it can take some time to get the hang of ice skating, it means you can hold hands with your special someone and have a good laugh if things go wrong. You can try out this date night in Nottingham at the National Ice Centre, which is accessible from the best student areas around Nottingham. Tickets cost only £7 for students with a valid student ID, and if you’re a complete novice, don’t fear – there’s a warmup zone, meaning you don’t have to embarrass yourself too much!

3. Ludorati Café

Ludorati Café is a board game venue in the heart of Nottingham’s centre. With such a central location, you’ll easily access the fun, and you can ramp up the competitiveness to get a little flirty along the way. With hundreds of games on offer, you can also enjoy a selection of soft and alcoholic drinks.

4. The Arboretum

The Arboretum is one of Nottingham’s most romantic spots. From walking and talking to admiring nature, you can get to know your date at this park, all while strolling side by side rather than awkwardly facing each other over a table. Aside from getting out of your student accommodation in Nottingham to enjoy some fresh air, this romantic thing to do in Nottingham is also completely free!

5. Mini golf

Looking for a little bit of light-hearted fun? Try out The Lost City Adventure Golf to bring out your competitive side. There’s even a student discount available for those who provide a valid student ID! Alternatively, if you want to go to an adult-only venue to spice up your night, try out GloryHoles for some slightly raunchier laughs.

6. Boat ride

Taking a boat out on the lake at Highfields Park is easily one of the most romantic things to do in Nottingham. Whether you fancy trying out a rowing boat or canoe, there’s something to suit everyone. Enjoy some time alone and engage in a deep conversation for a whole hour for just £6 per adult! Just try to resist pushing your date in to recreate Colin Firth’s iconic Mr Darcy moment…

7. Societies

This may seem like an unusual date night in Nottingham, but you may be pleasantly surprised. The best societies at the University of Nottingham could see you baking cakes together, building a Lego dreamhouse, or cuddling up to watch anime. Whatever your hobbies, the Students’ Union societies can help you find common interests and maybe kindle a new spark.

8. Outdoor cinema

Date night in Nottingham wouldn’t be complete without trying out the outdoor cinema at Wollaton Hall. This cinema shows both old and new films, so there’s bound to be something you fancy watching. Bring your own snacks and drinks and cuddle up.

9. Theatre

If the outdoor cinema isn’t your thing, why not shelter indoors by visiting one of Nottingham’s three theatres? Whether you’re into classic performances or quirky pantomimes, there’s much to choose from. Get absorbed in a story together and have something to discuss at dinner – perfect!

10. Spa Day

If you’re after luxurious things to do in Nottingham for couples, try The Urban Rooms, the city’s largest spa and beauty salon. This may not be the most student-budget-friendly option, but a spa can help you and your significant other relax and reconnect together like nothing else. Sit back, relax, and treat yourselves today! 

11. Pottery

Our list of things to do in Nottingham for couples wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Hands On Pottery, which offers pottery-making classes perfect for helping you get a little dirty on date night in Nottingham! Picture the film Ghost to turn your evening into something really special.

12. Pub Quiz

You can’t go wrong with a pub quiz date night in Nottingham. Test your wits at one of your local pubs and even extend it to a double date to make your most epic team yet!

13. Escape Room

Teamwork makes the dream work, so an escape room is one of the best things to do in Nottingham for couples. Whether you want to test your analytical skills or be locked in a secluded space with your favourite person, there are plenty of escape rooms in Nottingham, including Cave Escape and Cryptology.

14. The Blind Rabbit

The Blind Rabbit is a quirky, New York-inspired bar and grill venue where couples can enjoy great conversation over a delicious cocktail and classic burger. This venue hosts plenty of offers that students go mad for, such as 2-4-1 cocktails and Wings Wednesday, making it a fantastic date night option in Nottingham.

15. Penny Lane

Penny Lane provides a memorable date night in Nottingham, offering classic token-operated arcade games, refreshing drinks, and a vintage ice cream machine, all of which you can share with your lucky date.

16. Meetspace VR

Situated in Nottingham centre, Meetspace VR provides a unique date night in Nottingham, providing a thrilling experience of virtual reality technology. Whether you want to try defeating a zombie horde or entering your favourite video game in person, this venue has it all. Tuck into a fresh artisan pizza to cap it all off.

17. Football match

If you’re both into sports, then the City Ground could be one of Nottingham’s most romantic places (in a way!). Cheer on your team and indulge in an electric atmosphere together in the home of Nottingham Forest FC after a hard week of studying.

18. Axe throwing

If you want a truly unique date night in Nottingham, try your hand at axe-throwing. Whilst maybe not typically considered a romantic thing to do, axe throwing can give you and your date something to tackle together and get competitive. Head over to Hatchet Harry’s or Axed Global to unleash your inner Viking.

19. Tasting Evening

A whole host of tasting evenings is available in Nottingham, which is great if you and your date love cheese and wine. As one of the most romantic things to do in Nottingham, a tasting evening can help you bond over something you both love – food and alcohol!

20. Gig

If music is your thing, you won’t be short of gigs in this city centre. Gigs are one of the most exciting things to do in Nottingham for couples, whether you’re after an intimate jazz atmosphere or a rock event to let your hair down. Be sure to check out Metronome; it offers a free student membership and provides discounted tickets and drinks.

21. Ghost Walk

Delve into the history of Nottingham on your next date night on The Original Nottingham Ghost Walk. Whilst not traditionally romantic, this date idea is amazing for the Gothic-leaning student, or will give you an excuse to cuddle up to your partner if you both get a little creeped out!

22. Farm visit

Stonebridge City Farm is one of the most romantic places in Nottingham for animal lovers, providing the opportunity for you and your other half to look at adorable ponies, goats, rabbits and even meerkats, and bond over a hot drink in the café.

23. The City of Caves

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Nottingham for history-loving couples, explore the City of Caves in the UK’s largest network of caves, with WWII air raid shelters and a medieval tannery to really take you back in time. Student discount? Check!

24. Pitcher and Piano

Pitcher and Piano makes for a cosy date night in Nottingham, whether you want to take on bottomless brunch or enjoy one of the exclusive offers in this city, such as 2-4-1 cocktails. Graze on your favourite dishes and immerse yourself in one of this venue’s vibrant live performances.

25. Bike ride

Whilst you may not have initially thought of cycling as a date idea, Nottingham is one of the top UK universities for cycling, meaning plenty of safe cycle paths are available to explore. See the sights and enjoy a romantic sunset while keeping yourself mentally and physically active. And the best thing? If you already have a bike, this activity is entirely free!

Now that we’ve broken down some of the best things to do in Nottingham for couples, it’s your turn to experience all your favourites. If you plan on moving here for the next academic year, check out all our University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University accommodation – you may even be able to find some options for couples and create your very own love nest!

If you’re struggling to choose between Nottingham Trent and Nottingham Uni or just want some more student city guides, check out our blog for the latest news.