Ideas for a weekend in Beeston

Due to the rising cost of living, holidays are not always possible. With semesters and summer vacation looming, it’s time to start planning how to keep everyone entertained. Sometimes a staycation can be the best option and there are plenty of places in the city for a weekend stroll.

Beeston is only a short tram ride from Nottingham city center and has quickly become a popular place to visit for families looking to avoid the crowds. In recent months the city has seen dramatic change thanks to a new cinema and also the Covid closure of some of its most beloved businesses. Although the town center holds its own with lots of new things to do, businesses to visit and places to eat and drink.

If you fancy getting out of town for a bit, then Beeston might be the answer. Enjoy our guide to the best of the city starting with Beeston.

Under £10

To stroll

Highfield Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Nottingham and surprisingly large given that it is located in the middle of the university grounds. There’s plenty to entertain even the littlest visitors with plenty of wildlife to spot and even a Tree of Hope.

Cost – £0

Go boating

It’s not every day that we have time for a boat ride, so it’s worth taking the opportunity when we can. Highfield’s Park offers the option of hiring a boat by the hour for just £5. There are many options for families but also for single people, including canoes, rowing boats and KataKanu.

Cost – £5+

Artwork on the side of the Victory Club in Station Road, Beeston.

Take a street art tour

Beeston is now home to some of the most impressive street art Nottingham has to offer. This is due to a huge street art project launched in previous years which has seen over 30 different artists, local and international, visit the city to leave their mark.

The most impressive piece has to be by French street artist Zabou who painted a tribute to three of Nottingham’s icons on the city center wall, including Paul Smith, Richard Beckinsale and the late singer Edwin Starr. Plan your route in advance so you don’t miss any boards and have plenty of stops for refreshments.

Cost – £0

Go bird watching

Attenborough Nature Reserve is a great place to take a walk, but also keep an eye out for the many different types of birds that call the park home. The site recorded more than 250 different species during the year as well as many varieties of plants and insects.

The reserve is also one of the best places in the UK to spot a kingfisher or two. Although visiting the park is free, it costs £3 to park in the center all day. If you plan your visit in advance, you may be able to attend one of the various events at the reserve.

Cost – £0 – £3

take a ride

This one is for ladies only, but Nicole Martin runs a ladies-only dance studio on X Street, which offers pole and burlesque dancing for just £5-7 a class. Pole dancing is a great way to stay in shape while toning your arms while burlesque is both fun and sexy.

If no class is your thing, then the studio also offers aerial hoop and aerobics classes. Just check ahead to see when there are classes and what you need to bring.

Cost – £7

Dare to eat differently

Beeston is home to the popular urban cafe, Hing Kee, which offers a great selection of classic Asian street food dishes. Dare something different by tasting grilled octopus balls, baby octopus and topokis, wasabi fries or fresh homemade soy pudding.

Although all the different dishes are priced individually, it will only cost you £3 for a scoop of their amazing Korean ice cream, including the black sesame seed flavour.

Cost – £3+

Under £20

A general view inside the foyer of the Arc Cinema in Beeston.
A general view inside the foyer of the Arc Cinema in Beeston.

Catch a blockbuster

The Arc Cinema may be Beeston’s latest but it’s already one of the best places to spend an afternoon. It might not be the first thing that comes to mind on a sunny day, but since it’s air-conditioned, it might be one of the coolest ideas.

The cinema offers all the latest releases, but also hosts occasional festivals such as the Beeston Film Festival. A few new businesses are due to open on the ground floor in the coming months. An off-peak ticket costs just £9, so planning ahead means you could save £1.50 on the cost of a single adult.

Cost – Prices start at £9.00 – £10.50 for a ticket

Taste cheese

Essen is another newcomer to Beeston, but it’s a great place for lunch and some peace and quiet. The cheese shop will create a wide selection of three kinds of cheese for £13 and then if you add a glass of French Sauvignon Blanc to the mix for £5.

The restaurant offers a wide range of cheeses, from blue Bath cheese to international Fourme d’Ambert. Arrange your own board if you’re feeling brave enough, or ask the expert staff to make a selection.

If you don’t feel like sitting in the restaurant, it’s still worth taking a look to see the original and well-chosen items on sale in the shop.

Cost – Prices start at £5 for a glass of wine

Try real Italian food

The Oliva is a bit of a hidden gem in Beeston despite being local on the main street – if you know, you know. The restaurant offers the best authentic Italian outside of Italy itself.

Dishes range between £9 and £15 each and it’s worth asking the staff for their recommendations on specials. The gnocchi alla sorrentino, which translates to fresh potato gnocchi, mozzarella, tomato sauce with fresh basil, are a must. It’s a perfect evening thanks to the warm atmosphere, but beware, it’s a small setting, so it fills up quickly.

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