Things to do in the East Midlands

The perfect base to explore the peace of the rolling English countryside, the hustle and bustle of city centre life or the excitement of live sport, close to Donington race track and death-defying theme parks.  Just a short walk from East Midlands Airport, the hotel has easy access to the M1, M42 and East Midlands Parkway station, so is ideal for getting to and from the wide range of local attractions. Closest to home is the small town of Castle Donington, where you’ll find modern shops, restaurants and gastro pubs rubbing shoulders with elegant Georgian and Regency houses.

Arts & Culture

  • Nottinghamshire Playhouse - 14.6 Miles

    Discover world-class theatre in the centre of Nottingham. The legendary Playhouse produces bold, thrilling and diverse drama, dance, comedy and music – from traditional Shakespeare to innovative new works for children.

  • The Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall - 14.9 Miles

    The elegant Royal Centre, with its six-column façade, is based in the heart of Nottingham’s city centre. The Centre plays host to major touring dramas, musicals, ballet, opera and dance shows as well an annual pantomime.

  • Crich Tramway Museum - 21.5 Miles

    Step back in time aboard beautifully restored trams from a bygone era. The Crich Museum is in a period village containing a pub, café and old-style sweetshop. A host of children’s activities help deliver the perfect family day out.

Local Attractions

  • Alton Towers - 40.6 Miles

    Britain’s most-loved theme park, with great kids’ attractions, white-knuckle roller-coaster rides, special events and much, much more. The perfect destination of the whole family, open between 24 March and 4 November.

  • Drayton Manor Theme Park - 30.6 Miles

    Dare you try some of the scariest rides around? Set in 280 acres of lakes and parkland, Drayton Manor boasts the world’s first stand-up tower drop, Europe’s only stand-up roller coaster and the best water ride in the country.

  • The Heights of Abraham - 26.7 Miles

    One of the Peak District’s most popular destinations, this hill-top resort with its spectacular views and unique caverns, is reached by an alpine-style cable car system. A wonderfully original day out.

  • The Caves of Nottingham - 14.9 Miles

    Discover a hidden world beneath your feet. Under the cobbles of Nottingham’s streets, explore original sandstone caves that played home to our predecessors throughout the ages. Original, educational and great fun.

  • Conkers - 16.2 Miles

    Award-winning attraction just off J11 of the M42, Conkers provides a mix of indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family. At the Heart of the National Forest it provide a full day of discovery and fun – whatever the weather.

  • Nottingham Castle - 14.5 Miles

    A castle site for over 800 years, this former royal residence is now home to regional, national and international art in its regularly changing exhibition galleries, plus permanent exhibitions of costumes, textiles, silverware, glass and jewellery.

  • Bolsover Castle - 28.0 Miles

    There’s a fairytale quality to Bolsover Castle making it a truly memorable day out. Highlights include the sumptuously painted walls and ceilings of the Little Castle, intricately carved fireplaces and the magnificent indoor Riding School.

  • Calke Abbey - 9.4 Miles

    The “un-stately” stately home, Calke Abbey tells the tale of an eccentric family who amassed vast collection of hidden treasures. Now in decline, the Grade I listed country house offers a rare chance to explore ancient rooms and fragile gardens.

  • Chatsworth House and Gardens - 34.2 Miles

    Home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, this stately home in the Peak District has been in the Cavendish family for 16 generations. The architecture and art collections have been evolving for five centuries.

  • Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company - 11.8 Miles

    One of the oldest remaining English porcelain manufacturers, producing the highest quality English Fine Bone China since 1751.

  • Ghost Walks in Derby - 13.2 Miles

    Join the walking dead! There are a variety of Ghostwalks in Derby run throughout the year. Led by experienced and friendly guides and occasionally interrupted by … who knows what!

  • Gulliver's Kingdom - 26.3 Miles

    With over 65 rides, attractions and shows to see each day and an entry charge of less than £14, Gulliver’s Kingdom guarantees a great value day out. Fun for all the family from March to September.


  • The Peak District - 36.5 Miles

    Incorporating the country’s first-ever National Park, the Peak District is the epitome of England’s green and pleasant land. The rounded hills and sudden escarpments provide a breathtaking escape from the rush of modern life.


  • Darleys Restaurant - 13.2 Miles

    If you want to be guaranteed a wonderful dining experience, Derby’s Restaurant of the Year for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 is the obvious choice. Michelin recommended, of course.

  • The Otter, Kegworth - 3.6 Miles

    The picture-perfect country pub and restaurant, The Otter oozes rural charm and provides the perfect backdrop for savouring hearty, seasonal pub food, carefully nurtured cask ales and fine wines.

  • Harts Restaurant - 14.5 Miles

    One of Nottingham’s finest dining establishments, Hart’s restaurant maintains a focus on delivering superb cuisine and excellent service in a modern, contemporary and comfortable environment.


  • The Bullring - 46.1 Miles

    The site of a market in the Middle Ages, the Bullring is a major shopping and leisure complex in the heart of the city. Lose yourself in over 160 shops including Apple, Debenhams, Selfridges and Zara.

  • Westfield, Derby - 12.1 Miles

    Home to a supermarket, a cinema, snack bars and restaurants and, most important of all, 200 shops. The largest stores are Next, M&S and Debenhams.

  • Nottingham City Centre - 15.3 Miles

    Consistently ranked as one of the UK’s leading retail centres, the city has an enviable reputation for fashion retail. And, refreshingly, the compact design of the city centre means more shopping, less walking.

  • Highcross Leicester - 18.4 Miles

    Great dining, new cinema and over 100 stylish shops help make Highcross a must-see venue. Leading names include John Lewis, Apple and Debenhams.


  • Derby County Football Club - 10.6 Miles

    A founding member of the Football League in 1888, the Rams, as they are known, have a proud record of success having won the League and FA cup. Currently playing in England’s Championship division.

  • Nottingham Forest Football Club - 15.4 Miles

    Based at the City ground since 1898, “Forest” have won virtually every club trophy going in an illustrious past, including the English League and the European Cup, twice!

  • Trent Bridge - 15.3 Miles

    Home to Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, Trent Bridge also hosts Test and one-day and Twenty20 internationals. In June 2013, the ground will host the opening Test in the all-important Ashes series against Australia.

  • Donington Race Track - 2.5 Miles

    Thistle is the official hotel sponsor of Donington Park.

Tourist Spot

  • Donington Grand Prix Collection - 3.3 Miles

    The Donington Grand Prix Collection is the world's largest collection of grand prix racing cars. Over one hundred and thirty cars in five halls telling the story of motorsport from the turn of the twentieth century to the present day.

  • Donington Park Circuit - 3.3 Miles

    Donington Park is Britain's oldest & newest Grand Prix motor racing circuit and hosts a busy, varied programme of sporting action between March & October - the highlights are the annual hosting of the British Motorcycle Grand Prix together with the British round of the World Superbike Championship. Now also home to the British F1 Grand Prix.

  • Sherwood Forest - 31.7 Miles

    Sherwood Forest, the legendary home of Robin Hood. This historic Royal Hunting Forest's ancient patchwork landscape of woodland, heath, farms & settlements is an ecologically important home to some of Europe’s greatest trees and lowland heathland that is as rare as rainforest!

  • National Space Centre - 17.8 Miles

    Explore strange new worlds … in nearby Leicester! The country’s largest attraction dedicated to space exploration and space science has rockets, satellites, Martian surfaces and other amazing stuff that’s just out of this world.

Local Information

Today's Weather

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07 Jul Tue

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08 Jul Wed

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09 Jul Thu

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10 Jul Fri

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