Why We Love Nottingham
Nottingham is a city very dear to our hearts. It is where Paul grew up and is where many family members still reside today. So it is not unusual for us to return time and time again to a place that I now consider a second home.
There is however, one thing that I will never get use to and I want to be honest and upfront before I go any further.
I know that my next statement will cause some comments, after all I am an Essex girl with my own set of sayings, but since my first visit to the city I have struggled with certain phrases and at the top of that list is:
Yes it is a sign of a warm welcome, but for me it just sounds strange. How do you respond to a phrase like that you have never, ever heard of it before other than with a sincere look of confusion?
If you add to this phrases like “Sweatin cobs” (It’s very warm), “Blortin’” (crying), and “Colly nobs” (brussel sprouts) I am still, after nearly 20 years, often found is a state of complete uncertainty when having a conversation with a local.
However, do not let this put you off; Nottingham is a fantastic city, rich in history, and well-worth a visit.
Here is why we believe you should visit Nottingham.
#1 History Buffs Will Love This City
Nottingham castle alone has enough history surrounding it to keep people interested for hours. Commanding a prominent position over the city, Nottingham Castle is positioned on ‘Castle Rock’, and was, in its first life, a Norman Castle built just one year after the Norman Conquest. Today, the building that you see has been extensively rebuilt and influenced by many different eras.
Once you have taken in the stunning views from the top of the castle, head underground to explore the City of Caves where you will wander under some of Nottingham’s most famous streets, learning about how they have changed over the course of time.
Finally, head to Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, the oldest pub in England dating back to 1189AD, where it is believed that people would make the long pilgrimage to Jerusalem from that very spot.
Why not spend an evening here, enjoying a fine pub classic whilst sampling the wealth of beer on offer.
#2 There Are an Abundance of Museums Worth Exploring
Whilst it may sounds slightly gory, a visit to the Galleries of Justice, a museum dedicated to crime and punishment both the exhibitions and tours are worth considering. It is a place where you will discover the darker side of Nottingham. Alternatively, if you think you could stomach it, why not book in for a fright night, a terror tour or for those with a more nervous disposition perhaps a seat at the Sherriff of Nottingham’s medieval banquet is more your cup of tea.
If this doesn’t sound like a museum for you then perhaps a trip to Nottingham’s Industrial Museum, which is located in the beautiful grounds of the stunning Wollaton Hall may appeal more. Or perhaps a morning wandering around the Contemporary Art Museum is more your thing.
#3 Sports Fans and Music Lovers Will be Entertained
With not one, but two football clubs to choose from in Nottingham it is not unusual to see a sea of black and white or red football shirts around the city each weekend. Whilst neither Nott’s County nor Nottingham Forest are in the Premiership, a good afternoon of football is still on offer. Just don’t make the mistake I did during one of my visits in calling one team Nott’s Forest, apparently it is not a good thing to mix the names. Oops!
Not a football fan? Well don’t despair. Consider heading over to Trent Bridge for a day of cricket or if you are more of a doer than a watcher why not spend a day at Holme Pierrepont Water Sports Centre where you can do everything from white-water rafting to sailing and power boating.
For the music lovers out there you have many venues to consider. One of the main music hubs, Rock City, has been frequented by many well-known bands over the last 36 years including the Manic Street Preachers, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, R.E.M, INXS, Ozzy Osbourne, Scouting For Girls, The Levellers, Example and so many more.
If you prefer listening to the likes of One Direction and Take That however, I would suggest heading over to the Motorpoint Arena where they also host Disney on Ice during the festive season.
#4 You Would Struggle to get Around all the Shops in Just One Day
Not only do you have two shopping centres – Victoria and Broadmarsh – where you will find many well-known clothes shops you also have an extensive selection of shops around Old Market Square including one of the largest Primark’s in England.
Now who doesn’t love a shopping trip that involves a stop-off at probably the best-known budget brand in the UK?
Want something more upmarket?
Not a problem. If you are after either vintage or designer clobber head to Flying Horse Arcade, which is home to the likes of Vivienne Westwood, or for more chic boutiques wander along the cobbled street of Bridlesmith Gate where you can shop in Ted Baker, Kurt Geiger and Hugo Boss.
Regardless of your style or budget Nottingham has a shop for you.
#5 Literature Fanatics can Wander in the Steps of Well-Known Writers
Born is Eastwood just outside the city, D.H. Lawrence is probably the most well-known author of Nottingham heritage.
Born to a coalminer, the young D.H. Lawrence gained much of his early inspiration from the local Nottinghamshire countryside. If you were to read his debut novel, The White Peacock or his more controversial Lady Chatterley’s Lover, it is easy to see some of the comparisons he has drawn to the East Midlands landscape.
If you are a D.H. Lawrence fan, why not head over to Eastwood for yourself and explore his birthplace museum before heading off on what is now known as The Blue Line Trail which is the best way to see for yourself what influenced this great writer.
If you are more of a poet fan, then head over to Newstead Abbey, the home of Lord Bryon during 1808-1814. Here you can wander around the Bryon Collection, taking in aspects of the poet’s life including some of his manuscripts and letters.
You can also visit Lord Bryon’s graveside if you are that way inclined as he is buried in the grounds of The Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Hucknall.
#6 It is the Home of Robin Hood
Known as the man that robbed from the rich to give to the poor, no trip to Nottingham would be complete without a trip to Sherwood Forest and the home of this famous legend. Regardless of whether this man was real or purely made-up folklore, he has become a famous personality.
Robin Hood is probably the most famous resident of all time in Nottingham so it only seems right that, during a trip to the city, you spend some time following in his footsteps and what better way to do it than in the company of today’s very own Robin Hood, Ezekial Bone.
Whether you prefer to wander the historic streets of Nottingham city or ramble around the ancient woodland that is Sherwood Forest, Ezekial Bone is your man. He helps you to understand more about the evolution of the legend and goes into the detail about what is now known about the famous, heroic outlaw.
A True Nottingham Experience
Not convinced yet?
Nottingham is a modern, regenerated city that is home to over 1,000 restaurants and an extensive collection of watering holes that could easily challenge the nightlife in major cities like London and Manchester.
The revitalized canal side has many beautifully restored buildings that are now home to wonderful dining experiences, bars and a comedy club making it a great place to spend a warm summer’s evening.
So why not give it a go? Perhaps spend a weekend getting to know a new city. After all there are so many hotels to choose from, including a great selection of reasonably priced hotels by InterContinental Hotels, it seems disrespectful to a city that is trying so hard not to spend some time here.