Nottingham became ‘Queen of the Midlands’ because of coal and lace – but its success as a top tourist destination is down to a certain man in Lincoln green tights, the fabled 13th Century hero Robin Hood. It seems people will never tire of this romantic story - flocking to Nottingham attractions such asNottingham Castle and Sherwood Forest , where tradition has it he robbed the rich, gave to the poor and fought his arch enemy, the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham.
But there is so much more to Nottingham than Mr Hood. For a start, it’s possible to get very merry indeed during a stay here. The city is home to the oldest Inn in the UK, dating back 800 years - Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is just one of over 100 licensed premises in the centre mile of Nottingham.
Nottingham also has a lively club scene, and is home to Nottingham Trent University. There are also loads of places to watch or participate in sports. Cricket at Trent Bridge Cricket Grounds is a top day out, as is taking in a football match at The City Ground, home to Notts Forest FC, whose fans are still waiting patiently for past glories to be repeated.
Nottingham's Top 10
10. Nottingham National Watersports Centre is hosting the 2012 Olympic water events.
5. Newark Castle was constructed in 1133 – Henry VIII took it over in 1547 and did a bit of refurbishment.
9. Nottingham International Ice Totter around the edge or give it some Torvill and Dean. The ball’s in your court.
4. Nottingham’s Galleries of Justice Museum - you could be locked up, tried and hung on the same day. Harsh.
8. Wollaton Hall is testament to the fact life for rich Elizabethans was quite nice thank you.
3. The Brewhouse Yard Museum Social history from 300 years ago up to the Second World War
7. St Mary’s Church Foundations are thought to date back to Saxon times. Stare at the gargoyles and carved heads.
2. The City of Caves Must be good since visitors have voted it Family Attraction of the Year.
6. The DH Lawrence Durban House Where young DH used to pick up his father’s wages. It’s also a museum depicting life in Victorian times.
1. Nottingham’s Lace Market 18th Century but very much in the here and now. Designer shops and restaurants galore including Paul Smith’s flagship premises.
The Robin Hood Beer Festival at Nottingham Castle takes place in October. Real ale lovers can sup to their heart’s content with over 600 beers on offer, as well as live entertainment and food.
The Nottingham Riviera is a July to September fixture. You could be forgiven for thinking you are at the seaside when Old Market Square is transformed into a beach paradise with its own promenade.
Nottingham Gay Pride is a popular annual event, taking place at the Forest Recreation Ground at the end of July. Stand up and be counted and proud.
The Nottingham Riverside Festival draws the crowds to Victoria Embankment each July – a riot of colour and entertainment.
The Robin Hood Pageant Nottingham Castle plays host to a mass of outlaws and Sheriff’s men – not something you don’t see every day.
Nottingham’s Goose Fair in October at the Forest Recreation Ground is one of Europe’s biggest, most spectacular travelling fairs. There’s plenty of fun to be had with over 500 attractions to choose from.
Nottingham Arboretum is the place to head for on a weekend for free music throughout the summer.
Nottingham Castle offers open air theatre in its grounds in the summer.
Nottingham NEAT – that’s Nottingham European Arts and Theatre Festival – with performances at various venues right across the city during May and June.
Nottingham Food and Drink Festival is free and takes place in the city centre during the month of June.
When To Go
All four British seasons have their say in Nottingham’s weather, from spring showers, warm summers to mild autumns and frosty winters.
Summer temperatures can reach 25 °C and above, with summery conditions sometimes extending well into September. It snows rarely during the winter but temperatures drop to °C and below.
There is a possibility of rain at any time of year – from spring showers onwards.
East Midlands Airport is Nottingham’s closest, located just south west of the city where numerous domestic and international flights take off. Skylink runs a service with a journey time of around 30-40 minutes at a cost of £5.
Nottingham Railway station connects directly to London St Pancras, as well as to Birmingham, Leeds and Sheffield.
National Express run a regular service from Broadmarsh and Victoria. It’s sometimes possible to get a one way ticket into London Victoria for a mere £1.
Instantly familiar as the backdrop of the legend of Robin Hood, Nottingham is a major city, with a metro population in excess of 660,000. That puts Nottingham in the top ten in England and endows the city with a lot of inherent appeal as a result. From Old Market Square to the campus of the University of Nottingham in Highfields Park, the city is one of the most visually impressive in the country.
Attractions of note within the city include Nottingham Castle and Sherwood Forest. Both play a major role in Robin Hood lore of course and tours take advantage of the popular legend to entertain visitors. The Lace Market is a beautiful and historic area of Nottingham that dates back to when the city was at the epicenter of lace production in the world. The quarter-mile square district is home to some dramatic architecture, from Saint Mary's Church to the Galleries of Justice museum.
Nottingham's weather is similar to the rest of England, with four distinct seasons that bring mild conditions throughout the year.
- Winter (December to February) 0-8°C
- Spring (March to May) 1-16°C
- Summer (June to September) 8-22°C
- Fall (October to November) 3-15°C
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