Nottingham is a city in England, affectionately known as the "Queen of the Midlands". It is famed for its links with the world-renowned legend of Robin Hood.
The centre of Nottingham lies on the River Leen and its southern boundary follows the course of the River Trent, which flows from Stoke to the Humber. According to the 2001 census, Nottingham has an estimated city population of 275,100. The Nottingham Urban Area conurbation (which includes surrounding suburbs outside the city boundary, and neighbouring towns) has a population of 666,358 (2001 Census). Nottingham is a member of the English Core Cities Group.
The heart of the city is the Old Market Square, which underwent a major redevelopment in 2006. Most of the main shopping streets are around the square. The Council House, whose tall dome can be seen for miles around, is at the top end of the square. The inside of the Council House is the Exchange Arcade, a shopping centre. A bohemian quarter of the city known as Hockley has arisen close to the Lace Market area. Nottingham receives a lot of tourism, mostly because of the legend of Robin Hood, visiting Sherwood Forest and Nottingham Castle.
- East Midlands Airport (EMA) lies 12 miles (19 km) south-west of Nottingham and flights are available to many European (mostly tourist) destinations. The Skylink Express bus runs between the airport and city centre every 30 minutes during the day. The bus journey takes approximately 35 minutes, depending on traffic conditions, and costs £5 single, £9.90 return, £9 for a day ticket (zigzag plus) including all trentbarton buses in the area. The slower Skylink Nottingham bus runs all through the night (hourly), with the same fares and a journey time of 50 minutes to an hour.
- (BHX) is about 40 miles from Nottingham and serves all major European and many international destinations. It is accessible by train, changing at Birmingham New Street.
- (DSA) lies to the north of Nottinghamshire.
By trainNottingham station is on the main line out of London St Pancras. The cheapest tickets between London and Nottingham are available from East Midlands Trains and can be booked online before travel. There are also regular connections to Manchester, Birmingham, Derby, Leicester, Crewe, Sheffield, and Leeds. Trains from London to Sheffield do not stop at Nottingham.
Turn right out of the station for an easy 10-minute walk to the city centre.
The tram stop is right above the station, giving access to all tram destinations since both lines pass through the station.
By carFrom the south, travel on the M1 and exit at junction 24 or 25. From the North take the M1 junction 25 or 26.
There are nine Park and Ride sites with over 6500 spaces around the city. Many of these park and ride sites are connected to Nottingham city centre by the city's tram network, or buses.
By busNottingham has two sizeable bus stations near to its two major shopping centres, and Victoria. Traveline, +44 871 200 22 33
Bus operators offer services to most other UK destinations.
National Express provides cheap advance tickets on a Nottingham-London route, often for as little as £5 each way if booked early enough online. National Express also offers cheap non-changeable tickets (called "Funfare") to many other major cities from Nottingham.
Megabus also serves the city, although only twice a day with one departure at 5AM!
By footThe city centre is best explored on foot as many of the historic streets are pedestrianised or have good pedestrian access.
Nottingham Express Transit is the city's modern tram system. There are two branches which run on the same tracks in the city centre and then diverge at both ends to serve 4 destinations (Hucknall, Phoenix Park, Toton Lane and Clifton South). The system has a number of Park and Ride sites along it, which make travel into the city centre easy. An all day tram-only ticket costs £4, single tickets are £2.20. Tickets must be bought from ticket machines on platforms before boarding.
By busNottingham has extensive bus services provided by two main companies, trentbarton and Nottingham City Transport (NCT), running from the Broadmarsh and Victoria Bus stations as well as key termini in the city centre such as Old Market Square, Parliament Street and Carrington Street. Fares: Most NCT buses do not give change. Trentbarton buses do, just ask the driver.
TicketingTicketing can be confusing. Ticketing for most operators is detailed below:
- NCT buses: £2 single, £3.70 day ticket
- trentbarton buses: single fare varies by distance (check website), £6 "zigzag" day ticket or £9 "zigzag plus" including East Midlands Airport. This allows travel on all Trentbarton services as far as Bakewell, Derby or Chesterfield
- NET trams: single fare £2.20, day ticket £4
- Multiple operators: £4.50 kangaroo day ticket for all public transport in greater Nottingham
- Buses and Trams: £1.70 single, £3.15 max for single operator, £4 max for all operators
- £1.50 single fare for many NCT buses and all Trentbarton buses (within Nottingham)
Museums and galleries
Nottingham CastleThis is not a castle, but a small stately home with only the original gatehouse remaining from the castle. Museum is a must-see and provides a fascinating insight into the history of Nottingham. The fine mansion also houses the country's first municipal art gallery and the beautifully maintained gardens are ideal for a lazy summer's day stroll. The walls around the 'castle' also offer spectacular views over the Trent Valley. It is closed for refurbishment until 2020
Robin Hood statueaddress: Castle RoadStatue of Nottingham's most famous hero, just outside of the castle walls.
address: Castle RoadOff Maid Marian Way - one of various pubs claiming to be the oldest pub in Britain, the "Trip" traces its existence back over 800 years. Built into the sandstone caves under the castle, it is charming and well worth a visit if you happen to be in the city. It is located at the Brewhouse Yard, home to the Museum of Nottingham Life which shows the social change in Nottingham that has occurred over the last 300 years.
City of CavesA visitor attraction which is accessed from the upper mall of the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre. It consists of a network of caves, carved out of sandstone that have been variously used over the years as a tannery, public house cellars, and as air raid shelters. Nottingham has more man-made caves than anywhere else in Britain.
address: Shire Hall, High Pavement, NG1 1HNWell-worth visiting for a fascinating look at the sometimes rough justice meted out in years gone by.
Nottingham ContemporaryIt presents major exhibitions of contemporary art, with associated education programmes for all ages.
Wollaton HallA beautiful Elizabethan mansion in a large suburban deer park, Wollaton Park. The hall houses the city's Natural History Museum whilst the Industrial Museum is housed in an outbuilding. The Hall was used in the 2012 film, Batman: The Dark Knight Rises as Wayne Manor.
Nottingham Council HouseA neo-Baroque building where the Nottingham City Council meets. It is in the Old Market Square and tours are free (must be pre-booked)
phone: +44 115 915 3936address: Wollaton Hall, Gardens and Deer Park The Courtyard, Nottingham NG8 2AEA museum dedicated to industrial heritage, run by volunteers, and housed in the 17th-century stables block of Wollaton Hall. Its collection covers machinery from industries ranging from textile, transport, telecommunications, mining, and engineering technology. They also have a collection of cycles, motorcycles, and motor cars. Among the top pieces are significant lace-making machinery, and operational beam engines from the Basford pumping station.
Historic sites out of town
Newstead AbbeyThe beautiful home of local poet Lord Byron is 12 miles (19 km) north of the city. It is well worth a visit, and the website supplies extensive information on how to travel to the site. Lord Byron was buried in Hucknall Church, and his tomb can be seen inside the church at the end of Hucknall's high street, a few minutes walk from the Hucknall tram stop.
Sherwood Forest Country ParkThe ancient royal hunting forest to the North of Nottingham, stretching throughout Nottinghamshire and up to South Yorkshire. The remnants of Sherwood form a number of country parks and estates. Clumber Park, about 30 miles (50 km) north on the A614 near Worksop, is a vast area of parkland and woods owned by the National Trust, good for walking and cycling (bicycle hire available). Sherwood Pines Country Park houses a CenterParcs village, a Go Ape aerial assault course, and woodland walking. And Sherwood Forest Country Park has the historic "Sherwood" which visitors may be looking for - the Major Oak which was said to be the hideout of Robin Hood and his band of outlaws. The tired visitor centre is due for replacement, and many visitors are surprised to find the Oak is actually in the Birklands, an area of birch trees. The Thoresby Hall estate is run by Warner holidays as a "just for adults" centre, and Welbeck Abbey is now a military college.
Great Central Railway - Nottinghamphone: +44 115 940-5705address: Mere Way, Ruddington, NG11 6JSOffers journeys on historic steam and diesel locomotives, has a collection of historic buses on display along with 3 model railway exhibits.
phone: +44 115 989-5555address: Theatre Square, NG1 5NDOpened in 1865 this is one of the finest Victorian theatres in the UK. The Theatre Royal is Nottingham's main touring house, offering a wide range of productions including musicals, opera, ballet, drama and the annual pantomime. The world's longest-running stage play, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap had its premiere here. Auditorium seats 1186 on four levels. Licensed bars, cafe and restaurant. The Theatre Royal is integrated into the Royal Centre which also includes the state-of-the-art Royal Concert Hall which has excellent acoustics, seats 2499, and welcomes world-class orchestras, rock bands and solo artists.
phone: +44 115 941-9419address: Wellington Circus, Derby Road, NG1 5AFOpened in 1963 to the designs of Peter Moro and heritage-listed as Grade II
phone: +44 115 950-7201address: Halifax Place, near Fletcher Gate, NG1 1QNSmall, independent amateur theatre with an excellent reputation for its range of productions. Main auditorium seats 118, Studio seats 50. Licensed bar.
address: George Street, NG1 3BECommunity theatre offering about 10 productions per year, including comedy, drama, musicals and opera. Main auditorium seats 320, Studio seats 50. Coffee Bar.
phone: +44 115 846-7777address: East Drive, University Park, NG7 2RDFurther out of town, in University Park is the 225-seat Djanogly Theatre. The diverse programme includes drama, dance, comedy, jazz, world music and family events. Cafe.
phone: +44 115 952-6611address: 14-18 Broad St, NG1 3ALFour screens, cafes, bars and a mix of independent, foreign-language and mainstream releases.
phone: 0844 815 7747 (high cost charge number)address: Cornerhouse, Forman St, NG1 4AAHas 14 screens, including an IMAX facility.
phone: +44 115 947-2580address: 233 Derby Rd, Lenton, NG7 1QNFour screens, a licensed bar and due to its location is popular with uni students.
phone: 0871 220 1000 (high cost charge number)address: Redfield Way, Lenton, NG7 2UWA 12-screen American-style multiplex just off the A52/Clifton Boulevard ring road.
address: Trentside N, West Bridgford NG2 5FJForest play in the Championship, the second tier of English football. Their home stadium (capacity 30,000) is City Ground, just south of the Trent, a one-mile walk from city centre. Notable for being the only team to win more European titles (two) than domestic league titles (one).
address: Meadow Ln NG2 3HJCounty are the world's oldest professional football club, founded in 1862, but nowadays overshadowed by Forest. They were relegated in 2019 so they now play in the National League, the fifth tier of English football. Their home stadium is Meadow Lane, fairly central and north of the river.
phone: +44 843 373 3000address: Bolero Square, Belward St, NG1 1LAThe city's ice skating rink where visitors can skate themselves or watch the GMB Nottingham Panthers, the UK's oldest and best supported team. Get your tickets in advance and ask for tickets at the 'bowl end' in order to be in amongst the locals (and at the end where the 'Panthers' shoot twice). If you happen to be visiting Nottingham at the same time that they are taking on arch rivals the Sheffield Steelers then get your tickets in advance as these games nearly always sell out - prepare yourself for 7000 people screaming on their team and a war on the ice - these teams do not like each other (though there is never any fan based violence). Another Ice Hockey match worth going to is the Nottingham Trent University vs University of Nottingham Varsity match held once a year and is the biggest varsity outside North America.
phone: +44 115 982 1212address: Adbolton Ln, Holme Pierrepont, NG12 2LU
address: Bridgford Rd, West Bridgford NG2 6AGThis is the home ground of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club: they were relegated in 2019 and now play in Division 2 of the County Championship. Inter-county matches last up to four days. They also field a limited-overs team, Notts Outlaws. Trent Bridge frequently hosts Test Matches ie internationals, which may last five days. The stadium is about a mile south of city centre. Walk south on London Rd (A60) over the Trent.
Nottingham Tennis CentreHosts the Nottingham Open each year in the week running up to Wimbledon.
Nottingham Hockey CentreHome ground of the Beeston Hockey Club (the Bees), whose Men's and Women's team play in the Premier Division. Often hosts Premier League Play-offs and Finals
Nottingham Activity CentreThe professional's choice for quality clay shooting. Stag and Hen, Corporate and private tuition available
Nottingham & District Gun ClubTry your hand at clay shooting.
Parks and activities
- In the summer you can hire a rowing boat on the beautiful grounds of the University of Nottingham.
- Nottingham Castle has extensive grounds, which are planted beautifully in the summer time. Each summer open air theatre performances are held in the grounds.
Arboretumaddress: Waverley St, Nottingham NG7 4HFBotanical garden, hosts open air music in the park at weekends in summer.
- Nottingham's Goose Fair is held on the Forest Recreation Ground (at the Forest tram stop) on the first weekend of October each year. It is one of Britain's largest funfairs and has existed more than 700 years, but nowadays you won't see any geese! Entry is free. To see it at its best, go after dark, although it's likely to be less busy during the day.
- The Forest Recreation Ground also plays host to the city's annual Bonfire Night fireworks display, which also has a funfair.
- The Riverside Festival at Victoria Embankment is held on a weekend at the start of August each year. It features live music, markets and fairs topped off with a huge fireworks display.
- The varsity sports series between the city's two universities, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, is the largest outside of North America.
- Nottinghamshire Pride is held annually in the last weekend of July at the Forest Recreation Ground. The event consists of numerous stages of music and comedy, as well as many stalls and stands from organisations, including food and drink areas! It attracts people not just from the Nottingham area; but from neighbouring counties and regions such as South Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Nottingham is therefore a gay friendly city and is accepting of LGBT people with a notable gay visibility. (The city has the third highest percentage of people in same sex partnerships, according to the 2001 census, of the eight English core cities after Manchester and Bristol.) It is referred to as the gay capital of the Midlands - or "Queen of the Midlands"; and the LGBT community are down to earth and friendly; as is the general culture of Nottingham.
- LBC is a monthly electronic music event held at The Bodega featuring upcoming artists from all over the world. Entry is fairly cheap and is predominantly aimed at the student population of the city. Recently featured in The Guardian, it is seen as Nottingham's forward thinking Music and Arts event.
The Victoria Centre is the more modern of the two, and has more shops & facilities, although Broadmarsh is on the eve of a huge redevelopment which will more than double its size.
phone: +44 115 912 1111address: 222 Victoria Centre, NG1 3QN
phone: +44 115 840 4555address: Lister Gate, NG1 7LB
Between the two are the main shopping streets: Lister Gate and Clumber Street are home to High Street names, while designer labels can be found on Bridlesmith Gate, Victoria Street and in the Exchange Arcade, within the Council House on Market Square. The alternative shopper will find Hockley Village a haven, focused around Goose Gate, the city's Bohemian district. To buy a Nottingham memento, go to the Lace Centre on the corner of Castle Gate, opposite the Robin Hood statue, to buy traditional Nottingham lace.
With regards to the alternative music and fashion scene, Nottingham is highly regarded and caters well for obscure and eclectic tastes. Selectadisc, just a short walk from the Market Square is one of just two in the country, the other being in Soho, London. Selectadisc is widely considered to stock the best indie and alternative music selection in the city, yet it is commonly felt that, for more helpful and down-to-earth staff, the Fopp store (on the next road) is more reliable. Now one of just six Fopp stores in the country, this store often stages in store sessions and offers a wide selection of independent DVDs and fanzines and CDs from unsigned acts. Void, Wild (and its sister store Wilder) and the local favourite Ice Nine can all be found in the bohemian district of Hockley. These stores can often become busy over the weekend in particular, but many original retro and vintage fashion items can be found for very cheap prices here.
phone: +44 115 837 1930address: The Navigation, 6 Wilford StreetAn eating institution to a number of locals. It is in The Navigation, this doubles up as a place for high quality burgers (generally in the £10 range) and real ale with canal side seating.
phone: +44 115 924-1797address: The Cornerhouse, Burton Street, Nottingham NG1 4DBOpen late every day. Chain serving affordable Japanese-style ramen, as well as fried noodle and rice dishes. £5 to £8 per main. It's usually busy and cafeteria-style benches mean you will rub elbows with your fellow diners.
phone: +44 115 947-4052address: 46 St. Mary's Gate, Nottingham NG1 1QAOpen daily from late morning until late. This small pub in the Lace Market area serves simple but tasty food, ranging from sandwiches to traditional English pub food to more Italian-influenced fare. £4 to £8 per dish. Non-smoking, and an excellent selection of beers to match your food.
Nottingham also has the usual range of chain restaurants and bars that you can find in many cities across the UK - for a budget meal (and drink) JD Wetherspoons is always worth trying - there are also a number of budget restaurants along Mansfield Road not far from the Victoria Shopping Centre
There is a pedestrianised street full of eateries of varying quality next to the Cornerhouse. These restaurants range from a Pizza Hut and a Subway, to a brassiere (Punchinellos) with an excellent pre-theatre menu. There is also a wide variety of takeaways in Nottingham, catering for many different tastes.
phone: +44 115 958-5885address: 27 King Street, Nottingham NG1 2AY
phone: +44 115 959-6390address: Chapel Quarter Chapel Bar, 4, Nottingham NG1 6JSThis is a wonderful Brazilian restaurant.
phone: +44 115 988 1900address: Standard Hill, Park Row, Nottingham NG1 6GNOwned by Tim Hart of Hambleton Hall fame. At lunch time the Hart's formula includes "lunch for less" with two or three courses from a shorted menu for £16-18 per person. There are various fixed price menus in the evenings too. Meal prices for two with three courses and wine in the evening will approach £80.
phone: +44 115 847 5587address: Newdigate House, Castlegate, Nottingham NG1 6AFSimilar formula to Hart's - some of the owners used to work there! Regularly top of the pops in the "Nottingham Restaurant of the Year" awards.
There are at least three pubs in Nottingham which claim to be amongst the oldest in the city (and the country) - so there is no shortage of drinking establishments for visitors. The city has a range of pubs and bars serving drinks late into the night.
A good place to start is the trendy Lace Market area east of Market Square where you will also find many good restaurants. Pubs around the Market Square tend to appeal to younger drinkers with a Wetherspoon's and Yates's Wine Lodge, but the area on the canal side around the Canal House pub tends to be a little more discerning. The Hockley area also provides a range of pleasant bars to suit a range of budgets. The Cornerhouse complex (near the Royal Centre tram stop) contains some really nice bars, particularly Revolution, and close to this is The Orange Tree on Shakespeare Street. Slightly further out of the centre in the multicultural and vibrant area known as Sneinton is a wonderful pub called the Lord Nelson with a great garden and real ales. The other historic pubs include The Bell Inn, situated in the Market Square, and the Salutation, on Maid Marian Way, both of which can trace a long history and lay claim to having resident ghosts. Ask at a quiet moment for a tour of the Salutation's cellars, dug by hand into the sandstone rock below the pub and used in centuries past as a secure brewing area. The Ned Ludd is also located near the Old Market square and serves local ale from Nottingham Brewery. Rock City hosts one of the biggest student disco nights in town, with standard dance/pop music, when popular live rock bands aren't playing in town. For a different experience, try The Pitcher and Piano bar, with a slightly more mature crowd. Built as a large Unitarian church it has been stylishly modernised but still contains the church's architectural history with gothic decor and stained glass windows.
phone: +44 115 9473171address: 1 Brewhouse YardClaims to be the oldest pub in the UK, allegedly built in 1189, and is below the castle and often on the tourist trail.
phone: +44 115 955 5060address: 48-52 Canal Street
phone: +44 115 950 5168address: Burton Street
phone: +44 1159 473239address: 38 Shakespeare Street
phone: +44 115 911 0069address: Lord Nelson Street, Sneinton
phone: +44 115 9475241address: 18 Angel RowOriginally the site of a friary from the 12th century, it became an inn following the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Now a pub with food, drink, and sports on TV.
phone: +44 115 958 9819address: Maid Marian WayThe building has existed since 1240, and the pub's caves date from the 9th century. Serves food and drink in a typical pub setting.
phone: +44 115 924 3415address: 27 Friar Lane
phone: +44 115 950 6547address: 8 Talbot Street
phone: +44 115 958 6081address: The Unitarian Church, High Pavement
Igloo HostelFor £15 a night, the Igloo is a very nice hostel and a great choice to spend one or more nights in Nottingham. A 5-minute walk from the centre of town, It's very clean and has 24 hot water in all the bathrooms. It has a fully equipped kitchen with stove, oven, fridge, toaster, and the most important equipment in a kitchen: a radio. The Igloo provides free tea, and coffee all day as well as free wifi and internet. It also has a comfortable, friendly common room, with a TV and many DVDs if you are tired and want to rest and watch something. Lots of books and board games can be easily found as well. A board with several tips of good cheap places to eat and drink can be found in the common room. Downstairs, the Games room offers a Ps2, Pool table and Fooz Ball. Unquestionably, a very good and friendly place!
address: Thurland Street£16 a night Midtown Hostel has lots of good things going for it. It's clean, in a great location (1-minute walk from the main square), hot water in the showers, free internet, decent kitchen (does have oven, does not have stove, has large fridge to store food in), PS2 and a few games, and free coffee and tea. The beds are reasonably comfortable (but some do squeak). Reports of noisy parties at night.
phone: +44 871 222 0098address: 1 St James's St
phone: +44 115 912-8000address: 17-31 Wollaton Street, NG1 5FWThis Days Hotel features non-smoking rooms that include bath and/or shower, work desk, TV with freeview and complimentary broadband. Some rooms have been adapted to allow for easier access. Full or continental breakfasts are available for £10.
phone: +44 115 901-6700address: Waterfront Plaza, Station Street, NG2 3BJCar parking is roughly 5 minutes from the hotel grounds, with many shops and restaurants close by. Well-equipped room with TV, hair-dryer, coffee/tea and biscuits and internet access.
Premier Inn Nottingham City Centre (Chapel Bar)phone: +44 871 527 9658address: 7 Chapel BarThis hotel is in the centre of the city centre and is of the high standards of the Holiday Inn chain, with a spacious room, comfortable beds and friendly staff.
phone: +44 115 941-1114address: St James Street, NG1 6FJIn the heart of the city, it retains its period elegance, whilst offering comfortable accommodation.
phone: +44 115 935-9988address: Magdala RdComfortable hotel less than a mile from the city centre.
phone: +44 117 970-6999address: The Ropewalk, NG1 5BBNear the city centre with easy access to Queens Medical Hospital and the University of Nottingham. There are no surprises in the rooms as they meet their website descriptions and pictures perfectly, with friendly reception staff and all the facilities you need, even for a long-term stay.
phone: +44 115 993-5000address: Castle Bridge Road Castle Marina Park, NG7 1GXIn a peaceful marina location.
phone: +44 1773 532532address: Eastwood Hall, Mansfield Road, Eastwood, Nottingham. NG16 3SSHotel and event venue offering 150 bedrooms and 36 meeting/event rooms, all connected to WiFi. `
phone: +44 115 988 1900address: Standard Hill, Park Row
phone: +44 871 222 4602address: Brailsford Way, Chilwell, NG9 6DLOffers over 130 bedrooms, a health club, the Verve Grill restaurant, the Victory Pub & Kitchen, the Vibe Cafe and a hair salon. The hotel also has 11 meetings & conference rooms. Booking is available online.
CampingIn surrounding area
phone: +44 115 933 2125address: Stragglethorpe
phone: +44 115 933 3433address: Shelford Hill, Radcliffe on Trent
While overall a safe city, Nottingham has been highlighted by the media for gun and knife crime in its suburbs, acquiring the (mostly tongue-in-cheek) nickname 'Shottingham'; although the actual incidence in 2004/5 was 19 offences per 100,000 population (compared to 50 per 100,000 population for both Greater Manchester and London). It is best to avoid walking late at night through St Ann's (a council estate northeast of the Victoria shopping centre) and The Meadows (between the railway station and the river). Normal precautions for large western European cities should be undertaken by individuals after dark, especially for lone females.
- For keen walkers, Matlock and the Derbyshire Peak District can be reached in about an hour by car. To get there by public transport, catch the Red Arrow (£6 'zigzag' day ticket, takes 30 min, every 10 min) from the Victoria Bus station to Derby, and change to the TransPeak (£5.90 each way, takes about an hour, hourly). An alternative for the more budget conscious traveller is the 6.1 bus from Derby to Bakewell, which takes longer but is included in the trentbarton 'zigzag' day ticket.
- Derby is a neighboring city and is easily accessible by bus (£6 day ticket).
- Lincoln is not too far away by rail.
- Sheffield, about an hour away from Nottingham by rail or road, is a slightly larger city and a popular cultural and shopping destination.
- There are direct trains from Nottingham to the famous seaside resort of Skegness.