Nottingham

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.

Understand

Nottingham is one of three major cities in the East Midlands of England, the others being nearby Leicester and Derby. Its prosperity was historically derived mostly from the lace making and coal-mining industries, little of which now remains. Nottingham has moved towards a more service-based economy. In the sixties it was famed for having a gender imbalance.

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 in recent years, situated 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.

Get in

By plane

By train

Nottingham is on the main line out of London St Pancras. The cheapest tickets between London and Nottingham are available from EM Trains but must be bought well in advance. There are also regular connections to Birmingham, Derby, Leicester, Crewe, Sheffield, and Leeds. Note that trains from London to Sheffield do not stop at Nottingham.

Turn right out of the station for an easy 5 minute walk to the city centre.

By car

From the south, travel on the M1 and exit at junction 24 or 25. From the North take the M1 junction 25 or 26.

There is a choice of 7 Park and Ride sites with over 4000 spaces, located at easy points around the City .

By bus

Nottingham has two sizeable bus stations, Broadmarsh and Victoria. Traveline, 0871 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 5 in the morning!

Get around

Nottingham has excellent public transport by buses and trams.

By foot

The city centre is best explored on foot as many of the historic streets are pedestrianised or have good pedestrian access.

By Public Transport

By tram

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 different destinations (Hucknall, Phoenix Parm, Toton Lane and Clifton). 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 bus

Nottingham 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.

Ticketing

Ticketing can be confusing. Ticketing for most operators is detailed below:

Cash:

Robin Hood Prepaid Card (purchase from ticket machines around city centre):

Students with valid ID:

See

Nottingham's Council House & Old Market Square

Museums and galleries

Historic sites out of town

Theatres

Cinemas

Do

Sporting venues

Parks and activities

Events

A ride at the Goose Fair.
A partier at Nottinghamshire Pride 2011.

Buy

Nottingham has two large excellent shopping centres at either end of the City Centre "The Victoria Centre" and "Broadmarsh". 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. 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.

Eat

Budget

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.

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

Apart from Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem (allegedly built in 1189) which is below the castle and often on the tourist trail there are over 100 licensed premises in the square mile around the centre of Nottingham. 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 Wetherspoons 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, 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. 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. Originally a large Anglican church it has been stylishly modernised but still contains the church's architectural history with gothic decor and stained glass windows. Juju is good dance bar, that is open till 3 or 4am on the weekends, with free entry.

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

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.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, April 01, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.