If you like good food, beautiful buildings, friendly people and lots of history then Nottingham England is the perfect weekend getaway for you. Unbeknown to many folks, Nottingham has an underground warren of dozens and dozens of man-made caves, and most in the name of merriment and shindigs.
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Things to do Nottingham England
You see, for centuries Nottingham England has taken it’s good-times seriously! Back when alcohol was contraband and hearty young men were constantly trying to stage mini-revolutions against those in charge, folk could be found underground with bellies of beer, or at the very least quick access to these subterranean safe-havens for when the constabulary came a knocking.
The same like-minded descendants have these days established the social feel that Nottingham England now sports – pubs on every corner, bars of every genre and eating establishments that rival some of the best in the land!
I’m going to put it out there and just say it, we love our food and drink in Nottingham!
History Behind some of Nottingham Best Pubs And Bars
Nottingham claims the oldest inn in England, dating back to 1189AD (and with its own set of caves and stories) called Ye Old Trip To Jerusalem. It sits at the foot of Nottingham Castle, or more accurately; in the foot – actually built into the rocks that are the foundation. And, is quite likely the starting point of the actual Crusaders trip back in the 12th century led by Richard The Lionheart.
And, if it’s historical drinking spots you’re after then there also The Bell Inn; a grade II listed building from 1437 that also offers cave tours and, just around the corner, The Malt Cross; a notorious Victorian Music Hall with an amazing original glass ceiling.
Wandering around Nottingham England you’ll notice there are quite a collection of buildings from all era’s : the 1970’s has a lot to answer for around Maid Marion Way but thankfully a lot of architects, Watson Fothergill’s buildings remain intact and showcase some of the finest Victorian structures in the country. Don’t miss the storefront of Zara on Pelham Street.
Architectural details & Bars
A few other notable bars and pubs you might want to visit whether for the architecture or purely the back story are :
- Pitcher and Piano – Set in an old church, sympathetically keeping a ton of original features like the stained glass and stone-work. A real sight to behold – just go and have a look!
- Tilt – By far the best cocktail bar around – a rustic setting with proper cocktails, live Blue’s music and all set up by a guy who just had a dream of running his own bar. True story.
- Revolucion de Cuba – A clever mix of Caribbean culture with a Mary Poppins’ Bank scene, plus – a circular sofa in the ladies lavatories which will require all your strength to not do a photo-shoot style bed-roll, a la Kim and Kanye!
- The Herbert Kilpin – Italian football team AC Milan rightly lay claim to being one of the biggest football teams in the world, but not many realise the debt they owe to Nottingham born lad, Herbert Kilpin, for taking the game to Italy and starting the team, and for the strip colours which reminded him of home! A nod to a Nottingham hero and a great contemporary spin on an old traditional English pub.
- The Hockley Arts Club – Another favourite of mine, if not just for the crazy decor. Once the managers’ offices to some of the nations biggest industrial accomplishments, this is a gorgeous bar that still resembles the Lace Market buildings as they were a couple of hundred years ago – potted plants and all! Nottingham has to be acknowledged for it’s triumphs in the lace industry, and actually how it got England up and running financially again, and this bar cordially yields to this.
Where To Eat in Nottingham
- Bistro Pierre – Now a small chain but having its start in Nottingham and not changing their French bistro style menu much over the last 20 years – it doesn’t need to!
- Calcutta Club or Mem Saab – Two fantastic Indian restaurants living right next door to each other. Maybe once they were rivals but I think nowadays they are happy to pass the baton of yearly awards and accolades from each other. It’s hard to say which is the best but they both do the greatest curries around.
- Harts – Put on your gladrags, indulge the silver service and tuck into some Michelin quality nosh. Nuff said.
- Annie’s Burger Shack – 30 different types of burger, ranging from The Elvis (with peanut butter and jelly) to The Sunday Dinner (complete with Yorkshire pudding), trust me – you won’t know what to choose!
Top Tips for visiting Nottingham
- Nottingham England also has City Bikes to hire for a very reasonable price.
- There are lots of hotel choices in the city, suitable for any budget, but one especially nice hotel is The Lace Market Hotel as it has a lot of Nottingham history attached to it, plus a hotel bar in some underground caves.
- Nottingham has a thriving music scene and apart from live gig venues like Rock City and The Rescue Rooms you can also hear some local talent at The Southbank City Bar or The Malt Cross, most nights of the week.
- Nottingham England has excellent public transport facilities and trips to Wollaton Park, which is a must and is easy on the bus.
My final Word…
I have it on good authority from several of my girlfriends that they think Nottingham England is one of the best cities outside of London for shopping and I’d have to agree. Plus, the coffee shop options are endless for those much needed retail breaks.
Download the cave app and do yourself a little private walking tour, checking out what is beneath your feet at regular intervals. Visit the castle for some of the best curated history exhibitions focusing on Nottingham, plus some art surprises in the gallery – there are links with the Royal Collection at The V&A so there are often some amazing exhibits.
Nottingham England may never have been on your radar before but let me assure you it is one of the finest cities in the UK and you won’t be disappointed if you show us a visit! We look forward to having you!
Discover more of England
If you are interested in discovering more of Nottingham or other destinations in England, feel free to read my following articles. All are great options for groups of friends or family, especially who love the outdoors.
Thank you for reading this Guest Post article perfect weekend Away – Nottingham England’, by Alex Muire. I hope it helped you to decide what to do for a weekend away in Nottingham England.
Have you been to Nottingham England before? Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below or if you know any other places to see while Nottingham?
Disclaimer: This is a Guest Post and all views are based on mylifelongholiday own experience.
How about other day trips out of Nottingham, England