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.
Things to do in 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 is 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 1970s 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 nation’s 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 its 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 burgers, 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 those who love the outdoors.
- Nottinghm’s Secret Stuff – The Hidden Gems– Nottingham, England – By Alex Muire
- Historic Pub, Food & Beer Tour – Old Docks– London, England
- Free walking tour – Nottingham, England – By Alex Muire
- A Palace Fit for a King Hampton Court Palace – London, England
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 in Nottingham?
⇒ Looking to discover other parts of England, please feel free to head to my English Page
If you liked this article, please, share!
Disclaimer: This is a Guest Post and all views are based on Alex Muire from mylifelongholiday own experience.
26 thoughts on “Nottingham England- A Perfect weekend Away”
Great post from Alex! I really enjoyed the history of Nottingham when we visited for my birthday. We had to visit Ye Olde Jerusalem and have a picnic by The Great Oak in Sherwood Forest. Pinned.
Glad to heard that you had such a great time when you were in Nottingham. Alex has some great recommendations.
The UK is high on my bucket list! If I ever go to Nottingham I will be sure to follow your recommendations!
Thank you very much, Melanie. I agree Alex had some great recommendations on this list.
I went to Nottingham years ago and have always wanted to go back. Thanks for the recommendations and suggestions, I’m definitely saving this for my return.
I also went to Nottingham years ago and have wanted to go back and explore more. This guest post definitely makes me want to go jump on a train and go to Nottingham.
History, architecture and drinking. It sounds all good. I’d like to step up to the bar where Richard the Lionheart quaffed a pint!
Definitely does sound like a great weekend and it is less than two hours away from London. A pub crawl is definitely something I would do there for sure
Oh it’s only 2.5 hours from Newcastle where my daughter lived for 3 years! I should have made the trip!!! Bummer!
Well it gives you an excuse to go back to England and visit again
Sold and sold! Wow, that town center looks so picturesque… I could imagine jumping through the photo with a beer in my hand to walk the square! I’ll definitely add this to my list for our next time around.
I haven’t been to Nottingham in years and I forgot how beautiful it was myself. Definitely get yourself there.
I have always associated Nottingham with Robin Hood. But, I had no idea about the extensive cave systems. I love history, so visiting Nottingham Castle and learning about Richard the Lionhearted or touring the oldest inn in England would be a lot of fun. And, of course, downloading the app and touring the caves sounds like a ton of fun. Great to top off the day with so many great places to eat.
I went to Nottingham years ago and went in the caves, I have to say there were very cool to explore.
I love the word “warren”…didn’t know Nottingham has a cave system! The city looks so green and amazing. I love old English architecture. I’d love to visit England someday.
I hope that you get to visit England one day and take a trip up to Nottingham it is a beautiful place.
What a beautiful, quaint city! I love the architecture in England (NZ pales in comparison to England’s architecture and is one of the things I miss). Loved the top tip about hiring a bike, such a cool way to see a new place
I am originally from Melbourne in Australia, so I completely understand what you are saying about the buildings. I think that is why I love castles and palaces so very much.
The home of Robin Hood and here l was thinking it was a complete myth. I love the sound of those caves and my kids would love to explore them.
Yes you even get to go to the tree. It was really cute watching all the kids dress up running about in customs near the tree.
That city centre!! Nottingham looks like the perfect place to spend time. I love that it combines beautiful architecture with such a vibrant social scene. We absolutely love a place with pubs, live music and good food, so I can see us really enjoying a visit here. Renting a bike would be a fun way to experience it, and love that there are free walking tours as well. Tons of variety!
Nottingham is a great place especially for a weeekend from London. It is easy to get to and there is plenty of place to see and eat at.
Coffee, shopping, pub culture, and more history than you can shake a stick at? I’m IN! Nottingham looks beautiful and sounds like a place I’d love to spend some time getting to know. Add it to the list! 🙂
I haven’t been there for years but I completely forgot about how much there was to do there. Definitely keen to head back to for a weekend with my husband.
Honestly, you had me at good food! ha! But Historic and beautiful buildings plus friendly people is great too! Nottingham is on my LONG England list 🙂
You definitely will have to go here when your in the UK, especially as it is so close to London. Even for a day trip it is great.
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