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WELCOME .................................................................09 Nottinghamshire is a region like no other!

HISTORY & HERITAGE ..........................................10 WE’RE SUPPORTING:

Everyone knows about Robin Hood – but there’s much more to our region’s fascinating past.

SHOPPING .................................................................. 14 High street chains, one-off independents and quirky specialists – they’re all waiting for the shopaholic. Published by Kingfisher Media Ltd PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This publication, its title and content, is wholly owned by and the copyright of Kingfisher Media Ltd. It is entirely independent and does not endorse, and is not supported or endorsed by, any official or private body or organisation. Reproduction in whole or in part by any means without written permission from the publisher is strictly forbidden. The publisher accepts no responsibility for errors, omissions or the consequences thereof. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for the views expressed by contributors, or for the accuracy of claims made by advertisements appearing in this publication. KVGWTN-72-0516-LAT

EATING OUT............................................................. 26 Top-end fine dining, adventurous independents and a great range of ethnic cuisine means you’ll never go hungry here.

10 REASONS TO LOVE THIS REGION ......... 34 There are dozens of reasons to love it here – check out a few of our favourites.

DAYS OUT.................................................................. 36 Whatever the time of year, and whatever the weather, there’s always plenty to do here.


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Nottinghamshire has always been a creative hotbed – and it still is today.















48 HOURS IN NOTTINGHAMSHIRE .............. 48 You can pack a lot into a couple of days – try this itinerary to make the most of it.

NIGHTLIFE .................................................................50 From cosy pubs to hip bars to lively clubs, there’s always plenty to do here after dark.

OUR SPORTING LIFE ........................................... 56


Whether you want to watch or take part, there’s always plenty to do here.

10 THINGS YOU MUST DO ................................ 58 There are loads of things to do here – but make sure you don’t miss these.

TRAVEL .......................................................................60


Getting around Nottinghamshire couldn’t be easier.

FURTHER AFIELD .................................................64 If you have some time to spare, why not head slightly further afield and see what lies on Nottinghamshire’s doorstep?

BUSINESS .................................................................. 66 The days of heavy industry may have gone, but this region is still a major commercial centre.

PROPERTY ................................................................ 70


People come to Nottinghamshire for many reasons – and stay for a lot more!



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hether it’s a weekend break in the heart of England’s green and pleasant land, days out with the kids hearing legendary tales of Robin Hood, top-class sport, brilliant nightlife, or cutting edge art and culture, Nottinghamshire’s got it all. You can get a taste for fine dining at the end of a hard day’s shopping. Browse the freshest local produce in traditional market towns. Discover the Robin Hood and Sheriff of Nottingham experience in Sherwood Forest, hear stories of castles torn apart by civil war and the boom of industry that built a city around Nottingham Lace. Nottinghamshire is packed with historical interest but, as you’ll see, it’s also a thriving cosmopolitan region so, whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, you’ll never be short of things to see and do. So whatever you do during your visit to our region, please enjoy – and come back soon! q



HISTORY ALL AROUND! Everyone knows about Robin Hood – but there’s much more to our region’s fascinating past

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Wherever you go, tales of the Sherwood bandit abound, and in Nottinghamshire you’re never far away from a reminder of this region’s most infamous son



ottingham may not be known the world over, but Robin Hood certainly is. Wherever you go, tales of the Sherwood bandit abound, and in Nottinghamshire you’re never far away from a reminder of this region’s most famous son. But there is plenty of history besides Robin Hood – from Nottingham’s heady days exporting lace worldwide, a pivotal role in the political upheavals of the 18th century, and a medieval past rich with tales of knights, crusaders and secret underground caves beneath the castle.

Perhaps the best way to get yourself up to speed with all of this is to take a guided tour around the city. There’s one chap in particular, who goes by the name of Ezekial Bone, who has visitors gripped with tales of Lincoln-green clad outlaws and gory grizzly murders as he takes them around the city looking like the Sherwood outlaw reincarnate. His tours capture the essence of Nottingham’s history and he doesn’t just tell the stories – he embodies them. Nottingham is a city on top of a huge sandstone rock with the castle perched on one edge keeping watch over us all. And as you’d expect with sandstone, an intricate

maze of caves exists all over the city. There are plenty of ways you can explore them – through the Broadmarsh shopping centre there’s an entrance where a tour begins – but the most enchanting way is to sit in Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem pub. Dating back to 1198 the Trip, as it’s known to locals, is actually a series of caves and narrow passageways that weave back deep into the sandstone rock. As you sit there in the shadows, try to get your head around the fact that this pub was a haunt of medieval knights, who would gather for a few foamy beers before setting off on the crusades some 800 years ago. >> p13




If you’re planning your next visit, or you want some reminders of this one, visit To view our full portfolio of visitor guides and mobile-optimised websites to the UK and Ireland, visit

Stay informed on the move… Our extensive UK-wide portfolio of unique visitor guides are now available wherever you are. Simply visit the App Store and search ‘Kingfisher Visitor Guides’, for your free app download.



Nottingham was a powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution, when the city and its surrounding areas buzzed with the sounds of manufacturing. Its modern history is filled with stories of Victorian zeal – global pharmaceuticals chain Boots began life as a little shop in the Market Square; world-renowned bicycle manufacturer Raleigh was born here, as was William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army. And if you’re a cricket-buff you’ll know another of the city’s proud exports, the Gunn & Moore bat. But perhaps Nottingham’s proudest industrial achievement was its former place as the world-leading producer of lace and textiles. Take a stroll around the magnificent Lace Market area with its imposing but handsome former lace factories and workshops and allow yourself to daydream about these streets and buildings alive with the sights, sounds and smells of a city at its proud industrial peak. Or to really relive a history that is so quintessential to Nottingham, you should visit the excellent Framework Knitters Museum in Ruddington. For another stroll down history lane try the magnificent Wollaton Hall, which was completed around the time that Queen Elizabeth was contemplating what to do about the Spanish Armada and Shakespeare was just getting going as a writer. ❑

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Chilwell's Creative Corner is a community of independent creative businesses with an art gallery, craft shops, florist, therapy centre and coffee shop as well as our new for 2016 artists’ studios. Only 15 minutes’ drive from Nottingham city centre and three minutes’ walk from the Beeston College tram stop as well as busses stopping right outside. On-site parking and secure bike parking. Close to Attenborough Nature Reserve and Marvellous Furniture Antiques. Families welcome. Open Monday – Saturday

178 High Road | Chilwell | NG9 5BB



LIKE TO SHOP? YOU’LL LOVE IT HERE! High street chains, one-off independents and quirky specialists – they’re all waiting for the shopaholic

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The street regularly gets national recognition in property circles for its remarkable line-up of luxury brands – and high rents – and when you walk down it you can see why



ith two large shopping centres at opposite corners of the city, plenty of high street retail and a funky independent fashion scene, Nottingham has a magnetic effect on shoppers from all over the region and beyond. Fashion lovers are spoilt for choice. Between them the two Intu shopping centres are home to a lot of the big high-street brands – H&M, Next, Topshop, Superdry, River Island and Monsoon to name a few. And with department stores John Lewis, House of Fraser, Debenhams and BHS also in town, all the familiar shopping options are there to choose from. As well as having plenty of fashion you’ve got the music stores HMV and

Fopp; there are some excellent bookshops old and new all over the city; there’s a first-class specialist camera shop, London Camera Exchange, if you’re in town and have a photographic crisis. But the real crown jewel of Nottingham’s shopping scene is Bridlesmith Gate. The street regularly gets national recognition in property circles for its remarkable line-up of luxury brands – and high rents – and when you walk down it you can see why. The street has become a catwalk of high-end clothing retailers, with – to name a few – Comptoir Des Cotonniers, Jack Wills, Kurt Geiger, Flannels, American Apparel and Hugo Boss all lined up together. Not to mention the little alleyway coming off Bridlesmith Gate, Byard Lane, which is

where Paul Smith opened his first ever boutique store on his way to becoming a really big deal in fashion world – he still has a shop there, a few doors down. Rubbing shoulders with the king of Nottingham fashion on Byard lane is Reiss just over the road, some very hip barbers’ shops, Argento the jewellers, Tokenhouse and P Spowage art gallery. Another lovely little offshoot from the street is Bridlesmith Walk, a covered walkway that is home to some excellent independent retailers, hairdressers and an exquisite tea room, the White Rabbit. At the end of this is Fletcher Gate, a major street along which the tram tracks run down the hill to the train station, where two excellent outdoor brands have set up shop. The halo effect of the prestigious >> p19




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Behind the Red Door is a beautiful independent gift boutique situated on the edge of the historic lace market area in the hear t of Nottingham city. We have handpicked an eclectic mix of contemporar y gifts, home wares, perfumer y, greeting cards and stationer y from innovative companies from around the world. We look forward to welcoming you

Union Chambers 11 Weekday Cross Nottingham NG1 2GB OPEN 10 till 5 Tuesday to Saturday T: 0115 950 2564 E: W: @TheRedDoorShop Behind The Red Door

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<< p15 Bridlesmith Gate has brought some superb brands to the surrounding area. At one end of the street, where Waterstones has occupied a grand five storey building for years, there’s the little matter of Molten Brown, Whittard of Chelsea, Kiehl’s, Fat Face, The White Company and TM Lewin. At the other end Low Pavement and Middle Pavement form a beautiful little shopping strip, including Whistles, Paperchase, Jo Malone, and a Paul Smith store of grand proportions. Set in the dramatic early-Georgian Willoughby House, it’s as much a museum to Paul Smith, his life and his connection to Nottingham, as it a retail store. The house is filled with mysterious little trinkets, signed photographs and souvenirs, and is a must for a visitor to Nottingham even if you’re not shopping. A little further away, on the way into the Old Market Square, there are some notable stop-offs for a shopping trip. Not least a four-storey Zara store in a beautiful building dating from 1903, the exterior of which is adorned with gorgeous art nouveau details. The Zara store is at something of a crossroads in more ways than one. At the other end of the slightly seedy Clumber Street in front of you – which nevertheless has some good brands including Levi’s, Jessops photography and Footasylum – is the Intu Victoria Centre

and a separate entrance to John Lewis, followed by Waitrose and an impressive TK Maxx store just over the road. Turn right at Zara up Pelham Street and you’re facing up into Hockley for a whole different experience; left, making your way past Primark, Dr Martens, Jaeger, Karen Millen and Warehouse, you’ll find yourself in the Market Square. If you’re going that way make sure you don’t miss one of the city’s hidden gems. The Five Leaves bookshop up a tiny alley by the side of The Works stocks a phenomenal range of books of the more radical political persuasion, and often plays host to events and talks that attract nationally-renowned speakers and thinkers. And on the other side of the square there’s the West End Arcade, a bit of a tatty ragbag but well worth walking through for the colourful selection of second-hand books, vintage clothing, quirky interiors and a famous indy record store at the top. And then there are the two classy arcades to check out – the Flying Horse and the Exchange Arcade. The latter is set within the Council House building, with the grand iconic dome as its ceiling at one end. Inside there are a host of retail stores, some well-known, some a little more niche – a traditional tobacconist, and an independent art gallery sit alongside Austin Reed, Oasis and Tutu. And over the road in the >> p21







<< p19 Flying Horse Arcade you’ll find another enticing walkway of shops, again, some of which you’ll know – most notably Vivienne Westwood – and others, such as a craft beer shop, the excellent George Thornton art gallery and a superb food deli, which will be a delight to discover. The Square itself has become more of an eating-out, hanging-out sort of place in recent years, although there are still some good shopping names – Schuh, Clarks, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Debenhams no less. But as has been the case for centuries, it’s the hub of the city and the meeting place of everything. Quite literally in fact – the left hand statue of a lion at the foot of the Council House has long been the rendezvous point in the city and the start of many a happy shopping trip. There’s even a local cultural magazine called Left Lion in its honour. If you’re into your youth fashion and urban apparel, you’ll want to head up into Hockley and the Lace Market. You can get there via Victoria Street, which with Pretty Green, French Connection, Lacoste, Jigsaw and an award-winning food deli and café, Delilah, isn’t exactly starved of choice. With a >> p23



The Cheese Shop, Nottingham. Artisan Cheesemongers - Deli - Café (The Flying Horse Walk, off St. Peters Gate)

OFM awards 2015 ‘Best Independent Retailer’ runners-up!

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Contemporay and  High   End   Designer   Boutique   for  men  and  women.     15  Flying  Horse  Walk   Tel  :  0115  9799997

In the   heart   of   Nottingham’s   city   center   lies  Gigi   Bottega,   a   designer   multi-­‐branded   boutique   for   men   and   women   stocking   Stella   McCartney,   Burberry,   Valentino   and   more.   The   boutique   is   situated   in   the   historical   Flying   Horse   Walk,   in   a   jaw   dropping   14th  Century   building.   The   interior   combines  modern  and  vintage  with  white  painted  walls  contrasting  against  heavy  wooden  beams   and  the  black  leaded  windows,  making  it  one  of  Nottingham’s  most  visually  impressive  boutiques.  

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host of hip stores, hairdressers, vintage shops and fashion designers in and around Hockley – Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green label has a design studio on Stoney Street in the Lace Market – the area has become the beating heart of Nottingham’s youth culture and creative scene. In 2015 legendary record label and Brick Lane record shop operator Rough Trade opened its first store outside of London on Broad Street. Above the main store is a cool bar and live music venue, and a cluster of beautiful independent shops. Also a must-visit in the area is Cobden Chambers, a formerly derelict alleyway off Pelham Street which has been revived and is now home to some gorgeous little independent stores selling everything from fashion to stationary. At the end of the alleyway is a lovely café, interiors store and mini art gallery. It’s a tranquil arty breather from the world outside. If you’re willing to walk a little further out of the main hub, Derby Road is home to some wonderful niche retailers. You’ll find a good selection of antique shops, first-class independent music shop Windblowers,


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garden and outdoor decorations store The Worm That Turned and independent art dealership Focus Gallery among the elegant parade on the shopping road less well-travelled. Nottingham has punched above its weight for years in the national shopping rankings. Which isn’t surprising when you think about the phenomenal wealth of retail on offer in such a compact city centre. The downturn was hard on Nottingham, as was a decadelong delay then eventual abandonment of the redevelopment of the Broadmarsh shopping centre, meaning the city has fallen outside of the Top 5 of the national CACI retail rankings for the first time. But that shouldn’t last too long. Both Intu centres are currently undergoing their own facelifts which will bring a welcome breath of fresh air into the malls and the streets around them. When all of this work is complete, some of the well-known brands that have stayed away from the city are likely to set up shop and join an undeniably prestigious line-up. If you’re not one for braving the bustling city streets on a Saturday afternoon, there >> p25

If you’re willing to walk a little further out of the main hub, Derby Road is home to some wonderful niche retailers





<< p23 are plenty of out-of-town shopping options. The largest outlet centre in the region, the East Midlands Designer Outlet, is just outside the county in Derbyshire, but easily accessible from anywhere in Nottingham. Another jewel of the county, Newark is a lovely town with plenty of shopping to keep you happy for a day. Among the shopping highlights are bookshops Bookwise, a charity shop also selling CDs and sheet music, and Strays, one of the last remaining independent bookshops in the county. One of the magical things about Newark is its attractive, historic outdoor market. You can easily find yourself mesmerised by the quaint quirky items laid out on the tables – from books to brassworks, cheeses to children’s toys. Often-overlooked but well worth the trip, are the pretty market towns of Retford and Worksop, just five miles apart in north Nottinghamshire. Especially on a Saturday when the ancient market is still held in the Retford’s main square, flanked by fine Georgian buildings and two theatres, and in Worksop a similar marketplace is well worth a visit, as are the cluster of shops around Bridge Street and Bridge Place. q


PEARL BOUTIQUE haute couture

Pearl Boutique has a large, unique collection of evening wear, prom dresses, ball gowns, bridesmaid dresses, day dresses and wedding dresses ranging from UK sizes 2 to 24. We have a full alteration service in store so can make sure the dress you purchase fits perfectly. We also stock an exclusive collection of shoes, bags, jewellery, fascinators and tiaras to compliment any dress. Unit 3 | Flying Horse Walk | Nottingham | NG1 2HN Telephone 0115 941 5307




A TASTE OF NOTTINGHAMSHIRE AND THE WORLD! Top-end fine dining, adventurous independents and a great range of ethnic cuisine means you’ll never go hungry here



ottinghamshire offers foodies a rich mixture of places from the two-Michelin star restaurant to the idyllic country pub or the lively city centre brasserie. The county is bursting with exotic world-food restaurants and some excellent British cuisine meaning the only real problem you’ll have if you’re just passing through is which to choose. If you’re looking for the finest gourmet food you can’t get much better than Sat Bains. In 2011 the owner was awarded his second coveted Michelin star and the restaurant that bears his name has been festooned with plaudits before and since, including Restaurant of the Year in the AA Food Guide. The food is experimental and totally unique, and Sat –former winner of Great British Menu – offers a tasting menu that will have any gourmand salivating at the sight of it. As you’d expect it’s not in the budget range and bookings need to be made well in advance but there really is nothing else like Sat Bains anywhere in the county, or the country for that matter. Not that there aren’t plenty of options for superb fine dining elsewhere in Nottinghamshire. Outside of a quaint little village near Bingham you’ll find a mesmerising

hotel-restaurant that will leave every sense tingling with pleasure. Langar Hall is an eccentric, exquisite 19th century manor hotel with one of the most elegant restaurants in the county serving meals you wish would go on forever. The locally-sourced menu offers some of the finest foods in the county, in a setting that makes you feel like you’re walking around in a piece of art. Which might be why it’s a favourite of a certain Nottingham fashion

designer and art collector, Paul Smith, who had a translucent photograph of the view from Langar Hall pasted over the window of his flagship Tokyo store to mask an exposed brick wall behind it. Another real gem of the county is just a bit further north, in a lovely Trent-side spot in Gunthorpe. Tom Browns Restaurant has been a staple of the Nottinghamshire dining scene for a long time now, and the owners’ hard work has recently been rewarded with an entry in the 2016 Michelin Guide and two AA Rosettes. Following the river down into West >> p28





<< p27 Bridgford you find yourself in a lovely upmarket catwalk of foodie delights all clustered around one street. There’s hit Barcelona-inspired tapas joint escabeche which somehow offers a sumptuous range of dishes at remarkably good value. Also check out The Oriental Pearl offering Chinese food in a sleek modern setting; a great little charcuterie and wine bar called Cured or restaurant and live music venue Copper West Bridgford all within a few minutes’ walk of each other. And, just to make your decision on this one street alone that little bit harder, there’s also the sensuous treat that is oriental tapas and dim sum specialist Yumacha and contemporary diner and burger joint Mud Crab Pacifico. If you find yourself on this side of the River Trent on a Sunday and fancy a roast, there is the little matter of the winner of the Best British Roast Dinner Competition 2015, the Larwood & Voce. Sitting within a cricket ball’s throw of the pitch at world-renowned ground Trent Bridge and bearing the name of two of Nottinghamshire’s most famous and fearsome fast bowlers, the pub-restaurant is a down-toearth place offering mouth-watering Sunday roasts worthy of national recognition. And all of this is before you even get to the city of Nottingham itself. The big-hitters in the high-end of city centre dining have deservedly been around for some time now.

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The menu is as exciting and intricate as the decor, with dishes such as seared scallops with Granny Smith apples, pickled cabbage and pistachio Hart’s restaurant is a serious place in a seriously prestigious location on the edge of the well-heeled Park Estate and a short walk from Nottingham Castle. It offers fine-dining of the highest calibre, appealing to the most discerning tastes and all set in a stylish modern but comfortable and light space. The owner has managed to keep bang up-to-date with modern tastes and styles, offering an ever-changing yet somehow ever-recognisable range of contemporary British cooking. A consistent feature in the Michelin guide and a favourite with diners and business-folk looking to impress clients, the menu offers an exquisite array of dishes for lunch and dinner, as well as a lovely afternoon tea, pre-theatre specials and a Sunday lunch far outstripping most of the competition. Another illustrious name in Nottingham dining is just down the hill, in the leafy shadows of Nottingham Castle. Set in a grand 17th century converted townhouse on one of the city’s most elegant and ancient cobbled streets, World Service is as stylish and

sensuous as any restaurant in the city. The whole place is striking for its subtle blend of modern evolutionary cuisine and decor with shades of the Far East, juxtaposed by its magnificent distinctly-English historic settings. The menu is as exciting and intricate as the decor, with dishes such as seared scallops with Granny Smith apples, pickled cabbage and pistachio, or the slow-cooked beef rib with octopus, wasabi, seaweed salad and lime. It also boasts a gorgeous little >> p31

Come and indulge in our delicious Artisan Ice Cream made on the premises, using local fresh milk and cream. Also serving yummy cakes, delicious lunches and fantastic coffee, tea and other dairy delights with views over beautiful rural Nottinghamshire. Open 7 days a week.

For more information call us on 01636 636600 or visit Newfield Dairy Ice Cream Parlour Caunton Road | Hockerton | Southwell | NG25 0PN

SINATRA BAR & RESTAURANT Take our unique visitor guides with you on the move today

Sinatra’s opens every day from 10am until late offering an extensive range of drinks and freshly prepared food. Pre-theatre menu just £11.95 for 2 courses and £15.95 for 3 courses, weekdays until 7pm. A la carte menu available all day every day. Classic cocktails only £5 each, weekdays 5pm – 7pm. 10% discount applied when you show your room key, not applicable with the pre-theatre menu.

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Along this street something of a little India has sprung up, with some of the finest Indian restaurants to choose from

garden terrace for when weather permits al fresco dining, and a fantastically eccentric list of signature World Service cocktails. Stand in Nottingham’s Old Market Square, the true heart of the city, and in every direction there are great dining options within a short stroll. In the direction of Nottingham Castle not only are there Hart’s and World Service, but you’ll also find some smaller delights in the area such as the gem that is Watson Fothergills – named after one of the city’s most famous architects – serving everything from gourmet burgers to mussels arrabbiata. Also a short stroll away, past ancient walls and monuments including the spot where Charles I raised his standard at the start of the Civil War, you’ll find the Round House, an excellent pub serving delicious food in a former hospital building.


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Back down the hill you arrive at Maid Marian Way, a modern dual carriageway carved straight through the middle of the city’s oldest streets and buildings – a sin in many people’s minds but one that’s created a cluster of impressive restaurants and hotels. This is where you’ll find the Park Plaza hotel and, most importantly for the foodie, the excellent Chino Latino restaurant serving delicious pan-Asian food and some really tempting cocktails. Also along this street something of a little India has sprung up, with some of the finest Indian restaurants in Nottingham to choose from all lined up in an impressive gallery of large

modern buildings. You’ll find MemSaab, the only Indian restaurant to make it into the Michelin Guide and rightfully so – everything is impeccable from the menu choice, the service and the light elegant surroundings. It always used to be that MemSaab was the Indian restaurant to visit; now it’s one of a handful of top quality Asian restaurants in the neighbourhood. It’s been joined in recent years by 4550 Miles From Delhi, a chic place with more of a buzzing contemporary feel; Laguna Tandoori, a traditional clay oven restaurant specialising in northern Indian dishes; and most recently Calcutta Club, a comfortable down-to-earth place serving truly mouth-watering dishes, which scooped the Best Newcomer award in the British Curry Awards when it opened. A raft of restaurants all worth a visit has gradually evolved in the pedestrianised area at the top of Angel Row, where you’ll find chic bar and restaurant Sinatra’s, buzzing Latin-American chain Las Iguanas, Mr Man’s, an excellent Chinese restaurant, the lively Fat Cat Cafe Bar and Marrakesh, a truly magnetic Moroccan restaurant. There’s also plenty of fast-food options in this small area alone – including noodle bars, Taco Bell, Nandos and some of the usual suspects. But if you want something truly unique, a little place oozing with charm and je ne sais quoi is independent traditional French crêperie and galleterie Aubrey’s, in the West End Arcade. You can sit inside this charming space with its traditional decor watching the staff bustling away behind the counter fixing you your delicious crepe or savoury galette. And for a minute you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re in a little family-run place in some French town, waiting for lunch to arrive. Speaking of French cuisine, on the other side of the >> p33





<< p31 Market Square, hidden away in a courtyard off Wheeler Gate, you’ll find stylish bistro Le Mistral. It’s a great option for coffee, cakes and snacks like a traditional croque monsieur any time of the day, but its dinner menu is truly special, as is the restaurant’s signature beef bourguignon. Le Mistral is actually part of a small chain – the other Nottingham site is out in Sherwood, to the north of the city. If you want to spend an evening in a less central location – and feel more like a local than a visitor – Sherwood has some excellent options for dinner. Besides Le Mistral there is the Crimson Tree, a very charming cafe that also hosts special tapas evenings, and a relative newcomer to the area, Barrio, a truly one-off

independently-owned Tapas Bar with a piano in the window and a warm inviting atmosphere that just pulls you in. Back in town and The Lace Market area, with its imposing former lace factories and narrow cobbled streets, boasts one of the finest eateries in the city – tapas bar and restaurant, Iberico. Down a flight of stairs in the basement of the old jails and law courts on High Pavement, Iberico’s warm stylish atmosphere is immediately inviting, and the food is tapas of the highest order. Not far from here in the Hockley area you’ve got some really enticing world-food options, including Japanese restaurant Bonzai, traditional Thai restaurant Thailand No. 1, one of the most authentic, stylish

Chinese restaurants around, The Mandarin, and Shanghai Shanghai, which serves what food critic Giles Coren said was “without question the best Sichuan cooking I have had outside China”. A little more familiar but just as enticing is a little strip of restaurants on Broad Street. One of the most exciting of these is Edin’s – a gorgeous little cafe/restaurant/hangout place serving great simple down-to-earth food. It also has a sister site – Edin’s Natural Kitchen – just around the corner, a restaurant and deli serving a selection of home-made cakes and tarts to die for. Between them the two cafes are among the most colourful and popular in Nottingham – both totally unique and bursting with little details straight out of the owner’s vivid imagination. Also on Broad Street is Dolce, a cosy traditional Italian restaurant, and arty tearoom Rosy Lee’s where you can also pick up a slice of some sumptuous home-baked cake or buy yourself loose tea leaves from a whole enticing range of flavours and blends. Over the road from there you’ll find traditional Malaysian street food restaurant Nada Budaya, and the cafe/bar at the art house Broadway Cinema which serves a nice range of snacks and meals. Elsewhere in the city there are plenty of gems for eating out. The White Rabbit Teahouse is another independently-owned business with sites on Hounds Gate and Bridlesmith Walk, both gorgeous and elegant in a very quaint, vintage fashion. Also a little way out of the city centre, in the charming Canning Circus area up Derby Road, you’ll find a great selection of places for dinner, all a little quirky in their own way. There’s the utterly idiosyncratic Hand & Heart, a beautiful old pub with a restaurant stretching back into the twinkling candlelit sandstone caves behind, serving the sort of rustic pies, meats and cheeses that the finest country pub would be proud of. At the brow of the hill you’ll find The Footman’s Rest, a tea saloon and wine bar that is the very soul of style and elegance. The owner is a former footman to the Queen, and his meticulous attention to detail runs through everything from the delicate patisseries and afternoon teas on offer in the daytime, to the immaculate cocktails he serves in the evening. Up on Alfreton Road there’s a whole gallery of amazingly diverse restaurants from all over the world, including some of the best Turkish and Kurdish food in the city, as well as an array of ethnic foods – Indian, Ethiopian, Jamaican, Chinese, Eritrean – and Reno’s, an Italian restaurant that’s been there for as long as anyone can remember. q



10 REASONS TO LOVE THIS REGION! There are dozens of reasons to love it here â&#x20AC;&#x201C; check out a few of our favourites


{01} City of Literature In 2015 Nottingham was honoured to be named UNESCO City of Literature. Historically Nottingham has a rich literary legacy, counting DH Lawrence, Lord Byron and Alan Sillitoe among its noted writers, and today there are a host of writers’ associations, performance poetry groups, playwrights and theatre companies working in the city.


{02} Award-winning transport It’s easy to take the transport system for granted in Nottinghamshire, until you visit other regions. The county has been festooned with accolades over the years, including The Award for Customer Focus at the European Business Awards. The tram system is clean and efficient and has recently been extended to include more key spots around the city.

{03} Green, green everywhere Robin Hood Country is rich with nature, including huge tracts of wildness in Sherwood Forest and some gorgeous open landscapes along the Trent Valley. Even the city of Nottingham is exceptionally green – the council has lovingly maintained parkland such as the Arboretum, and the streets are abundant with trees.

{04} All the county’s a stage Throughout the summer the county is

buzzing with sporting, musical and creative events. The people love to come together to celebrate the county’s vibrancy, whether it’s the iconic Goose Fair, the Diwali Festival of Light, a host of country fairs and shows or the major music festivals at Wollaton Hall.

contributed many of Britain’s most enchanting and grizzly historical tales. From the poisoning of the no-good King John at Newark Castle, to the turbulent era of the Chartists, Nottinghamshire has a rich trove of historical treasure to share.

{05} A good sport

{08} Shopping

There can’t be many regions that offer so many opportunities for sports lovers of all stripes. In 2014 Nottingham had the honour of being named the first national City of Football, and there are plenty of superb facilities around the county including the National Water Sports Centre, the National Ice Centre and the world-renowned Trent Bridge cricket ground.

With just about every big name in fashion represented in Nottingham you can’t do much better for clothes shopping. But the shopping treats are not confined to the city – everywhere in the county gorgeous little towns and villages are rich with quirky independent shops selling books, antiques, homewares and fine foods, and some of the best farm foods shops you will ever visit.

{06} Creative county

{09} Its diversity

Nottinghamshire is a magnet for creative people. The renowned School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University has helped put the city on the fashion and design map, as has Nottingham Contemporary and the tireless work of the Creative Quarter initiative, but throughout the county excellent arts centres and galleries flourish, from the Lakeside to the Harley Gallery.

Nottinghamshire counts a phenomenal array of cultures and ethnicities among its ever-changing population. These influences have made the county a far more exciting place than many, and enriched its culture with new art, food, music and literature.

{07} A rich history From medieval times to the modern era, Nottinghamshire has

{10} The Queen of the East Midlands Nottingham is often overshadowed by the bigger cities in the North and South, which makes it something of an unknown nationally. For the people who love Nottingham’s unique charm it can feel like a bit of a mystery why the Queen of the East Midlands isn’t talked about more – or perhaps they like to keep it as their little secret. ❑



LET’S GO THERE! You can pack a lot into a couple of days – try this itinerary to make the most of it



f you’re staying in the centre of Nottingham you’ll be amazed how short a drive it is to some really gorgeous rural countryside, and all sorts of nice options for a day out. Two gems of the county, the pretty market towns of Newark-on-Trent and Southwell, are close to each other and could easily fill up a whole day between them and the surrounding countryside. The grand Southwell Minster which dominates the town is one of the finest buildings in the whole county, and renowned as one of the most superb examples of a Norman Nave anywhere in Europe. The handsome Romanesque cathedral and

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minster with its distinctive twin-towered frontage has stood for 900 years, and been the site of Christian worship for longer than that. And in the 1950s excavation work uncovered an even older past, when the foundations of an ancient Roman villa were discovered underneath, complete with beautifully-preserved wall paintings and a mosaic floor. You can visit Southwell for the minster, but there are plenty of other reasons to stay. The centre of Southwell is a fine example of a traditional market town and has some lovely independent shops, tearooms, restaurants and cafes to explore. In the spring and summer the whole town bursts into colour as


the residents adorn their shops and houses with flowers spilling out from hanging baskets. And if you time your visit for a Saturday morning you will catch the historic market in full swing. Southwell also has the quirky honour of being the birthplace of the humble Bramley apple. Indeed, the original Bramley apple tree grown from a pip planted by local girl Mary Ann Brailsford over 200 years ago still bears fruit, in a private garden on Church Street. The town celebrates this juicy export once a year with a special festival held in October. While you’re in the town you can also take one of several history walks and heritage trails, including the Southwell Trail along disused railway tracks, and the fascinating First World War Trail. And don’t miss out on some real treats in the surrounding area – namely Southwell Racecourse if you fancy a flutter, or the gripping former workhouse building converted to a museum, just outside the town. And last but certainly not least there’s Newfield Dairy, serving a devilishly good range of homemade ice creams. Newark is a bigger, more lively town than Southwell – it even has its own castle – and could be a whole day out in itself. The town is the proud host of Europe’s largest antiques

fair, an annual blues festival, a major airshow once a year and the country’s largest fair for agricultural and farming machinery. There are plenty of options for staying in the town, and lots of lovely restaurants to choose from. Aviation-buffs can visit the Newark Air Museum nearby and for history fans there is plenty to explore, including Newark Castle where the much-maligned King John was poisoned and killed, or the sites of various major Civil War battles. You’re in a truly lovely part of the world here and a delightful spot to start a walk along the River Trent. Depending on how far you want to ramble you can take in some serene little villages and towns along the way – Farndon, Fiskerton, Bleasby are all beautiful – or just meander alongside the river and enjoy the gentle peace of it all. In the area you’ll find the Nottinghamshire County Sailing Club with a lovely lake to stroll around. And just a bit further along the river, in the pretty village of Hoveringham, is Ferry Farm Park & Restaurant. It’s a lovely kid-friendly stop-off with an adventure playground, indoor activity centre an indoor barn with farm animals, plus a very nice tea room and restaurant in a converted barn. If you fancy a gentle boat ride along the river, you can start off at Gunthorpe – an >> p39

The original Bramley apple tree grown from a pip planted by local girl Mary Ann Brailsford over 200 years ago still bears fruit, in a private garden on Church Street



Kelham Hall & Country Park Newark, Nottinghamshire

65 acres of gardens and parkland with riverside and woodland walks Free entry Free parking Tearoom open daily Indoor and outdoor childrens play areas Tennis courts Camping Fishing Maize maze in summer 9 hole pitch and putt golf course

Kelham Hall & Country Park Kelham, Newark Open daily Nottinghamshire Tel: 01636 980000 NG23 5QX



<< p37 idyllic spot which is also where the excellent Michelin Guide-featured Tom Brown’s restaurant can be found – and take a trip down the river or even hire your own boat for the day. Or if you prefer to travel under your own steam there are a whole host of cycle routes around the county that will take you on some really magical journeys. There’s plenty of work underway to make Nottingham one of the greenest cities in Europe, and transport in the county is undergoing some very exciting reforms as part of the Sustrans Smarter Travel Nottingham campaign. As a result there are some excellent routes already mapped out, including the famous Big Track which takes you out along the river as far as Beeston Lock and back again, linking up with National Cycle Network 6. For more routes check out Nottinghamshire County Council’s website, the Big Wheel Project, or pick up the Nottingham Cycle Map. Or for an independent perspective, have a word with the organisers of Nottingham Bikeworks, a not-for-profit community-led organisation dedicated to spreading the word about cycling. Cycling is one of the things you can do at the idyllic Clumber Park, outside Worksop in the heart of Sherwood Forest, though by no means the only reason to visit. There’s a bike-hire facility there and a number of beautiful routes around the park ranging from five miles to 10 miles in length. You can have a very pleasant ride or walk past the charming Clumber Chapel, known as

a ‘cathedral in miniature’, explore the beautiful herbaceous Walled Kitchen Garden, have a snack in the Garden Tea House and even settle down for a night under the stars in a tent of your own or a hired camping pod. And, depending on what time of year you go, there are also lots of events going on at Clumber Park, including daily bird trails, an Easter egg hunt, and Terror Tours around Halloween. Of course that’s not the only reason to be in Sherwood Forest, a national nature reserve. As well as being the leafy domain of a certain Lincoln green-clad local outlaw – to whom a

big part of the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre naturally is dedicated – the forest is an enchanting place to visit and just be for a few hours. With its numerous trails through the glades and clearings you can explore this magnificent natural oasis; a world of a myriad plant and tree varieties, foxes, badgers, woodlarks, nightjars and hawfinches. And of course, there’s the legendary Major Oak, which needs no introduction. Every August the Robin Hood Festival is held in Sherwood Forest, bringing thousands of visitors keen to see displays of archery, >> p41




Every August the Robin Hood Festival is held in Sherwood Forest, bringing thousands of visitors keen to see displays of archery, jousting, sword fighting and falconry jousting, sword fighting and falconry. Nearby there’s also Rufford Abbey Country Park, an English Heritage site with the well-preserved remains of a 12th century Cistercian abbey incorporated into an impressive 17th century mansion. The building itself is well worth a trip but you might just stay for a glorious walk around the well-kept grounds of the park. But if you prefer to take part in the action rather than be an observer, there are some more nerve-jangling escapades to be had in Sherwood Forest. The Adrenaline Jungle is a great one-stop-shop for all things adventurous – paintballing, blindfolded driving, assault courses, quad bikes and the Jungle Warrior course to name just a few. If you’ve got any airplane enthusiasts in your group there are several good air museums and shows to be seen in the area. Other than the excellent Newark Air Museum there’s also The Aeropark, which combines a really well-managed aviation museum with a constant live show as the airplanes land and take-off from East Midlands Airport, literally on the other side of the fence from a nice viewing space with picnic tables. You wouldn’t have thought that the city that never sleeps would owe much to a sleepy village in Nottinghamshire, but in fact one nickname for New York City stems from this fair county. Quite how the little village of Gotham – pronounced Go-Tem in these parts – came to be associated with New York and later the fictional home of Batman isn’t clear, but it’s got something to do with ancient tales of locals feigning madness to deter the wicked King John from passing through. Either way it’s well worth a visit. Nottinghamshire’s once-proud identity as a powerhouse of the industrial revolution and a major producer of coal has sadly faded. Now all that remains are a few striking examples of Victorian industrial engineering, including the Bestwood Winding Engine House, in Bestwood Village in the north of the city. It’s only open on Saturdays for viewings so a bit of planning is needed, but it’s a fascinating if melancholy glimpse into the city’s powerful past. And from there you can make an unusual trail along the lesser known River Leen, starting at Leen Valley Country Park. If you don’t mind a bit of a hike and want to explore some of Nottingham’s grittier more authentic urban landscape, you can even follow this little river through some characterful spots as far as the campus of the University of Nottingham. q << p39

Welcome to Nottingham

Visits to Mr Straw’s House are by pre-booked timed ticket only. Please do call our booking line to arrange your visit. Mr Straw’s House is open Tuesday-Saturday, March-October. Mr Straw’s House | 5-7 Blyth Grove | Worksop | S81 0JG Tel. 01909 482380


Mr Straw’s House has the most extraordinary story to tell. Home of local grocers, scarcely changed since the Sanderson wallpapers were installed in 1923, the house shares stories of social change, thrift and make do and mend. With changing exhibitions, events and tours throughout the year there is always something new to see.




A REGION AT THE HEART OF ART! Nottinghamshire has always been a creative hotbed – and it still is today



or a relatively small city Nottingham is well furnished with a rich and diverse arts scene reflecting its multicultural vibrancy. A major moment was the arrival of Nottingham Contemporary, a serious arts centre worthy of a place in any European city. Opened in 2009 in a prominent spot on the edge of the Lace Market, the venue attracts some 200,000 visitors a year with a carefully-curated blend of challenging contemporary exhibitions and live performances of music and theatre in one of two impressive stage areas. Very quickly it’s become a pillar of Nottingham’s cultural scene, pulling in big crowds in the evening, too, with bands that would usually cost an arm and a leg to go and see but here are always free. The organisers have very cleverly kept the place fresh with new exhibitions and one-off events throughout the year, and created a very nice cafe-bar space downstairs which is a great hangout spot in itself. Nottingham Contemporary is still a relatively young member of the scene, but it’s already impossible to imagine Nottingham without it. Not that there isn’t a myriad ofoptions elsewhere, in the city and further afield. Another exciting venue that would be a real shame to miss – especially as it’s a short tram ride from the city centre – is the New Art Exchange (NAE) in Hyson Green. The fact that NAE was conceived in one of Nottingham’s most diverse and characterful areas was no accident. This unique area has had its ups and downs

over the years, and been changed beyond all recognition by an influx of multi-ethnic communities. And while politicians, the press and the public debate the merits of this shift, NAE celebrates everything that is positive and inspiring about it. Its charismatic, manager has done more to highlight Hyson Green’s and Nottingham’s rich diversity than almost anyone, and NAE reflects that drive. The contemporary exhibitions are always challenging and exciting and they’re always celebrated with verve by the community of artists that has sprung up around the centre. The distinctive black brick building is more than an art gallery – special events, debates and screenings are regularly held in the smaller rooms upstairs, and on the ground floor there’s a lovely cafe serving up a delicious

menu of world foods. A real diamond hidden in a gritty part of town that is a must for anyone who is serious about contemporary art and culture. Back in the city centre, in the trendy Hockley area, movie-lovers are eternally grateful for the existence of art house cinema, Broadway, on Broad Street. With a carefully chosen blend of arty independent films with some mainstream hits thrown in – although never too mainstream, of course – and space upstairs used for meetings and special events, it’s a great all around venue. And in the summer the seating area and steps outside are the place to be seen sipping a nice cold beer or just to watch the hipsters go by. Broadway has recorded some extremely proud moments in its time. Perhaps the most story-worthy is that it was the venue for a surprise and >> p45




EXHIBITIONS | HERITAGE MUSIC | DANCE DRAMA | COMEDY WORKSHOPS & EVENTS FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES Meet friends and relax in one of our inviting cafes, and shop for gifts and cards in the Gallery shop. Pick up a free investigator pack for the kids and explore the works in our galleries, the museum, and the beautiful parkland surrounding Highfields Lake. Get a £2 return on the tram with your Lakeside tickets Just select the ‘event return’ at the tram ticket machine. Make sure you have your Lakeside ticket on you when you travel* * Terms & conditions on Lakeside’s website

University Park, Nottingham | Box Office: 0115 846 7777 | @LakesideArts



These might be the first arts venues that leap to mind for most people in Nottingham, but there are plenty more for those in the know

<< p43 completely unauthorised world-premiere of cult classic Pulp Fiction – followed by an impromptu talk from Quentin Tarantino. The audience, who had no idea what they were about to watch let alone that the man himself was going to be there, must have thought they’d died and gone to film-buff heaven. These might be the first arts venues that leap to mind for most people in Nottingham, but there are plenty more for those in the know. Tucked away in the trendy Sneinton district is Surface Gallery, a collectivelyowned exhibition space that’s played host to some gorgeous, shocking, funny shows in its time and is constantly in demand from young artists wanting to show their work. Sneinton has long been associated with the city’s creative scene, especially since Shane Meadows, director of gritty drama This

Is England, set up shop here. In Meadows’ own words, speaking to Nottingham’s main cultural magazine Left Lion, “I basically turned Sneinton into my own film studio”. And you can see why – it’s something of a scrappy area but it has a unique energy that breeds creativity. And this is only going to increase with the redevelopment of the dilapidated but once-proud Sneinton Market area, into a new creative quarter with spaces custom-built for the city’s many artists, designers and fashionistas. The long-overdue work is thanks in part to the energy and drive of the Creative Quarter initiative. A business district for creative companies and individuals, CQ as it’s known has helped nurture a whole range of talent in the short time it’s been around, from independent fashion stores and designers to bands, record stores and street artists.

Also flourishing, thanks in part to a new tram line which runs right alongside it, is Lakeside Arts, part of the University of Nottingham. A small cluster of buildings on the university campus, Lakeside is two galleries, a theatre, a recital hall and a museum all in one wonderful art centre. The events and exhibitions on offer are second-tonone, presenting a perfect blend of exciting contemporary art and photographic shows, historical lectures, workshops, live music recitals and theatrical performances. An even less well known artistic venue but well worth stopping by if you’re near the castle, is the gallery of the Nottingham Society of Artists on Friar Lane. The society mainly shows works by its own members but with some guest artists also on display. It’s a small but serious venue which doesn’t shout about itself too much but is certainly a good place to see some local artists’ work on display. Hockley’s become the trendy hub of the city, with the Nottingham Arts Theatre, Broadway, multi-faceted new media venue Confetti and some quirky one-off creative spaces for freelancers all dotted around a small area. But there are plenty of cool venues all over the place, and plenty happening elsewhere. Dance4 on College Street is a wellestablished centre for the development of modern dance, and is a stone’s throw from another superb arts venue, Nottingham Playhouse. The distinctive contemporary building sits in the gorgeous Playhouse Square, adorned at its entrance-way by the stunning Anish Kapoor Sky Mirror installation and an elegant fountain. Right next door to the Playhouse is another signature dish of Nottingham culture, the Albert Hall, and from there it’s a short walk to the grand Victorian Theatre Royal and its more modern neighbour, the Royal Concert Hall. Even later to the scene is the >> p47



Enjoy a day at New Art Exchange


Exhibitions Performances Family Activities Café Bar Free Entry Open every day* *Except Bank Holidays

British arts and crafts locally and from across the UK Exhibitions • Jewellery school • Workshops • On site jewellers | 0115 8375570 WWW.NAE.ORG.UK / INFO@NAE.ORG.UK / 0115 924 8630 39-41 GREGORY BOULEVARD, NOTTINGHAM NG7 6BE, UK

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Focus Gallery Ltd | 108 Derby Road | Nottingham | NG1 5FB



<< p45 Cornerhouse just over the road, where the Cineworld Cinema pulls in the crowds. The presence of Nottingham Trent University in the city centre, and in particular the School of Art & Design, means the city is constantly blessed with bright young talented artists and designers of all stripes. As a result a lot of the creative industries are kept supplied with students keen for experience and graduates who choose to stay on afterwards. But to see their work in action while they’re still learning, you can visit the Bonnington Gallery on Dryden Street for a range of exhibitions by students and guest artists. And if you’re out of town in the north of the county you must stop by the Harley Gallery in Welbeck, near Worksop. It’s a real treat and proudly independent from the Nottingham scene. In March 2016 a new space was opened, The Portland Collection building, representing an exciting new chapter for the Harley Gallery. The magnificent new building houses paintings by Sir Anthony van Dyck and a rare drawing by Michelangelo. Also a must is the historic

Palace Theatre in Mansfield, which was described as “the last word in electric theatre... refinement and novelty” when it was opened in 1910. The unique theatre has benefited from a careful redevelopment programme and retains the grandeur of its heritage. The king of Nottingham live music is undoubtedly Rock City, a venue renowned on a national level as being one of the best places for rock music anywhere in Britain. Its hall of fame would make any rock lover’s eyes water – Nirvana, David Bowie, Black Sabbath, The Killers, Iron Maiden, Guns N’ Roses, The Kinks, The Smiths and R.E.M. have all played there over the years. For the big concert experience there is the Mororpoint Arena at the bottom of the Lace Market, another regular stop on the tour for big names that has hosted Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Elbow in recent years, to name a few. But for a more intimate feel there are some excellent smaller venues. The Bodega on Pelham Street has hosted some of the biggest names in indy music, often before they hit the big time – Coldplay played there just before their breakthrough album Parachutes.

The Rescue Rooms in Masonic Square is definitely worth a look in if you’re in town and hankering for some live music, as is the Tap & Tumbler if you like a bit of metal in your rock. And if you want something a bit more quirky and intimate with a folk-jazz feel, the Hand & Heart on Derby Road offers a truly memorable live music experience every Thursday evening. Nottinghamshire has a habit of producing the rebels of the art world – D.H. Lawrence was born here and his birthplace museum in Eastwood is a fascinating stop-off. Alan Sillitoe is one of the most famed writers of the modern era, and any reader of his most noted work, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, will recognise many of the stop-offs in a virtual literary trail that has been put together around the city in his memory. And of course there’s the “mad, bad and dangerous to know” Lord Byron. The St Mary Magdelene church where he is buried is an excellent site for a pilgrimage to the infamous poet, or you can visit Newstead Abbey where he lived out his rakish lifestyle with some verve. q




IF YOU’RE ONLY HERE FOR 48 HOURS… You can pack a lot into a couple of days – try this itinerary to make the most of it




f you’re pressed for time, don’t fret – Nottingham city centre is compact and easy to get around. A really unique way to feed your cultural side and see a lot of the city in a day would be to take a tour of Nottingham’s art scene, by tram. Buy a very reasonably-priced all day ticket or an even better value family ticket – your admission to a journey through a rich and vibrant cultural landscape. Then you’re free to flit between the superb Nottingham Contemporary art gallery, the New Art Exchange in Hyson Green, Lakeside Arts at the University of Nottingham, the Bonnington Gallery at Nottingham Trent University, the gallery at Nottingham Castle and the Mish Mash Gallery in Chilwell as you please. While you’re at the Castle take some time to enjoy the stunning view south from the old walls, down on the way out be sure not to miss the statue of Robin Hood just outside the ground. If your appetite for culture hasn’t been sated by all that, there’s another little treat in store for you. The Bromley House Library off Angel Row is a magical little place with a tranquil garden that makes you feel like you’re in a different world. Or if you fancy something a bit less cerebral,

a tour of the Castle Rock Brewery is the perfect thing to whet your appetite before stepping out for a few drinks in the evening followed by dinner – just stroll around and let one of the city’s many wonderful restaurants pull you in.

DAY TWO You don’t want to confine yourself to the city, and one of the best ways to see more of Nottinghamshire is to drive out to Newark and Southwell. The pretty towns are both filled with charm, and you could start with Newark where the ancient cobbled streets reveal a host of little shops, galleries and, on Saturdays, the excellent market. There’s also Newark Castle, a must-see if you’re visiting. A short drive away is Southwell, a beautiful town with the magnificent 800 year-old minster standing proudly in its centre. Within the ground of Southwell Minster there is also the remains of a Roman house complete with

mosaics and wall paintings. Southwell is so picturesque you don’t need too much of a plan for the place; just walk around those old streets and lanes and take it all in. But if you’re in the mood for shopping, the Bookwise book and classical music store is a real treat – there’s also one in Newark. Close by is the striking former workhouse building that’s been converted into a museum. Touring the inside is quite an eerie experience, especially when you see the worn down patches on the hard stone floor where the poor inmates’ beds lay. And if you’re in the area you surely can’t resist stopping into the Newfield dairy to sample one of their delicious ice creams, made on site. To round off your second day here, you could spend an idyllic few hours ambling along the river Trent on a boat. You can hire one yourself or join a public river tour, leaving from Gunthorpe. In the evening light the river is just mesmeric – a perfect way to end your brief time in this part of the world. q




WELCOME TO THE NIGHT! From cosy pubs to hip bars to lively clubs, there’s always plenty to do here after dark



hether you want a slick lounge bar, a quaint old pub or a jumping late night venue, Nottinghamshire has it all in spades. If you don’t fancy treading the city streets, West Bridgford is a good option with plenty of liveliness but without the crowds. An intimate cluster of pubs, bars and restaurants dotted around the main street has more than enough to keep you entertained all night, all within a short walk. For a really unique down-to-earth place serving proper beer, the Stratford Haven, owned by local brewery Castle Rock, offers 14 different real ales to choose from in a

relaxed cosy setting. Or for something a bit more upmarket there’s Copper, a really exciting contemporary joint open from breakfast time until late evening. Hip tapas bar escabeche has become a fashionable spot for drinks as well as its excellent food, and Fire & Ice is just as lively with an excellent cocktail menu. And a favourite for locals for its warm friendly atmosphere and community spirit, the Poppy & Pint, another Castle Rock pub, is a short walk from here near Lady Bay. Dotted around the iconic Trent Bridge, just a few minutes’ walk from West Bridgford, there is a great cluster of pubs and bars that are heaving on match days but also offer a really nice

night out when things have quietened down. The Trent Bridge Inn is a great place to start especially if you’re a cricket fan: the world-renowned cricket ground was once nothing more than a field behind the pub used for playing the odd game, and now look at it. And if you want to do a mini cricket pilgrimage, don’t miss the Larwood & Voce pub on the other side of the ground. Yet another Castle Rock special can be found just a little further towards on the other side of the river – the historic Embankment pub. Once a social club for Boots workers, this fine Grade 2 listed building has stood proudly by Trent Bridge for over 100 years, and offers something really special today. >> p52





<< p51 Castle Rock is a rich benefactor to Nottinghamshire’s drinking culture. The brewery proudly produces some truly wonderful real ales right here in the city centre, including a jewel, the Harvest Pale, which has won a host of plaudits including the title Champion Beer of Britain at the coveted SIBA National Beer Competition. But it’s much more than just a brewery – the pubs it operates are some of the most enchanting places in the county. Other than the three pubs in and around Trent Bridge it counts the Lincolnshire Poacher on Mansfield Road, a truly magnetic place with a character that can’t really be described in words; the Kean’s Head in the Lace Market area; the Swan in the Rushes in Loughborough, a must-see if you’re in the part of the world; and the gorgeous Fox & Crown in Newark, to name a small selection. They’re all rich with traditional charm, warmth and personality – the very soul of English pub culture. Another little bubble if you’re looking for a night out away from Nottingham itself is Beeston. A short tram or train journey from the city, you’ll find a great selection of traditional pubs and some more contemporary offerings that pull in people from miles around. Perhaps the most iconic and a favourite with locals is The Victoria. Situated right by the railway station – the train tracks run right alongside it – the Vic as it’s known to locals has a magnetism about it that’s hard to put into words. With a great selection of beers and food, live music every Sunday and Monday, traditional pub games, a barbecue area and a yearly music festival on site, the only problem with the Vic is that you might not want to tear yourself away. The Vic’s by no means alone though – for a small town Beeston has an abundance of great pubs all worth exploring. But if it’s lively you’re after, you’ve got everything you need in Nottingham city centre. There’s a massive selection of great one-off bars, chilled out pubs, live music venues, slick cocktail joints and places you can dance your head off until the small hours. The Old Market Square is the hub of everything, and in every direction you’re faced with enticing places to go for a drink. Off towards Derby Road you’ve got a really nice selection of places including The Dragon, which transforms from being a relaxed boozer by day into a buzzing late-night haunt on the weekend, and a bit further beyond that is the stylish Cast bar,

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There’s a massive selection of great one-off bars, chilled out pubs, live music venues, slick cocktail joints and places you can dance your head off part of Nottingham Playhouse theatre. Carrying on up Derby Road there’s a pocket of great pubs all worth checking out. In a very small corner of town known as Canning Circus you’ve got the Hand & Heart, a quaint but magnetic pub dug out of the sandstone caves; the Falcon which what it lacks in size it makes up for in character; rock music venue Running Horse; the historic Sir John Borlase Warren with a really idyllic garden out back; the down-to-earth but lively Organ Grinder, and the cherry on the top, the Footman’s Rest, an elegant cocktail bar owned and run by a former footman to the Queen. Another little cluster of bars has sprung up

down by the canal, in the grand old redbricked former manufacturing and warehouse buildings opposite the Magistrates Court. There you’ll find plenty to choose from – Castle Rock pub the Canalhouse is arguably the best of the bunch with its big open space indoors and expansive seating area right by the water’s edge. Another must, especially if you like live music, is the Navigation Inn just around the corner. No trip to Nottingham is complete without at least one pint in the Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. It’s a mind-blowing place to visit, when you think that it’s where knights used to neck a few beers before heading off on the Crusades, 800 years ago. >> p55


The coolest spots in town are generally to be found in the Lace Market and Hockley. Notable names are long-standing cocktail bar Brass Monkey and the Pitcher & Piano pub over the road, a former church turned temple to a very different religion. Along Carlton Street in Hockley alone there are some fantastic options, all somewhat hidden away (on purpose). Down a dark and inconspicuous alleyway you’ll be taken aback by the multi-storey grandeur and flair of the Hockley Arts Club, which could easily keep you in for a whole night in itself. And if you’re not careful you might also miss cocktail bar and gorgeous hangout spot, Boilermaker. You’d be forgiven though – the entrance is disguised behind a plain white room with nothing but an old boiler on the wall. Broad Street is always jumping on a Saturday night, with the everpopular Revolution bar that brings the crowds in, but there are some more unusual options to try. Check out Caribbean-style cocktail bar Bad Juju where you can dance all night to


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some really great music of all genres, or the more chilled out Rum house underneath. And if you feel like something even more hip, the bar above legendary record store Rough Trade is achingly cool and hosts some excellent live music and film screenings. But the place with probably the most vibrant atmosphere and downright infectious charm anywhere in Hockley has to be Jamcafe on Heathcoate Street. Always heaving at weekends, Jamcafe has oceans of charm and always manages to get the punters buzzing with superb live music acts, DJs and its famous open-mic night. It feels like you’re dropping round to the pad of your coolest mates when they’re having a party; a true one-off that would be a fit in the hippest districts of any city you can name. A lot of the Saturday night action takes place around the Cornerhouse, where you’ve got a range of lively bars on street level in a little strip along Forman Street, and at the summit of the building the stylish Saltwater offers superb views over city from a rooftop terrace.

And while there are far too many great bars elsewhere in the city to mention, some real gems do stand out. Just down the road from the Cornerhouse, in the studenty area around Shakespeare Street, The Orange Tree is the sort of gorgeous place you’d feel perfectly happy to while away a whole evening in, perhaps sampling some of their devilishly good cocktails. And if you’re in the cocktail sort of mood, both 400 Rabbits, a hot new tequila and cocktail bar, and The Bunker on King Street, should definitely be on your list. But if you’re solidly a beer fan and are feeling a bit experimental, stop by Junkyard, just off Fletcher Gate. It’s a really friendly but stylish little place offering a fantastic range of beers from all over the world and a really nice selection of food to nibble on. And last but certainly not least, for sheer individuality, The Malt Cross on St James’s Street is second to none. A former Victorian music hall that fell into disrepair but has thankfully been beautifully restored to showcase the grandeur of its former stage and the balcony and ceiling above, there’s nowhere else quite like it in the county. A real treat. ❑






Whether you want to watch or take part, there’s always plenty to do here

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ottingham is home to one of the most famous birds-eye views in world sport. From a blimp in the sky above the River Trent you can see no less than three illustrious sporting grounds – the City ground, home of Nottingham Forest FC, Meadow Lane, home turf of the oldest football club in the world, Notts County FC, and the world-renowned Trent Bridge cricket ground. Football fans will know that having a grand shining history can be something of a curse when juxtaposed with poor current form, and sadly both Nottingham clubs are in something of a


rut these days. But there was a time when both teams battled it out in the top flight of English football, and Forest are still the only English team in history to win the grand prize in club football, the European Cup – now known as the Champions League – two years in a row. Those days may be gone but they have left a rich legacy for the city. Notts County women’s team is one of the best in the country; Forest seem inevitably due for a return to the top-flight, and in 2015 Nottingham was awarded the accolade of being the first English ‘City of Football’, an honour which brought lottery funding to boost participation and community

engagement through football. When summer comes round Trent Bridge is alive with cricket, especially when international matches are held here. The iconic ground known throughout the cricketing world has been the site of some of the most glorious and furious clashes in modern history. Not least in 2015 when local lad and fearsome fast bowler Stuart Broad became a hero by almost singlehandedly seeing off bitter rivals Australia on a golden summer’s day that will forever echo around Trent Bridge. As the home of Britain’s most famous ice-skating duo, Torvill and Dean, whose gold-medal winning performance

Forest are still the only English team in history to win the grand prize in club football, the European Cup – now known as the Champions League – two years in a row

at the Winter Olympics in 1984 has gone down as one of the greatest of all time, Nottingham has become a national hub for ice skating and ice hockey. The National Ice Centre is home to the first twin Olympic-sized ice rink in the UK, and one of Britain’s best ice hockey teams, the Nottingham Panthers. The county can also claim the best man-made water sports facility in Britain, the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont Country Park, where national and international events are regularly held. And also just on the edge of the city on University Boulevard, is the Nottingham Tennis Centre, venue of the

Nottingham Open and a host of tournaments throughout the summer. And there are plenty of options for the golfer, not least the course in the magnificent grounds of Wollaton Hall, which was used in the 2012 movie Dark Knight Rises as the home of Bruce Wayne. Perhaps as a nod to the county’s most infamous outlaw, Nottinghamshire is also known for its archery, and in 2016 hosted the European Archery Championships. You’ll see the Sherwood bandit is never far from people’s minds here – the annual marathon held in the city is called the Robin Hood Marathon. ❑




YOU MUST DO! There are loads of things to do here – but make sure you don’t miss these


{01} The Brewhouse Yard The Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard, at the foot of the castle, is the quintessential document of the city and beyond. Celebrating more than 300 years of life in the county, it’s the perfect way to get your historical bearings.

{02} Visit Attenborough Nature Reserve


A short hop outside the city – you can get the train – takes you to a truly idyllic spot, the Attenborough Nature Reserve, managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. You can stroll for hours around the lakes and wooded areas taking in the sights and sounds of nature and really get away from it all.

{03} Tour the caves There’s a whole hidden world of caves underneath Nottingham, with a trove of secrets to unfold. There are a number of tours starting from various places including inside the Intu Broadmarsh shopping centre, and even underneath the beautiful old music hall turned pub, the Malt Cross on St James’s Street. A particular treat is the tunnel

known as ‘Mortimer’s Hole’, which legend has it was used by Edward III to enter Nottingham Castle to kidnap Roger de Mortimer in 1330.

{04} Stroll around Wollaton Hall The dramatic stately home Wollaton Hall is a must for the sheer grandeur of this unique 16th century building and the sight of the deer that roam the grounds.

{05} Go in search of the independents Whether you’re in Nottingham, Newark, Southwell or Beeston, the county has a wealth of quirky independent bookshops, clothes stores, delis, bakeries and bars to explore, all full of local charm and character.

{06} Explore Sherwood Forest No trip to Robin Hood Country is complete without a visit to the forest where the Sherwood outlaw was said to roam. Even if you don’t buy the legends, it’s a superb wild forest with an abundance of dramatic woodland life and scenery.

{07} Newstead Abbey Not only is Newstead Abbey interesting for being the home of

playboy poet Lord Byron, it’s also one of the finest stately homes in the region. Built in the 12th century, the abbey has survived earthquakes, the Civil War, and the wild parties held by its most famous owner.

{08} Get on two wheels It doesn’t matter if you’re a city slicker or more of a rural type, there can be no better way to explore this county than by bicycle. There are some excellent routes available online both for Nottingham and the surrounding countryside.

{09} Take in a show There’s always plenty going on so take your pick. You could catch a gig at the nationallyrenowned Rock City, see a play at one of a number of theatres around the county, laugh your socks off at a comedy club or lose yourself in a poetry recital or literary reading at one of the many societies in the region.

{10} Visit the National Videogame Arcade Gamecity is a unique homage to everything to do with gaming and computers. There’s a whole spectrum of consoles new and old to play on in this cool spot in the heart of Hockley. ❑




GETTING AROUND NOTTINGHAMSHIRE! Whichever way you choose to get around Nottinghamshire, you won’t be short of choice

By tram Nottingham Express Transit (NET) is your direct connection to shopping, leisure and tourist attractions in Nottingham and the surrounding areas. The NET trams provide a quick and easy way to get across Nottingham. They travel as far as Hucknall and Clifton, and serve a number of park and ride car parks. There are five stops in the city centre and it takes less than eight minutes to travel across town.  

By train East Midlands Trains connect to Worksop in the north of Nottinghamshire with stops at Creswell Crags and Newstead Abbey, as well as Newark in the east of the county. East Coast Trains and Cross Country Trains also stop at a number of Nottinghamshire towns. Plus, Northern Rail provides local, direct train services to Nottingham from Sheffield, Leeds, Barnsley and Chesterfield.


By bus You will not be short of buses to get you around the county. Most bus services from the city operate from Nottingham’s Broad Marsh and Victoria bus station and buses around the city are mostly operated by Nottingham City Transport. Some of the key services around the county are: The Sherwood Arrow service operated by Stagecoach from Ollerton to Worksop will take you from Nottingham Victoria to Sherwood Forest. Stops include White Post Farm and Rufford Abbey Country Park. Stagecoach has a

number of services that operate throughout the north of the county with key stops at Mansfield, Newark, Retford and Worksop.

There are a number of other Trent Barton services in Nottinghamshire including the Rainbow 1 service to Eastwood for D.H Lawrence Birthplace.

The Trent Barton Pronto operates a regular service from Nottingham Victoria and will take you to Newstead Abbey.

Walking and cycling Nottinghamshire is ideal for exploring by foot or bicycle, whether you are visiting the city of Nottingham or one of our beautiful rural spots. For inspiration visit our cycling and walking pages. You may want to plan your own cycle path. Transport Direct can provide you with some great journeys across many parts of the county. has a great online walking journey planner for Nottingham and is a great way to get to know the city ahead of your visit. ❑



50 routes across the city with free 4G WiFi and plenty of seats! It’s better by bus. Just £3.50 to ride all day!

With unlimited group travel from


Grouprider is our fantastic money saving ticket which lets you make unlimited journeys for the day with your family, partner or a friend! A Grouprider covers up to 5 people (min 1 adult, max 2 adults) on every NCT bus in Nottingham* Available all day at the weekends and school holidays!

* Valid in the City Area

LET’S EXPLORE! If you have some time to spare, why not head slightly further afield and see what lies on Nottinghamshire’s doorstep?

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ottinghamshire sits at a crossroads of four counties, each with its own identity and some magnetic cities towns and villages for the visitor. For the walker two of these, Yorkshire and Derbyshire, are rich with an abundance of natural landscapes. Not least, the stunning Peak District National Park which straddles both counties as well as Cheshire and Staffordshire. The Peak District contains some of the best walks anywhere in the country, and some of the most inspirational landscapes. Those dramatic hills have been the muse for an illustrious list of writers and artists, including William Wordsworth and Jane Austen, who set parts of Pride and Prejudice there. At the southern end of the Peak District, near Ashbourne in Derbyshire, sits the mesmerising Dovedale National Nature Reserve. Walking along the luscious green valley carved out by the gentle river Dove, with its ancient trees that overhang the water and wild brown trout that dart through the shallows, is to experience something truly magical. Just ask Derbyshire’s most famous painter, Joseph Wright, who was inspired to produce

It is home to a remarkable collection of artworks and sculptures dating back as far as ancient Egypt, and visitors can tour some 30 rooms in this lavish 16th century house some of his most dramatic works there. Another way to appreciate the natural beauty of the area is from the sky. Cue a really unique visitor attraction in the area – the Heights of Abraham. Rising above the pretty town of Matlock Bath, the gateway to the Peak District, a cable car takes visitors over the treetops to a stunning viewing point up in the hills. From here there are a range of activities and mini-attractions, although nothing quite as spectacular as the view when you’re up at the top. Derbyshire alone is rich with historical landmarks too plentiful to mention. Of these, Bolsover Castle is a fascinating portal to the 17th century and the golden age of chivalry, and for sheer opulence and grandeur, Chatsworth House, near Bakewell, is one of the most captivating stately homes in England. The seat of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Chatsworth is home to a remarkable collection of

artworks and sculptures dating back as far as ancient Egypt, and visitors can tour some 30 rooms in this lavish 16th century house. The magnificence of the house is matched by the elegant beauty of the grounds, through which runs the River Derwent. It’s a remarkable place built by a remarkable lady – Bess of Hardwick. Not one for sticking to the male-chauvinist conventions of the Elizabethan era, Bess amassed a personal wealth and a power base envied by the men of the day whose disapproval she either scorned or was indifferent to. As well as building Chatsworth House she also had Hardwick Hall erected as a testimony to her wealth and influence, and this fine Elizabethan building sitting between Mansfield and Chesterfield, is certainly a must-see. For something a bit more kidfriendly, you can’t go wrong with Twycross Zoo in Warwickshire, with the ever-popular Gibbon Forest and Elephant Creek. Or for a more out-ofthis-world experience you won’t want to miss the National Space Centre in Leicester. ❑



WEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;RE OPEN FOR BUSINESS! The days of heavy industry may have gone, but this region is still a major commercial centre

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one are the days when Nottinghamshire was one of the industrial powerhouses of Britain. The county’s mines once provided the nation with much of its lifeblood, brought up by the sweat and grit of generations of pitmen. Also now sadly consigned to the history books are Nottingham’s proud days as the world’s leading lace manufacturer. But times have changed and the region has been changed by them. Today a fledgling gaming industry is emerging,

through a combination of a series of happy coincidences and some careful planning by the city. The arrival of Gamecity, the National Video Game Arcade, seems to have sealed that reputation and the future of the industry looks promising. With such a wealth of shopping in the county, retail is a significant employer and a major driver of the economy. The county’s most famous retail business, Boots, has come a long way from its humble origins as a one-store operation; now the chain has

conquered the globe. And despite being unrecognisable from the business that Jesse Boot set up, and having gone through several buyouts – it’s now part of the global Walgreen Boots Alliance group – it is still the biggest employer in Nottingham. Listings compiled in 2015 by local newspaper the Nottingham Post and the Industrial Economics and Finance Division of the Nottingham University Business School, revealed that the top 200 companies in Nottinghamshire contributed a combined £29 billion to >> p69



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<< p67 the local economy, and employed 200,000 people. Much of the property development in and around the city has been to furnish the major student population of Nottingham with new housing. There are some 60,000 students in the city and their modern tastes for premier apartments have led to the seemingly perennial presence of cranes erecting the latest chic student houses. The downturn hit Nottinghamshire hard. Vacancy rates for retail properties were alarmingly high around 2010, especially in some of the smaller former mining towns in the north of the county. Nottingham itself seems to have ridden through the storm relatively well, in fact there’s been something of a renaissance in the city’s bar and restaurant scene. But the bad times were made worse by the delays to and eventual scrapping of a proposed and long-overdue redevelopment of the Broadmarsh shopping centre. A less ambitious plan by the new owner has since been tabled. Elsewhere in the county there are undoubtedly problems in some of the smaller towns that never really recovered from the loss of mining. The secondary locations don’t seem to be tempting retailers back to the high streets that need them, and employment opportunities are scarce. It’s a tale of two cities in many ways – or two counties at least. While certain parts of Nottinghamshire continue to struggle as they always have done, the elite locations carry on unaffected. Around the Ropewalk area of the city, near the extremely well-heeled Park Estate, there are a whole raft of professional industries flourishing – law, accountancy, design, private medicine. Yet just down the road in Radford, business is confined to the largely unprepossessing corner shops, takeaway joints and tatty general stores. It’s a stark gap but sadly an accurate reflection of a city with high levels of inequality to deal with. ❑




IF YOU’RE PLANNING TO STAY LONGER… People come to the Nottinghamshire for many reasons – and stay for a lot more!



here are plenty of people for whom a visit to Nottinghamshire just isn’t enough. And a big proportion of the 60,000 students who come each year for three happy years of university don’t want to leave after they graduate. A big gulf between the richest and the poorest is reflected in the property market. The most illustrious and prestigious part of Nottingham by far is the historic Park Estate, sharing a huge sandstone wall with the grounds of Nottingham Castle. The estate is an idyllic maze of some truly exquisite houses, and, thanks to a by-law, not a single commercial building. Walking around The Park is to get a glimpse at some stunning houses that would stand proudly in Kensington or Mayfair, but might just be a bit overwhelming to all but those with the deepest pockets. Alternatively, and much more realistically for most, the centre of Nottingham has become a more than viable option for city living over the past 20 years. Back in the 80s and 90s some extremely long-sighted developers recognised this trend was on the way and converted the old factories in the Lace Market area into very stylish modern apartments. And for the younger buyer with a decent budget you could do far worse than one of these as an instant ticket to a nice life in the heart of the city. Save for these more exclusive areas though, one of the best things about Nottingham from a property perspective is quite how cheaply you can find a really nice place in a nice area. In fact it sometimes feels like one of those secrets you don’t want too many people to know about. Especially because the city has

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an award-winning transport system, so wherever you are you’ve got excellent links to the centre. Just outside of town there are all sorts of options. Forest Fields is something of a bohemian arty area that attracts a lot of graduates with its close proximity to town and very affordable house prices. Close by areas such as Basford, Sherwood Rise, Carrington and Sherwood offer very inviting neighbourhoods with reasonable house prices, particularly for families with young children, and are equally well connected by bus and tram routes. To the south of the city the Sneinton area is certainly hotting up. It’s already become known as a bit of an arty neck of the woods and with the completion of a revamping of the old Sneinton Market, which will become work and exhibition space for the city’s

creative industries, this reputation is going to be sealed – as is, in all likelihood, a future increase of property prices. A little further away although a very short hop by train or tram is Beeston, a lovely town with a unique feel, definitely distinct from Nottingham. It’s a small step up in price from the areas scattered around the city but worth it for the fact that Beeston is a self-contained bubble with great shops, pubs and restaurants. For those who prefer more of a country life there are dozens of beautiful villages and towns in Nottinghamshire. These are too numerous to mention, but dotted along the River Trent, particularly in the stretch between Nottingham and Newark, you’ll find some breathtaking properties in villages that look like they’re posing for an oil painting. q



Welcome to Nottinghamshire  

Unique, beautifully designed, high-quality visitor guide, which is available in leading hotel bedrooms. For those enjoying a break, or stayi...

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