Famously the city above caves, Nottingham is full of culture, history and links to the legendary Robin Hood. Increasingly becoming popular as a location for a city break in the UK, Nottingham is home to some of the best shopping and is recognised for its diverse selection of restaurants and bars.
- Paul Smith was born in Nottingham where he started his career as a fashion designer to now one of the famous names in the industry.
- Notts County FC is the world’s oldest professional football league club
- Wollaton Hall was the location of Bruce Wayne’s house in Batman: The Dark Knight
- Every October, the Forest Recreation ground is taken over with rides and food stands for Goose Fair.
- DH Lawrence, one of the most famous writers of the 20th century, was born and brought up in Eastwood.
Over the past few years Nottingham has seen big developers flock to the city centre creating two brand new shopping centres for the city.
- Intu Victoria Centre was redeveloped in 2014 and is now home to some of the biggest shopping brands.
- Broadmarsh Centre which is located near the train station is the second shopping centre brought out by intu and is currently undergoing redevelopment for a brand new shopping complex including a food court and multi-screen cinema.
- Smaller shopping centres in the city are The Exchange Arcade, the Flying Horse Walk and newer developments in Trinity Square and The Pod.
- The Bridlesmith Gate area has numerous designer shops, and is the home of the original Paul Smith boutique.
- There are various side streets and alleys that hide some interesting and often overlooked buildings and shops – such as Poultry Walk, West End Arcade and Hurts Yard. These are home to many specialist shops, as is Derby Road, near the Roman Catholic Cathedral and once the antiques area.
With over 500 restaurants and bars in Nottingham City Centre there is plenty to choose from to wet your appetite. Some places to check out are:
- The CornerHouse – popular with many students as it has Nandos, Subway, Pizza Hut, Turtle Bay plus many more including a cinema, golf course and casino.
- Lace Market – this doesn’t only have a great nightlife scene but also full of some great places to eat such as Iberico or Merchant’s fine dining on High Pavement, The Larder on Goosegate and Living Room. And you cannot forget about Annie's famous Burger Shack!
- Market Square – there are plenty of hidden gems in Market Square such as Reds. Le Mistral, Troperio and Alley Café.
- Slightly further afield - you'll find excellent restaurants and country pubs in a variety of locations. Try riverside dining at Gunthorpe with Tom Brown's Brasserie or relaxed dining in the heart of Sherwood Forest at Launay's.
Whether you prefer high-class cocktail bars, cheesy nightclubs, gigs, raves or just a quiet pub, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Make sure these are on your list to check out in the near future:
- Coco Tang: A world of cocktail creations and late-night glamour, discreetly hidden under the cobbled streets. Always a hit on a Monday night and voted a classiest student night!
- Market Bar: A favourite with students, this late-night bar’s atmospheric lighting and leather booths make it one of the swankiest in Hockley. Their giant fishbowls are legendary and the music is always on the mark especially Tuesdays with the old skool hip hop!
- Oceana and Ocean: Always popular with students, these two similarly named clubs are sure to provide a memorable night out. Oceana has themed rooms, including one with a light-up dance floor, while Ocean offers top-quality cheese and a carefree atmosphere.
- Stealth: Adjoined to the Rescue Rooms bar, Stealth is a maze of dance rooms playing dance, garage, R’n’B, live music and DJs.
- NG1: There is a vibrant gay and lesbian scene in Nottingham. With four rooms, a variety of nights and a lively atmosphere, NG1 is popularly known as the ‘biggest and best’ gay venue in the East Midlands.
It’s no wonder Nottingham is voted one of the best nights out, best student events and safest place to go out for the past three years running.
Since the nightlife is voted one of the best what do you think the music venues are like? Nottingham has several large music and entertainment venues offering something for everyone’s taste and style:
- Rock City – renowned for being the UK’s best independent live venue and club Rock City is the place to go for all you indie, pop and rock fans. Never a disappointment and have a great list of upcoming artists including Rudimental, Jess Glynne, Scouting for Girls and Stereophonics.
- Nottingham Capital FM Arena - the biggest venue in Nottingham with a capacity of 10,000 the Arena has held some big names in music, comedy and sport. Their calendar has never failed to impress with previously hosting Usher, The Script, Dynamo, Strictly come dancing tour plus many many more.
- Splendour Festival - Wollaton Park in Nottingham hosts an annual family-friendly music event. In 2012, performers included Dizzee Rascal, Razorlight, Katy B, and Hard-Fi. Always a big event pulling in crowds up to 20,000 plus.
If heading out on the town checking out the music scene or painting the town red is not for you then there are plenty of other things to do in Nottingham.
- The Nottingham Playhouse and Theatre Royal - with a capacity of 2,500 it hosts a variety of shows across a packed out calendar, it’s currently showing the Bodyguard staring Alexander Burke and has held many famous faces across the years.
- There are several notable museums and art galleries in Nottingham:
- Galleries of Justice
- Greens Windmill and Science Centre
- Nottingham Castle Museum
- Nottingham Contemporary
- Cineworld and Showcase cinemas are located in the city centre showing the latest blockbusters. Cineworld is also an IMAX cinema for all your film enthusiast.
- Independent cinemas include the Broadway Cinema, Savoy Cinema, as well an Arthouse cinema in Hockley.
Nottingham is located in the East Midlands giving easy access to the rest of the country as it is located next to the M1. Getting around Nottingham is even easier as it has excellent transport links
- By Bus: Nottingham City Transport (NCT) run the buses within Nottingham and Trent Barton run buses in Beeston and some surrounding outskirts.
- By Tram: due to a new expansion you can now get the tram from South Nottingham all the way the North Nottingham. The tram service is run by Nottingham Express Transit (NET)
- By Bike: The city has an extensive network of cycle routes and cycle parking. You can even hire bikes out for the day for as little as £1 and there is plenty of bike storage facilities across the city.
- By Road: Nottingham is situated near the M1 Motorway with access from junctions 24, 25 and 26. The M6 is also easy to get to from Nottingham and the A1, which runs from London to Edinburgh, passes through Nottinghamshire.
- By Coach: National Express and Megabus run frequent connections to other UK cities to help get you abroad cheaply and easily. Tickets booked in advance can cost as little as £1.
- By Rail: Frequent rail services run from Nottingham to major UK cities, including London every 30 minutes.
- By Air: Nottingham is served by East Midlands Airport near Castle Donington in North West Leicestershire, just under 15 miles (24 km) south-west of the city centre.
Nottingham has some of the largest and most popular sports facilities in Europe.
- Nottingham Climbing Centre – with over 800 square metres of climbing facilities including bouldering, superb top roping and excellent lead climbing.
- The Ice Arena – Home to the Nottingham Panthers hockey team who have a massive following in Nottingham. It’s a must to go and check out the Panthers play as it is experience you will never forget. Who said Hockey was just for Americans?
- Nottingham is home to two professional football clubs: Notts County and Nottingham Forest. Their two football grounds, on opposite sides of the River Trent. Notts County, formed in 1862, is the oldest professional football club in the world.
- Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club play at Trent Bridge. The club were 2010 Cricket County Champions. Trent Bridge cricket ground is a host of Test Cricket, and was one of the venues for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20.
- The Rugby team, Nottingham R.F.C., have played their home games at League One, Notts County's Meadow Lane stadium since 2006. Nottingham Outlaws are an amateur Rugby League club who play in the Rugby League Conference National Division.
- Nottingham Tennis Centre is one of the most impressive facilities for tennis with 8 indoor courts, 19 outdoor courts, 9 grass courts, 3 bubble courts plus a gym. It has recently hosted Aegon Open with Denis Istomin winning.
I'm coming back next year because it's value for money, staff are lovely and I'd been made to feel very welcome over the last 3 years.Danika Ripley (Raleigh Park), Master of Nursing Science, University of Nottingham