Robin Hood, he who stole from the rich and gave to the poor lived in Nottingham with his ‘Merry Men’ . Him & the lads used to hang out in Sherwood Forest a lot, Friar Tuck amongst them and he tried to win Maid Marian’s heart. These two sentences are pretty much all I know about this city. Husband did go to university here, but his reminisces tended to centre more around the scenes of his teen exploits and so invited by Experience Nottinghamshire for a weekend break, it was time to get under the skin of this city.
It’s a pretty swift journey from London, just under 2 hours and encased in First Class luxury on East Midlands trains, the time goes even faster thanks to free wifi and an array of complimentary snacks, designed to keep this Blogger happy and occupied on the social media.
Although we can walk to our hotel, boutique St James Hotel right by Nottingham castle, we’ve got a dinner date to make with Memsaab and well, it’s cold so we quickly hop in a cab and speed over. I love the bright colours and funky art of the hotel and it’s only a short walk to dinner which is an added plus. The hotel is really convenient to Nottingham town centre actually and has the added benefit of being right by the castle!
After a really hefty meal of Indian delicacies, we’re only too happy to return and even happier to find that this neat little compact room holds a truly comfortable bed, all the better to catch up on our beauty sleep and refresh for the weekend ahead.
The next morning, Husband goes off on a run and I have a leisurely shower where I face an awkward moment – the fire alarm. Blaring incessantly and clad only in the hastily grabbed dressing gown (thank goodness they had one of these), it’s just myself and 2 other guests who have hailed the call and gone outside. Naturally I’m the only one in a an embarrassing state of undress, but luckily it’s a false alarm and we’re quickly ushered back inside! After a start like this, I’m definitely deserving of a good breakfast and I need this enormous pot of coffee to caffeine me up to explore!
It’s a clear day, sunny and cold, the best sort of English wintry day and we have our eye on a few items on the to do list, but we’re having a little bit too much fun walking around, reliving Husband’s uni days and spotting sights he’d never seen, being too busy with a combination of partying and other student-type behaviour in his 4 years here!
It’s lucky we did all that walking around because lunch at the Larder on Goosegate is calorific and I’m glad we burnt off at least a few calories! But with full tums, it’s time to learn a bit more about what’s lurking beneath Nottingham – a city of caves! A convenient entrance in the shopping centre, this is a great place to take the kiddly winks and some of the gory stories around the medieval tannery processes has the younger children full of glee, infectiously rubbing off on the adults!
My favourite though is the Galleries of Justice Museum, it’s pretty easy to see why they received Gold in the VisitEngland Awards for excellence as it’s well thought out and well executed, even for adults without kids in tow.
This is Nottingham’s former courts of law and jail – actors take you through into the courtroom and down the dungeons and jails underground and really bring to life the stories of the crimes and histories of the time. I don’t want to give the game away, but this was highly enjoyable and a pleasant couple of hours spent going through the interactive displays, which strike a clever balance of educational for the younger set and the older folk!
After dinner at Iberico World of Tapas, nightime takes us on a romantic ride of the Wheel of Nottingham, well it would have been romantic had I not been such a huge scaredy cat throughout the whole ride, but the view did make up for it!
Sunday brings with it the pressure to make it on a train and yet, there are still things I want to do and see, I didn’t make it to Wollaton Hall for a walk around the park and the chance to see some deer. It’s also where the ‘Dark Knight Rises’ was filmed and who doesn’t want a chance to go where Batman walked and pretend they’re right out of Gotham City?
But after a hearty (and MEGA) pub lunch at the Ned Ludd, along with the most amazing portion of sticky toffee pudding I have ever had, I have to resign myself, I will come back another day.
Disclosure: And so ends my series on my travels through Nottingham, I was a guest of Experience Nottinghamshire and all experiences, meals, hotel stay and transport were complimentary for the weekend.