Nottingham is so much more than just Robin Hood! There is nothing wrong with celebrating the bow and arrow-toting legend, but if you visit Nottingham, you’ll find loads of other things to see and do – and you won’t have to rob the rich to afford it. Check out our budget-friendly tips for a great time in this fantastic city.
Originally built in 1877 as a music hall, Malt Cross is now a café bar and live music venue located just off Old Market Square. This Grade II listed building is the only Victorian music hall in the country still providing food, drink and live music entertainment to the people of Nottingham and beyond. Worth a visit just to look at the beautiful architecture, the café’s famous hot chocolate comes in at well under a fiver and is NOT to be missed!
Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem
Looking for the oldest drinking hole in England? Look no further! (Allegedly.) Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem claims to have been around since 1189 AD and is built into the very rocks on which Nottingham castle stands. Billed as a routine stopping point on the way to Jerusalem, this pub has more history than you can shake a stick at; with cellars you can tour, a lounge and a gift shop as well as the traditional bar. Grab yourself a drink there for under £5 and soak up the sights and sounds of a bygone era.
Stonebridge City Farm
If city life in Nottingham is leaving you hankering for a country fix, Stonebridge City Farm is a little chunk of farm life now residing on an old school’s grounds. Opened in the 1980s, the farm is a popular place for educational school trips, with the traditional farm animals joined by a few more exotic creatures over the years. Family-friendly and free to visit (although donations are very welcome), Stonebridge can be the perfect antidote to city blues and is open 7 days a week, all year round (apart from on Christmas Day).
If, after all that history, you fancy something a bit more modern, why not check out Nottingham Contemporary art gallery? Based in Nottingham’s ‘Creative Quarter’, the museum is one of Britain’s largest centres for contemporary art. With four different visual art exhibitions a year and FREE entry, this is a great place to go and experience something new and thought provoking. With a shop, café and social spaces as well as the main gallery, there is plenty to do without needing to splash much cash.
Located just outside the city of Nottingham, Sherwood Forest is obviously most famous for being the stomping ground of a certain Robin Hood and his band of merry men. However, today’s Sherwood Forest is now over 1,000 acres of National Nature Reserve and a beautiful place to visit all year round. Part of the forest forms Sherwood Forest Country Park, a 450-acre area of woodland which is very family and dog-friendly. Parking costs may apply (max of £5 for special events) but entry to the park is FREE and a ‘must-see’ is The Major Oak, England’s Tree of the Year 2014, which is over 800 years old, weighs approx. 23 tons and was reputedly a favourite hideout of Robin Hood himself. Seasonal events take place in the park all year long, with everything from a seasonal Santa’s Grotto to forest-craft and nature workshops, which you can book onto in advance, for a small cost.
Just missing out on our top five is Green’s Mill and Science Centre, one of the UK’s few remaining working 19th century flour mills, which produces award-winning organic flour to this day. Another close runner up is the incredible Nottingham Goose Fair, reputedly going since 1284 AD (although it did take a break for the bubonic plague in 1646) which runs in the first week of October every year. Free to enter, you can spend your fiver enjoying a couple of fairground rides or enjoying some traditional food and chancing your arm at a few games.
*The information presented is accurate as of December 2016. Please check all prices before you go!