Photo Credit: Matt Buck
Nottingham is the historical home to legends like Robin Hood and the eponymous Sheriff of Nottingham. But this city has got much more to offer than just its medieval past! Nottingham is a modern and vibrant city with two universities! Located right in the middle of England, Nottingham has plenty to offer anyone to comes here!
If you’re new to the city, our Nottingham City guide will help you find your feet and experience the best of it.
Nottingham is an easy city to get around and has a great bus and tram network.
The tram network is fairly straightforward. Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham city campuses are both stops on the service. Trams terminating at Toton Lane will take you southbound and trams terminating in Hucknall or Phoenix Park will take you northbound. If you want to get off in the centre of town, Old Market Square is the best stop to get off on. Trams run from 6am till 12am on weekdays and 11pm on Sundays.
The University of Nottingham run a Hopper bus service between each of their campuses. Each hopper is named after the campus it goes to. There’s the Jubilee Hopper (903), King’s Meadow Hopper (902), Nottingham City Hospital Hopper (905) Royal Derby Hospital Centre Hopper (904) and the Sutton Bonington Hopper (901). All of these are available at each campus.
Photo Credit: Dun.Can
In terms of getting around by taxi, there are plenty of taxi ranks around the city centre and the train station.
TIP: You can rent bikes from a handful of areas in Nottingham for as little as £4 a day from the various bike stations around the city.
Nottingham is a city that has got plenty of fun things to do to keep you entertained. It’s large students population and overall size makes it a prime location for loads of bars and clubs. It’s also got plenty of cool cafes, sports venues and places to explore.
The place to start is the Old Market Square. This is the heart of Nottingham and captures the essence of the city. You’re in the dead centre of town here, so shops, restaurants and pubs are everywhere you look. Whilst you’re there, have a look at the famous Council House. This iconic building has been around since the 1930’s and is a beautiful example of Nottingham’s architecture. You can relax by the nearby fountains as well when you’re there. Be sure to keep an eye on it year round as well, as it plays host to a variety of seasonal events like the Winter Wonderland Christmas markets and the annual ice rink!
Of course, Nottingham’s known for its link to English lore with stories of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham. You can experience Nottingham’s history yourself by going to Nottingham castle. It’s a beautiful castle in itself, but there’s also a stunning art gallery inside for you to take a look at.
If Nottingham castle got you in the mood for more historical activities, have a look at the famous City of Caves. The City of Caves sounds like something straight out of an Indiana Jones movie and it lives up to its name! It consists of a network of caves, carved out of sandstone that has been variously used over the years as a tannery, public house cellars, and as an air raid shelter. It has hundreds of man-made caves, which have been in use for over a thousand years! It’s fascinating to see the intricate man-made tunnels, which played a huge part in Nottingham’s history. If you love an adventure, this one’s for you!
Nottingham’s got lots of lovely open spaces for you to explore as well. Highfields, and the Arboretum are stunning parks for you to discover. The Arboretum has lots of open fields to play sport in but also has lots of gorgeous paths to explore. It’s especially nice in the warmer months! Also, if you’re looking to indulge your inner David Attenborough, take a trip over to Wollaton Park, where you can find Red Deer and Fallow Deer (also, FYI, fallow deer literally look like Bambi, which makes them extra awesome!).
If you fancy exploring the nightlife of Nottingham, this city has a lot to offer. Nottingham has an excellent bar culture, with loads of cool and unique places to check out. Pepper Rocks describes itself as having a “retro-industrial” style and echoes famous ruin bars you might find in parts of Europe. Cucamara is a lively Mexican themed bar, famed for its £1 tequila slammers! This place is a favourite with students. Das Kino is a German-themed bar, which has a sort of 80’s East Berlin feel to it, with its ping pong tables bathed in neon light and its rustic wall designs. These bars are the tip of the iceberg though, as Nottingham has plenty of places where you can wet your whistle!
Nottingham has loads to offer for any night owls. The first place any partygoers should check out is PRYZM. This club has 2 dance-floors inside and 4 themed bars. It’s a massive club and is definitely a must for any party-hard student! Rock City is a great place to check out for live music. It’s known for showcasing young bands that go on to achieve big success (so… go here and you can have bragging rights that you knew a band “before they were cool”!). NG1 and Stealth are good for fans of EDM and dance music. For LGBT students, Propaganda is a great LGBT club that boasts cheap student drink deals and a wide range of music.
For sports fans Nottingham has got two professional football teams to follow. Nottingham Forest is a football team steeped in history and heritage. Although they don’t quite have the same level of success today, they still play in the Championship tier. Another local side to follow is Notts County, although they aren’t quite as successful and play in League Two. You wouldn’t have a hard time following both teams though, as their stadiums are less than 300 meters away from each other, making them the closest professional football grounds in England!
Photo Credit: Jon Candy
For nice cafes to grab a coffee in, Wired Café Bar, Alley Café Bar and Jamcafé are all great places to check out!
Nottingham is a fairly large city, so you’ll find all of the major restaurant chains here.
If you want to try something new, check out Yamas. It’s a great Greek restaurant, which focuses on authentic Greek recipes and quality food (you’ll find not plate-smashing here!). It’s not too pricey either; you can pick up lunch for under a fiver!
Das Kino has already been mentioned as a good place for some brews, but it’s equally a good place for some grub! Their huge pizzas are delicious!
Crocus Café is a great place for vegans and vegetarians. The café is community-run and hosts vegan “junk food” nights every Thursday!
Nottingham is home to hundreds of shops and is a great place to shop in the Midlands. The Intu Victoria shopping centre is huge and stocks all the brands you could want.
The Old Market Square has plenty of shops nearby as well if you want to explore other shopping areas.
Nottingham has a lot of students, but the student areas can be quite far from each other. Although, like any city, there are certainly “student bubbles”!
The main areas are Wollaton, Lenton, Radford, Beeston. Wollaton and Beeston are a little more leafy and quiet, although they are a lot further from the centre of town.
Lenton and Radford are much closer to the city and are only a short walk to any shops or bars you might want to visit. Both have plenty of pubs and restaurants right on their doorsteps. Lenton has a very high concentration of students and is very popular. You’ll be close to all of your friends if you choose to live here.
You’ll find rents are likely to be a little lower in Radford typically, but some people prefer Wollaton and Beeston as they’re a bit quieter and more picturesque.
All of the areas are lived in by students from both unis though and each has something that makes them special.
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