If you are looking to visit a real medieval castle in Nottingham, you will probably be disappointed. The original castle was built in 1067 and was one of England’s most important for the nobles. It was strategically located on a hill west of the center with steep falls on two sides and panoramic views of southern Nottinghamshire. Here, too, the final settlement between Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham should have taken place. Unfortunately, the castle was demolished at the end of the English Civil War in 1649, and a simpler manor was erected on the site a few decades later. This, too, was destroyed, burned down by a furious mob in 1831. It was rebuilt again, and since 1878 has been an art gallery and museum. Open from 1000 to 1700 (until 1600 in the winter), entrance about 40 NOK, children half price. More information here.
The Robin Hood statue
Of course, Nottingham’s big son, fictional or real, has his own statue, and this one stands in the Maid Marian Way, just east of Nottingham Castle. You simply don’t visit Nottingham as a tourist without taking a picture of yourself with Robin Hood! This two-meter-high bronze statue was unveiled in 1952, and on plaques surrounding it you can see scenes from the Robin Hood stories.
Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem
Just below the Robin Hood statue is England’s oldest pub, Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, which has served its guests since 1189, ie for around 820 years. The name comes from the Crusaders who must have stopped here en route to the Holy Land, Jerusalem. The innermost rooms of the pub are carved directly into the mountains directly below Nottingham Castle, and there is also a small museum. Food is served until 1800, but the place is still the place for medieval dinners in the evenings. The address is 1 Brewhouse Yard.
The Tales of Robin Hood
Of course, Nottingham’s premier tourist attraction has Robin Hood as well. Situated, appropriately enough, in Maid Marian Way 30-38, Tales of Robin Hood is an adventure center aimed primarily at children, though surely adults will also have fun. Here you will be brought back 800 years in time to medieval Nottingham, where you relive episodes with Robin, the Virgin Marian and the evil Sheriff. Open from 1000 to 1730 every day (closes 1700 in winter), entry about NOK 100 for adults, NOK 75 for children between 4 and 15 years, NOK 35 for children up to 3 years.
Galleries of Justice
In the High Pavement you will find the Galleries of Justice which is a combination of a historical museum and a horror cabinet. The interactive exhibitions focus on litigation, criminal justice and executions in ancient times, and the Galleries of Justice won the award as Museum of the Year in 2007. The building has been used as a courthouse and prison since the 1780s. Open from 1000 to 1600 Tuesday to Sunday, with reduced opening hours in the winter. Entry around NOK 100 for adults, NOK 75 for children. Please note that you may receive reduced package rates if you visit both Galleries of Justice and City of Caves.
City of Caves
One of Nottingham’s foremost attractions, the City of Caves, is an extensive maze of man-made tunnels and countless caves in the relatively porous sandstone, which has been used over the centuries for everything from shelters to leather tanning. These were almost destroyed forever when a new shopping center was to be built in the center. But thanks to volunteer sponsors and investors, they are now preserved and open to the public.
Entrance from Broadmarsh Shopping Center, open every day from 1030 to 1630. The entrance fee costs approximately NOK 60 for adults and 45 for children. Please note that you may receive reduced package rates if you visit both Galleries of Justice and City of Caves.
St. Mary’s Church
Nottingham’s largest and most important church is St. Mary’s, and it is also the oldest. It is mentioned in writings from 1086, but is believed to be considerably older. Most of what you can see today dates from the 1300s and 1400s. According to legend, Robin Hood must have been arrested here by the Sheriff of Nottingham after being betrayed by one of the monks. St. Mary’s is located in High Pavement just off the Galleries of Justice.
At the time of writing, this art gallery is still under construction, but Nottingham Contemporary is set to become a large modern gallery, which will also take over the collections of the now-defunct Angel Row Gallery. According to the website, the gallery is expected to open its doors to the public in late 2009.
Nottingham has around 280000 residents and is located in the East Midlands district in the middle of England. The town was founded around the year 600, and was occupied by Danish Vikings in 867. In the 1100s, William the Conqueror built his Nottingham Castle on a hilltop, and the city eventually became a center in the then great lace industry. Coal mining and the export of religious art were also important to the city. Nottingham fell heavily in the 18th and 19th centuries, and furious residents living in England’s worst slum set fire to Nottingham Castle in protest in 1831.
Robin Hood and the Sherwood Forest
Nottingham’s big son is, of course, Robin Hood, the legendary road robber who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. The legend of him originated in the Middle Ages, and has fascinated people all over the world. Robin Hood’s presence in Nottingham is ubiquitous, with its own statue outside Nottingham Castle, the family attraction The Tales of Robin Hood which is, to all intents and purposes, in the Maid Marian Way, and a myriad of pubs and shops named something with Robin, Friar Tuck, Little John or Locksley. North of the city center lies the Sherwood Forest, with a number of places that are supposed to be the scene of famous episodes life of legend Robin Hood.
The medieval Nottingham Castle is no longer there, but you can visit the galleries and exhibits inside the manor that stands there now, and you have a great view out over Nottingham and the surrounding area. In the mountain just below is what is supposed to be England’s oldest existing pub, Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, where medieval dinners are constantly being arranged.
Old Market Square
Nottingham’s natural heart is Old Market Square, which grew east of the castle. This is the largest square in the whole of England of 22,000 m² and has for centuries been the site of celebrations, demonstrations and other major public events. It was here, for example, that Robin Hood must have won an archery competition, as many may remember from the Disney movie about him. The site was completely renovated and finished in new splendor with large fountains in May 2007, and is now closed to traffic. Centrally located on the square is Nottingham’s large and beautiful 1929 Town Hall with its 70 meter high dome tower, visible from a long distance. Here is also Nottingham’s very helpful and great tourist information, and The Bell Inn, one of England’s oldest pubs, from 1276. Most of Nottingham’s shopping streets are around the marketplace.
South in the center
South of the marketplace, many pedestrian streets lead you to the large Westfield Broadmarsh shopping district, which has nearly 120 stores and eateries spread over 45,000 m². Here is also one of the city’s bus terminals. If you continue south, you will reach the Nottingham & Beeston Canal which divides the city into two. This channel comes from one of England’s largest rivers, Trent. The area along the canal is very pleasant, with many cafes and bars. On the south side is Nottingham Railway Station, where National Rail can take you to London in 105 minutes, Birmingham in 80 minutes or Manchester (not directly) in 140 minutes.
East of downtown
In the eastern part of the city center is the Lace Market district, and as the name more than suggests, this was the center of Nottingham’s thriving lace industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. There are countless Victorian red brick buildings and the area is preserved as a cultural heritage. Lace Market is Nottingham’s oldest inhabited district, where the original Celtic village was located. Here also lies the interactive and murky Justice Gallery Galleries of Justice and the 13th century Church of St. Mary’s, where Robin Hood (yes, he again!) Must have been betrayed and arrested by the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Hockley Village and Northern Center
Right at Lace Market is the Hockley district, or Hockley Village that it likes to market. This is Nottingham’s trendiest and modern area, with many coffee shops, art galleries, alternative cinemas, pubs, cocktail bars, music stores and fashion boutiques.
North of the marketplace, the thoroughfare Upper and Lower Parliament Street extends in the
east / west direction, and there are also many shops and shopping streets here. Here is Nottingham’s largest shopping center, the Victoria Shopping Center, with over 120 stores under the same roof. There is also a large indoor market and nearby is a Hilton hotel and Victoria bus station.
Nottingham’s downtown area is not large, and a normally pedestrian person manages to catch most of the attractions on foot. If you get tired, you can buy a day ticket for just over 30 kroner, a so-called Kangaroo, which allows you to freely use all of the city’s buses, trains and the modern trams within the city limits.