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Nottingham, the UK’s 7th largest city may be most well known for the legendary outlaw Robin Hood, but this thriving and historic city in the East Midlands has so much more to offer visitors. It’s also easy to reach, being close to the centre of the country, and about 130 miles north of London.
The area round Nottingham has been occupied since before Anglo-Saxon times, although Nottingham first established itself as a major trading centre during the 15th century. By the 18th century, the city was a major centre for textile production, many remnants of which can be seen today. Today, Nottingham attracts tourists from all over the world who enjoy all it has to offer and of course, to follow in the footsteps of a certain outlaw. Nottingham has also been described as one of the UK’s most haunted cities.
Nottingham is home to some of the country’s best pubs and several independent breweries thrive in and around the city. The famous Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem dates from the 11th century, and derives its name from being a rest place on the way to the Crusades in the Middle east. It is literally built into the cliff walls, and comes complete with an antique chair said to increase fertility, and a haunted model ship on the bar. Other old and atmospheric pubs in the city include the Salutation, the Bell Inn and the Royal Children; the large whalebone on display here was originally hung outside to indicate whale oil was available on the premises.
One of the most historic and fascinating areas of Nottingham is the densely packed maze of streets and alleyways known as the Lace Market. As the name suggests, this area was once home to a thriving lace making industry. In recent years, the tall brick warehouses have been transformed into flats, bars and restaurants as well as an eclectic mix of tattoo parlours, clothing boutiques and second hand bookshops. This area is also home to several design studios, giving it the nickname of the Creative Quarter. Nearby attractions include the National Justice Museum, and St. Mary’s Church, with its beautiful stained glass windows. Robin Hood and his men supposedly attended mass at the church.
If you follow soccer, a visit to a match at Meadow Lane is a must. it’s the home ground of Notts Forest, the oldest football league team anywhere in the world. Equally memorable is a visit to Trent Bridge, the home of the county cricket club, which has been hosting cricket matches since 1838. If you can’t catch a cricket match, guided tours of the third oldest test cricket ground are available every week. And Nottingham is also the home of the National Water Sports Centre, a major venue for rafting, kayaking, water skiing, and canoeing. Nottingham is also the home of the National Ice centre, one of the country’s best places to ice skate, and the home of the British speed skating team.
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