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City of Lace and Legend.....
Nottingham in General
Member Name: cathy
Nottingham in General
Date: 09/07/00, updated on 09/07/00 (45 review reads)
Advantages: Interesting, thriving city
Disadvantages: rail links leave something to be desired
Yes, City of Lace and Legend .... that was the strapline before one, wished on us by the City Council. The current version is...Nottingham - Our style is legendary! So, City fathers in search of an image, what can I saw? Obviously fairly attached to the legend theme. And who's our hero? Of course! Robin Hood!
Everyone's heard of Robin Hood, a sort of medieval, proto-new labour, freedom fighter - very hot on the distribution of wealth and local darts champion. Naturally, here's lots of stuff for tourists realted to Robin Hood, 'medieval' banquets at the 'Wicked Sheriff's Lodge', (which you might be interested to know formally housed a Police sports facility and the city morgue) - I haven't been myself but I've heard from reputable sources that they're quite good - if you like that sort of thing. There's the 'Tales of Robin Hood' in the City Centre, take a magic ride through medieval Nottingham in the quest for the Silver Arrow. Not as exciting as it sounds but fairly interesting. The only child I've ever taken screamed when all the lights went out at the beginning of the ride and spent the first half of the trip pleading to be let out. But she did eventually engage with the commentary and surroundings. The upstairs eating area is quite wacky - a bit like an unfinished Bladerunner set, quite reasonable prices and lots of stuff for kids, (and their keepers), to do - I really enjoyed the nrass rubbing.
Outside the City there's Sherwood Forest with the Famous Major Oak - now sadly out of bounds for conservation reasons - but I remember going inside it as a child - and you could definitely get a fair number of Merry Men inside. Back in town there's the Castle - only the gatehouse remains of the original Castle and the existing building is a Ducal Palace, Housing the City's art collection. Good permanent exhibition with interesting special exhibitions and an on-going displays of loca
l life with stuff you can actually touch, (I like that in a museum). Regular themed events - jousting a speciality. The fairly extensive gounds are also home to the Main Nottingham Mela and the annual Gay Festival - Pink Lace.
Moving on from Robin Hood - there's a lot more on offer. On the outskirts Wollaton Hall -one of the finest Elizabethan buildings in the country - houses the natural history collection and an Industrial museum in the outhouses. Beautiful grounds with deer and huge lake with lots of wild fowl. In Summer they have wonderful baroque music concerts in the Grand Salon. Also Newstead Abbey - ancestral home of Lord Byron and Eastwood home of DH Lawrence.
Don't miss Green's Windmill with lots of kid orientated science stuff plus opportunities to make flour and bake bread. They used to make and sell their own bread - which was delicious - but I've heard they've had to stop as they don't meet European standards. (Don't ask me! I liked the bread).
Nottingham is the leading shopping city in the East Midlands. There are two big city centre shopping malls on either side of the city centre. You can find just about everything - all the chains plus a lot of small, more individual shops. Check out the trendy Hockley area - where it seems almost every other building is a café bar and you'll find a host of interesting emporia. Walk just a little further and on Saturday and Monday mornings to discover Sneinton Market - everything from secondhand tatt to designer seconds (or knock offs - cheap anyway). Originally the old fruit and veg market - but Covent Garden it ain't. Still interesting though and you can find unusual snacks at Marché Central - great range of world foods with a fabulous 'try before you buy' olive counter.
Several theatres, many cinemas - including art house Broadway, (in Hockley area, of course) - always something interesting there. Lots of parks and green spaces - don
't miss the Arboretum right in the City - a wonderful green oasis.
More pubs than you can shake a stick at - pretty good club scene. Two universities and running through the middle - the River Trent. Close to which you will find both football grounds and the cricket ground.
If you have time - go on the Watson Fothergill walking tour and discover our wonderfully eccentric, Victorian architect. (Sometimes he also called himself Fothergill Watson). You could sum up his style as Munchkin Gothic - I love it - very Tolkeinesque.
So there you have it, Nottingham, Queen of the Midlands, (that's the anti-penultimate strapline, by the way). I like it - it's a good place to live. (Oh yes, and house prices are very low too. - As are taxi fares).