Lying nearly 300 miles north of London, Nottingham is in the East Midlands region of the UK, and is known for lace making, Robin Hood, and Rayleigh bikes. Named ‘the home of English sport’, it’s a major centre for cricket, football and rugby, and more.
Everyone has heard of the legendary outlaw who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, but researchers have discovered the existence of a real, or several real, Robin Hoods. In the mid 1200s Robin - which sounds akin to robbing, Hood - an item of clothing that could allow the wearer to remain anonymous, was a name frequently given to petty thieves, rustlers and fugitives that roamed the woodlands. By the 1300s, Robin the Outlaw had entered popular myth in the form of songs and folktales, and he’s still there to this day. The Robin Hood Experience is part museum, part interactive experience and part theatre and allows you to meet the legend himself, and characters from the tales. Try out your own outlaw skills, and beat the hero and his Merry Men with a long bow.
Nottingham Castle features highly in the Robin Hood myth, and being so well preserved you can easily imagine the medieval settlement of Nottingham spreading around the walls of the castle. Standing proud on ‘Castle Rock’, the structure was almost destroyed by fire in 1831, before being rebuilt to include a museum. The sensitive rebuild allows this grand castle to live on, continuing the story of Robin Hood.
Why not stop for a drink in the historic Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem? Built into Castle Rock, this warm and welcoming public house claims to date from 1189, making it the oldest pub in England. Before setting off for the Middle East, not knowing if they’d ever see these shores again, Crusade soldiers would gather here for one last drink.
Just a short walk from the castle, is the Lace Market. Nottingham was the centre of the world’s lace industry in the 19th century and this quarter mile square region of the city housed numerous large warehouses and salerooms, allowing the storage and trading of the finest lace. The area still has a strong Victorian atmosphere, with back-to-back houses built from the typical red bricks, in straight rows. Old gas lamps and railings add to the industrial feel.
Plan a return trip to Nottingham while you relax on your train ride home. Our money saving tickets, including the cheaper Off-peak options and for the organised, Advanced tickets, leave you with plenty to spend in Nottingham. Go on, what are you waiting for?