Nottingham – The City of Robin Hood and Caves. This was a short break from Monday to Wednesday but could be done on different days to suit as flights are five times weekly. As this was a short trip it was really jam packed to get the most out of twhat revealed itself to be a fascinating city.
We stayed in the Walton Hotel in the historic park area of the city, it’s about a 10-15 minute walk into the city centre so may not suit everyone. The hotel has apartment type rooms some based in the hotel itself and some across the road all within the hotel complex. The rooms are very well equipped tea/coffee making facilities, bathrobes and all the usual necessities you might expect. The hotel is boutique like and offers amazing décor inside. See more here: http://www.thewaltonhotel.com/
One of the hightlistts of the visit was meeting Ezekial Bone a.k.a Robin Hood. He was a mind of information and offers street tours of Nottingham as well as Sherwood Forest tours. He was so entertaining and brought us to hidden caves beneath restaurants and bars. It was a unique experience as he was dressed like Robin Hood too. See more on www.ezekialbone.com
For dinner we went to “Ye Olde Trip to Jersusalem” which is England’s oldest inn. This pub is nestled beneath the cliff on which Nottingham’s historical castle stands and was once a well-known pit stop for crusader knights. Food here was great and so was the local ale. On the way out we noticed a game being played where there is a ring on a sting hanging from the ceiling. Lucky for me I captured someone winning by getting the ring onto an ornamental bull’s nose while sitting down. See this and the full story of Nottingham on our Instagram story page: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17848571137385876/
After this we made our way to the Boiler Room pub. This is a secret pub in Nottingham city centre. Looking at it from the outside you can just see an empty room with a desk and a guy behind it. On arrival you just identify who you are and if room inside you are allowed in a secret door to a very large area with a fantastic drinks menu. As far as I know you can’t book this either you just turn up and hope that behind the secret door there is room for you.
Next day we headed off to the Nottingham Contemporary, not normally a lover of museum or art but this blew me away and would definitely return. Some of the work here was so out of the box and extraordinary. Again see more on our Instagram story. Grab a coffee in their cafe or head a little further down the road to a church converted as a bar/restaurant called Pitcher and Piano. This is a very unique building with beautiful coloured stained glass windows. Add this to your list- you won’t regret it!
Next up was the City of Caves Tour, probably the next best thing after Robin Hood. Here we were brought underground through caves that were likely used for housing as early as the 11th century. Then in WW2 they provided useful shelter as a bunker from the 11 bomb attacks on the city. The tour also includes momentary lights out and listening to what the bombs would have sounded like to those tucked inside.
Lunch time was at George’s Great British Kitchen right in the city centre. It is situated in a grade 2 listed building, the décor inside is fab with large windows to watch the world go by. Food was delicious with good vegetarian options too. Definitely will return!
The National Justice Museum was the next item on our itinerary, the museum uses original courtrooms, dungeons and prison cells along with a number of more contemporary galleries to exhibit collections relating to justice, the law, crime and punishment ina fun and interactive way. Oscar Wilde’s cell door was also on display here.
Our trip was coming to an end and yet again it was time to eat… this time we headed for the chain restaurant Pieminster. They really do have the best pies and not too heavy on the pocket either. Pieminster is famous for its range of award-winning pies (including GF/Veg), they also have an impressive range of nibbles, loaded fries and a whole heap of great sides too.
Flights to East Midlands (20 minutes from Nottingham) are 5 times weekly from Ireland West Airport with Ryanair from only €12.99 one way.