Old Market Square at Christmas

As I walk through the city streets of Nottingham it’s clear to see the diversity of not only the differing architecture, but multi-cultural and multi genre mixing like a ballet.

The variety of shopping areas, museums, galleries, eateries, bars and cafés are mind boggling. The choice of entertainment just explodes through the seasons with special events taking place in Nottingham’s old market square making this vibrant city come alive. 

A very cosmopolitan city with hidden gems. 

nottingham street
shops in Nottingham

Nottingham is renowned for its history, especially that of Nottingham castle and the legend of Robin Hood.

The castle is a museum and art gallery, the castle and its grounds have been undergoing a redevelopment to ensure its full potential is met and is well worth a visit if you happen to be in the city, also a tip if you like to combine history and a good pub, Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem Inn, dating to 1189AD and which is built into the caves under the castle, is haunted, serves great food and drink and has a friendly atmosphere.

If you are lucky you may also meet Robin Hood here occasionally, but more on the castle and the Old Trip to be continued another time.  

shopping arcade
orange house

Nottingham city is constantly renewing and changing, new shopping developments are underway right now and new galleries and attractions are always on the horizon. 

Hockley and the Lace market have changed dramatically through the years into a thriving, go to area for instance and a place to eat, drink and play.

black and white nottingham
figures in window

When I say play, I’m talking about the National Videogame Arcade in Hockley, free to enter and play on all kinds of retro through to very modern video games, including a video game museum and café, always a fun place to stop by for a game or two and a of course a delicious coffee and maybe a nacho toasty!  

While in the Hockley area a great place to eat is at Boozy Bones restaurant, bar and grill.  We booked a table for a very enjoyable family birthday meal there and the food is mouthwatering without a doubt and although it’s menu is a smoke house grill, a retro vintage, American style affair they also do a wonderful vegetarian chilli.

The Mexican bean chilli which was my order for the night followed by a delicious waffle and ice cream dessert.

jamie olivers
cow cafe

There’s so much entertainment close by including the Motorpoint arena / Ice stadium where we’ve spent some happy times, either ice skating or watching the ice hockey, but the arena also hosts some big names on tour such as Michael Buble, André Rieu, Chris Rock, the X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing to name a few.  

ice skating nottingham

Heading further afield to the lace market area, yes named for its industrial history as part of Nottingham’s famous lace industry, my recommendation is a visit to Green’s Mill and Science Centre.

Once one of Nottingham’s largest, most powerful windmills, built in 1807 and a fascinating attraction that’s open to all with free admission, very interesting, educational, yet fun and also sells its own flour which I’ve discovered makes delicious bread 

paul smiths
nottingham reflected

Some of my best memories of Nottingham have been at Christmas time, visiting the Theatre Royal to see a pantomime or just meandering through the bustling streets and the old market square with its stalls of every type imaginable and fun on the fairground rides finishing off with a family meal together at one of the many restaurants there are to choose from

There’s so many it’s such a difficult decision but a buffet Chinese is always one of my favourites! 

xmas market

Although my family and I live outside the Nottingham city boundary it’s always fun to hop on a bus or tram to Nottingham for a bite to eat, a wander through the streets, shop or be entertained. 

Closer to home we also have the lovely Wollaton Hall and Deer Park to explore any time of year, relaxing strolls around the lake and a coffee at one the cafés or to visit the Wollaton Hall museum or the Nottingham Industrial Museum in the courtyard.

royal children nottingham

Nottingham is a growing and diverse city, it’s fun and entertaining, the Nottingham canal winds its way through it and River Trent that meanders alongside with some beautiful countryside close by the city too and if it’s top notch fine dining with a 2 Michelin star rating then it’ll be Restaurant Sat Bains set by the river on Lenton Lane.

Chef Sat Bains’ restaurant with rooms has recently been voted as one of the UK’s finest. Nottingham has a rich history which I will of course elaborate on in a future post, there’s lots to tell and many more adventures to be had. There’s many places that are not mentioned here but to fit in all there is to see I would have to write a book.  

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little tour of the City and maybe manage to sample some of my favorite places.

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