We take a break now from my trip around England to watch soccer games, and instead offer a little photographic tour of the city of Nottingham.
At least, this is what I managed to see of it in a couple of walks. I spent basically one of my two days there being sick, and part of another going to a game at Notts County (stay tuned).
As I organize this book in my head, I can see offering readers a few different English cities to use a base for exploring the football world. Since Nottingham is a great tourist town — Robin Hood and all that — with plenty of attractions, and since it was recently named England’s City of Football, it seems a fine base for exploring.
Before we take our little walk, here are the clubs within about an hour by train:
- Nottingham Forest (currently Championship) is right in town
- Notts County (League Two) is right across the river from Forest
- Derby County (Championship)
- Chesterfield (League One)
- Burton Albion (League One)
- Leicester (Premier League)
- Peterborough (League One)
- Sheffield United (League One)
- Sheffield Wednesday (Championship)
- Mansfield Town (League Two)
Heck, I may have even missed some! In fact, Birmingham, with two Premier League teams and two Championship teams in town, is barely an hour away, and I would rather stay in Nottingham than Birmingham.
Nottingham has a charming City Centre filled with 18th Century architecture, and many of the streets for pedestrians only. There are shops and cafes and pubs all over, affordable hotels in the middle of town close to the station, a redeveloped waterfront on one of the canals, large parks, attractions near town, and of course Nottingham Castle and all the Robin Hood stuff you can stand.
So here’s a quick walking and photo tour of Nottingham:
We start in the center, where I had a nice walk and lunch:
There are several really old pubs in town, and in fact some mild controversy about the oldest. This one says it was established in 1437 and says it’s the oldest in town. More on that in a bit.
There are two restaurants that confuse me. One offered “Rhode Island Hamburgers,” which I’ve never heard of, and then there was this one. My family in Maryland has never heard of it:
Some of the cool architecture in town:
On the subject of football, there are two professional clubs in town, and their stadiums are closer than any other two in the country — though they are separated by a river.
Also of note is that the statue of their greatest football hero, Brian Clough, who led Forest to two European Championships, is in the middle of town rather than at the Forest ground.
One of the quotes around its base is something like, “I wouldn’t say I’m the greatest manager, but I am definitely in the top one.”
And now off to Nottingham Castle, which I didn’t enter because it’s mostly just an art museum inside, and I don’t care much about most art or any royalty. The grounds are nice, though, as are the views of the city:
From up there you can also spot the (supposedly) oldest pub in England, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, allegedly founded in 1189. I say allegedly because there are no documents to support this, but who cares. It’s way old, and it’s built into the caves under the castle. You can also take cellar/brewery tours here.
The final thing I would want to share is their redevelopment along a canal very near downtown. It wasn’t happening much when I was there, it being Christmas and all, but it’s really cool. There’s a walkway all along the canal, and old buildings, and restaurants and clubs, and even a pub with a “world of beers” and a canal that goes through it!