Nottingham; a city break full of surprises

With plenty of family friendly attractions as well as a long and fascinating history, Nottingham is an excellent choice for a short break. Camping within easy visiting distance of Nottingham couldn’t be simpler. Our Teversal Club Site is open all year and located just 19 miles north of the city. Buses depart immediately outside the site requiring a change in Sutton, alternatively, a service direct to Nottingham departs a mile away.

Lace Market

Nottingham’s role as Britain’s lace-making centre during the Industrial Revolution is still evident today. Lace making, once a cottage industry, was mechanised using knitting frames developed by the likes of William Lee, John Heathcote and John Levers, transforming the city’s fortunes. In fact, the Lace Market was never a market, but instead a district crammed full of warehouses used to store, display and sell merchandise. Now, these warehouses have been renovated and house galleries, shops and restaurants, making this one of the most pleasant areas of the city for visitors. Don’t miss the largest of them, the Adams Building, which dates from 1855.

Galleries of Justice Museum

In the heart of the Lace Market, you’ll find the Galleries of Justice Museum. This was once Nottingham’s courthouse and jail. Observant visitors will notice the stonemason’s poor spelling as the sign carved above the door originally read “goal” instead of “gaol”, and although the error has since been fixed, the mistake is still visible underneath. Crime and punishment is vividly brought to life, with re-enactments of Victorian trials, ghost tours promising sightings of former prisoners and the chance for children to dress up in period costume. Of course, there’s also the opportunity to delve into the past and learn about Nottingham’s most infamous criminal – Robin Hood.

Robin Hood statue

For many, Robin Hood is a heroic outlaw rather than a criminal, robbing from the rich to pay the poor. A statue of this legendary character stands outside Nottingham Castle. It was erected in 1952, though some residents of the city at the time were said to be disappointed that his headgear was sculpted to be historically accurate rather than reflect the image portrayed by Errol Flynn in the 1938 movie, The Adventures of Robin Hood. Over the years, Robin has often been seen without his bow and arrow as trophy hunters helped themselves. Fortunately, in the selfie age, a photo is now the ultimate Nottingham souvenir.

Nottingham Castle

First constructed in 1067, Nottingham Castle has been destroyed and rebuilt twice. Totally levelled after the Civil War, the current mansion dates from 1674 and is now used as a museum and art gallery. Its collections tell the city’s story and also that of the Sherwood Foresters Regiment. As you might expect, its strategic location affords the present-day visitor great views over the city and a picnic in its six acre grounds is highly recommended in summer.

Brian Clough statue

For fans of Nottingham Forest FC, the city has another hero: Brian Clough. Manager of the football team from 1975 to 1993, he presided over the club in its most successful era. Under his leadership, the team collected an array of silverware including two European Cups, four League cups and a League Championship win. Clough died in 2004, but four years later, his widow unveiled a statue near Old Market Square, funded by a group of volunteers determined to see their role model honoured with a fitting tribute.

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem

Reputed to be the UK’s oldest pub, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem has been a fixture on Nottingham’s streets since 1189. The building sits on the same rock as Nottingham Castle and the soft sandstone has been hollowed out into a series of caves which it is thought were originally used as a brewery. Those on the ground floor form part of the pub’s drinking rooms. Inside, look out for a small, very dusty model of a ship, but be careful not to touch it. Those who have cleaned it have soon died in mysterious circumstances. You’ll also find an antique chair. It was believed that women who sat on the chair would fall pregnant, but if you’re hoping to test its efficacy, it’s now too weak to sit on and is retained for display purposes only.

City of Caves

If having a drink at the Jerusalem has left you curious to see more of the caves themselves, then the City of Caves is one attraction you’re not going to want to miss. From the upper mall level of the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre you’ll quite literally descend into the past, following Anglo-Saxon tunnels to reach mediaeval wells and cesspits. Some of the 500 or so caves remain in private hands, but the tour will reveal some of the fascinating secrets and stories behind caves that were once homes, factories, pub cellars and World War Two air raid shelters. Choose between one of the excellent actor-led tours or hire and audio guide and wander at your own pace.

Sky Mirror: Nottingham Playhouse

This six-metre wide sculpture designed by Bombay-born Anish Kapoor takes pride of place outside the Nottingham Playhouse. The Sky Mirror was made in Finland from a concave dish of stainless steel, polished in Wellingborough and installed in 2001. Angled towards the sky, it rests on a concrete and steel plinth over a water feature. Initially, concerns were raised over the mirrored surface concentrating the sun’s rays with potentially disastrous consequences. Fearing that passing pedestrians might be blinded or the local pigeon population could be incinerated, a solution was quickly found and visitors can enjoy complete peace of mind as they admire this stunning work of art. If you’re planning to visit the theatre to see one of its acclaimed dramas, dance shows, comedy performances or musical productions, make sure you allow time for the Sky Mirror too.
Camp in Nottinghamshire

As you can see, Nottingham has countless attractions that will entertain and inform. Don’t forget to look out for a nod to Nottingham’s most famous pharmacy before you head back to the Teversal Club Site. A blue plaque on Goose Gate marks the location of John Boot’s first store and a bust of his son Jesse, whose entrepreneurial skills transformed the company into the familiar High Street fixture it is today, graces University Boulevard. 

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