City guide to Nottingham

Introduction to Nottingham

For most people, Nottingham means Robin Hood: and the city certainly makes the most of its most famous outlaw son. There is, however, so much more to "The Queen of the East Midlands", as the benevolent stone lions who guard its central Old Market ("Slab") Square could tell you.

"Slab Square" is a great place to start your Nottingham adventure. If it's the third Friday or Saturday of the month, take time to enjoy the Regional Fine Food market. Meander up to explore the Lace Market before heading towards the Castle. Although only the main entry arch of the Castle now dates back to the medieval period, there is still plenty of history round about it. On your way, pay a trip to Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, a keen contender for the title of the oldest inn in England.

If shopping is your 'bag', bring your comfy shoes and plenty of moeny: you'll need them for Nottingham's two modern indoor shopping centres, Broad Marsh and Victoria. You'll need them even more to explore the myriad of small independent shops, like the wonderful Chocolate Utopia, which produces its to-die-for handmade wares on the premises.

With a proud history dating back to 600AD, Nottingham has built its wealth and reputation on lace, bicycles, pharmaceuticals and swimming costumes to name a few. Raleigh, Speedo and Boots are just some of the companies who have headquartered in Nottingham. It now boasts two excellent universities, the very traditional Nottingham and the more vocational Nottingham Trent. If you're looking for a pleasant walk, the grounds of Nottingham University host boating on the lake in the summer.

It doesn't matter whether you're looking for architecture, education, up-to-date and diverse shopping, from arcades to household names, attractive outdoor spaces, or just a good day (or night!) out: you'll find it in this lively, individual, slightly cheeky city.

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