My Favourite Spots in Nottinghamshire by Paul Baker
This week we share Paul Baker’s favourite places in Nottinghamshire.
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Paul Baker is the Manager of the Framework Knitters Museum in Ruddington. The museum is set in a unique collection of restored cottages and workshops and allow you to discover how the local Victorian community used to live and work. You can also watch live demonstrations of the machines and even try your hand at knitting on a 19th-century sock machine to take your very own souvenir home. The museum is also home to the Textile Emporium; a shop dedicated to celebrate the best textile makers in the area, which stock a wide range of cards and gifts.
I worked as a volunteer at Mr Straw’s House when I was studying Museum Management during the 1990s and it really is a unique attraction. The building itself is a wonderful time capsule full of period features, but its fascination for me lies in the story of two brothers who, out of respect for their late parents, lived on the surface of the house. It’s a tender story of two unusual men who sought to preserve this Victorian home and consequently lived their lives out of time. If you’ve not been you’ll have not seen anywhere like it before.
Hidden away down a side street in the middle of Nottingham’s busy city centre is one of the last remaining Music Hall buildings in the UK. It is now a café-bar, however the elaborate decoration and stage have been preserved. The venue offers a great selection of food and drink and also a programme of events and performances. The site is made all the more unique thanks to the network of caves which run beneath it. I love to meet friends here and imagine the building in its heyday with entertainers on the stage.
This wonderful art and craft gallery in the north of the county offers a fantastic programme of exhibitions and activities. I admire their ambition and I am always impressed by the quality of the exhibitions they offer. The gallery also hold regular events including an essential Christmas Craft Market. The Lime House Café nearby is equally essential to any visit I make and I’m particularly fond of the Chocolate & Guinness Cake.
The Park Tunnel
One of Nottingham’s more quirky landmarks is this tunnel carved into the sandstone ridge which borders The Park area of the city. The Park Estate was once the hunting grounds of the Duke of Newcastle before it was developed into an exclusive residential area. The Tunnel was developed to ensure the riff raff were kept out and to create a dramatic entrance to this enclave. Sadly it was never completed but a staircase leading to the northern end can be found on College Street, behind Derby Road. I love to take visitors to the city to this unique structure and share the story with them.
*All images are of the Framework Knitters Museum