Top ten must see in Nottinghamshire
I have lived in Nottinghamshire all my life, and am still amazed when I discover hidden gems that I am yet to explore. For a start, I have already booked my spot for Snowdrops at Hodsock Priory – a must see in early spring.
Here is my round-up of top ten must see attractions in Nottinghamshire (and believe me, it was a tough one to narrow down!)
1 Nottingham Castle Set high upon the Castle Rock and commanding spectacular views over the city, Nottingham Castle is not to be missed. The impressive 17th century ducal mansion now stands as a municipal museum, the first of its kind outside London, housing beautiful works from around the world. Enjoy a tour which includes the labyrinth of secret caves and tunnels underground.
2 City of Caves A well kept secret is that Nottingham is built on more than 500 man-made, sandstone caves dating back to medieval times. Descend far below street level and discover how the caves were used as tanneries, bomb shelters and homes from the expert guides or on an audio tour, promising a walk around a shopping centre like no other.
3 School of Artisan Food The School of Artisan Food is the UK’s only not-for-profit school dedicated to artisan food, and was recently named Cookery School of the Year at the British Cookery School Awards 2014. It offers an opportunity for people of all skill levels to expand their knowledge through a wide range of courses.
4 Newstead Abbey Set in more than 300-acres of parkland, Newstead Abbey was once home to romantic poet Lord Byron. Explore his ancestral home, which has been preserved intact and contains many of his belongings and his original bed. December 2015 will mark 200 years since the birth of Byron’s daughter, the pioneering mathematician Ada Lovelace, who is buried alongside her father at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Hucknall.
5 Sherwood Forest & Major Oak Internationally linked to the tale of Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest is a 450-acre country park which incorporates beautiful birch trees alongside more than 1,000 veteran oaks, including the Major Oak, recently awarded Tree of the Year by Woodland Trust. A cycling or walking trip comes highly recommended.
6 Nottingham Contemporary Set in Nottingham’s historic Lace Market area, Nottingham Contemporary is one of the largest contemporary arts centres in the UK. It hosts a number of exhibitions each year from leading contemporary artists from around the world. Along with four galleries, there is a performance and film space and a Cafe Bar and it is free to visit.
7 Galleries of Justice Museum Based at Nottingham’s old courthouse and gaol, there is no better way to explore the gruesome history of crime and punishment than with one of the tours. Put your family on trial in the Victorian law court and venture down below street level into the cells and dungeons to hear about the terrible conditions endured by the prisoners.
8 Wollaton Hall & Deer Park One of my favourite places in Nottingham (hence the featured image), it is the perfect place to go for a walk, relax with a picnic in summer and sledge down hills in winter. Set within a 500-acre deer park, Wollaton Hall is a spectacular Elizabethan mansion and was chosen by Warner Bros as the set of Wayne Manor in The Dark Knight Rises Batman film. It is a popular tourist attraction and a local favourite.
9 Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem Enjoy a pint of tasty real ale and divine food whilst sat in a cave at the oldest inn in England. The pub is an attraction in itself and draws tourists from around the world who are fascinated by its rich history. Sat at the foot of Nottingham Castle, there are numerous ghost stories about visitors who never left.
10 National Civil War Centre Add the date to your diary – the UK’s first ever National Civil War Centre is set to open in Newark in spring 2015. Step back in history and witness the deadly struggles for power in 17th century Britain, reviving memories of the three sieges it endured during the British Civil Wars.