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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Nottingham

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Nottingham, county town of Nottinghamshire, is built on a number of hills on the north bank of the River Trent. The most important town in the eastern part of the Midlands, Nottingham looks back on a long tradition as an industrial town. Noted in the past for its lace, curtains and stockings, its industry now centers on pharmaceuticals, textiles, mechanical and vehicle building. Nottingham has two large theatres, several art galleries, the annual Goose Fair and other historical attractions. The town, which since 1948 has had a university, is known as "Queen of the Midlands", on account of its broad streets and parks, such as the Arboretum, Embankment and Colwick Park. It is the focal point of a prosperous and developing region. In addition, the coalfield centered on Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire is the largest and most important in England.

City Center (Council House)

In the center of Nottingham is the Old Market Square, the largest in England, on which the famous Goose Fair was formerly held (it now takes place on the Forest Recreation Ground). On the east side of the square is the neo-Classical Council House (by Cecil Howitt, 1929), crowned by an imposing dome.

Guildhall

North of Nottingham town center are the impressive Guildhall (1929) and the Technical College, both by Cecil Howitt.

Nottingham Castle Museum

Night time at Nottingham Castle.
Nottingham Castle, on a rock 133ft/40m high, affords a good view of the town. Outside it are the bronze statues (1952) of Robin Hood and his merry men by the Nottingham-born sculptor James Woodford.
The old castle was destroyed in 1651 by Parliamentary forces and replaced by an Italian-style palace belonging to the Duke of Newcastle. This was burned down in 1831 but later rebuilt.
Address: Castle Road, Nottingham NG1 6EL, England

Sherwood Foresters Museum

This collection of medals and regimental uniforms traces the Regiment's history from its days as a militia battalion up to its 1970 amalgamation with the 45th Regiment.
Address: The Castle, Nottingham NG1 6EL, England

Museum & Art Gallery

Since 1878 Nottingham Castle has housed the Nottingham Museum and Art Gallery. Among its treasures there are some beautiful Anglo-Saxon brooches (sixth century); medieval ceramics and alabaster carvings; Nottingham stoneware from the 17th and 18th century, including a "love goblet" of 1679; English household silver; drinking glasses of the 17th and 18th century; an ethnographic gallery (including New Zealand jade jewelry, Burmese bronze statues, Indo-Persian steelware); a collection devoted to the Sherwood Foresters regiment and the fighter pilot, Albert Ball (1896-1917). The picture collection in the Long Gallery includes works by Charles le Brun, Richard Wilson, William Dyce, Marcus Stone, Ben Nicholson and Epstein.

Mortimer's Hole

In the sandstone underneath Nottingham there are a large number of caves, including the 322ft/98m long "Mortimer's Hole" below the castle, which derived its name in the 16th century from Roger Mortimer, lover of Queen Isabella, the wife of Edward II.

Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem

"Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem" in Castle Road, dates from the 12th century and ranks as the oldest inn in England. Long-standing tradition and a welcoming atmosphere are combined here in typically British fashion.

Brewhouse Yard Museum

The row of houses alongside the museum recreates the daily life of Nottingham in the 17th to 19th century. The caves connected to the museum, which are hewn into the castle rock, once served as workshops.
Address: Castle Boulevard, Nottingham NG7 1FB, England

St Mary's Church

St Mary's Church in Nottingham.
The Church of St Mary in Stoney Street is mainly in the late Perpendicular style. Of interest is its 19th century glasswork from the workshops of Ward-Hughes and Clayton Bell.

Tales of Robin Hood

The story of the folk hero is turned into a living legend on a visit to the fantastic model wood at "The Tales of Robin Hood" exhibition center on Maid Marian Way.
Address: 30-38 Maid Marion Way, Nottingham NG1 6GF, England

Highfields Park

Highfields Lake in Nottingham.
From Maid Marian Way the Castle Boulevard runs west (2mi/3km) to Highfields Park, which was presented to Nottingham by Lord Trent and is now occupied by the university. Jesse Boot, who became Lord Trent, opened the first of his chain of chemist's shops in Nottingham, and the firm still has a large factory in the area.

Wollaton Hall (Natural History Museum)

Near Nottingham University, in a large park, is Wollaton Hall, an Elizabethan mansion (by Robert Smythson, 1580-7) which now houses the Natural History Museum of Nottingham. An industrial museum has been set up in the stables.
Address: Wollaton Park, Nottingham NG8 2AE, England

Nottingham Festival

This annual two-week festival runs from late May to early June and includes a diverse program of daily performances. Operas, orchestral, chamber and jazz concerts, recitals, theatrical performances and film screenings are only some of the features on the program. The repertoire is also varied and includes classical, folk and ethnic works. The events take place in numerous venues such as the Nottingham Castle, the Royal Concert Hall and the Theatre Royal.
Address: Arts Department, 51 Castle Gate, Nottingham NG1 6AF, England

Green Mill & Science Centre

Green's Mill was once home of the mathematical physicist, George Green (1793-1841). The mill was built by George's father in 1807, and destroyed by fire in 1947. Staff at Nottingham University start a fund to preserve the tower as a monument to George Green, it is completed in 1985 with the addition of a science centre.

Canal Museum

On the banks of the Nottingham-Beeston Canal in a restored warehouse, this museum displays the history of water transport on local canals and the river Trent. A pair of restored canal boats are docked at the museum.

Caves of Nottingham

Over 400 caves lie beneath Nottingham and have been used for centuries for storage, food industry, defence in time of war and many other purposes. Some organized tours are available.
Address: Drury Walk, Broad Marsh Centre, Nottingham NG1 7LS, England

Durban House Heritage Centre

Durban House Heritage Centre presents an interactive exhibition that charts social, agricultural and industrial development of Eastwood through DH Lawrence's five major novels.
Address: Mansfield Road, Eastwood NG16 3DZ, England

Nottingham Heritage Centre, Steam Railway and Bus Museum

This Centre preserves the memory of the Great Central Railway in Nottinghamshire by operating a steam train on about 10 miles of Great Central track. The Center also has a small collection of buses on display.

Robin Hood Way

This 88-mile / 141 kilometer trail runs from Nottingham Castle to Sherwood Forest, passing many places associated with Robin hood. The trail also goes through the Clumber Country Park and past Rufford Abbey.

D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum

The D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum has been furnished to provide insight into the author's early life and influences.
Address: 8A Victoria Street, Eastwood, Nottingham NG16 3AW, England

Nottingham Goose Fair

This is one of the oldest fairs in Britain and is held annually in early October.
The events run for three days.

Surroundings

Newstead Abbey and Park

Nine mi/14km north of Nottingham is Newstead Abbey, the family home of Lord Byron, whose tomb is in Newstead parish church. When he inherited the estate he and his mother were too poor to live there. In spite of his debts, however, he came to live in the house after leaving Cambridge, but was obliged to sell the property six years later (1817). The house was originally an Augustinian abbey founded in 1170 by Henry II. Of the original buildings there remain the west front of the church, the refectory, the chapterhouse (now a chapel) and the cloisters. Newstead now belongs to the city of Nottingham, and Byron's rooms have been preserved as they were in his lifetime, with many mementos of the poet. The garden contains very old and rare trees.
The abbey grounds also contain a Japanese garden, formal and tropical gardens and lakes and streams.
Address: Newstead, North Linby NG15 8NA, England

Grantham, England

The old hospital in Grantham.
Grantham is a busy market town in a rich agricultural area, surrounded by areas of pastureland which are reputed to produce some of the best meat, especially sausages, in England. The town is also noted for its gingerbread. St Wulfram's Church is the most notable local landmark in Grantham. The spire is 282 feet high and the church was home to England's first public library.
The town's most famous daughter is the "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher, the first woman prime minister, who indelibly shaped the development of the nation between 1979 and 1990. Her birthplace now houses a restaurant called "The Premier". Opposite the Guildhall stands a statue of Isaac Newton (1642-1727), who was a pupil at the local grammar school, and the Museum on St Peter's Hill contains many mementos of the famous philosopher and scientist.

St Wulfram's Church

The tower of St Wulfram's Church in Grantham.
The parish church, St Wulfram's, has a spire 281ft/86m high, beautiful tracery in the windows, and a 15th century font. Above the south doorway is a valuable library presented to the church in 1598, with many chained books. Adjoining the church is King's School, where Newton was a pupil, and where he carved his name on a windowledge.

Angel and Royal Inn

The Angel and Royal Inn (13th century origin) in the High Street is one of the oldest inns in England. Its illustrious guests included King John, Richard II and Edward VII.

Grantham House

Grantham House, owned by the National Trust, has a 14th century room occupied by Princess Margaret, daughter of Henry VII, during her journey north in 1503 to marry King James IV of Scotland.
Address: Castlegate, Grantham NG31 6SS, England

Belvoir Castle

Tower of the Belvoir Castle.
Belvoir Castle (7mi/11km west of Grantham) is the imposing seat of the Duke of Rutland. It dates back to Norman times when Robert de Todeni built a castle here. Destroyed in the Civil Wars of the 15th and 17th centuries and by a devastating fire in 1806, it was rebuilt by James Wyatt in 1808-1816. The castle contains an outstanding collection of pictures including works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Holbein, Poussin and Reynolds, furniture, tapestries and Mortlake wall hangings.
Address: Grantham-Melton Mowbray Road, Grantham NG32 1PD, England

Queen's Royal Lancers Regimental Museum

A number of displays, featuring audio presentations and info panels, cover the history of this regiment. Accompanying displays trace the history of other regular and irregular troops from the region.
Address: Belvoir Castle, Grantham NG33 1PD, England

Belton House Park and Gardens

Exterior view of Belton House in Grantham.
Belton House (2mi/3km north of Grantham) was the elegant seat of Lord Brownlow, built by Christopher Wren in 1688 and later partly rebuilt by James Wyatt. It contains fine carvings by Grinling Gibbons, as well as portraits by old English masters and a valuable silver collection. The church has a Norman font. Belton Tower (1750) stands in the extensive grounds of the park.
The formal gardens have a wide variety of flowers, as well as orangery and a landscaped park surrounding a lake.

Woolsthorpe Manor

Woolsthorpe Manor (7mi/11km south of Grantham), birthplace of Isaac Newton, is situated near Colsterworth. Adjoining the house is the orchard in which he is supposed to have discovered the law of gravity.
Address: 23 Newton Way, Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, Grantham NG33 5NR, England

Belvoir Castle Jousting Tournament

This annual tournament takes place during several summer weekends at the Belvoir Castle, a short distance from Nottingham.
Mounted knights dress in authentic period costume to provide the entertainment. Accompanying food and craft stalls complement the medieval atmosphere.
Address: Grantham-Melton Mowbray Road, Grantham NG32 1PD, England

Southwell, England

Situated 15mi/24km northeast of Nottingham is Southwell (pop. 6,500), a small market town which makes a good base for the exploration of the Robin Hood country. Charles I stayed in the Saracen's Head before giving himself up to the Scots in 1646, thus beginning the long period of imprisonment which ended with his execution.
Southwell has a number of historic buildings of note including the prebendal houses along Church Street and Westgate, the Methodist Church and Lord Byron's house.

Minster

Southwell Minster was begun in the 12th century and the nave and transepts of this period have been preserved. There are three Norman towers, one over the crossing and two on the west front; the west towers still have their original roofs, in spite of rebuilding after a fire in 1711 and further alterations in 1880. The minster, originally served by a college of secular canons, became a cathedral in 1884. The fine brass lectern was found in a lake in the grounds of Newstead Abbey, where it had probably been thrown for concealment by the monks at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The most exquisite part of the minster is the Decorated chapterhouse (13th century) with its wonderful doorway. A profusion of beautiful naturalistic leaves and flowers, vines and grapes, animals and human figures, have been carved here by an unknown sculptor.

West Bridgford, England

West Bridgford (pop. 28,073) is a suburb of Nottingham located on the north side of the River Trent and spanned by two bridges, the Lady Bay Bridge and Trent Bridge. Two spans of the original medieval bridge still remain adjacent to the Trent Bridge. West Bridgford is also noted for its sporting facilities such as the football club founded in 1865, the cricket ground that was first used in 1838 and the National Watersports centre.

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