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When going to Nottingham, it is hard not to think about the legendary Robin Hood and the Sherwood Forest, the BBC show: Robin Hood, the American version: The Adventures of Robin Hood, or the classic Disney film Robin Hood! However, there are a few other things to do and see in Nottingham as well. Here's an itinerary for a perfect day in Nottingham. It includes activities, places to eat, historical sites, and more in Nottingham.
Additionally, you can skip the tour guides and fill your pocket with the Birmingham and the Midlands chapter of the Lonely Planet Guide for only $4.95 USD to give yourself detailed history and information on all of the important places in and around Nottingham, which are peer-reviewed for accuracy. We generally recommend purchasing the full guide if you’re going to be in England, but for a short day trip to Nottingham, this chapter is all you’ll need. (Pro Tip: They occasionally have 3 for 2 deals, so if you have time, wait for them to show up to save a little extra!).
It is also helpful to consider British culture, customs, and etiquette when visiting England. If this interests you as well - or if you believe these may be quite different from the culture, customs, and etiquette in your own country - we would recommend picking up this small informative guide as well.
Archery at Unlimited Events in Nottinghamshire
Start your day in Nottingham practicing your bow & arrow skills and living an important part of English historical culture.
"The English longbow, also called the Welsh longbow, is a powerful type of medieval longbow about 6 ft (1.83 m) long used by the English and Welsh for hunting and as a weapon in medieval warfare. English use of longbows was effective against the French during the Hundred Years' War ... Rising to prominence during the reign of King Edward I (r. 1272–1307), the longbow became a defining feature of English armies for the next three centuries." - World Traditional Archery Organization
If you have or haven't shot some arrows before, Unlimited Events will have you hitting the bulls-eye in under 60 minutes! Extraordinarily fun while you pretend to be Robin Hood or one of his Merry Men! We had a blast and would certainly recommend this place to anyone who is interested.
It was easy to setup a reservation through email and the staff at Unlimited Events are very friendly. If you missed breakfast or need a snack, there is a small snack shop in the building.
"Archery is the chosen sport and method of hunting for Robin Hood. In medieval England the sport was hugely popular and archery was in common use. Most people associate Robin with using a longbow and it is likely that this type was around during that time as it is mentioned that the Normans used the weapon in the Battle of Hastings." - Visit-Nottinghamshire.co.uk
The Sherwood Forest & The Sherwood Forest Art and Craft Centre
"The legendary stomping-ground of Robin Hood, this 450 acre country park is now part of the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve and home to a fascinating ecosystem. The forest has 900 veteran oak trees including England's Tree of the Year 2014, The Major Oak."
The perfect place for crafts is in the Sherwood Forest as you reminisce about Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Some of the unusual crafts you will be able to partake in include textiles, turned glass, fossils and gemstones, woodwork, paintings, copper-smith, candles, handmade soap and jewelry.
Additionally, Visit-Nottinghamshire mentions that "During main visitor periods, it is not uncommon to see have-a-go archery taking place near the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest. In fact it’s a certainty at the Robin Hood Festival."
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem
Is is lunch time yet? This pub/restaurant claims to have been established in 1189 and to be the oldest pub in England (among others). The structure of the building rests against and into Castle Rock, the same Rock that Nottingham Castle is built upon. It is also attached to a number of caves that were carved out of the sandstone (see City of Caves below for more information). The caves were originally used for brewing and as a cellar for the castle, and date as far back as 1068, when Nottingham Castle was constructed.
This Pub/Restaurant has some excellent choices for food as well as a great assortment of English beers. We tried the Falafel Burger, Dirty Burger, and Cask Red Ale - as pictured below - and really enjoyed them. Indulge yourself with some English food and drink here for lunch, but be sure to also explore all the rooms, nooks, and crannies of this pub. There are many decorative artifacts to be found!
City of Caves
You may have noticed that we love caves and underground tours. Next on the itinerary is the City of Caves. They are a part of over 500 sandstone caves that were created underneath the streets of Nottingham dating all the way back to the dark ages.
You’ll need to wear helmets throughout the tour and go up and down stairs. The entrance to the City of Caves is in a mall that starts below street level. You can purchase your tickets and then walk around the mall until your tour time, but don’t be late to meet your guide!
White Rabbit Teahouse
This tea-house caught our attention as we walked through the alleyways in Nottingham. A decent assortment of teas and some delicious cake to boot! If you need a little pick-me-up in the afternoon, this is a lovely spot to take a break. Plus, how can you go wrong with enjoying a little tea in England?
There are also cute shops and some chain stores along the alleys nearby if you need/want to do some shopping.
Nottingham Castle & the Robin Hood Statue
Sadly, the Nottingham Castle is currently closed for renovation between the 1st of July 2018 until 2020. BUT, that's a great thing because it's going to be so much better than before! From their website:
A total of £29.4 million is being invested to redevelop the Nottingham Castle site, including the Ducal Palace and Grounds and the sprawling cave systems hidden within the Castle Rock.
Check out the Nottingham Castle Project website to see why you can't miss going to the castle when it opens back up in 2020. In the meantime, you can hang out on the outside of the castle and visit statues of Robin Hood and the Merry Men as well as the original castle brewhouse, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem.
Watch a few movies and TV shows that highlight this region of England to familiarize yourself with the landscape prior to your holiday. This area is featured in Notting Hill, The Queen, Sense & Sensibility, Shakespeare in Love, and Downton Abbey. Enjoy!
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