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A Nottingham travel guide – market squares, castle caves and global dining

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Tales of 13th-century outlaw Robin Hood mesmerise visitors on a Nottingham city break. Victorian lace mills, the River Trent and market square are part of the city’s charm, and a thriving bar and dining scene keeps the city on its toes. Book a Nottingham hotel to explore this central England town.

Historic hub

Perched on a high rock, the 17th-century Nottingham Castle was said to be home to Robin Hood’s enemy, the Sheriff of Nottingham. It now houses a museum and art gallery, offering cave tours and visits to King David’s dungeon. The city’s hub is the European-style Old Market Square, a popular meeting point. South of here is the Galleries of Justice Museum, Nottingham's former courthouse/jail, an intriguing retrospective into the city’s crime and punishment past.

Cultured city

Innovative theatre, dance and comedy are on at the dynamic Nottingham Playhouse while world-class theatre and ballet fill the jam-packed calendars of the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall. On a summertime Nottingham city break, alfresco theatre at Newstead Abbey’s Summer Stage is a winner.

Wining and dining

The Lace Market’s narrow streets, south-east of the centre, once home to Victorian lace-making warehouses, are packed with bars and restaurants. Try the contemporary Iberico World Tapas serving big Spanish platters. In the centre, try lobster pepper fry at the renowned Curry Lounge, which also runs Indian cookery classes. At Nottingham’s only Michelin-starred eatery, Restaurant Sat Bains, south-west of the city, the tasting menu is a star attraction. 

Shopping treats

Byard Lane in the 18th-century Lace Market area is where local designer Paul Smith opened his first store. Now, the area is teeming with upscale fashion like Hugo Boss and Whistles. For high-street favourites, Westfield Broadmarsh and Victoria Centre mall cater to all budgets.