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Nottingham in the East Midlands is perhaps best-known for the legendary figure Robin Hood, and indeed, some attractions in town are dedicated to the famous character. There is so much more to see in Nottingham, however. The city is home to a number of excellent museums, galleries and theatres. It also has an entertainment scene that is the envy of many nearby towns, featuring lively nightlife, shopping and sporting events. Around the town are a few attractions definitely worth visiting by those with their own transport.
Who to Book With
Heading to Nottingham and renting a car is easy, as there are quite a number of car hire depots within and close to the city centre. However, by checking and comparing prices online, you make sure you get the best deals from international companies such as Europcar, Enterprise, Avis, Hertz, as well as local outfits such as East Mids Hire.
Best Time to Go
Rain occurs year-round for this city, much like in most cities in the region. It can get cold during winter, especially when the weather is damp and wet. Summers are cool and pleasant, with daytime temperatures averaging around 22°C in the high season.
Need to Know Essentials
Those who opt to hire a car to get around Nottingham will have to show the following documents when collecting the vehicle:
- A driving permit (National or International)
- A credit card
- Your passport or ID with a photo
- Proof of booking
The M1 is the most convenient motorway to take when driving to Nottingham from London, Leeds or Sheffield. The exit is at Junction 24 or Junction 25. You can choose from a total of seven Park and Ride sites around Nottingham if you want to park outside of town and take public transport in. Multi-storey and other car parks are available in the city too.
As it is such an important city in the East Midlands, Nottingham has a good system of public transport. Frequent trains and buses come from all over the country, including from London and Birmingham. Taxi companies provide sufficient services for those needing a more convenient way of getting around.
Trains and Trams
East Midlands Trains offers cheap train services from London, departing regularly from St Pancras Station. Nottingham also receives trains from Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham and many other cities. To get around town, visitors can take the Nottingham Express Transit, a tram system running from Nottingham Train Station north to Hucknall and Phoenix Park. An all-day pass only costs around £3.
Nottingham taxi services are widely available, as many companies are set up around town. They can be contacted by phone or by visiting their websites. Taxi companies with offices in Nottingham include DG Cars on Little Tennis Street, Nottingham Cars on Peveril Street and Royal Cabs on Woodborough Road. Most inner-city services use the meter, but set fares can be agreed for trips to destinations farther afield. Fare is around £28 to the East Midlands and around £85 to Birmingham, for example.
Broadmarsh and Victoria are the two bus stations in Nottingham, both located downtown. National Express Group runs buses for the London to Nottingham, as well as to and from many other cities in the UK. Nottingham City Transport is the operator of local buses, offering a comprehensive list of stops for each line. A ticket that costs around £3 allows for travel on the buses and the Nottingham Express Transit service.
Nottingham boasts of several historical, cultural and entertainment attractions close to the city centre. Many tourists head straight to Nottingham Castle, which has a statue dedicated to the legend that is Robin Hood. The National Ice Centre is open to visitors who want to spend a few hours having fun on the skating rink, while Victoria Centre and Broadmarsh are the shopping districts in town. Within an hour’s drive are lovely several quiet spots that visitors can make daytrips to.
Newstead Abbey - This is the home of another one of Nottingham’s more famous residents. The famous English poet Lord Byron lived in this grand mansion as a child having inherited the property from his great-uncle. The abbey, a 12th century construction found north of the city, has been opened as a museum and is surrounded by beautiful gardens.
Sherwood Forest Country Park - This is a wooded area found north of Nottingham. The forest was made famous by Robin Hood and his band of merry men who took refuge under the trees and bushes of the grounds, as legend has it. Many of the tourists who come to Nottingham gladly make the trip up in these woods, if not for the Robin Hood attractions, then for the great walking and cycling areas of the park.
The University of Nottingham - This is one of the two prominent higher learning institutions close to Nottingham. The campus has beautifully landscaped grounds with a lake where visitors can hire boats. The award-winning grounds of this university are especially beautiful in the summer.