I spent last week in Nottingham where I was attending the annual conference of the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS). I travelled over on the Sunday and had a few hours to explore the city, which I hadn’t visited for a long time, during the afternoon.
I took the tram from the train station to the stop close to my hotel – easier than walking and cheaper (and more fun) than a taxi.
I was staying in the main Conference hotel, the Crowne Plaza, and as I’m now a VIP (for the first time in my life – something I’m not used to! although it’s really a case of a big fish in a little pond) I was on the Executive floor. The room was quite small but nicely furnished but nothing particularly special. I gota bath robe and slippers. No free wifi though, but my ipad is on a 3g contract so I can use it without any worries for emails, downloading my paper etc. There was a little “Executive lounge” where there are free (non-alcoholic)drinks and snacks. When I got back from exploring I was hypoing but they had just brought out some snacks – slices of pizza and fancy sandwiches- so I filled a plate and got myself back up.
I didn’t have a lot of time before things started to shut up, so I went to the castle, which was a short walk from my hotel, and paid my entry fee.
I wasn’t over impressed. Pretty enough gardens but the museum was underwhelming.
The art gallery had the Jeremy Deller exhibition on that we saw in Manchester at the beginning of the year. I didn’t think too much of their permanent collection. There were a few paintings I liked, including ones by John Piper and Lowry, but most did not appeal. They had some good sculpture though, especially a bust of a woman from Baku Epstein and a piece by Peter Randall-Page. Afterwards. I had a wander round the bottom of the castle walls. I said hello to Robin Hood and had a look at the pub under the castle walls that claims to be the oldest in England .
This old building was across the road from the castle and the Robin Hood statue
After that I had a wander round the Town Centre which was quite busy with shoppers. I thought it was similar to Manchester with a number of Georgian, Victorian Gothic and Edwardian buildings.
This is the very grand Town Hall viewed from the Market Square
Unfortunately I didn’t really have chance to look round the Lace Market, the area where the lace industry for which Nottingham used to be famous, was located.
On the way back to the hotel I passed this statue of another local hero.
and the Theatre Royal
Overall I thought the city was pleasant enough but not really “worth a detour” as they say in the Michelin Guide.