Nottingham: A Short Introduction
As I browse around other blogs on the Internet I often enjoy the way in which people pass on experiences, views and knowledge that we all have about various places and destinations that are familiar to us. In that vein I’d like to present a few random thoughts about the city where I live, Nottingham.
Background and a little history
Nottingham was tagged colloquially as The ‘Queen of the Midlands’. The city can lay claim to being a most popular visit for various reasons such as shopping and nightlife these days. The name of Robin Hood undoubtedly draws in a visitor or two also.
The city is basically built on two hills, one which houses the comparatively modern version of Nottingham Castle (actually a Ducal palace as the original was raised to the ground) perched on a high rock. Nottingham’s growth was undoubtedly partly attributable to its situation by the River Trent. Much of the city is built upon a catacomb of caves which still run under the throng of the busy shopping, entertainment and business area, these caves being often burrowed out of the soft sandstone by local people in the middle ages and prior. Still they remain a fascinating visit and can be accessed from the Broad Marsh shopping centre.
The city though having a 450,000 population is relatively very concise and is easy to walk around. Most of the shopping, pubs and restaurants are within a short walk of the large Old Market Square, once spiritual home of the skateboarder, domestic pigeons, winos and asylum seekers. Yes the complexion of Nottingham has changed somewhat in the past few years.
Last year the Square had an £8m refurbishment which levelled and modernised the area. This has received mixed opinions about its aesthetics but has seriously upgraded its usefulness through its practicality. In the past few months an outdoor ice rink, a big wheel and a free music festival have been held there.
Things to pack for a visit to Nottingham and specifically a night out on the town might be an armorlite and a few hand grenades, take your pick. A bullet-proof vest should be worn at the visitors discretion. Actually the gun stuff in the media, whilst true is confined very much to a few tough estates on the edge of the inner city. The main source of potential problems in the city centre are arguably of the traditional lager lout variety. Not a lot worse than other large cities as portrayed in all those harrowing TV documentaries about Nottingham in my humble opinion but then gun and knife crime seem to be reaching epidemic proportions in most cities sadly.
In truth, I could probably write all day about Nottingham but this blog is only meant as a short introduction. If anyone passing this way through cyberland has a question about the old place though (serious or otherwise!) I’d be pleased to attempt to answer. No, I haven’t met Robin Hood.