What defines Nottingham?


If I were to ask you to think of London, images of Big Ben or Buckingham Palace might pop up, right? Or if a conversation about Birmingham was being had, I guarantee a lengthy debate about how awful the Brummie accent is would occur (it’s not that bad!). Now here’s a challenge: what initially comes to mind when you think of Nottingham?

I’m not implying that the city of Nottingham has little to offer. In fact, the issue is there is perhaps so much to consider that it makes it difficult to pinpoint a specific highlight of the city. But that’s just the point: the magic of Nottingham is that it cannot be defined by a single thing. With such vivid vibrancy and rich history, Nottingham successfully amalgamates the modern with the classic, making it a city full of surprises.

Being the largest public space in the UK after London’s Trafalgar Square, Old Market Square is a focal point of the city, with a great range of shops and restaurants for all to enjoy. From Primark to Zara and Bella Italia to Jamie’s Italian Restaurant, there is something to suit everybody’s taste.

The reason why Nottingham makes for a thriving student scene is due to the range of bars and clubs scattered throughout the city centre. Revolution is renowned for its handcrafted flavours of shots, including Salted Caramel Popcorn, XXX Chilli and White Chocolate. Baa Bar fuses the social element of bars with the energy of clubbing, allowing for dance space and lively music. Now, we can’t forget to mention Nottingham’s clubbing scene; Pryzm caters to every music taste with their Curve room blasting R&B and Hip Hop, Vinyl room playing throwbacks and the main room banging out current chart/dance music. Rock City offers one of the most energetic student nights out with Crisis Wednesdays where they play the best tunes from the commercial charts, and dance, indie, RnB and student anthems. And for those of you who love a cheesy singalong, Ocean is the place to be.

Of course, it’s not just the booze and the partying that defines Nottingham. Those who have been brought up in the industrial or commercial areas of the country may perceive this city as an emerald paradise. Simply take a stroll through Nottingham’s Arboretum in Spring and see for yourself the kaleidoscope of flowers that line the paths and the towering trees that droop lazily over the pond.

You might also be surprised about the cultural significance of Nottingham: did you know that the legend of the heroic outlaw, Robin Hood, originated in Nottingham? Every year, Nottingham Castle hosts a festival called the ‘Robin Hood Pageant’ in which the Castle grounds are transformed into a medieval village encampment and shows of jousting knights and horseback sword fighting are performed. Also, there are opportunities to visit the spectacular Wollaton Hall, which was where scenes from ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ were shot.

Nottingham simply cannot be defined by a single element. It is much more like a jigsaw: it requires several pieces to create the perfect picture. It is a diverse, culturally rich and visually vibrant city which thrives on the energy of its inhabitants. The enthusiasm of the student population invigorates the city, and it is what makes Nottingham, Nottingham.

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