Count Arthur Strong

9 Things to do as a Notts Newbie

6 April 17 words: Alex Kuster

Have you found yourself in a city surrounded by big gobs shouting 'Ayup duck!' and suchlike phrases? Are you confused and bewildered by all these new sounds and smells? Fear not, us owd mucker. Our favourite Notts newbie Alex Kuster has compiled a foolproof list of things to check out if you're new to the city, just as she did, with a hop, skip, and a stomp...

photo: 200 Degrees

Coffee shop hoppin’
As you may have noticed, Nottingham’s coffee scene is happening, baby. Shops are popping up left, right and centre, upping their game with speciality grade beans and roasting ‘em themsens. Clear an afternoon, grab your favourite book, and have a potter around the city centre until you find just the right armchair with just the right cappuccino to go alongside it.

Charity shop raid in Sherwood
Sherwood is just north of the city centre and easily accessible by bus, bike or foot. And the second-hand scope is strong with this one. Whether you’re after crockery, clothes, books or furniture, you can get proper kitted out on a shoestring budget. And once you’ve worked up an appetite while bargain hunting, there are some delightful eateries about the place so you can refuel good and proper. Pop in to Corner Stone, a cafe inside an old shipping container.

Beer, browse and boogie in Rough Trade
Rough Trade embodies that Friday feeling. Need a pamper? Head to Aesop and smell like rainbows, springtime and sunshine all rolled into one. Fancy a bev? They’ve brought some proper own-brewed beers and live music to town. After some fresh garmZ? Local company Universal Works will dress you to the nines. New music? The bottom floor is rammed with the latest releases and old-school classic vinyls. They’ve literally covered all bases.

Get down the caves
If you’re new round these parts, you might not know that Notts is built on a vast collection of caves. Yep, we’re pretty famous for our underground holes, and seeing as we love a good pint, the clever townsfolk have combined drinking with exploring these here caves. Get down to the Malt Cross, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem and The Salutation Inn, sink a few, and learn about the city’s heritage while you’re at it.

Image: Raphael Achache

Lose yourself in a book
We were crowned the City of Literature in 2016, and half of that’s down to the plethora of places to get your book on. First things first, you’ve gorra pay Bromley House Library a visit. You’ll feel just like Matilda when she ventures out into her first library – it’s mighty grand and bleddy beautiful. Five Leaves Bookshop has you stumbling down a Narnia-like tunnel to find yourself in book worm heaven. And Ideas on Paper down Cobden Chambers is a real find, with a huge selection of speciality mags to have a flick through. Mind your grubby paws, though.

Try a Middle-Eastern fried egg at the Kiosk
This is one you can tie in with your book tour. Cobden Chambers is a paradise for independent business. Step inside Kiosk, and sample some fresh, innovative and healthy food in abundance. We won’t even begin to explain what constitutes a Middle-Eastern fried egg, just so the mystery itself is enough to propel you down the cobbled path towards enlightenment.

Take a walk in Wollaton Park
It’s no new news that Batman was once an inhabitant of this lovely manor. Once you’re over that, it’s just the place for a sunny day. You’re surrounded by deers and nature and you can bring a picnic and sit in the fields. Cue birdsong, a light breeze and maybe even a cheeky cider. Bliss.

Derby Road
It’s had a bit of a spruce-up of late, with the whole road becoming more pedestrian friendly, and a string of charming little shops, galleries and cafes cropping up. It’s a bit of an uphill climb, but all that means is you’re well deserving of a treat halfway up. Stick your head into the bright yellow Tough Mary’s Bakehouse, where the smell of freshly baked bread will see you right. Make sure you try our Kate’s homemade babka. It’s worth its weight in gold.

Paint the town
If you consider yourself a bit of a magpie when it comes to pretty paintings and off-the-wall sculptures, then bleddy Nora, have you come to the right place. The city centre is splattered with graffiti writing from the likes of SmallKid and Grim Finger. Pop over to Broadway to take a look at their wall, or poke your head round the back of The Angel for some sick street art. And if you fancied something indoors, head over to Nottingham Contemporary. The exhibitions are always changing and the entry is always free, for loads of events as well as exhibitions – there’s workshops, evening gigs, book launches... all sorts ducky.

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