While Nottingham seems to have a fascination with watering holes that are either underground, hidden down an alleyway or require the navigation of some kind of labyrinth of deception to enter, it’s nice to occasionally park your behind in your bog-standard boozer and admire the world around you. We’ve jotted down some noteworthy places in the city centre that have either great surrounding scenery, or wicked architecture that you can enjoy while drinking your pint…
This one has it all: a water feature, a huge outdoor area complete with fairy lights, and a great view of the sunset (only if the weather’s cheery, of course). Better still, you can wave at all the folk passing by in their canal boats; alternatively, if no one passes, you can wave at the empty boat inside the pub itself. We reckon Canalhouse is the most “Instagram-able” pub in the citeh. The beer selection is also bleddy massive, too.
48-52 Canal Street, NG1 7EH
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem
Yeah yeah, we realise this one’s always included in lists involving pubs, but that just because it’s at least five times older than your nan and it seems rude not to include it at this point. You know the drill: it’s the oldest pub in England, you can sit inside some caves or gaze up at the castle while you sip at your pint of Olde Trip Ale. Yarda, yarda, yarda. You really should have tucked in by now, duck.
1 Brewhouse Yard, NG1 6AD
As well as being one of the cheapest places in tahn to have a drink, Faraday’s has the added benefit of being plonked right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Hockley. This makes it ideal for everyone’s (secret) favourite pastime: people-watching. It may not be as picturesque as a cafe off a square in Barcelona, Paris or Florence, but it’s the closest thing we have, and you don’t need to fly to Europe to do so.
3-27 Victoria Street and 44-48 Pelham Street, NG1 2EW
The Crafty Crow
With big glass windows and elevated seats, a drink at The Crafty Crow allows you to peer down the cobbled street to the entrance of the castle as you down your two-thirds of Beavertown beer. This bar has a variety of craft beers on offer, as their name would suggest, but is also a cracking place to sample some local cask ales. You can admire the lovely modern interior or turn your head to look out onto the old-timey path.
102 Friar Lane, NG1 6EB
Pitcher and Piano
Despite being part of a chain, Notts’ Pitcher and Piano comes with a twist: it’s in an old converted church, don’t yer know. Nottingham Contemporary is right next to it, so you can check out the latest exhibition and debrief over a drink at P&Piano as you boldly claim that you, yourself, could have made all that modern art with your eyes closed. Grab yersen a cocktail or a pint as you become the umpteenth person to post a Facebook status about "washing away your sins" with booze, or summat along those lines.
The Unitarian Church, High Pavement, NG1 1JL
This place is a cosy and atmospheric local pub, sat right in the middle of the Lace Market and nestled just behind the incredible St Mary’s Church. It’s a fairly small pub that has an insanely large selection of both craft and local beer, as well as more gins and whiskeys that you could ever hope to sample in one session. Grab a seat near the window to admire the architecture of St Mary’s over a best bitter.
46 St Mary's Gate, NG1 1QA
The Malt Cross
Recently reopened after the closure scare, the Malt Cross is one of Notts’ favourite and most scenic pubs. The building itself was constructed in its current form in 1877, but has origins dating back to 1760. It’s one of the only surviving music halls in the country, has an impressive glazed arched roof and, most importantly, serves some fantastic beer. People-watchers not to fear, as the upstairs window is a great vantage point for watching the world go by.
16 St James's Street, NG1 6FG
This slightly upmarket pub has big windows that look out onto the surrounding castle walls and Notts’ most famous outlaw, Robin Hood. Well, a statue of him. He isn’t just standing there, in the flesh - that would be proper creepy. The building itself is old and chock-full of those owd English wooden beams, and the pub has some great grub if you fancy something to eat. So, sit back while looking out at Robin, and count your lucky stars that he’s not physically there, looking back at you, watching you sip that pint. Mmm.
5-7 Castle Road, NG1 6AA