City Orientation Walk, Nottingham (Self Guided)

Nottingham is a historic city and is proud of its heritage. It is famous for its legends, particularly the one of Robin Hood and his merry men. Traces of history remain in the city's many old buildings and monuments. Take this tour to visit some of Nottingham's most prominent landmarks.
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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: England » Nottingham (See other walking tours in Nottingham)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Author: StaceyP
1
Old Market Square

1) Old Market Square (must see)

The Old Market Square is the largest such surviving square in the United Kingdom, forming the heart of the city, and covering an area of approximately 22,000 m². Located in the heart of Nottingham city center, the square is bounded by Beast Market Hill to the West, Smithy Row to the North, and South Parade to the South. The Eastern end of the square is dominated by the Council House, which serves as Nottingham's city hall. The nature of the square means it is often used for large local events, fairs, concerts and exhibitions.

The square has long been at the centre of Nottingham life. In the early days before the City of Nottingham was formed, the area was the center-point between the old Norman town of Snottingham and the old Saxon town which was based around the current Lace Market at St. Mary's Church. Redesigned by Gustafson Porter in 2004 and completed in March 2007, the Old Market Square is built with three shades of granite. The central open space is a slippery, light colored granite, with white, beige and dark gray granite used for the fountains, terraces and flowerbeds. The new square is a single tier area, including the recreation of an ancient border which once divided Nottingham. A new water feature dominates the west side of the Square, with jet fountains and waterfalls. These water features can be turned off if required, allowing an amphitheater-like seating area to be created for shows and concerts.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
National Ice Center

2) National Ice Center (must see)

The National Ice Centre is located close to the historic Lace Market area. The facility neighbors the Capital FM Arena Nottingham. The site has hosted an ice arena since 1939, but the old building was showing its age: hence its nickname, "The Barn". Several buildings were demolished to make way for the new arena, including an Art Deco warehouse on the opposite side of Barker Gate, and bodies had to be exhumed from a nineteenth century graveyard found under the car park.

The current building was first announced in September 1995 at an estimated cost of £13 million - part of which was to come from National Lottery funds. The plans were unveiled in October 1996, by which time the British Olympic Association had got behind the proposal. The first public skating session took place in April 2000. The final cost of the project was around £40m, 10% of which came from the lottery - one of the highest grants awarded. The arena is home to the Nottingham Panthers ice hockey team. The square in front of the building was renamed 'Bolero Square' to honor their great achievements. There are two ice pads. The capacity of the main arena is 10,000.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
St. Mary's Church

3) St. Mary's Church (must see)

The Church of St Mary the Virgin is the oldest religious foundation in Nottingham, the largest church after the Roman Catholic Cathedral and the largest medieval building in Nottingham. It is situated on High Pavement at the heart of the historic Lace Market district and is also known as St Mary's in the Lace Market. The main body of the present building (at least the third on the site) dates from the end of the reign of Edward III (1377) to that of Henry VII (1485–1509). The nave was finished before 1475 and it is notable for its uniformity of gothic perpendicular style. The bronze doors of the church were designed in 1904 by Henry Wilson in memory of his father-in-law Francis Morse.

The church has a fine collection of late Victorian stained glass windows by many famous makers, including Kempe, Burlison and Grylls and Hardman & Co.. It is also known for its octagonal medieval font with a palindromic Greek inscription NIΨONANOMHMATAMHMONANOΨIN (Wash my transgressions, not only my face), and a rather battered alabaster tomb fragment which portrays a lily crucifix and a Nottingham Alabaster panel depicting Archbishop Thomas Becket.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Shire Hall

4) Shire Hall

Shire Hall is the main building of the Galleries of Justice. It is located on the grounds of the former courts and prisons that stood here from 1375 to the mid-1980s. Over the basement door is the inscription "County Gaol". Shire Hall now houses the Galleries of Justice Museum. The original sandstone caves and cells have been preserved.
5
Police Station

5) Police Station

The former Police Station is a Grade II-listed building located next to the Galleries of Justice. The blue lamp over the doorway, signifying a police station, still hangs. This Edwardian building evokes memories of the times past. In the 1600s the grand Castle Inn stood on this site. The current building was constructed in 1847 as a place to hold prisoners before trial.
6
High Pavement Chapel

6) High Pavement Chapel

High Pavement Chapel is now the Pitcher and Piano public house and is Grade II listed. The current building was opened in 1876, built to a design of the architect Stuart Colman, of Bristol. It was used as a place of worship for Unitarian Presbyterians in Nottingham until 1982. It was then converted into the Nottingham Lace Museum, but this venture proved financially nonviable. The building was then converted to its current use, as a Pitcher and Piano public house.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
City of Caves

7) City of Caves (must see)

City of Caves was an award-winning visitor attraction in Nottingham which consists of a network of caves, carved out of sandstone that have been variously used over the years as a tannery, public house cellars, and as an air raid shelter.

The attraction has been run by the Galleries of Justice since 2004 and is accessed from the upper mall of the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre. The caves here are some of the oldest remaining in the city, with pottery finds dating them to 1270-1300, and were inhabited from at least the 17th century until 1845 when the St. Mary’s Inclosure Act banned the renting of cellars and caves as homes for the poor. None of the caves are natural, they were all cut into the sandstone for use as houses, cellars and place of work by the inhabitants of the city.

Two caves cut into the cliff face and opening out to daylight housed the only known underground tannery in Britain. The Pillar Cave was originally cut around 1250 but had been filled in by a rock fall by 1400. Cleared and reopened as part of the tannery in 1500 with circular pits cut to hold barrels. A second cave was also cut with rectangular clay-lined vats. The small size of the vats in these caves indicate that they were probably used for sheep or goats skins rather than cowhide. There was an opening to the River Leen where they would wash the skins in the town's drinking water.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Nottingham Railway Station

8) Nottingham Railway Station

Nottingham Railway Station, for some time known as Nottingham Midland, is the principal railway station of the city of Nottingham and the Greater Nottingham area. The station was built in an Edwardian Baroque Revival style at a cost of £1 million (£79,620,000 as of 2012). The station was built using a mix of red brick, terracotta (which was used as a substitute for building stone) and faience (a glazed terracotta) with slate and glazed pitch roofs over the principal buildings. The carriage entrances have Art Nouveau wrought-iron gates. The station’s forebuildings were opened to passengers without any formal ceremony on 17 January 1904, although next day the Evening News reported that the platforms were still in a state of chaos and these were not expected to be ready for another nine months.

The Midland Railway always suffered the indignity that its rival the Great Central Railway crossed the top of Nottingham Midland station on a 170-foot-long (52 m) bowstring girder bridge. This became redundant in 1967 and was finally dismantled in the early 1980s. Plans exist to build a new tramway bridge over the station on the same alignment.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Brewhouse Yard Museum

9) Brewhouse Yard Museum (must see)

The Brewhouse Yard Museum focuses on 18th-century life in Nottingham and is located near the famous pub named 'Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem'. The museum consists of five 17th-century Victorian houses and a system of man-made caves. The museum has rooms reconstructed to look as they did during the 18th century. There are also displays located inside the caves, including a replica of an air raid shelter. The museum is a great place for children.
10
Nottingham Castle

10) Nottingham Castle

Nottingham Castle is a castle in Nottingham, England. It is located in a commanding position on a natural promontory known as "the castle rock", with 130 foot cliffs to the south and west.The first Norman castle was a wooden structure and of a mote-and-bailey design, and was built in 1067, a year after the Battle of Hastings, on the orders of William the Conqueror. This wooden structure was replaced by a far more defensible stone castle during the reign of Henry II, and was imposing and of a complex architectural design, which eventually comprised an upper bailey at the highest point of the castle rock, a middle bailey to the north which contained the main royal apartments, and a large outer bailey to the east. After the restoration of Charles II in 1660, the present 'Ducal Mansion' was built by Henry Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Newcastle between 1674 and 1679 on the foundations of the previous structure.
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery

11) Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery (must see)

Nottingham Castle is located in a commanding position on a natural promontory known as "'Castle Rock'", with cliffs 130 feet (40 m) high to the south and west. In the Middle Ages it was a major royal fortress and occasional royal residence. In decline by the 16th century, it was largely demolished in 1649, but sufficient fragments remain to give an impression of the layout of the site. A ducal mansion later occupied the summit of the promontory. This was burnt out by rioters in 1831, and later adapted as an art gallery and museum, which remains in use today.

Nottingham Castle houses most of the City of Nottingham's fine and decorative art collections, galleries on the history and archeology of Nottingham and the surrounding areas, and the regimental museum of the Sherwood Foresters. Nottingham Castle now plays host to a number of public annual events. This includes the Nottingham Beer Festival, the Robin Hood Pageant and even played host to the world record breaking attempt for the most people dressed as Robin Hood in one place in 2008.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Nottingham, England

Create Your Own Walk in Nottingham

Create Your Own Walk in Nottingham

Creating your own self-guided walk in Nottingham is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Tour of Western Nottingham

Tour of Western Nottingham

Nottingham is bursting with unique things to see. Notable attractions in the western part of the city include Wollaton Hall and the University of Nottingham. Take this off-the-beaten-path tour to check out other interesting places hidden in western Nottingham.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km
Tour of Nottingham's Churches

Tour of Nottingham's Churches

Nottingham boasts a multitude of beautiful historic churches, some of which date back to medieval times and the Norman Conquest. Take this walking tour to visit a few of the most famous and spectacular churches in Nottingham.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.5 km
Tour of Nottingham's Architecture

Tour of Nottingham's Architecture

Nottingham is home to buildings of varying architectural styles that present a mixture of designs and make Nottingham a city full of contrasts. One of the city's most renowned architects, who contributed to the creation of many of Nottingham's picturesque buildings, was Watson Fothergill. Take this tour to view some of this master architect's work, as well as many other beautiful...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Tour of Nottingham's Shops

Tour of Nottingham's Shops

Nottingham residents love shopping, which is reflected in the city's amazing array of stores. You can shop at specialty stores, markets, shopping centers, or studios. Take you pick! Go on this tour to explore the best shops in Nottingham and find the perfect souvenir to take home.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 km
Tour of Nottingham's Museums and Galleries

Tour of Nottingham's Museums and Galleries

Nottingham has a long history and is home to a number of outstanding museums and galleries that focus on the city's storied past. Nottingham also knows how to celebrate the present, boasting a number of notable contemporary art galleries. Take this self-guided tour to gain insight into the history and culture of Nottingham.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Cultural Tour of Nottingham

Cultural Tour of Nottingham

Nottingham is an exciting city that offers a variety of fun activities for both tourists and locals. Take this tour to experience Nottingham's cultural scene and visit some of the city's best galleries, theaters, and concert venues.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Nottingham for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Nottingham has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Nottingham, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.