Nottingham is a city full of wacky, weird and unusual places to visit. Many of its hidden gems can be found within walking distance of the city centre, however, there are many more to be found if you care to venture further afield. Even though the coronavirus has caused these places to shut, for the time being, there’s no harm in planning your trip to Nottingham now for a future visit. Here’s our list of some of the most unusual places you can visit in the city and its surrounding areas.
The City of Caves
Underneath Nottingham’s city centre lies a maze of over 500 sandstone caves. Most visitors won’t realise the caves are even there, yet, you’ll find the entrance to the underground attraction at the back of the Nottingham Contemporary. When open, you can visit the City of Caves seven days a week, with audio tours operating Monday to Friday and performance tours operating on Saturdays and Sundays. Adult ticket prices start at £7.95, with children under 5 able to visit for free.
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem
You haven’t really visited Nottingham if you don’t take a trip here. Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is a well-known staple among locals, but what most people don’t know is that it’s actually England’s oldest pub. Situated next to Nottingham Castle, Ye Olde Trip is the perfect place to grab a drink and some food during your day out, whilst also taking in a bit of history at the same time. The pub also has a series of caves in its cellars, similar to those underneath the city centre pavements, and has been described as a cross between an inn and a museum.
Hidden behind the front of a boiler repair shop in Hockley, Boilermaker is one of Nottingham’s most infamous hidden bars. If you’ve ended up thirsty after an afternoon of sightseeing, head to 36b Carlton Street for an experience like no other which may or may not also involve an abundance of alcohol. Once you’ve found the shop front and pass through the ‘broom cupboard’, you’ll find a traditional bar area with a selection of unusual cocktails available to try. You even get a free bottle of water on your table when you arrive, so the Boilermaker is definitely a must-see!
All cat lovers should put Nottingham’s Kitty Café at the top of their must-see list. At this special location, you can have your lunch surrounded by some of the city’s furriest animals, who are all free to wander around the premises as they please. Although lunch at the Kitty Café might cost you a few pounds more than if you were to go to a chain restaurant, the experience you’ll get is unlike any other (unless you have that many cats at home!) However, make sure you book online before you visit as the Kitty Café in Nottingham takes bookings only.
The Haunted Museum
Head over to Mapperley, a short bus ride away from Nottingham city centre, and you’ll find the Haunted Museum. A must-see for lovers of anything spooky, the Haunted Museum houses haunted items from around the world and full 30-minute tours are offered for just £7 per person. The museum is located on the site of an old cinema, and still retains most of its original features. Alongside tours of the building, you can also take part in horror film nights and visit the on-site tearoom, which boasts a five-star rating.
Stonebridge City Farm
It’s not often you’ll find a traditional farm in the heart of a city centre, but Stonebridge City Farm is exactly that. The non-profit organisation has been described as a small slice of the countryside in the heart of the city of Nottingham and offers visitors the chance to get up close and personal with a variety of animals from sheep and ponies to chickens and ducks. The farm also offers many seasonal activities to get stuck into, which include watching animals being born, lamb feeding and sheep shearing to name a few. If you’re not a fan of busy tourist attractions and fancy visiting somewhere more tranquil, then Stonebridge City Farm might be the place for you.
Nottingham Castle Wharf Canalside
If you fancy visiting somewhere with more of a scenic quality, you might want to take a walk along Nottingham’s extensive canals. Particularly popular on a summer’s day, you’ll find many locals enjoying a drink or something to eat in one of the many canal-side pubs and restaurants, with most places having outside seating areas so that you can enjoy the view at the same time. This area of Nottingham’s city centre is only a short walk away from the train station, so you certainly won’t have to venture far for that ice-cold pint!