Everything you should do at least once in Nottingham
Mount the lion
It’s a city, but it’s not really a city. It’s so small you can feel like you know your way round – but the reality is you probably don’t. Nottingham is old, and full of bizarre people and strange language and phrases. There’s even more bizarre places and lots and lots of caves. No one here really gives a shit about Robin Hood – Brian Clough is a far bigger hero.
Go to Wollaton park
No summer is complete without watching the deer in Wollaton Park. A far cry from the pigeons of Market Square, this is about as good as the wildlife gets this close to the city centre. The giant hall was the set of some of the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, and you can get your hand nearly bitten off feeding the swans on the lake.
Have a sophisticated drink in the Boilermaker
If you didn’t know, the Boilermaker is the strange bar that you’ll see on Goose Gate that looks like a taxi office. The doorman stands there silent, with over 20 people standing patiently waiting for something to happen – then without warning you’ll be ushered through to a table, that feels like a garden in the dark. The cocktails are incredible, and the menu is full of lame jokes to keep you going.
Get McDonald’s after a night out because there are four in the town centre
And cry when someone steals your order.
Go for wings night at Hooters
Nottingham is the only place in the country to have a Hooters, and Monday is wings night. For just a tenner, you can have all the chicken wings you want to eat in the world. Oversized blokes sit there, gorging on chicken while staring at girls in tight orange shorts and white t-shirts. It’s every FHM subscriber’s dream.
Watch the cricket at Trent Bridge along with some day time drinking
Just over the river Trent from Hooters is Trent Bridge, the home of Nottinghamshire cricket. Most summers, England will play and you’ll never have a more boozy day out. This is day time drinking at its best, and although a tad expensive, a rite of passage for many.
Waste all your money in Alea
After the clubs let out, you can wander back uphill to Alea. Like an old friend welcoming you home, the purple glow will beckon you in with the promise of free drinks and eternal wealth. You got neither and it would be a good night if you had enough change for a pizza meal deal at White Horse.
Ride the left lion
It’s 3 am, you’re stumbling through Market Square to seek out a disgusting kebab or a cheesy chip barn – but you’ll mount the left lion in front of the town hall because you have to. It has to be the left one too, it’s closer to Brian Clough, who you’ll never be able to come.
Go boating on the lake at university park
On every bucket list before the summer disappears and the rain returns, go hire a boat and try not to fall in.
Sit in the couple seats at the Savoy Cinema
Ideally with a hot date but even if you’re single it’s an upgrade from the normal seats. So much leg space.
Escape the cheesy music in Oceana and chill in the Alpine Lodge
Once you’ve rediscovered all your friends and made sure you all know where you’re going, sack off the repetitive rubbish the DJ plays and recline on oversized sofas and pretend wood fires of the Alpine Lodge. This is where you actually meet people, and talk and drink without a Trent fresher dry humping your leg.
Fall over on the ice rink in Market Square at Christmas
Your significant other will try to hold you up, but you’ve had too much mulled wine and this just isn’t going to end well. That, or the smell of the waffles from the german market is putting you off. Just watch out for the resident Market Square chavs laughing at you.
Wander through the Lace Market pretending you can afford the clothes
Vivienne Westwood, Fred Perry, Hugo Boss, you’ll window shop your way round then escape to Primark to fight off the hordes for some £4 top.
Find the giant cave tunnel by Budgens on Derby Road
If you don’t mind walking up some hills, and down some long windy stairs, you can find the giant cave tunnel. The second best thing, you end up walking through The Park to get out, and feel shit about how nice the houses are. They don’t even have yellow lines on the road – they’re blue.
Gurn your way through a night at Stealth
Everyone’s been and everyone’s spent their night stuck in a corner of the smoking area while someone who’s taken far too much talks endlessly at you for hours about how much they love their dog. They might ask for gum, they might ask to borrow your keys, they might offer to buy you a drink and the fuck off to the dancefloor without you. Just don’t take a jumper or you might die of heat exhaustion.
Fall asleep on one of the NCT busses
You probably won’t end up doing this willingly, but it’s definitely going to happen. And it’s going to happen more than once.
Have a cocktail at Tilt
10/10 espresso martini.