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The Queen of the Midlands, England

Aug 17, 2007
Nottingham - Castle and Pubs

Nottingham is getting some bad press recently with inner city problems of gun crime and burglary. Whilst there is no doubt these problems exist, Nottingham remains for me a great city full of interesting places to see both old and new.

Nottingham is located in the centre of England and is often referred to as The Queen of The Midlands. The City has always been strategically important.

Nottinghamshire countryside provided good hunting grounds for Kings and the forest provided good shelter for outlaws most notably the famous Robin Hood. Although much of the forest has disappeared now, Nottinghamshire still boasts some of the finest woodlands in England with ancient oaks, the oldest of these being the Major Oak. Legend has it that Robin Hood hid in the trunk of this very tree to escape the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.

The city of Nottingham has a rich and colourful history. Here are just a couple of places to wet your appetite.

Nottingham Castle

At the heart of the city stands Nottingham Castle, set on a rocky outcrop of sandstone high above the city. The original castle was erected here by orders of William the Conqueror in 1067.

Henry 1 later replaced the wooden structure with an imposing stone castle. This was to remain for hundreds of years as one of the most important castles in England.

The notorious Sheriff of Nottingham lived here when Richard The Lionheart was on the 'Third Crusade', providing the setting for the legendary final showdown between the Sheriff and the Robin Hood.

The castle provided a rallying point for Charles 11 during the English Civil War. Charles erected the Royal Standard near the castle to mark the beginning of the war. A stone in the centre of the roadway at Standard Hill marks the spot.

There are a labyrinth of caves and tunnels under the castle. The most famous of these is Mortimer's Hole where this usurper to the throne of Edward 111 was captured and later executed.

The original castle was all but destroyed. What you see today is a seventeenth century mansion built on top of the original site. Since the late nineteenth century it has been a museum of world renown, housing thousands of artefacts and art collections. With its dungeons and children's activities Nottingham Castle is well worth a visit.

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem

Carved out of the sandstone rock beneath Nottingham Castle this is reputedly the oldest pub in the world. Established in 1189, the inn provided rest and refreshment to the Crusaders of Richard the Lionheart during the 'Third Crusades'.

Walking inside is like taking a trip back in time. The pub is associated with many fascinating legends which you can discover over a fine pint of 'real ale'. The pub is said to be haunted - you have been warned!

Nottingham by Night

Whether you want to relax with a drink and good conversation, take in a show or party the night away - Nottingham has it all!

Forget the negative, visit Nottingham with an open mind, a sense of humour and watch out for the famous Nottingham welcome "Hey up me Ducks"...
About the Author
Ann Coveney is a freelance writer and part time school teacher. She can be hired to write articles on a wide range of topics. The web site she uses the most for low cost travel and hotel booking is http://www.askvicki.co.uk
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