Nottingham: Britain’s best-value city break
With the scorching summer Britain’s had this year, it seems lots of Brits are choosing to take a staycation this year. Why go to Barcelona, Malta or Turkey when you can catch some rays closer to home? If you’re looking for a getaway at the weekend that doesn’t break the bank, Nottingham is perfect. It’s just been declared by TripAdvisor to be the UK’s cheapest city break destination and has enough theatres, eateries, pubs and nature trails to keep you entertained.
Read on for our guide to a purse-friendly holiday in the city…
Officially Britain’s cheapest city break
TripAdvisor had a good look at 20 popular UK cities and rated them based on how much it would cost, on average, to have a good time there on a short break. They took into consideration some of the things you might be likely to fork out for like taxi rides, dinner for two, a hotel and a few cheeky pre-dinner Martinis. The result?
Nottingham ranked the cheapest, with the average break costing just £164.73. On the other end of the scale, Edinburgh proved to be the most expensive – even ahead of London – with the average citybreak there costing £298.46.
But what to do? Plenty, it turns out…
Nottingham’s taxis and transport system may be a snip, but there’s an even cheaper (not to mention healthier) way to get about. Get on your bike! Head to Bunneys Bikes, pick out the right wheels for you and start exploring.
You’ll see so much more, getting to know all the city’s nooks and crannies without worrying about your taxi metre or what bus stop to get off.
What to do?
Nottingham is of course Robin Hood country and home to the infamous Sheriff of Nottingham. It would be crime worthy of punishment by the Sheriff himself if you didn’t visit Sherwood Forest for a walking tour or a cycle. The forest also acts as a very green backdrop for the Forest Live music festival which has featured the likes of Blondie, Madness, The Wanted and The Sugarbabes, to name a few.
Have a laugh
Find out if Nottingham has a sense of humour (it does) at The Glee Club – a raucous comedy night which takes place every Friday and Sunday night.
Top tip: the club’s café is a great place to have a pre-show coffee or bite to eat. Importantly, it passes the armchair test with flying colours: armchairs here are suitable squishy and welcoming if you fancy disappearing into them for a few hours as you people-watch over a plate of chips.
If you’re counting your pennies, check out some of the city’s art galleries – many of which are totally free. Try the Galleries of Justice Museum, contemporary art at the Bonington Gallery or explore the grounds at Wollaton Hall and Park.
Where to eat
Seasoned citybreakers on a budget know that you don’t have to eat at a sit-down restaurant for every meal.
Why not take full advantage of the good weather and grab a few deli items from Deliala Deli and picnic at Sherwood Forest in the afternoon? Delilah’s stocks some top-grade cheese, wine and meat which they source locally from the East Midlands.
And since you’ve saved so much on lunch, you can afford to live a little at dinner. Treat yourself to reasonably priced oysters, salmon and lobster at The Lobster Pot or dine out in style at Michelin star restaurant Sat Bains which offers an epic 10 course tasting menu for die-hard foodies.
Where to drink
All that sightseeing can be thirsty work. If you’re looking to have a drink somewhere with a bit of character, make for the Malt Cross. Back in the day it served an entirely different type of customer (the building was originally used as, ahem, a brothel). But these days it’s one of Nottingham’s liveliest nightspots.
Or sup at England’s oldest Inn: the Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. Take a tour of the (supposedly) haunted cellars and caves before steadying your nerves with a pint of one of the brilliant real ales on tap.
Where to stay
The Park Inn by Radisson Hotel, Nottingham is near both the city centre and Sherwood Forest – great if you’re looking to pack a lot into your city break. Work up an appetite in our pool and gym or kick back in our stress-busting sauna and steam room.
Have we missed anything else out? What should people see on a whistle-stop tour of Nottingham?