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City and unitary authority area
From top left: Skyline of the Old Market Square area, including the dome of the Council House; Nottingham Castle; the University of Nottingham; Street scene in the Lace Market; Nottingham Express Transit tram in Victoria Street; the Theatre Royal
From top left: Skyline of the Old Market Square area, including the dome of the Council House; Nottingham Castle; the University of Nottingham; Street scene in the Lace Market; Nottingham Express Transit tram in Victoria Street; the Theatre Royal
Coat of arms of Nottingham
Coat of arms
Motto: Vivit Post Funera Virtus (Virtue Outlives Death)[1]
Nottingham shown within Nottinghamshire and England
Nottingham shown within Nottinghamshire and England
Sovereign state  United Kingdom
Constituent country  England
Region East Midlands
Ceremonial county Nottinghamshire
Settled 600
City Status 1897
Administrative HQ Nottingham Council House
 • Type Unitary authority
 • Governing body Nottingham City Council
 • Council Leader Coun. Jon Collins (Lab)
 • Executive Labour
 • MPs Chris Leslie (Lab)
Graham Allen (Lab)
Lilian Greenwood (Lab)
 • Lord Mayor Coun. Leon Unczur
 • City 74.61 km2 (28.81 sq mi)
Elevation[2] 61 m (200 ft)
Population (2011 est.)
 • City 61,300
 • Density 1,466/km2 (3,800/sq mi)
 • Urban 729,977(LUZ:825,600)
 • Metro 1,543,000 (Nottingham-Derby)[3]
 • Ethnicity
(2011 Census)[4]
71.5% White (65.4% White British)
13.1% Asian
7.3% Black British
6.7% Mixed Race
1.5% Other
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) British Summer Time (UTC+1)
Postal Code NG
Area code(s) 0115
Twin cities
 • Ghent Belgium (since 1985)
 • Harare Zimbabwe (since 1981)
 • Karlsruhe Germany (since 1969)
 • Ljubljana Slovenia (since 1963)
 • Minsk Belarus (since 1966)
 • Ningbo China (since 2005)
 • Timişoara Romania (since 2008)
Grid Ref. SK570400
ONS code 00FY (ONS)
E06000018 (GSS)
ISO 3166-2 GB-NGM

Nottingham ( ) is a city in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands of England.

Nottingham is known for its links to the legend of Robin Hood and for its lace-making, bicycle and tobacco industries. It was granted its city charter in 1897 as part of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

In 2013, Nottingham had an estimated population of 310,837[5][6][7][8] with the wider urban area, which includes many of the city's suburbs, having a population of 729,977. The population of the Nottingham/Derby metropolitan area is estimated to be 1,543,000.[3]

Nottingham is a popular tourist destination; in 2011, visitors spent over £1.5 billion - the sixth highest amount in England.[9]

Culturally, there are two large-capacity theatres, numerous museums and art galleries, the Broadway Cinema and several live music venues, including the Nottingham Arena and Rock City, both of which regularly host major UK and international artists. The city also hosts two music festivals annually - Dot to Dot, which takes place in various city centre venues over the course of a weekend every May, and Splendour, in Wollaton Park each July.

Nottingham has an award-winning public transport system,[10] including the largest publicly owned bus network in England[11] and is also served by Nottingham railway station and the modern Nottingham Express Transit tram system, the second line of which is due to open in 2015. East Midlands Airport is 13 miles (21 km) south-west of the city.

In 2013, Nottingham was also named the most haunted city in England, reflecting its historical past.[12]


  • History 1
  • Government 2
    • Local Government 2.1
    • UK Parliament 2.2
    • European Parliament 2.3
    • Other 2.4
  • Geography 3
    • Within the city 3.1
    • Around the city 3.2
    • Climate 3.3
  • Architecture 4
    • Lace Market 4.1
    • Pubs 4.2
  • Education 5
    • Higher education 5.1
    • Further education 5.2
    • Secondary education 5.3
  • Economy 6
    • Shopping 6.1
    • Creative Quarter 6.2
  • Culture 7
    • Theatres 7.1
    • Galleries and museums 7.2
    • Cinemas 7.3
    • Music and entertainment 7.4
    • Arts and crafts 7.5
    • Food 7.6
    • Tourism 7.7
    • People 7.8
    • Miscellaneous 7.9
  • Sport 8
    • Football 8.1
    • Ice hockey 8.2
    • Cricket 8.3
    • National Watersports Centre 8.4
    • Rugby League 8.5
    • Rugby Union 8.6
    • Ice skating 8.7
    • Other sports 8.8
  • Transport 9
  • Crime 10
  • Religion 11
  • Media 12
    • Television 12.1
    • Radio 12.2
      • BBC Radio Nottingham 12.2.1
      • Gold 12.2.2
      • Gem 106 12.2.3
      • Capital East Midlands 12.2.4
      • Student Radio 12.2.5
      • Community radio 12.2.6
    • Newspapers and magazines 12.3
    • Alternative media 12.4
    • Film 12.5
  • Twin cities 13
  • Notable people 14
    • List of Mayors and Lord Mayors 14.1
    • The Sheriff of Nottingham 14.2
  • See also 15
  • References 16
  • External links 17


In Anglo-Saxon times the area was part of the Kingdom of Mercia, and was known in the Brythonic language as Tigguo Cobauc, meaning Place of Caves. In Welsh it is known poetically as Y Ty Ogofog and Irish Gaelic as Na Tithe Uaimh "The Cavey Dwelling".[13] When it fell under the rule of a Saxon chieftain named Snot it became known as "Snotingaham"; the homestead of Snot's people (Inga = the people of; Ham = homestead).[14] Some authors derive "Nottingham" from Snottenga, caves, and ham, but "this has nothing to do with the English form".[15]

Nottingham was captured in 867 by Viking/Danish Great Heathen Army and later became one of the Five Burghs – or fortified towns – of the Danelaw.

Nottingham Castle was constructed in the 11th century on a sandstone outcrop by the River Leen. The Anglo-Saxon settlement developed into the English Borough of Nottingham and housed a Town Hall and Law Courts. A settlement also developed around the castle on the hill opposite and was the French borough supporting the Normans in the castle. Eventually, the space between was built on as the town grew and the Old Market Square became the focus of Nottingham several centuries later. On the return of Richard the Lion Heart from the Crusades, the castle stood out in Prince John's favour. It was besieged by Richard and, after a sharp conflict, was captured.[16]

Nottingham from the east in ca. 1695, painted by Jan Siberechts

By the 15th century Nottingham had established itself as a centre of a thriving export trade in religious sculpture made from Nottingham Alabaster.[17] The town became a county corporate in 1449[18] giving it effective self-government, in the words of the charter, "for eternity". The Castle and Shire Hall were expressly excluded and remained as detached Parishes of Nottinghamshire.

During the Industrial Revolution, much of Nottingham's prosperity was founded on the textile industry; in particular, the city became an internationally important centre of lace manufacture. In 1831 citizens rioted in protest against the Duke of Newcastle's opposition to the Reform Act 1832, setting fire to his residence, Nottingham Castle.

Nottingham in 1831

In common with the UK textile industry, Nottingham's textile sector fell into decline in the decades following World War II. Little textile manufacture now takes place in Nottingham, however, many of the former industrial buildings in the Lace Market district have been restored and put to new uses.

Nottingham was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, and at that time consisted of the parishes of St Mary, St Nicholas and St Peter. It was expanded in 1877 by adding the parishes of Basford, Brewhouse Yard, Bulwell, Radford, Sneinton, Standard Hill and parts of the parishes of West Bridgford, Carlton, Wilford (North Wilford). In 1889 Nottingham became a county borough under the Local Government Act 1888. City status was awarded as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Queen Victoria, being signified in a letter from the Prime Minister the Marquess of Salisbury to the Mayor, dated 18 June 1897. Nottingham was extended in 1933 by adding Bilborough and Wollaton, parts of the parishes of Bestwood Park and Colwick, and a recently developed part of the Beeston Urban District. A further boundary extension was granted in 1951 when Clifton and Wilford (south of the River Trent) were incorporated into the city.[19][20]

Demographic evolution of Nottingham
Year Population
4th century <37
10th century <1,000
11th century 1,500
14th century 3,000
Early 17th century 4,000
Year Population
Late 17th century 5,000
1801 29,000
1811 34,000
1821 40,000
1831 51,000
Year Population
1841 53,000
1851 58,000
1861 76,000
1871 87,000
1881 159,000
Year Population
1901 240,000
1911 260,000
1921 269,000
1931 265,000
1951 306,000
Year Population
1961 312,000
1971 301,000
1981 278,000
1991 273,000
2001 275,000

Electric trams were introduced to the city in 1901; they served the city for 35 years until the trolleybus network was expanded in 1936. The city's road network was improved between 1922 and 1932 when a new dual carriageway was built. Housing conditions also began to improve when the first council houses were built on new suburban estates. Trams were reintroduced after 68 years when a new network opened in 2004.[21]

In the sporting world, Nottingham is home to the world's oldest professional football club, Notts County, which was formed in 1862. The town's other football club, Nottingham Forest, (under manager Brian Clough) had a period of success between 1977 and 1993; winning the First Division, four League Cups, a UEFA Super Cup and two European Cups.[22] During this time Forest signed Trevor Francis, Britain's first £1million footballer, who joined the club in February 1979 from Birmingham City.[23]

The city was the site of race riots in 1958, centred on the St Ann's neighbourhood.[24]

During the second half of the 20th century Nottingham saw urban growth with the development of new public and private housing estates and new urban centres, which have engulfed former rural villages such as Bilborough, Wollaton, Gedling and Bramcote. South of the river there has also been expansion with new areas such as Edwalton and West Bridgford, adding to Nottingham's urban sprawl. Although this growth slowed towards the end of the century, the modern pressures for more affordable and council housing is back on the political agenda and there is now pressure on the Green Belt which surrounds the city.


Local Government

Nottingham City Council is a unitary authority based at Nottingham Council House in Old Market Square. It consists of 55 councillors, representing 20 wards, who are elected every four years; the last elections being held on 5 May 2011.

The city also has ceremonial Lord Mayor who is selected by city councillors from among themselves. The position is ceremonial and has no formal power or authority. In a city-wide referendum in May 2012, residents voted for Nottingham not to have a directly elected Mayor.

UK Parliament

Nottingham has three UK parliamentary constituency seats within its boundaries. Nottingham North has been represented since 1987 by Labour MP Graham Allen, Nottingham East since 2010 by Labour MP Chris Leslie and Nottingham South since 2010 by Labour MP Lilian Greenwood.

European Parliament

Nottingham lies within the East Midlands European parliamentary constituency. In 2014, it elected five MEPs: Margot Parker (UKIP), Roger Helmer (UKIP), Andrew Lewer (Conservative), Emma McClarkin (Conservative) and Glenis Willmott (Labour).[25]

Map illustrating the boundaries of the city and the wider Greater Nottingham area.


Emergency services are provided by Nottinghamshire Police, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service and East Midlands Ambulance Service.


The City of Nottingham's boundaries are tightly drawn and exclude several suburbs and satellite towns that are usually considered part of Greater Nottingham, including Arnold, Carlton, West Bridgford, Beeston and Stapleford. Outlying towns and villages include Hucknall, Eastwood, Tollerton, Bingham, Ruddington, Ilkeston and Long Eaton of which the last two are in Derbyshire. The geographical area of Greater Nottingham includes several local authorities: Gedling, Broxtowe, Rushcliffe, Ashfield, Erewash and Amber Valley. In December 2011, Rushcliffe, in which the suburb of West Bridgford is located, was named one of the 20 most desirable places to live in the UK by the Halifax building society. It was one of only four places outside the south of the country to appear in the top 50.[26]

Within the city

Around the city


Climate chart ()
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

There are weather reporting stations close to Nottingham – the former "Nottingham Weather Centre", at Watnall, about 6 miles (10 km) north-west of the city centre; and the University of Nottingham's agricultural campus at Sutton Bonington, about 10 miles (16 km) to the south-west of the city centre. The maximum temperature recorded at Watnall stands at 34.6 °C (94.3 °F)[28] whilst at Sutton Bonington it is 34.8 °C (94.6 °F)[29] Both occurred on 3 August 1990. On average, a temperature of 25 °C (77 °F) or above is recorded on twelve days per year[30] at Watnall (1981–2010), and the warmest day of the year reaches an average of 29.6 °C (85.3 °F).[31]

For the period 1981–2010 Watnall recorded on average 42.9 days of air frost per year, and Sutton Bonington 47.1.[32] The lowest recorded temperature at Watnall is −13.3 °C (8.1 °F), recorded in both January 1963[33] and January 1987.[34]

Climate data for Nottingham Watnall, elevation 117m, 1981–2010, extremes 1960–
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.5
Average high °C (°F) 6.6
Average low °C (°F) 0.7
Record low °C (°F) −13.3
Precipitation mm (inches) 61.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 54.7 73.2 104.2 141.0 181.6 170.6 191.1 180.1 131.2 99.4 63.7 49.2 1,440.1
Source #1: Met Office[35]
Source #2: KNMI[36]
Climate data for Sutton Bonington, elevation 48m, 1981–2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.2
Average low °C (°F) 1.6
Precipitation mm (inches) 52.2
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 10.9 9.1 10.6 9.7 8.7 9.4 8.7 8.6 8.2 10.2 10.2 10.9 115.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 52.3 74.4 107.4 143.9 178.2 158.1 188.0 179.0 134.1 104.0 60.9 43.3 1,423.5
Source: Met Office[39]


The geographical centre of Nottingham is usually defined as the Old Market Square, the largest city square in the UK. The square is dominated by the Council House, which replaced The Nottingham Exchange Building, built in 1726. The Council House was built in the 1920s to display civic pride, ostentatiously using baroque columns and placing stone statues of two lions at the front to stand watch over the square. The Exchange Arcade, on the ground floor, is an upmarket shopping centre containing high-end boutiques. Portland Stone was used to construct the Council House and Exchange Arcade.

Nottingham Trent University, Arkwright Building

The western third of the city has most of the city's modern office complexes. Tall office buildings line Maid Marian Way. The Georgian area around Oxford and Regent Streets is dominated by small professional firms. The Albert Hall faces the Gothic revival St Barnabas' Roman Catholic Cathedral by Pugin. Nottingham Castle and its grounds are located further south in the western third of the city. The central third descends from the University district in the north, past Nottingham Trent University's Gothic revival Arkwright Building. The University also owns many other buildings in this area. The Theatre Royal on Theatre Square, with its pillared façade, was built in 1865. King and Queen Streets are home to striking Victorian buildings designed by the likes of Alfred Waterhouse and Watson Fothergill.

To the south, is Broadmarsh Shopping Centre. The Canal-side further south of this is adjacent to Nottingham railway station and home to numerous redeveloped 19th Century industrial buildings reused, as bars and restaurants.

The eastern third of the city centre contains the Victoria Shopping Centre, built in the 1970s on the site of the demolished Victoria Railway Station. All that remains of the old station is the clock tower and the station hotel, now the Nottingham Hilton Hotel. The 250 feet-high Victoria Centre flats stand above the shopping centre and are the tallest buildings in the city. The eastern third contains Hockley Village. Hockley is where many of Nottingham's unique, independent shops are to be found. It is also home to two alternative cinemas. The Screen Room in Hockley claims to be the smallest cinema in the world with only 21 seats.

Lace Market

St Mary's church in the Lace Market
Typical red brick lined street in the Lace Market
Galleries of Justice in the Lace Market

The Lace Market area just south of Hockley has densely packed streets full of four to seven-story red brick warehouses, ornate iron railings and red phone boxes.

Many buildings have been converted into apartments, bars and restaurants. Galleries of Justice and was Nottingham's main court and prison building, for 200 years from 1780; although the site's use as a court stretches back as far as 1375.


Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem (The Trip), partially built into the cave system beneath Nottingham Castle, is a contender for the title of "England's Oldest Pub" due to its supposed establishment in 1189.[40] The Bell Inn on the Old Market Square, and Ye Olde Salutation Inn (The Salutation) on Maid Marian Way, have both disputed this claim. The Trip, whilst the oldest building, was for most of its early life a brewery and not a public house. The Salutation sits on the oldest recognised public house site, but the current building is comparatively recent. The Bell Inn, although not in such an antiquated location, boasts the oldest public house building. There is also conflicting information available: dendrochronology from roof timbers in The Salutation give a date for the building of c. 1420 with similar dates for The Bell Inn. Ultimately, the roots of the multiple claims can be traced to various subtleties of definition in terms such as "public house" and "inn".


Higher education

Nottingham is home to two universities: the Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham; both of which have several campuses in the city. In 2011/12, Nottingham Trent University had 27,930 students, and the University of Nottingham had 35,630,[41] making Nottingham one of the largest centres of higher education in the UK. The University of Nottingham Medical School is part of the Queen's Medical Centre.[42]

Further education

Three further education colleges are located in Nottingham. Bilborough College is solely a Sixth Form college. Central College was formed from the merger of South Nottingham College and Castle College. New College was formed from a merger of four smaller further education colleges.

Secondary education

The south side of Nottingham High School

Nottingham also has a number of independent schools, with Nottingham High School – which was founded in 1513[43][44] –being the city's oldest educational establishment. According to the Sunday Times, Nottingham High School came eighth nationally for A-Levels in 2008.

Nationally, Nottingham came eighth from bottom in terms of GCSE results attained.[45]


Part of the HMRC complex in Nottingham

In 2010, Nottingham City Council announced that as part of their economic development strategy for the city, their target sectors would include Low Carbon Technologies, Digital Media, Life Sciences, Financial and Business Services and Retail and Leisure.[46]

Nottingham is home to the headquarters of many well-known companies. One of the best known is Boots the Chemists (now Alliance Boots), founded in the city by John Boot in 1849 and substantially expanded by his son Jesse Boot, 1st Baron Trent and grandson John Boot, 2nd Baron Trent. Other large companies include the credit reference agency Experian, the energy company E.ON UK, the tobacco company Imperial Tobacco, betting company Gala Group, amusement and gambling machine manufacturer Bell-Fruit-Games, engineering company Siemens, sportswear manufacturers Speedo, high street opticians Vision Express, games and publishing company Games Workshop (creator of the popular Warhammer series), PC software developer Serif Europe (publisher of PagePlus and other titles), Web hosting provider Heart Internet and the American credit card company Capital One (whose European offices are based in the city). Nottingham is also the home of the Nottingham Building Society (set up in 1849), the offices of HM Revenue and Customs, the Driving Standards Agency, BBC East Midlands offices and, formerly, the Government Office for the East Midlands. Nottingham is also one of the eight members of the English Core Cities Group.

Nottingham was made one of the UK's six Science Cities in 2005 by, then Chancellor of the Exchequer (later Prime Minister), Gordon Brown. Among the science based industries within the city is BioCity. Founded as a joint venture between Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham, BioCity is the UK's biggest bioscience innovation and incubation centre. The centre houses around 80 science-based companies.[47]

Until recently bicycle manufacturing was a major industry, the city being the birthplace of Raleigh Cycles in 1886 and later joined by Sturmey-Archer, the creator of 3-speed hub gears. However, Raleigh's factory on Triumph Road, famous as the location for the filming of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, was demolished in Summer 2003 to make way for the University of Nottingham's expansion of Jubilee Campus. However the bicycles are still designed and assembled close to Nottingham in Eastwood, and still bear the city's name on their logo.

Many of the UK's railway ticket machines and platform departure boards run software written by Atos Origin in their offices in Nottingham. Other major industries in the city include engineering, textiles, knitwear and electronics. An increasing number of software developers are located in Nottingham: Reuters, Crytek UK, Nexor and Legendary Games are based in the city centre, and Serif Europe are based between Wilford and Ruddington, south west of the Trent and east of Clifton. The schools and aerial photographers, H Tempest Ltd were Nottingham-based for many years, until relocating to St. Ives (Cornwall) around 1960. A skeleton office remained for many years in the original building next to Mundella School. The global Business SMS company Esendex was founded in the Lace Market district and now operates in 6 markets across the world. Ceramics manufacturer Mason Cash was founded in, and continues to operate in Nottingham. Nottingham is also the birthplace of, and joint headquarters of Paul Smith, the high fashion house.

Economic trends
Year Regional Gross
Value Added (£m)
1995 4,149 2 1,292 2,855
2000 5,048 1 912 4,135
2003 5,796 967 4,828
source: Office for National Statistics


The Exchange Arcade inside the Council House

In 2014, Nottingham was positioned eleventh in CACI's Retail Footprint rankings of retail expenditure in the UK, behind the West End of London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.[48] This is a slip of 5 places since 2010 primarily due to major developments in other parts of the UK and a relative lack of investment in Nottingham. However, this is likely to change as the owners of the two main shopping centres, Intu, have plans to upgrade and extend them both.[49]

There are two main shopping centres in Nottingham: Victoria Centre and the Broadmarsh Centre. The Victoria Centre was established on the site of the former Nottingham Victoria railway station, and was the first to be built in the city, with parking for up to 2,400 cars on several levels and a bus station. Victoria Centre is also topped by 26 floors of flats, the tallest building in Nottingham.

Nottingham City Council, owners of the Broadmarsh Centre, have been attempting to redevelop it for "almost two decades".[50] Work on redeveloping Broadmarsh, at a cost of £400 million (creating 400 stores, 136,000 m2 of shopping space), was due to start in 2008. However, the downturn in the economy meant that redevelopment was delayed throughout from 2008 to 2010. Finally in 2010, Westfield announced that the centre would not be redeveloped, but would be refurbished instead. Months after this announcement, the Victoria Centre also announced plans for expansion, to compete with new centres in Derby and Leicester. In light of the Victoria Centre's redevelopment plans, in 2011, Westfield announced that it was once again planning a £500 million development of Broadmarsh, which was planned to start in 2012. This, however, also did not take place. Broadmarsh was finally sold to Capital Shopping Centres, the owners of the Victoria Centre. The purchase prompted an investigationn by the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission, who were concerned the company's monopoly over the city's shopping centres could negatively impact competition.[51] CSC subsequently rebranded themselves and the centres using the "intu" name. Despite the new owners wishing to start the planned development of the Victoria Centre, Nottingham City Council have insisted Broadmarsh must be their "priority"; the council offering £50 million towards its redevelopment.[52] The deputy leader of Nottingham City Council said the council would withhold planning permission for the development of the Victoria Centre until they "see bulldozers going into the Broadmarsh Centre".[50]

On the second of February 2014, intu began work on Victoria Centre once they had done some (but not considerable) work on Broadmarsh. The plans involve creating a food court. It has been noticed by regular shoppers that less high-end shops that used to be downstairs, such as Poundworld moving towards the car park entrance, while others such as That's Entertainment, a low-budget CD and DVD shop being moved to Broadmarsh in what is believed to be an attempt to give Victoria Centre a classier feel, much like Broadmarsh originally aimed to do.

Smaller shopping centres in the city are The Exchange Arcade, the Flying Horse Walk and newer developments in Trinity Square and The Pod. The Bridlesmith Gate area has numerous designer shops, and is the home of the original Paul Smith boutique. There are also various side streets and alleys that hide some interesting and often overlooked buildings and shops – streets such as Poultry Walk, West End Arcade and Hurts Yard. These are home to many specialist shops, as is Derby Road, near the Roman Catholic Cathedral and once the antiques area but now home to some the city's most interesting independent shops.

Nottingham has a number of department stores including the House of Fraser, John Lewis, and Debenhams. Hockley Village caters to alternative tastes with many alternative and independent shops.

Creative Quarter

The Creative Quarter is a project started by Nottingham City Council as part of the Nottingham City Deal. Centred on the east of the city (including the Lace Market, Hockley, Broadmarsh East, the Island site and BioCity), the project aims at creating growth and jobs. In July 2012, the government contributed £25 million towards a £45 million venture capital fund, mainly targeted at the Creative Quarter.[53]


Nottingham Playhouse and Roman Catholic Cathedral reflected in Anish Kapoor's Sky Mirror


Nottingham has two large-capacity theatres, the Nottingham Playhouse and the Theatre Royal (which, together with the neighbouring Royal Concert Hall forms the Royal Centre) The city is also host to smaller theatre venues, such as the Nottingham Arts Theatre the Lace Market Theatre and New Theatre (the only entirely student-run theatre in England).

Galleries and museums

The city contains several museums and art galleries including the Nottingham Castle Museum.

  • 'Brewhouse Yard Museum, the museum of Nottingham Life based within five 17th-century cottages at the base of the rock of Nottingham Castle. Once a refuge for persecuted members of dissenting religious groups, today, the museum investigates over 300 years of local history.
  • The Galleries of Justice – Museum of Law Trust based at the Shire Hall in the Lace Market
  • George Green.
  • Lakeside Arts Centre is the University of Nottingham's public arts centre.
  • New Art Exchange – a contemporary art gallery based in Hyson Green. Focus on African, African Caribbean and South Asian art.
  • Nottingham Castle Museum – home to the city's fine and decorative art collections, along with the Story of Nottingham galleries, and the Sherwood Foresters Regimental Museum.
  • Nottingham Contemporary – Contemporary art gallery, which opened in 2009.
  • Nottingham Industrial Museum – in Wollaton Park.
  • Nottingham Natural History Museum – based at Wollaton Hall, an Elizabethan mansion .
  • Nottingham's Independent Arts Centre
  • Wollaton Hall - Elizabethan stately home, owned by Nottingham City Council an.

Other museums and galleries outside the city boundary but within the Greater Nottingham conurbation include:

In addition the city owns Newstead Abbey which is outside the conurbation.


The city has several multiplex cinemas. Independent cinemas include the Broadway Cinema,[54] Savoy Cinema,[55] (a four-screen Art Deco cinema), as well an Arthouse cinema in Hockley. Broadway was redeveloped and expanded in 2006. Quentin Tarantino held the British premiere of Pulp Fiction there in 1994.

Music and entertainment

The Albert Hall, Nottingham, one of the city's music venues.

Nottingham has several large music and entertainment venues including the Royal Concert Hall, Rock City and the Nottingham Arena

The 2,500-capacity Nottingham Royal Concert Hall and 10,000-capacity Nottingham Arena attract the biggest names in popular music and comedy. Nottingham also has a selection of smaller venues, including the 800-capacity Albert Hall, Ye Olde Salutation Inn, Seven (formerly Junktion 7) and The Old Angel. Nottingham is host to the award-winning dedicated rock music venue Rock City. Nottingham's City Ground also played host to rock band R.E.M. in 2005, the first time a concert had been staged at the football stadium.[56]

The city has an active classical music scene, with long-established groups such as the city's Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra, Nottingham Harmonic Society, Bach Choir, Early Music Group Musica Donum Dei and the Symphonic Wind Orchestra giving regular performances in the city.

The city is home to a few independent record labels such as Gringo Records, Hello Thor, Dead by Mono Records. The Sumac Centre, based in Forest Fields, has for many years supported local upcoming musicians, artists and film makers, and a variety of campaign groups. There are also a large number of live music venues promoting rock and metal music throughout the city, including The Central, The Old Angel, The Maze, The Chameleon, The Corner and Ye Olde Salutation Inn.

Ten Years After are famous for their performance at Woodstock. Although Nottingham has generally had a rather sparse output in terms of mainstream music, since the turn of the decade the city has produced a number of artists to garner media attention, including; Jake Bugg, London Grammar, Indiana, Natalie Duncan, Dog Is Dead, Saint Raymond, Amber Run, Harleighblu and Sleaford Mods.[57]

Wollaton Park in Nottingham hosts an annual family-friendly music event called Splendour. In 2009 it was headlined by Madness and The Pogues. The following year it was headlined by The Pet Shop Boys and featured, among others, Calvin Harris, Noisettes, Athlete and OK Go.[58] In 2011 it featured headline acts Scissor Sisters, Blondie, Eliza Doolittle and Feeder. In 2012, performers included Dizzee Rascal, Razorlight, Katy B, and Hard-Fi.

Nottingham has a strong 'DIY' music scene, with a large number of independent promoters using a variety of venues, pubs/bars, warehouse spaces and galleries to host gigs throughout the city. Nottingham is also known for Hip Hop[59] and Grime.

There are also many independent recording studios in the city; including Rofl Audio Recording Studios, a purpose built recording complex, which opened in 2013.[60]

Arts and crafts

The Hockley Arts Market runs alongside Sneinton Market on the fourth Saturday of every month. Started by a collective of textile graduates from Nottingham Trent University, the market acts as a platform for independent artists to showcase and sell their wares. Nottingham artists are represented by the Nottingham Society of Artists, formed in 1880, to bring together artists and art lovers. They have regular exhibitions at their headquarters in St. Lukes House.


There are several hundred restaurants in Nottingham, with several AA rosette winning restaurants[61] and one two Michelin starred restaurant, Sat Bains. In addition, Iberico World Tapas, situation in the city centre, was awarded a Bib Gourmand in the 2013 Michelin Guide.[62]

The Old Market Square is host to the annual Nottingham Food and Drink Festival, and numerous foreign food markets throughout the year.


Ferris wheel in Old Market Square

In 2005 it was estimated that Nottingham received around 300,000 overseas visitors each year[63] and, in 2010, the city was named as one of the "Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2010" by DK Travel.[64] Popular history-based tourist attractions in central Nottingham include the Castle, City of Caves, Lace Market, The Galleries of Justice, and the City's ancient pubs.

Parks and gardens include Wollaton Park (over 500 acres (202 ha) centred on Wollaton Hall), Colwick Park (which includes the racecourse), the Nottingham Arboretum, Forest Recreation Ground and Victoria Park. Sherwood Forest, Rufford Country Park, Creswell Crags and Clumber Park are further away from the city itself.

There are two main Robin Hood events throughout the Nottingham area, including the Robin Hood Pageant during October, and the Robin Hood Festival during the summer. The pageant is held at the Castle, whilst the festival is held in nearby Sherwood Forest. The city is also home to the Nottingham Robin Hood Society, founded in 1972 by Jim Lees and Steve and Ewa Theresa West.[65]

In February 2008, a Ferris wheel was put up in the Old Market Square and was a major attraction of Nottingham City Council's 'Light Night' on 8 February. The wheel returned to Nottingham in February 2009 to mark another night of lights, activities, illuminations and entertainment. Initially marketed as the Nottingham Eye, it was later redubbed as the Nottingham Wheel, to avoid any association with the London Eye.[66] It was seen again in 2010, and is now a much welcomed annual event happening in Nottingham.

New buildings on the south side of the Lace Market area.


Many local businesses and organisations use the worldwide fame of Robin Hood to represent or promote their brands. Many residents speak using the East Midlands dialect. The friendly term of greeting 'Ayup me Duck' is a humorous example of the local dialect[67] but with an unclear origin.


The annual Nottingham Goose Fair is held during the first week of October and is one of the oldest and largest travelling fairs in Europe, having since 1284 only been cancelled for The Plague and the two world wars. The fair has been held on the Forest Recreation Ground since 1928, having previously been held in the Old Market Square.

Nottingham won the Britain in Bloom competition, in the Large City category, in 1997, 2001, 2003 and 2007. It also won the Entente Florale Gold Award in 1998.

Nottingham has one of the oldest city farms in the UK, Stonebridge city farm, dating back to 1978.

Nottingham is home to the GameCity annual videogame festival, which attracts leading industry speakers from around the world.

Nottingham has featured in a number of fictional works.



Nottingham is home to two professional football clubs: Notts County and Nottingham Forest. Their two football grounds, on opposite sides of the River Trent, are noted for geographically being the closest in English league football.

Notts County is the oldest of all the clubs in the world that are now professional, having been formed in 1862.[68] They were also among the Football League's founder members in 1888. For most of their history they have played their home games at Meadow Lane, which currently holds some 20,000 spectators all-seated. They currently play in Football League One – the third tier of English league football – and most recently played top division football in May 1992.[69]

Nottingham Forest, who currently play in the Football League Championship, were English league champions in 1978 and won the European Cup twice over the next two seasons under the management of Brian Clough, who was the club's manager from January 1975 to May 1993, leading them to four Football League Cup triumphs in that time. They have played at the City Ground, on the south bank of the River Trent, since 1898. Nottingham Forest joined the Football League in 1892, four years after its inception when it merged with the rival Football Alliance, and 100 years later, they were among the FA Premier League's founder members in 1992 – though they have not played top division football since May 1999.[70]

The City Ground played host to group stage games in the 1996 European Football Championships.[71]

Nottingham won the title of 2015 City of Football after five months of campaigning, which resulted in £1.6m in funding for local football ventures and to encourage more people to play the sport.[72]

Ice hockey

Nottingham is home to one of the biggest ice hockey teams in Britain, the Nottingham Panthers. The team compete in the Elite Ice Hockey League, and share an intense rivalry with the Sheffield Steelers.

The city is also home to the Nottingham Mavericks, a team formed from players attending the city's two universities.


Nottingham is home to Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, who play at Trent Bridge (a major international cricket venue with a capacity of 17,000). The club were 2010 Cricket County Champions. Trent Bridge cricket ground is a regular host of Test Cricket each and was one of the venues for the 2009 ICC T20 tournament.

National Watersports Centre

The National Water Sports Centre is based at Holme Pierrepont. The centre has a 2000 metre regatta lake for rowing, canoeing and sailing, and a white water slalom canoe course fed from the River Trent.

Rugby League

Nottingham Outlaws are an amateur rugby league club who play in the Rugby League Conference National Division. They play their home games at Harvey Hadden Stadium, which has a capacity of 1600.

Rugby Union

Nottingham is also home to Championship Nottingham RFC who have played their home games at League One, Notts County's Meadow Lane stadium since 2006. In January 2015 they will play home matches at their training base, Lady Bay Sports Ground. If Nottingham are promoted to the Premiership they will return to Meadow Lane for home matches.[73]

Ice skating

The city was the birthplace and training location for ice dancers Torvill and Dean, who won Gold at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics; their performance is the only one to have obtained a perfect 6.0 score from all on the judging panel. The pair went on to gain numerous gold medals, including at the World Figure Skating Championships, European Figure Skating Championships and the British Figure Skating Championships. More recently the pair have appeared as coaches on the TV program Dancing on Ice.

The citys National Ice Centre, opened by Jane Torvill, is a national centre for ice sports. The square in-front of the centre is named "Bolero Square" after Torvill and Dean's perfect 6.0 performance. The Great Britain Olympic Speed Skating team train in Nottingham.

Other sports

Other sporting events in the city include the annual tennis Aegon Trophy (which is staged at the City of Nottingham Tennis Centre), the Robin Hood Marathon, the Great Nottinghamshire Bike Ride[74] and the Outlaw Triathlon.[75] Nottingham also has three Roller derby teams: Nottingham Roller Girls,[76] the Hellfire Harlots (women's teams)[77] and Super Smash Brollers (men's team).


Nottingham is served by East Midlands Airport (formerly known as Nottingham East Midlands Airport until it again reverted to its original name of East Midlands airport). East Midlands Airport is near Castle Donington which is in North West Leicestershire, just under 15 miles (24 km) south west of the city centre. The airport is 10th busiest airport in the UK in terms of passenger traffic, and the UK's busiest for pure freight, with separate cargo hubs for Royal Mail, TNT and DHL.

Nottingham is also connected by both road and rail. The M1 motorway passes to the west of the city, and the city is well connected by rail, with services run from Nottingham railway station by CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains and Northern Rail.

British Waterways building (formerly the Trent Navigation Company warehouse) on the Nottingham Canal

The reintroduction of trams in 2004 made Nottingham one of only six English cities to have a light rail system. The trams run from the city centre to Hucknall in the north, with an additional spur to the Phoenix Park Park and Ride close to Junction 26 of the M1. Two new lines are under construction to the southern suburbs of Wilford and Clifton and the western suburbs of Beeston and Chilwell.

The city has the largest public bus network in the UK,[11] the overwhelming majority of which is operated by Nottingham City Transport, which runs a colour-coded network of 68 routes and is the city's fifth largest private employer.In September 2010, Nottingham was named "England's least car-dependent city" by the Campaign for Better Transport with London and Manchester in second and fourth place respectively.[78] In November 2010, Nottingham City Council won Transport Authority of the Year by the UK Bus Awards, for services for providing safer and sustainable public transport.[79][80]

Nottingham's waterways, now primarily used for leisure, have been extensively used for transport in the past. Until the mid-20th century the River Trent and both the Nottingham and Beeston Canals provided an important industry transport link.


Nottingham is served by Nottinghamshire Police and has a Crown Court and Magistrates' Court.

Nottinghamshire Police recorded a total of 33,578 crimes in the city between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012, a reduction of 2,600 offences (or 7.2%) compared with the previous 12 months.

Laurie Macdonald of 'Inside One magazine observes that the city's one time high crime rate earned it the nickname Shottingham, but that by 2013 this image was outdated. The article was written in response to a uSwitch survey that had found south Nottinghamshire to be the fourth best place to live in the UK in terms of living standards. Crime in Nottingham had also fallen by three quarters since 2007.[81]


St. Mary the Virgin also known as St. Mary's in the Lace Market
Unitarian Chapel on High Pavement, now the Pitcher and Piano public house

The traditional requirement of city status is a (Church of England) cathedral; Nottingham, however, does not have one, having only been created a city in 1897, in celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. From around 1100AD Nottingham was part of the Diocese of Lichfield, controlled as an Archdeaconry from Lichfield Cathedral in Staffordshire. However, in 1837 the archdeaconry was transferred and came under the control of the Diocese of Lincoln. In 1884 the archdeaconry became part of the newly created Diocese of Southwell, which it, and the city, are still part of today. The Bishop is based at Southwell Minster, 14 miles (23 km) north-east of the city. In 2005 the diocese was renamed the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.

Despite not having a cathedral, Nottingham has three notable historic Anglican parish churches, all of which date back to the Middle Ages. St. Mary the Virgin, in the Lace Market, is the oldest and largest. The church dates from the eighth or ninth centuries, but the present building is at least the third on the site, dating primarily from 1377 to 1485. St. Mary's is considered the mother church of the city and civic services are held here, including the welcome to the new Lord Mayor of Nottingham each year. It is a member of the Greater Churches Group. St. Peter's in the heart of the city is the oldest building in continuous use in Nottingham, with traces of building starting in 1180. St. Nicholas' was rebuilt after destruction in the Civil War.

Non-conformism was strong from the 17th century onwards and a variety of chapels and meeting rooms proliferated throughout the town. Many of these grand buildings have been demolished, including Halifax Place Wesleyan Chapel, but some have been re-used, notably High Pavement Chapel which is now a public house. The offices of the Congregational Federation are in Nottingham. William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, was born in Nottingham in 1829.

Nottingham is one of 18 British cities that do not have an Anglican cathedral; a traditional requirement for city status.[82][83] It is however, home to the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Barnabas, which was designed by Augustus Pugin and consecrated in 1844. It is the cathedral church for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nottingham.

Today there are places of worship for all major religions, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism and Judaism. The Nottingham Inter-faith Council works to make connections between faith groups and show the wider public the importance of spiritual aspects of life and the contribution faith groups make to the community. An annual Saraswati Puja is organised by the Indian diaspora under the aegis of the socio-cultural group Jhankar-NICA in January/February.



The BBC has its East Midlands headquarters in Nottingham on London Road. BBC East Midlands Today is broadcast from the city every weeknight at 18:30.

From 1983-2005 Central Television (the ITV region for the East Midlands) had a studio complex on Lenton Lane, producing programmes for various networks and broadcasting regional news. Although a petition was set up to try to stop it, the TV studios were shut down in early 2005 with local news production transferred to Birmingham.

The city was recently granted permission by OFCOM to set up its own local television station. After a tender process, Confetti College was awarded the license. The station was declared open by Prince Harry in April 2013 and Notts TV began broadcast in spring 2014.[84]


In addition to the national commercial and BBC radio stations, the Nottingham area is served by four licensed commercial radio stations (though all broadcast to a wider area than the city), three community radio stations, one student station broadcasting on a Low powered AM Restricted Service Licence and a BBC local radio station.

BBC Radio Nottingham

BBC Radio Nottingham is broadcast across the county from the BBC East Midlands studios on London Road, which were once home to BBC Radio Two's Simon Mayo, who was the rival to Trent's Dale Winton.


Gold is a quasi national MW station playing classic hits across the UK. The station started life in the East Midlands as GEM AM on 4 October 1988, as a split service from Radio Trent and Leicester Sound. It was initially broadcast to Nottingham, Derby, and Leicester, however broadcasts on MW ceased in Leicester in 1995. The station was rebranded Classic Gold GEM in the mid-1990s and by 2007 most local programming had already ceased, at which point it became part of the new national Gold service, with all local programming (except travel news and advertising) ending.

Gem 106

Gem 106 (formerly Radio 106, Century FM and Heart 106) is a regional Adult Contemporary radio station which has broadcast to the whole East Midlands from its headquarters in the City Link business park since its launch in 1997.

Capital East Midlands

Radio Trent (later renamed Trent FM) was Nottinghamshire's first commercial radio station. Prior to 2008, the Trent FM building was a converted Victorian hospital which connected to the underground network of caves. Many famous presenters were employed at the station, including Dale Winton, Kid Jensen, John Peters and Penny Smith.

The station merged with neighbouring stations Leicester Sound and Ram FM on Monday 3 January 2011, to form Capital East Midlands airing regional breakfast and drivetime programming alongside networked output from London.

Student Radio

The city's two universities both broadcast their own student radio stations. Nottingham Trent University's FlyFM is based at the university's city campus and is broadcast online.[85] Nottingham University's University Radio Nottingham is broadcast around the main and Sutton Bonnington campuses on medium wave (AM), as well as over the internet.[86] New College Nottingham also broadcast an online radio station, NCN RADIO.

Community radio

There are also three community radio stations serving the city. Faza FM on 97.1FM, has been broadcasting since 2002 and is aimed at Asian women and their families. Dawn FM on 107.6FM used to share its broadcast hours with Faza, but in 2006 became a separate service in its own right – broadcasting news, current affairs and music of relevance to the Asian (specifically Islamic) community within the city. Kemet Radio on 97.5, launched in 2007 and broadcasts urban music while also serving the Afro-Caribbean community.

Newspapers and magazines

Nottingham's main local newspaper, the Nottingham Post, is owned by Northcliffe Media and is published daily from Monday to Saturday each week. There are also a number of other publications which focus on individual areas within the city, for instance the Hucknall and Bulwell Dispatch.

A local culture and listings magazine called LeftLion is available free from many sites around the city, whilst a complimentary, bi-monthly glossy magazine is also available from a number of outlets across the city called Life&Style Magazine. This consists of features typically focused on the area's interest in fashion, entertainment and politics. Arrow magazine features a range of local news, events and information on Nottingham City Council services.

Nottingham Trent University's Student Union produces the regular Platform Magazine, while Impact Magazine is a monthly magazine written for, and by, students at the University of Nottingham.

Student tabloid, The Tab also publishes online content and has teams at both universities.[87][88]

Alternative media

Community news project Nottinghamshire Indymedia, which was set up in April 2005, works within a variety of groups to create community media and collaboration between communities throughout the county. At the centre of the project is an online news site, which is run on the principles of open publishing.

Online entertainment guide NG Magazine covers music, events and entertainment in the city, while This City exclusively covers local music.


Nottingham has been used as a location in many locally, nationally, and internationally produced films. Movies that have been filmed (partly or entirely) in Nottingham include:[89]

Wollaton Hall was used as Wayne Manor in the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises

Nottingham is home to Wellington Films, an independent production company most notable for their award-winning film London to Brighton.

Twin cities

Nottingham is twinned with the following cities:[90]

Notable people

List of Mayors and Lord Mayors

The Sheriff of Nottingham

See also


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External links

  • Nottingham City Council website
  • Nottingham travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Visit Nottingham
  • Visiting Nottingham Information


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