city slicker Nottingham

As the annual Robin Hood Festival reaches its climax, we reveal that there's more to Nottingham than men in tights

The official line: Daniel Defoe called Nottingham "one of the most pleasant and beautiful towns in England". Home of Robin and his merry men, DH Lawrence, Byron, Jesse Boot - founder of the high-street chemist shops - as well as designer Paul Smith.

A 1990 Gallup Moneywise poll voted it the "Number One City for the Best Quality of Life" in Britain, and the English Tourist Board named it last year as England's Tourist Destination of the Year.

It also has the fifth highest rate of violence against the person in England, according to Home Office figures, which may explain the city's annual crime and mystery film festival. Last year's guest of honour? Quentin Tarantino.

Unofficially: Home of numerous streetwalkers, crusties and on Saturday night, "townies" - the white socks and stilettos brigade who escape from the depths of Nottinghamshire. Be warned: in term-time the city's awash with students who fill the pubs and clubs.

Most likely to see: Robin Hood, in one form or another. Actor Mark Dickinson works full-time all year round as the legendary hero at the Tales of Robin Hood adventure centre, and greets tourists at the castle during weekends in the summer. He'll no doubt be joined in full regalia by the hundreds of people unable to resist the green tights, bows and arrows and floppy hats on sale at the special festival shops in Sherwood Forest.

Least likely to see: Not, as vicious rumour would have you believe, the Sheriff of Nottingham. Several papers reported earlier this year that the 800-year-old post had been left vacant after 37 councillors turned down the job of Robin's number one enemy. But the City Council insists only three people initially turned it down, due to work commitments. The real Sheriff, Cllr Roy Greensmith, joins "Robin" for his greeting sessions at the castle. So former men in tights Kevin Costner and Mel Brooks get this vote.

Weirdest sight: The sandy beach, seaside and pier that appeared in the centre of town (Market Square) one summer a couple of years ago. Sadly, "Nottingham-by-the-Sea" has been replaced by a more mundane music festival in Wollaton Park next month.

Shopping: Big business in Nottingham, which is fast becoming the consumer capital of the East Midlands, offering a designer fix for those in need of a shopping high. As well as the two obvious shopping centres (the Victoria and the Broad Marsh) there are more individual stores in the Flying Horse arcade, along Bridlesmith Gate and in Hockley.

Best clubs: For a "townie-free" night, steer clear of Ritzy's and Madison's. Fashion victims should head for Deluxe (formerly Venus) on St James Street, while Beatroot, 6-8 Broadway, Lace Market is for those who're not afraid to sweat the night away. Saturday's the best night: club classics and hard house.

Best restaurants: Burgers and pizza galore, but the more adventurous should try Sonny's (Anglo/French cuisine) on Carlton St. Homesick Aussies can find solace at Ned Kelly's on Queen St, and for good Mexican food, head slightly out of the centre to Muchachas at 140 Alfreton Road.

Pubs: Lots of scope for fans of The Young Ones as there's no escape from the students who fill the pubs in term time. Best bet is the Gooseberry Bush on Peel St. Bikers should try the Trip to Jerusalem, which is built into the castle walls and has the added attraction of not many students. The Castle, opposite its namesake, is also worth a visit.

Biggest fight: Aside from the miners' many battles over the years, Nottingham has struggled to retain the rights to the Robin Hood legend. A string of contenders from Yorkshire to Scotland (where one Scots historian claims Robin was really a woman from Glasgow) have claimed the hero for their own.

Biggest disappointment: Anyone seeking a castle to live up to the legend should head straight for Warwick.

Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette

film
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off contestants line-up behind Sue and Mel in the Bake Off tent

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him

music
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event

film
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz