24 hours in Nottingham – you may like to try the tram too!
Actually it was 26 hours – so you may be able to do it quicker! The purpose of our trip was to find what remained of the Great Central and Great Northern Railways in the city and to visit some of the excellent pubs there. We aimed to concentrate on the city centre.
After arrival into Nottingham Midland station we caught the tram using the Mango card (like a London Oyster card) to The Lace Market where a short walk found us in The Angel Microbrewery, a new venture that offers a range of their own beers as well as others from nearby breweries, 5 in total including pale and porter. Another tram ride took us back to the main railway station from where we walked alongside the canal to where the beautiful and listed London Road Low Level Great Northern Railway station has a secured future life as a gym. A further walk for about a mile alongside the canal brought us to the Trent Navigation Inn, home of Navigation Brewery where an impressive line-up of handpulls dispensed the full spectrum of styles. Across the road is another brewpub, the Brewhouse and Kitchen overlooking the River Trent. Although dark by then it was a pleasant walk beside the river to meet up with one of the tram lines which would whisk us back to the city centre. After checking in at the hotel opposite Trent University where trams pass the door we headed for the famous Annie’s Burger Shack where the burgers are like nothing you’ve tasted before, quite superb and a beer range from ten handpulls including the likes of beers from Tiny Rebel and Anarchy. The evening was rounded off at the Orange Tree near the hotel, which had a couple of pumps from which we sampled the Oakham Citra.
The next morning we searched for the Great Central Railway’s Victoria station. We spied the old railway tunnel and the clock tower before heading for our first lunchtime pub near to the castle. This was the Crafty Crow owned by Magpie Brewery where 8 handpulls dispensed a variety of styles from
their brewery and others in the area like Nottingham, Manning Brewers and Jolly Boys Brewery. A pleasant ½ hour walk through the rather smart side of Nottingham took us to a Blue Monkey pub, the Organ Grinder with seven of the nine pumps from that brewery and the remainder from Titanic (Cherry Dark) and Sharps (Doom Bar!). A short walk then through an ancient graveyard brought us back to the tramline by Trent University from where we journeyed back to the Lace Market and the Cross Keys where all six handpulls dispensed Navigation ales so we were able to catch up on the
ones we had missed from their portfolio the previous day. The tram took us back to Nottingham and eventually we were back Pershore 3 hours later.
Notes on rail travel: The Mango card has a daily cap of £3:80 and that we found it a lot cheaper to buy the main line tickets in two sections, Pershore to Birmingham and Birmingham to Nottingham which we bought at Foregate Street, Worcester. Nottingham is highly recommended for the superb city centre pubs or the towns at the end of the tram lines like Hucknall. Try the tram … you’ll enjoy where it takes you.