Nottingham, England travel guide and things to do: Nine must-do highlights

THE ONE PUB

Supposedly the oldest pub in England, Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem has records dating to 1189 and it is tremendously atmospheric. It's a maze of nooks, crannies and tiny alcoves, built into the sandstone of Castle Rock. What's more, there's a strong selection of real ales on tap. It's the sort of place where you come for one pint and end up staying all evening. See greeneking-pubs.co.uk

THE ONE TOUR

Robin Hood statue
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David whitley

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Photo: Andy Andrews

Nottingham couldn't escape the Robin Hood story if it tried, and Ezekial Bone's walking tours around the city centre delve into the myth with impeccably-researched detail, visiting sites mentioned in the traditional stories that have morphed and evolved over the centuries. The guide may be dressed as Robin Hood, but leads guests to some surprising conclusions about who the real Robin was. The tour also heads underground into secret tunnels beneath a pub. See ezekialbone.com

THE ONE CAVE COMPLEX

There's more underground weirdness in the City of Caves, which has its inauspicious entrance inside the Broadmarsh shopping centre. Step inside, though, and you enter Nottingham's extraordinary subterranean network of man-made caves which, as the tour guides explain, have previously been used as leather tanneries, pubs and air-raid shelters. See nationaljusticemuseum.org.uk

THE ONE CAFE

There's a touch of the '20s about Josephine's, with its Tiffany glass lamps, jazz tinkling away in the background and climbing plants on the walls. It's a tea room, but does a fine eggs benedict for breakfast. The Nottingham cobble-cake – somewhere between a rock cake and a scone, but with chopped cherries and icing – serves as the local delicacy. See josephinesnottingham.co.uk

THE ONE MUSEUM

The National Justice Museum is inside an old courthouse and prison complex. Actors stage mock trials in the courtroom, grim cells can be seen on the lower levels and the free Tales of Truth and Legend tours draw attention to quirky details. The strength, however, is in the more traditional museum-ish exhibitions, which explore the world of crime and punishment. The section on convict transportation to Australia is a highlight. See nationaljusticemuseum.org.uk

THE ONE HOTEL

The Lace Market Hotel, with its high ceilings and rainbow-draped curtains, mixes grandeur and modernity. The creaky old wood-panelled lift, the complimentary popcorn machine in reception and silvery shimmer in the furnishings help make it great fun. Doubles cost from £71. See lacemarkethotel.co.uk

THE ONE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Hockley Arts Club
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David whitley

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Hockley Arts Club. Photo: Supplied

Just north off the Lace Market area, Hockley has become the most interesting part of Nottingham, with a host of distinctive bars and restaurants crowding around the lanes. Amongst these is the Hockley Arts Club, which is over three floors of billowing plants and Alice In Wonderland-ish decor. Expect innovation on the menu, too. See thehockleyartsclub.com

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THE ONE PARK

There are plenty of dogs being walked at Wollaton Park, west of the city centre, but the true animal stars are the deer wandering around its more wooded areas. In the centre is Wollaton Hall, a grand Elizabethan building which doubled up as Wayne Manor in Christopher Nolan's Batman movies. There's a slightly fusty natural history museum inside. See wollatonhall.org.uk

THE ONE CHURCH

The Pitcher and Piano may do some decent food and fairly good cocktails, but its setting is the star. This city-centre bar occupies a former Unitarian church, although nowadays people pay more attention to the wine glasses than the stained-glass windows. See pitcherandpiano.com

ONE MORE THING

Nottingham's most famous landmark, Nottingham Castle, is closed for refurbishment until 2020. When it reopens it should have much better visitor experiences, including new galleries about Robin Hood and the concept of rebellion. See nottinghamcastle.org.uk

David Whitley was a guest of Visit Nottinghamshire. See visit-nottinghamshire.co.uk

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