For those of you who have visited us in Nottingham, you might have already experienced the delights the city has to offer. Nottingham is our home, and recently it's been entered into the race to become 2023's 'European Capital of Culture'. So naturally, we feel pretty compelled to shout about it!
For those who reckon there's nowt in Notts to deem it a likely candidate, think again. We can't think of a better place for the title. Here's why...
1. City of literature
From poetry nights to famous writers, this city thrives in terms of literature. And it isn't just the legend of Robin Hood stealing from the rich and giving to the poor that deems us a rebellious city. World-class rebel-writers such as Lord Byron and DH Lawrence hail from Nottingham, which helped name us City of Literature in 2015 — joining Norwich, Melbourne, Prague and Barcelona as one of only a handful in the world!
2. Arts, crafts and galleries
With more galleries than you can shake a paintbrush at, Nottingham is full of amazing art. From the Castle halls, to The Contemporary, to Lakeside Arts (over the road from oe:gen HQ!), there's always lots of things to do to get creative. Check out the Nottingham Art Map to find out more!
There are loads of festivals held around the city throughout the year: Dot to Dot, Y Not?, Carribean Carnival, Waterfront, Detonate, Download, Bloodstock, Gloworm... you get the idea. And we're a charitable bunch, too! The next festival will be Hockley Hustle in October — a music, arts and community festival which donates ticket profits to local charities.
We've got the Elizabethan mansion-turned-museum, Wollaton Hall (AKA Batman's LITERAL house in The Dark Knight Rises), The Galleries of Justice, Newstead Abbey, Green's Windmill, The Castle. Plus loads more hidden gems.
Monday's #MuseumWeek theme is food, which suits our Mamenchisaurus, as he's being mounted in prime leaf-chomping position! This huge sauropod is being mounted in rearing position as it's too long to fit in our hall! When it's constructed, Mamenchisaurus will stand 13 metres tall, making it the tallest mounted dinosaur in the UK!
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5. Entertainment venues
Rock City is the best live venue and club in the country. FACT. It even says so on the outside of their building. Plus, there's The Motorpoint Arena, Rescue Rooms, The Maze, and The Bodega to go gigging at each night of the week. Or if you're after a film, you've got the choice between Broadway, The Showcase, The Savoy Cinema, and The Cornerhouse, which also has Adventure Golf and FunZone arcade.
More recently, there's been a couple of gaming lounges pop up in Hockley. No need to own your own console, you can chill in ALT gaming lounge with a drink and play whatever game you please.
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6. Nottinghamshire Pride
Did you know Nottingham had the UK's first genuinely-licensed LGBTQ club? We've got lots of social, cultural, and support services for LGBTQ individuals. Each July, the city hosts Nottinghamshire Pride. Plus, drag queen legends frequently perform shows at Spanky Van Dykes. There are also social groups and societies for both Universities.
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7. International foods
So many restaurants, so much culturally-diverse food to stuff your face with. You could do what my friends have once tried and failed to do — see if you can get 'international food bingo' by eating at them all in one day. Or you could just go get a metre of pizza followed by crazy doughnuts for dessert...
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8. History and heritage
Secret man-made caves, historic houses, castles, cathedrals, and links to the lace-making, bicycle, and tobacco industries. Plus, our pubs are really, really old...
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9. Music scene
Nottingham's musicians are making some pretty big waves in the UK recently. From Jake Bugg to Kagoule, to Sleaford Mods, and more. Visit our pals over at Nusic.org.uk to read more about the talent that's amplifying out from our music venues.
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The Theatre Royale Concert Hall, the Nottingham Playhouse, and the Nottingham Arts Theatre... you won't have to look too hard for an evening with the thespians around here.
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See? We're rarely bored in Nottingham. There's plenty to do, see, and participate in for all kinds of folk, all year round. I reckon we've got it in the bag.