Nottingham and Wollaton

Window arch, Nottingham station
Window arch, Nottingham station

This courier run, as you may have guessed, was to Nottingham. We travelled up separately, so that I could buy a cheap ticket, but of course returned together.

Nottingham station concourse
Nottingham station concourse

By the time we met up at Nottingham station, Tigger had made the drop and the day was ours. We caught a bus to the Old Market Square, today the site of the splendid Council House, seen here reflected in an extensive water feature.

Nottingham's Council House, decorated with a massive England flag
Nottingham’s Council House, decorated with a massive England flag

We stopped off for coffee at the Costa coffee shop on the square and then set off up Hounds Gate. This long and narrow road leads resolutely uphill to the elegant square called Castle Gate.

Castle Gate
Castle Gate

You may be able to spot a plaque next to the red door. This tells us that Marshall Tallard, commander of the French army taken prisoner after the battle of Blenheim (1704), lived here from 1705 to 1711.

Nottingham Castle Garden
Nottingham Castle Garden
Photo by Tigger

Castle Gate leads to Nottingham Castle. First built by the Normans and subsequently modified and enlarged a number of times by successive monarchs, the Castle became a ducal house and is now a museum. It is set in beautiful gardens.

View over the town from Castle Rock
View over the town from Castle Rock

Spectacular views are by be gained from the top of Castle Rock. Our visit to the Castle was a little disappointing because, although it is a beautiful place, most traces of the old castle have been swept away and can only be seen in pictures and models.

Pub window showing a local hero (and heroine)
Pub window showing a local hero (and heroine)

Before visiting the castle, we had lunch in the nearby pub, also called The Castle. One of its windows contains this stained-glass image of Robin Hood and Maid Marion.

Deer and golfers in Wollaton Park
Deer and golfers in Wollaton Park

In the afternoon, we took a bus to Wollaton to meet a friend. Wollaton Hall is an Elizabethan country mansion, built in the 1580s, set in a beautiful deer park, today open to the public. We saw at least two species of deer, sharing the territory with visitors and golfers.

Wollaton Hall comes into sight
Wollaton Hall comes into sight

As you walk up through the park, the hall comes into view, floating above the trees like an enchanted palace. Even so it as yet gives no indication of the magnificence that will be seen when you approach.

Wollaton Hall from the rear
Wollaton Hall from the rear

The Hall is a remarkable building not only in overall design but also in the luxuriant spread of decoration all over the surface. Faces, heads and portraits abound. It has to be seen to appreciate it fully.

Gate with clock, Wollaton Hall
Gate with clock, Wollaton Hall

Even the dependencies are beautifully designed and decorated, like this courtyard, perhaps once the stables, with a fine clock and carvings over the entrance.

The Admiral Rodney and the old village pump
The Admiral Rodney and the old village pump

We walked down to Wollaton village and had a drink in the pub, the Admiral Rodney, in front of which still stands the old village pump. All in all, our visit to Wollaton was enjoyable and it is a beautiful place in which to spend time.

Tomb of a knight, St Leonard's Church, Wollaton
Tomb of a knight, St Leonard’s Church, Wollaton

It was beginning to become late, and we had to be sure we didn’t miss the last train back to London. We took the bus back to Nottingham. The evening sunlight was a warm gold, showing off the city’s buildings to best advantage. It was impossible to walk through the streets without stopping again and again to take photos.

The Lion Hotel
The Lion Hotel

There are gems at every turn, such as this old pub, now an amusements centre, and it is not possible to give even a representative sample here.

One of the guardian lions outside the Council House
One of the guardian lions outside the Council House

I couldn’t resist taking another photo of an old friend, one of the Council House lions. The evening light created a strange effect: the lion seemed to have closed his eyes as though dozing in the warm sun like a domestic cat.

Nottingham station in evening sunlight
Nottingham station in evening sunlight

We now had to return to the station, as there were only two more trains going back to London today.

It had been a very busy day but a very enjoyable one that, moreover, left us with the pleasant sensation that even though we had put our time to good use, there were still plenty of treasures in Nottingham for us to discover on future visits.

Barges on the canal
Barges on the canal

Copyright © 2010 SilverTiger, https://tigergrowl.wordpress.com, All rights reserved.

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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2 Responses to Nottingham and Wollaton

  1. Villager says:

    Some very fine pictures, as always.

    What a wealth of excellent features we have in the UK.

    • SilverTiger says:

      Thank you very much.

      Yes, we do have some beautiful and interesting places to explore in this small country of ours. To tell the truth, I would, despite the unreliable weather, rather travel within the British Isles than fry my brain lying like a barbecue sausage on a foreign beach.

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