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As I been living in Nottingham now for the past year and a half, having moved here to attend university. I have created a list of hidden gems in Nottingham as I have never known a city to have so many hidden bars, restaurants and entertainment. There are so many quirky little places that you would struggle to come across without being told where to look. I’ve tried to tag most of the places so you can have a look for yourself!
I still stumble across places I haven’t been before or even heard about to this day, There is just so much to see and explore it is a lovely city.
Nottingham is one of the most wonderful cities with so much to offer, there is great night life, plenty of shops to splash your cash, and so much open space to go for walks and talk in the fresh air. It truly is a lovely place.
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Hidden Gems in Nottingham: Overview
- Coco Tang
- Nottingham Cornerhouse Arcade
- The Hockley Arts Club
- Five Leaves Book Store
- Penny Lane
- City of Caves
- Lost Property
- The Secret Garden
- Market square Slug and Lettuce
- Bonus: Non-hidden places you need to see
The Boilermaker is one of the first hidden bars in Nottingham I went to. The entrance looks like an old boiler shop that looks run down. Their cocktails are £8 + which is kind of expensive, but I do recommend trying It out for the experience. You go through the door and there’s a security guard who tells you to wait. When you get let through the door, you come into a tiny bathroom where you must push the sink which opens a door into the bar.
They have a lovely range of cocktails including some I had never heard of before. Their salted caramel cocktail was lovely! You also get great table service which a lovely treat.
Coco Tang has a daytime café as well as their bar. You have to go through a side entrance which is just a big black door to get down to the cocktail bar. The bar has a club-style atmosphere. The décor inside is so cool, it represents Mong Kok alley in Hong Kong – which acts as a great Instagram background. They have a Vietnamese roof garden with traditional French chairs. The decor is just wonderful.
My favourite drink is Fight Club which includes edible bar soaps (just chocolate I assume).
Nottingham Cornerhouse Arcade
I had no clue that there was an arcade in the Cornerhouse until I was being nosy and was having a look around. They had a mini-bowling alley and mini balls, along with all the typical arcade games. It is a great place to spend time with your friends and family as an inside activity if the weather is bad outside.
The Hockley Arts Club
The Hockley Arts Club is a very exciting place. Again, you have to go through a small black door in the Lace Market. It has three floors with a different vibe on every level. My favourite is the third floor that is covered in pink flowers.
Again, the drinks here are expensive however you can get some that have an addition to it such as a twister lollypop. The second-floor acts as a restaurant, I haven’t eaten here so I can’t comment on the food but I expect it is just as good as the drinks.
Tables are very hard to come by as this place has become very popular so you will be lucky if you make it in. If you were wanting food it would be best to book.
Five Leaves Book Store
This little book shop is hidden down an alleyway opposite the Nottingham Tourist Centre in the middle of Nottingham’s town. If you can’t find it you could always ask about in the Tourist Centre they would be happy to point you in the right direction. It is a lovely little book store which is worth checking out.
“Our current best-selling sections include politics, landscape/cityscape, poetry and general fiction.”
Penny Lane is one of my favourite places. The bar itself is not so hidden but by walking past you would not expect there to be an arcade inside. They have games ranging from table food ball to air hockey all the way to an electric chair – if you are brave enough.
The drinks are 2 for 1 before 9 pm which is a great deal. All the drinks come with something added such as a pack of skittles or a little postcard. I definitely recommend having a look at this place!
City of Caves
Now I have to say I have not visited the caves myself as of yet, but I have heard all about them. So from what I know, the caves are under the town, you have to buy a ticket to go down there and you will get told about the history of them.
So, Lost Property a bar, but it is very hidden. You have to go through an un-signposted doorway and follow the passage down. You have to find the booth and the man in there will direct you to the rooms full of keys, suitcases and other lost property which had been left by its owners.. The cocktails are 2 for £10 which is decent. You can also go downstairs into the caves to find an underground gin bar – which is less cheap.
Lost Property is opposite the Hockley Arts Club. This bar takes you right back into the history of Nottingham where you can go down and have a drink in the caves.
Th Secret Garden
The Secret Garden is in Trinity Square, you have to follow the flowers and the ivy to get here. They have deck chairs out in the sun and big wooden benches in the garden. The prices are super reasonable and the atmosphere in the Garden at night time just makes it the place to be.
Market square Slug and Lettuce
This Slug and Lettuce isn’t hidden bit checky of me to pop it in. But it’s recently changed for a Yates to a Slug and Lettuce so some people may not know this. I can tell you it is one of the prettiest places I have eaten at. The Instagram photos could be incredible. You can get lunch for a fiver on their lunch menu and cocktails are 2 for 1.
I have absolutely loved living in Nottingham it is an amazing city to visit. So this is 10 ideas of places you can go and visit in Nottingham, for a drink, for some food or for something to do.
Bonus: Non-hidden places you need to see
I couldn’t write a post about Nottingham and not include some of the wonderful places it has despite them not being hidden.
Nottingham has one of the most beautiful parks. Wollaton Park with 500 acres of land is home to Wollaton Hall. Which now contains the Nottingham Natural History Museum, with the Nottingham Industrial Museum in the stable block. Every time I go to this park I am amazed when I see the deers roaming about.
Let’s not forget the Castle along with the Robin Hood statue just around the corner. If you didn’t know, the famous Robin Hood who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor was from Nottingham. In close proximity to this is the oldest inn in England (apparently). It is named Ye Old Trip To Jerusalem and it dates all the way back to 1189AD.
I also thought I would add in my favourite Nottingham Charity Shops. In Nottingham City Centre there are about 5/6 White Rose Charity shops. They offer second-hand clothing but it is all very trendy and in date with today’s fashion, unlike the typical charity shops. I have bought some right bargains from these little shops before. So if you do find yourself in Nottingham and you have the time. check them out!
Nottingham is absolutely full of amazing places that you cant take a look at. Let me know if you have been before and the places you have found!
About the Auhor
Thank you for reading my post about the hidden gems in Nottingham!
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