My girlfriend Natasha and I took it upon our selves to go on a slight road trip for our 3rd year anniversary. We live near Cambridge so it was quite a trek! Here is our itinerary in detail as well as our packing list, so maybe you too can enjoy a similar trip!
We hoped to arrive in Nottingham by 11 a.m. leaving us plenty of time to visit and explore the city. We chose the Ramada Nottingham City Center as our hotel. The hotel was part of a chain but offered a really comfy room, lovely staff who were incredibly friendly and loved to chat and a delicious continental breakfast. We had parked in a near by 24 hour car park as there is not a lot of space to park in and around the city. This cost around £15 for the day and night parking. We left our bags in the car as most hotels you cant check in until at least 2 o’clock. By having our hotel quite near to the center, it meant we wouldn’t need to pay for all day travel on the tram as we were already rather near everything.
We headed to The City 0f Caves, which takes place on the upper level of the Broadmarsh Shopping Center. These caves are incredibly interesting and come with a free audio tour. The caves take you through a series of rooms which were originally from centuries ago. By following the tour round, you get a chance to see the old tanneries as well as an old pub. The highlight of the experience for me was walking down an old Victorian street, where the families used the backs of the caves for the houses. Sadly the street has been built on top of now to make way for the shopping center, however the remains I found rather amazing.
When leaving the shopping center we made our way to Nottingham Castle. We didn’t actually go in the castle but instead took a drink and had a light lunch in Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, which was established in the 1100’s. The decor was lovely as was the food and their own cider. I would recommend taking a trip here. It is a little expensive on some of the things, but if you just want a sandwich or some nibbles then this place is excellent! They also sell merchandise. It is a good achievement to say you have dined in Britain’s oldest pub!
We followed this by a bit of shopping in the rather large Victoria Center, which caters for every shop you would possibly need! Its even home to an indoor market!
We finished our day quite early to instead go and see the spectacularly wonderful Jack Savoretti at Rock City. He was awesome. If you know him I would go and see him. If you dont, get to know him and still go and see him. Natasha didn’t know him very well, but cant stop swooning now! Rock city is a lovely venue and if you can possibly see a concert here then I would recommend it. This does take quite a big chunk out of your day however, meaning we had to have dinner after the concert.
Luckily, Nottingham is home to so many bars and restaurants, both independent and chain, so there is always a possibility for food. If you enjoy going out, there are also many clubs to dance and jive in, as the city is also home to two universities.
We left our hotel after breakfast in the morning. So maybe around 10ish. We would have loved to have spent more time in Nottingham. Other places I would recommend to go would be the Castle, which is not far to walk from the center. The adventure golf, which doesn’t close until 11pm. The Galleries of Justice museum which incorporates many live actors and finally the Kitty Cafe. This odd cafe allows for cats to roam around you giving you the chance to have a cuddle whilst sipping your coffee. Don’t worry though the food hygiene is five out of five!
We then drove up through the peak district and into Bakewell, where we hoped to get out and visit the bakery, only we had no change to pay for our pay and display. So moved on to the north, to a place called Hope. Here we encountered many sheep on the road as well as deer, which meant we had to drive very carefully. In hope we visited a cavern called Blue John. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and passionate about their job. The trip lasted for around half an hour and we could ask as many questions as we could think of. The tour guide was funny and very calming for those, including my self who do not like caves. I was put firmly at ease and loved the experience.
We moved about five minuets up the road to a place called speedwell cavern. This was a lot more scary as to get into the cavern you had to travel by boat. The boat was in a 6 foot wide tunnel of a 2 meter high tunnel! The tour guides calmed us by telling us we were going to get trapped. All fun and games. We were on this boat for around 15 minuets each way, with a ten or so minuet stop off in the middle to spend some time in the giant open cavern. This was also a wonderful experience. One cave was completely natural, whilst the other was very much man made.
We left Hope to head to our hotel, firstly traveling through Chatsworth Estate, and Matlock. We stayed in a hotel called The Lion Hotel in Belper. This was a small village with not a lot in it, except this marvelous hotel. The hotel had wonderful service, and a bar and restaurant. However we decided to take a small trip out to visit a Harvester restaurant, which was about half hour away.
The following day we had a long drive hope, but we took another trip up to Hope, and going off the beaten track to drive in the hills and see the sights. We also took a little hike and took lots of photos. When in Hope we visited another Cavern named Treak Cliff. It was on the same hill as the first cave, Blue John, so had the rocks. Only in this cavern, there was much more to learn, and a lot more enthusiasm from the young tour guides who took us around both natural and man made caves, with huge amount of Blue John on display. The shop at the entrance and exit had many different rocks and crystals to buy as well as some of their art on show.
We finished off our weekend with a carvery before driving home!
The hotels were around £70 a night for two people. The Caves ranged from £7 to £11. But they do leave a tip box at the end, and I believed each of the experiences to be worth at least £5 more! They aren’t commercialized businesses so are proud of what they have! Each one lasting around 40 minuets to an hour.
Thank you for taking the time to read this Itinerary! I hope you liked it and maybe it has made you fancy a trip to this part of Britian! If you want any more information, head over to the contact page, and I will reply with in 12 hours. I hope to post a gallery of photos soon on the home page featuring photos from our trip taken by Natasha, whose Instagram you can find on the post below! We both aim to start up a shared blog soon! I’d love for some of you to get into contact! Back again tomorrow!