Think of Nottingham and you think of Robin Hood, his merry men, Maid Marian, and the Sheriff. The Sheriff, of course, lived the high life in his castle with his servants, rode around in carriages and ate the finest food.
Robin Hood and his merry men lived far more modest lives, hiding out in the forest, robbing the rich and sharing with the poor. They were the ultimate budget travellers – and they had the most fun. So, how to see the best of Nottingham in the 21st century, and have the most fun?
For budget besting in Nottingham you don’t have to own your own castle – there are plenty you can go and visit for cheap or free.
Nottingham castle was the home of the dastardly sheriff. Situated on a high rock, the original Nottingham castle was destroyed after the Civil War, and replaced by a magnificent ducal mansion which was later converted into the first municipal museum and art gallery outside London.
A tour will show you everything from breathtaking views across the city to lowly subterranean passageways and tunnels beneath the building.
There can be no better choice than Sherwood Forest, famous hide-out of Robin Hood and his merry men. Once part of a royal hunting forest, Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve covers 450 acres and incorporates ancient woodland and stout oak trees more than 500 years old.
Entry is free but there may be a seasonal car-parking charge, which shouldn’t break the bank.
You can feast your eyes on an abundance of wildflower meadows, native hedgerows, and wildlife at the Naturescape Wildflower Farm visitor centre. It even has a free picnic area so you can linger for longer and stretch out that budget.
In its day Nottingham lace was sought after the world over, and is now enjoying something of a revival thanks to Mary Portas and her great British knickers.
The old Nottingham lace market is a quarter-mile square area in the heart of the city containing great architectural buildings from Nottingham’s industrial heritage, as well as bars, restaurants and tearooms catering to a variety of budgets.
A bit of romance
Romance is in abundance in Nottingham. If Robin Hood and Maid Marian don’t do it for you then try DH Lawrence, Lord Byron or even Torvill and Dean!
Your Nottingham budget can certainly stretch to a visit to the free open areas of DH Lawrence country to see the places that inspired his daring and passionate poetry and novels.
The village of Eastwood was home to the Lawrence family and to Sons and Lovers; Teversal village featured in Lady Chatterley’s Lover; and Moorgreen Reservoir inspired Women in Love. If you are dating in Nottingham on a budget these are sure to be on your itinerary on a fine clear day when you can make the most of the free sunshine.
On a rainy day you might prefer to weep over the grave of Lord Byron, creator of Don Juan, who was laid to rest at St Mary Magdalene Church, Hucknall, or to stay at home and browse your options on www.eharmony.co.uk.
There is something quite satisfying about a fine meal at a tropical resort that includes freshly caught grilled prawns. The taste is always more fulfilling, more exotic and truly decadent! Yet isn’t it true there are only two or three prawns in each serving, and that is never enough. There is some speculation that prawns are rather hard to catch, rare or just plain expensive and thus servings are small. Well, according to environmental news there are now plenty of tiger prawns for everyone in the Gulf of Mexico!
In 2011 the environmental scientists discovered the Gulf of Mexico was oddly teeming with the Giant Tiger Prawn – a species normally found in the Sea of Japan and Indo-Pacific. This is a different species than the regular Tiger Prawn. The Giant Tiger Prawn can grow up to 12 inches long and is apparently quite an invasive species with a large appetite. Marine biologists view the arrival of the Giant Tiger Prawn in the Gulf of Mexico as a potentially disastrous occurrence. Since their appetite is so ravenous, and they are generally nocturnal, the species will cause other endemic and less predatory creatures to become extinct. It is a valid point of concern.
However, for those of us who long for the appearance of more than just three four-inch prawns on our dinner plate while dining at the Secrets Capri resort, the arrival of the Giant Tiger Prawn may be a victory! Imagine sitting down to an exotic meal of fresh grilled Giant Tiger Prawns coated with a rich Mole sauce, and there are still just three prawns but they are the each eight to ten inches is size! Now that is a seafood lover’s dream! Save the smaller, more docile creatures of the Gulf of Mexico! Eat up those Giant Tiger Prawns!
The arrival of millions of Giant Tiger Prawns in the Gulf of Mexico is indeed worrisome, from an environmental point of view. Their migration from the Sea of Japan may be a result of the earthquakes that occurred in the country last year, and one can only hope it was a one time occurrence. Nevertheless, it is a great time to take advantage of those cheap travel deals in Cancun and fill your belly with Giant Tiger Prawns.