Hit the bullseye with a trip to Robin Hood’s Nottingham with castle and secret tunnels

HUDDLED outside the traditional pub, we excitedly await our tour guide.

All of a sudden, a loud horn interrupts our murmurs and we turn to see a figure dressed in leathers and clutching a string of arrows.

Nottingham has a captivating history for visitors to explore

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Nottingham has a captivating history for visitors to exploreCredit: Shutterstock

Ezekial Bone has been leading the multi-award- winning Robin Hood Town Tour since 2012 and there’s not one bit of Nottingham he doesn’t know like the back of his hand.

Whether he’s showing you the underground caves hidden beneath some of the city’s buildings or pointing out where the drunks of the past would have taken a pee, this tour is certainly an eye-opener.

Least of all because the real story of Robin Hood appears nothing like the Disney cartoon version. But it is just as entertaining.

This historic city was once the home of the folklore legend and so much of his tale is dotted throughout the streets and in the famous landmarks.

The tour is great for children but it’s the adults who can make the most of the final destination, Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, reputed to be the oldest inn in England.

Rather than accepting a tip and marching off with his merry men, “Robin” will join you for a pint, answering anything you might want to know about the city, whether that’s where to head for dinner or what activities there are to do nearby.

Secret tunnels

When you have finished learning how Robin took from the rich to give to the poor, there’s lots more history to sink your teeth into.

The most famous and handsome attraction, Nottingham Castle, is right in the city centre and close to all the shops and restaurants.

Fresh from its £30million restoration, the outside of the building is a sight to behold on its own. But it’s the inside that is truly magical.

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Book on to a 25-minute cave tour, where you are guided through secret tunnels, retracing the steps of royals who called it home.

Or, if you are more of a culture buff, the castle hosts regular exhibitions and installations, the most recent of which was about local fashion designer Paul Smith.

After a busy day on our feet, which included a trip to the National Justice Museum where we grimaced at tales of prisoners past, we were grateful for a cup of tea in the Bromley House Library, near the old market square.

It is a beautiful spot to cosy up with a cuppa and good book. Varnished wooden shelves are stacked with historical works as well as modern fiction and there’s even a Narnia wardrobe in the fun-filled kids section.

If you really want to surprise the little ones though, head over to Wollaton Hall, a spectacular mansion and deer park set in the beautiful suburbs of of the city.

Lording over the Elizabethan building you will find Titus, a huge T-Rex whose beastly skeleton is the first of its kind to be displayed in England for more than a century.

As ravenous as the dinosaur himself, we grabbed a table at Annie’s Burger Shack, where the loaded burgers are wacky, yet undeniably delicious.

There’s a peanut-butter- topped patty and even a full roast dinner burger, loaded with roast chicken, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, mini roast potatoes and smothered in gravy.

For something a that’s little more traditional, head to Jospehine’s, a tearoom where you can step back in time with the sound of Glenn Miller and a decadent afternoon tea that will have you waddling back to your hotel room.

In need of a night cap? The Hockley Arts Club in Nottingham’s bustling independent area serves cocktails to rival Willy Wonka’s magnificent creations.

And believe me, sipping on a strong tipple decorated with a Twister lolly is just the ticket after a full day of exploring.

GO: Nottingham

Nottingham Castle has recently undergone a £30 million restoration

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Nottingham Castle has recently undergone a £30 million restorationCredit: Shutterstock
Tour guides can help you learn about Nottingham's rich history

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Tour guides can help you learn about Nottingham’s rich historyCredit: Shutterstock
Make sure to grab a pint in the oldest pub in England

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Make sure to grab a pint in the oldest pub in EnglandCredit: Sun Travel

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