The first tram glided onto Nottingham’s streets 15 years ago today (9 March 2004) after an absence of 70 years! Since then the network has doubled in size and the tram now carries people on 18 million trips a year!
To celebrate 15 years of the tram here’s a list of 15 of our favourite Nottingham spots – all a short walk from a tram stop.
1. Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall
Tram stop: Royal Centre
The perfect evening out, with over half a million visitors every year, the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Nottingham are two of the UK’s most successful touring venues, leading the way for arts and entertainment in the East Midlands region. Built in 1865 the Theatre Royal offers an exciting programme of musicals, plays, music and comedy. Plus the superb visual and acoustic design of the Royal Concert Hall makes it one of the most unique and highly regarded music venues in the country.
2. The Arboretum
Tram stop: High School
Nottingham’s oldest public park and the closest to the city centre was opened in 1852. A historic, beautifully maintained sanctuary that is home to an important collection of over 800 trees, some of which are from the original collection planted in the 19th century. This park plays a vital role for the local community and is the site for many organised events.
3. Old Market Square
Tram stop: Old Market Square
The beating heart of the city, no trip to Nottingham would be complete without a trip to Old Market Square. Hang out by the fountains on a sunny day or arrange to meet friends by the left lion. It’s always fun to be a tourist in your own city and if you’re after new ideas of things to see and do pop into the Tourism Centre – they’re always happy to help.
4. Visit Byron’s resting place
Tram stop: Hucknall
Head on up to Hucknall, the most northerly part of the tram network, and pay a visit to the resting place of two of Nottingham’s finest – Lord Byron and his daughter Ada Lovelace – in the Church of St Mary Magdalene. Ada Lovelace was a mathematician widely cited as the first computer programmer in 1840. Lord Byron, the famous Romantic poet, inherited Newstead Abbey, his ancestral home, in 1798. “History, with all her volumes vast, hath but one page”
5. Travel further afield
Tram stop: Nottingham Station
Nottingham is the most used station in the East Midlands, and the tram network connects seamlessly with the station you can continue your journey across the country.
The station underwent significant redevelopment in 2014 but was sadly damaged by a fire in 2018. Repairs have been made and East Midlands Trains recently named one of their HST Class 43 trains in honour of the emergency services who worked valiantly to battle the fire.
6. Lakeside Arts
Tram stop: University of Nottingham
Nottingham Lakeside Arts is the University of Nottingham’s public arts programme welcoming more than 200,000 people of all ages to a vibrant programme of performances, exhibitions, workshops and talks each year.
7. Explore the Lace Market
Tram stop: Lace Market
The Lace Market is a varied and exciting area of the city, full of fantastic independent retailers and businesses with high quality cafes, bars and restaurants. Get lost among the lanes and explore the very best of Nottingham’s independent scene. We’re currently looking at making this area more pedestrian friendly – if you could spare a few moments to give us your thoughts we’d love to hear from you.
8. Enjoy a walk in the park
Tram stop: Clifton Centre
Located behind Clifton Leisure Centre the beautiful green flag award winning Clifton Flower and playing fields has something for everyone. Download our walk in the park guide and get exploring!
9. Greet Goosey
Tram stop: The Forest
Well known to many visitors as the site of the annual Nottingham Goose Fair, the Forest has recently undergone a £5.2m Lottery restoration. In addition to hosting many other popular events, the Forest Recreation Ground also has a variety of recreation facilities which include a newly opened café, public toilets, play areas, multi activity pitches, football pitches, an outdoor gym and leisure walks.
10. Play a quick 9!
Tram stop: Moor Bridge
Bulwell Hall Golf Course rivals other parkland courses thanks to its natural beauty and accessibility. Many mature trees enhance the park providing a colourful backdrop to the course as well as a natural habitat for many species of birds, including green woodpeckers and various birds of prey. Everyone is welcome to come and play with us; whether seasoned professional, complete beginner or somewhere in between.
11. Anyone for tennis?
Tram Stop: University of Nottingham
As well as internationally renowned tennis provision, including 11 indoor and 16 outdoor tennis courts, Nottingham Tennis Centre also boasts some fantastic fitness facilities, including a newly renovated 68-station gym, a virtual group cycling studio, Les Mills group exercise classes and, to top it all off, a health suite complete with sauna and steam room!
12. Go wild in the city!
Tram stop: Moor Bridge
Explore, two small Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust nature reserves on either side of the tram/railway line. Moorbridge Pond is situated around the original “Bull Well”, a freshwater spring, and one of the few wetlands left within the city boundary, across the tracks Springfield Corner has Local Nature Reserve offers both woodland and wildflowers. Every visit to a nature reserve is unique – and enjoy watching the seasons change in this wild corner of the city.
13. Let’s go to Beeston
Tram stop: Chilwell Road
Beeston has a vibrant town centre feel, explore independent sops and businesses as well as big high street names. Grab a drink by the weir and watch boats on the canal.
14. Browse at Hyson Green Market
Tram Stop: Hyson Green Market
Open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9am – 2.30pm, enjoy a wide range of stalls, selling household essentials, beautiful fabrics and a wide-range of food.
15. Step back in time at Highfields
Tram stop: University Boulevard/ University of Nottingham
This beautiful 21 hectare park is undergoing restoration to return it to it’s 1920s glory. Magnificent trees, exotic plantings and water features surround the boating lake. Enjoy adventure golf, boat trips (seasonal) and of course the beautiful vistas up to the iconic Portland building.