Nottingham with Dennis and Sandra

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Today was another of our cultural days out with Dennis and Sandra – this time it’s Nottingham.

We’re on time… (for the last time today – thanks EMR!)

Since we first started doing these in 2017, we’ve built up quite a list – today will be our 16th ‘day out’ together! 👍😀

Doddington Hall (December 2023)
International Bomber Command (September 2023)
Southwell (March 2023)
Chatsworth House (November 2022)
Belvoir Castle (August 2022)
Kedlestone Hall (May 2021)
Hardwick Hall (August 2020)
Castle Howard (December 2019)
The Royal Armouries Museum (March 2019)
Bolsover Castle (October 2018)
Belton House (May 2018)
York (February 2018)
Burghley House (October 2017)
Hull (May 2017)
Leeds (February 2017)

On arrival, we just had to work out where the Museum was. It’s about a ten-minute walk from the Station, but we took the alternative route that doubled that! 😮.

National Justice Museum

Opened in 1995, the National Justice Museum is an independent museum, housed in a former Victorian courtroom, prison, and police station. In all the years that I’ve been in and out of Nottingham, I never knew this place existed! 👏.

It was a real ‘find’. So many exhibits and so much information packed into the space – that seemed to go on for miles! 👍. And add to that, each of us was given a convict number to look out for when viewing the hundreds of exhibits – I seem to be mentioned A LOT! 😁

The new ‘Stocks Tester’ 😬

It was all so interesting, but the ‘icing on the cake’ was the mock trial with a couple of actors on hand to play the role of Judge and Prosecution, all we needed was a few more people in support to make up the numbers – specifically: the suspect and the witnesses. Ann and I got off lightly by assuming the role of witnesses, whilst another unsuspecting visitor played the accused. The Judge was totally OTT and was clearly enjoying his position (albeit temporarily).

Yes, m’Lud!

The Prosecution also doubled-up as the guide to how the justice system worked ‘back then’.

There was so much to see here, we nearly ran out of time before our 1pm table in the Pub opposite.

Lunch: The Cock and Hoop Pub

Inside the Cock and Hoop Pub, a very pleasant surprise awaited Dennis and me. On tap, a good range of cask ales, including an American IPA called ‘Chuck Berry‘ weighing at a nap-inducing 6.9%! 😍

The Menu was on the simplistic side, but that suited us perfectly. A Croque Madame (helped along with the 6.9er!) for me, did the job perfectly

Delicious! We settled up and with about 45 minutes on our hands before our timed ticket for ‘City of Caves’ we popped back into the Justice Museum to take a look around one of their exhibitions.

Another detailed exhibition, that focused on the science of investigating crimes – colourful, easy to follow and packed with pretty much all you’d need to know about how crime detection has progressed through the years. Next stop? The City of Caves

City of Caves

The City of Caves is a visitor attraction – not surprisingly – based on a network of around 500 caves in the main shopping area of Nottingham. Who knew? They’re carved out of sandstone and have been used for many functions through the years, such as a tannery, public house cellars, and an air raid shelter. After the obligatory H&S briefing, we were left to our own devices to wander around.

As there was no-one to show us around, a free audio guide was provided (try it below).

After we’d descended the stairs, we fired up the audio. This gave a really good explanation of this ‘world within a world’.

If anything, it was over too soon as there wasn’t THAT MUCH to see, and we were in and out inside 20 minutes. Luckily, our entrance was free because we’d already purchased tickets for the Justice Museum. There was some evidence of closed-off areas being investigated by archaeological teams, and I’m sure that over time, this will increase what there is to see. It’s worth a look, but don’t expect too much, just focus on how unusual it all is.

We finished our day at Gregg’s for a well-earned cuppa, whilst we reflected on the day. We all agreed, today had been even more enjoyable than usual! Thanks for organising things, Dennis and Sandra, we had a great time! A pity about our journey home though. We caught a slightly earlier train out of Nottingham (yay!), but for reasons unknown – even to EMR – it crawled along the slow line for a lot of the journey (boo!). We ended up back in Kettering about the same time as if we’d caught our original later train. On a positive note, the car-park barrier was (still) broken, meaning we got a day’s free parking! 👍👍

More photos from today’s
photo reel HERE

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