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Nottingham's Heroes and Legends

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Nottingham's Heroes and Legends
Author: NCT, Published: 26 Apr 2015 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Nottingham's Heroes and Legends Walking Guidestar1 Nottingham's Heroes and Legends Walking Guidestar1 Nottingham's Heroes and Legends Walking Guidestar1 Nottingham's Heroes and Legends Walking Guidestar1 Nottingham's Heroes and Legends Walking Guide
Nottinghamshire, Nottingham
Walk Type: Town or city
Nottingham's Heroes and Legends
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot Nottingham's Heroes and Legends Walking Guide
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A 2 mile circular walk in Nottingham city centre discovering the heroes and legends associated with the city. This walk is one of the Nottingham Walks By Bus series, created to allow walkers to access some of Nottingham’s best walking routes via Nottingham City Transport bus routes. The walking route explores the city streets to discover stories of figure skating, poetry, football and men in tights.

The walking route is fairly flat with just some gentle slopes and follows paved surfaces around the city centre. There are no flights of steps or gates on route. Allow 1 to 1.5 hours.

The walking route starts and finishes at the Collin Street bus stops in Nottingham, alongside the Broadmarsh Bus Station. The bus stops are served by a number of NCT Bus Routes including Orange Route 34, Navy Routes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 48, Green Routes 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and Turquoise Routes 76, 77, 78 and 79. Buses run frequently seven days per week. For timetable and route details visit www.nctx.co.uk or get the NCT App.

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Walk Sections

Start to National Ice Centre
Start to National Ice Centre

Start point: 52.9498 lat, -1.1478 long
End point: 52.9523 lat, -1.1407 long

Standing at the Collin Street bus stops facing the car park opposite, turn left and follow the pavement uphill. Stay with the pavement as it swings left and continues alongside the combined road and tramway. Across to the right is the modern building of Nottingham Contemporary. Look closely at the panelling and you will see an intricate pattern that gives a clue to the first heroes of this discovery trail.

When you come to the pedestrian crossing, turn right to cross this and continue straight ahead into the side road, High Pavement, passing the entrance for Nottingham Contemporary on the right. The road will lead you past the Galleries of Justice Museum on the right and then St Mary’s Church on the left. Immediately after the church, turn left into Stoney Street, heading into the heart of the old lace district.

A hundred years ago, lace was Nottingham's dominant industry with 40,000 employees, a third of the city's working population. One-by-one the factories closed down, but the last lace embroidery factory, Fewkes which was owned and run by the Povey Brothers, didn’t close its doors until 2011. The Povey Brothers fought on well beyond all other local factories, determined to continue to supply Nottingham Lace to the world, but eventually the market simply dried up in favour of cheaper lace made abroad. Fewkes also played its part in creating one of the most famous dresses of all time. Along with local lace companies Roger Watson and Huntbachs, they created the lace for Princess Diana's wedding dress. This surely makes the Povey Brothers two of Nottingham’s unsung heroes.

Take the road on the right, Plumptre Street and follow this down to the T-junction. Turn left and across to the right you will pass the National Ice Centre.

National Ice Centre to Brian Clough Statue
National Ice Centre to Brian Clough Statue

Start point: 52.9523 lat, -1.1407 long
End point: 52.9541 lat, -1.1496 long

Here we meet our second set of Nottingham heroes. The ice centre is the first twin Olympic-sized ice rink in the UK. Opened in 2000, it was built on the site of the former Nottingham Ice Stadium which was the training ground for Olympic ice dancing champions Torvill and Dean. At the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics the pair became the highest scoring figure skaters of all time (which included perfect 6.0 scores from each judge for artistic impression) with their routine set to Ravel’s Bolero. The square in front of the centre is named Bolero Square in honour of the pair and there are plans (subject to funding) to place a sculpture to commemorate their famous Olympic win.

Turn left into Barker Gate, heading back into the lace district. At the top, turn right passing New College Nottingham on the left. Cross over Woolpack Lane and keep directly ahead on the paved continuation of Stoney Street. You will emerge to a junction of roads, turn left into Carlton Street. Pass George Street on the right and then take the right-hand of the two roads ahead, Pelham Street.

Keep ahead at the crossroads with Clumber Street to enter Long Row. Where the large building on the left ends, turn right into King Street. Directly ahead you will see the statue of Brian Clough, our next hero. Brian Howard Clough OBE was an English football player and manager. Scoring 251 league goals from 274 starts, he remains one of the football league's highest goal scorers. As a manager, Clough is one of only a handful of managers to have won the English league with more than one club, Nottingham Forest and Derby County.

Brian Clough Statue to Quartet Sculpture
Brian Clough Statue to Quartet Sculpture

Start point: 52.9541 lat, -1.1496 long
End point: 52.9543 lat, -1.1543 long

Retrace your steps back down the slope of King Street to reach the large Market Square. On the left is the impressive building of Nottingham Council House. Make your way into the square from where you can get a good view of the entire building.

Built between 1927 and 1929, the Council House is topped with a dome containing a bell, called Little John, which it is said can be heard from 7 miles away. The dome has one sculptural group at each corner representing Knowledge, Prosperity, Civil Law and Commerce. The front facade of the building celebrates a wide range of the city’s everyday heroes. The pediment at the top has figures representing those in public service including Justice, Architecture, Literature and Education. The sculptural relief sitting below this, behind the columns, depicts the tradesmen of Nottingham with figures from the industries of Coal Mining, Alabaster Carving, Leather Working, Bell Founding and Textile Manufacture.

When you have finished admiring the Council House, walk away from it to reach the fountain at the end of the square and then turn right into Market Street. At the T-junction with the Theatre Royal ahead, turn left along Upper Parliament. Continue to the end and swing sharp left into Angel Row where you will find another sculpture, Quartet.

This bronze sculpture was created in 1986 by the artist Richard Perry. The life-size group consists of four figures and represents the daily passage of people (many of them being today’s heroes) through the city.

Quartet Sculpture to Nottingham Castle
Quartet Sculpture to Nottingham Castle

Start point: 52.9543 lat, -1.1543 long
End point: 52.9509 lat, -1.1538 long

Continue down Angel Row, heading once again for the fountain at the end of Market Square (swapping to the right-hand pavement when it is safe to do so). As the pavement begins to swing right, turn right into the narrow St James’s Street. At the end of this road you will come to the junction with the main dual carriageway, Maid Marian Way.

Cross over via the two pedestrian crossings and then walk ahead along the continuation of St James’s Street. At the top, with the Round House ahead, turn left onto St James’s Terrace and follow this downhill. Where the road swings left, keep ahead onto the pedestrian area and you will see the entrance for Nottingham Castle on the right.

In the Middle Ages Nottingham Castle was a major royal fortress. When King Richard I of England (also known as Richard the Lionheart due to his reputation as a great military leader) was away on the Third Crusade, Nottingham Castle was occupied by supporters of his brother, Prince John, including the Sheriff of Nottingham. In 1194, the castle was the site of an historic battle as part of the returning King’s campaign to put down the rebellion of Prince John. Prince John’s supporters surrendered after just a few days. The castle was largely demolished in 1649 with the Duke of Newcastle later building a mansion on the site.

Today, the mansion is an art gallery and museum. Entry to the castle grounds and mansion are subject to an entrance fee and no dogs are allowed anywhere in the grounds. If you do choose to visit, look out for the memorials to six local poets on the west facade. One of them, Lord Bryon, lived on St James’s Street for a short time.

Nottingham Castle to End
Nottingham Castle to End

Start point: 52.9509 lat, -1.1538 long
End point: 52.9499 lat, -1.1478 long

When you are ready to continue, head down Castle Road with the entrance to the castle on the right. You will come to the open green space which sits beneath the castle walls on the right. This green is home to perhaps the best-known statue in Nottingham, Woodford’s depiction of Robin Hood which shows him firing his bow and arrow in characteristic pose. Robin Hood is a heroic outlaw in English folklore. He is most associated with his role of ‘robbing from the rich to give to the poor’ assisted by his band of ‘merry men’.

Just beyond the main statue are two smaller sculptures associated with the legend. The one on the left depicts Alan-a-Dale playing the harp to Will Scarlet; the one to the right depicts Friar Tuck reading to Little John and Will Stukely. The sculptures were created to commemorate a visit by Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) in 1949.

When you’ve finished enjoying the sculptures (or posing with them!), return back onto Castle Road and follow the cobbled section which swings left into Castle Gate. Follow this back to the dual carriageway and cross over via the two pedestrian crossings. Continue ahead along Castle Gate passing St Nicholas Church across to the right.

Keep ahead along this road which leads you back into the heart of the central shopping district. At the crossroads keep straight ahead into Low Pavement. On the left you will find a double-sided information board (marked as numbers 7 and 8). These are two of several boards marking the city’s Robin Hood Trail and tell several of the legends associated with the character. In each of the illustrations you should be able to find a robin redbreast bird.

Continue up the hill, looking out for information board 9 (opposite Bridlesmith Gate) and boards 10 and 11 towards the top of the slope. At the end of the pedestrian section you will reach a junction with the main road/tramway. Turn right along the pavement, follow this as it swings right and it will lead you back to the Collin Street bus stops where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author NCT and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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3 images to "Nottingham's Heroes and Legends"

4415_0Richard1430074998 Nottingham's Heroes and Legends Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Claire posing with Will Scarlet whilst recording the walk instructions
4415_1Richard1430074999 Nottingham's Heroes and Legends Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
View from Kind Street
4415_2Richard1430074999 Nottingham's Heroes and Legends Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970

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