One other thing about Nottingham yesterday.  There’s pretty much no GBG pubs in the centre, defining that as within the frenetic ring-roads of Maid Marian Way, Mansfield Road and Canal Road.

Nottingham has great pubs, but they seem to be clustered on the outskirts of the centre now, particularly in Canning Circus to the west and close to the canal.  Walking from the station to Game City in a wavy way I didn’t pass within site of a single Guide pub.

The Malt Cross is tucked away between the Market Square and the dual carriageway, and that’s it. Beer Guide regulars like The Bell and Kean’s Head have been replaced by Alfreton Road’s finest.  That said, Nottingham seems to have a few less pubs in the Guide than previously.


So when looking for a quick pint while the eldest son tried out the latest tech, I had to cast the net a bit wider.

Nottingham didn’t have a Sam Smiths, so I settled for the next best thing.

It’s a good job BrewDog stick to keg, as on trips to Leeds, Leicester, Manchester and now Nottingham they’ve been very quiet, admittedly outside weekend evenings.  But Mrs RM and I are big fans, and this is a good place to enjoy a quiet half of their excellent Jet Black Heart for £2.15.  Lovely, if lonely, staff as well, and the best toilets outside Ghent.

Despite the rain, the streets around the Lace Market/Goose Green area are sparkling, and filled with independent cafes, shops and street art.

Nottingham isn’t cutting-edge enough for a cereal cafe, but it does have a cat café, where you pay a fiver to stroke cats (Conditions apply).  Pubs could adopt this idea I think. Moorhouses mild would be a good addition here.

Having received the expected call asking for more game time,  I sprinted the 10 minutes across town to the Crafty Crow.  This is opposite the castle, and again desperately quiet, as I’m finding all town centre pubs are these days (except Manchester).

Again, hard to fault the beer of the service here. A half of “One for Sorrow” was cheap and moreish (NBSS 3), and in one of the best designed modern bars I’ve seen, again with great loos. The chap here called me “brother”, which I like a lot in moderation.  You need to go up the A60 to be called “me duck”.

On the way back to the grim train station we managed 20 minutes in the contemporary art museum, whose current Slovenian exhibition is a bit one-dimensional, but I appreciated the experimentation.

As I’ve said before, Nottingham is a superb city for exploration, and has a cultural heart as good as anywhere.

* Yes, I know it was a terrible record, Waterfront apart.


  1. Going back many years, Nottingham used to have plenty of great Shippo’s and especially Home pubs, but all gone nowadays.

    You and your OH must be the only people in the part of the Venn diagram where the Sam’s and BrewDog clientele overlap 😉


    1. I don’t remember those, and it would be hard to say who actually dominates central Nottingham; there’s not even that many Spoons. Castle Rock were expanding quickly a decade ago but seems really mixed now.

      I like being in the small part of the Venn Diagram, as long as there’s space for the Nonic glass. Might track down a Sams pub to take Mrs RM to one her day off tomorrow.


  2. I personally think Nottingham is a great city for drinking in decent pub that do real ales,i may be biased as i was born in the city and have lived in its conurbation for over 50 years.
    I do agree about the Shippo’s and Home Ales pubs,there were loads in the City centre and surrounding suburbs,i have done all of them and took photos of most in there proper brewery guises.
    Shipstones my favourite brewery had over 90 pubs in the city and Home Ales had just under 100,this does not count the large suburbs of Carlton,Arnold,West Bridgeford and Beeston.
    I personally dont like Brewdog pubs,i think they are overpriced,probably the reason they are usually empty.
    I am surprised while doing the Crafty Crow you did not do the Rounhouse,Fothergills and down to the Trip to jerusalem,it should not be overrun with tourists at this time of year.


    1. I agree Nottingham is a great city Alan. The best pubs seem to be on the edge of the centre or the suburbs now though. You must have seen a lot of places close over the years.

      I don’t have the stamina to do every pub, so just do the ones in the beer Guide, which means I do about half a dozen new ones around Nottingham each year. The Robin Hood in Arnold and the Star in Beeston stood out.


  3. Yes Martin,i have seen far too many pubs close in Nottingham
    Luckily i have took photos of most way back in the mid 80s,i will be doing a blog about the proper pubs in the city centre that have closed since i started drinking in 1980 and it will include my hall of shame,the five pubs that i did but did not take a photo of.
    Next blog should be done in the next few days,a crawl of Pontefract and Castleford plus a few in Leeds.

    How do i find your blog without seeing it on Pub Curmugeons blog tracker,as you blog quite a lot so i miss a lot of them.

    Cheers Alan


    1. I look forward to Ponty and Cas post Alan, some crackers there (the Junctions one of my favourite).

      My blog is on If you look at the archives on the left hand side you can see the daily posts.

      Pub Curmudgeon is my main source of good pub blogs as well as helping me with my own site.


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