Five observations as a new student in Nottingham

This time last week I was heading up the A1. I was embarking upon the latest chapter in my life – as a student at Nottingham Trent University. Seven days later, here are five observations I’ve made about my newly-adopted home.

Seven days is by no means a long enough period of time to build a firm foundation upon my views of Nottingham; however, as they say, ‘first impressions are vital’ and here are five subjects that I noticed immediately upon moving to the East Midlands.

Robin Hood

The infamous hero is a folk story legend in these parts of the country. Even Nottingham’s own tourism website, Visit Nottingham, dubs the city as Robin Hood’s possession.

If you are a fan of the spirited outlaw’s stealing from the rich to give to the poor then there is plenty to cater to your love. Whether it be the iconic Robin Hood statue outside the grounds of Nottingham Castle to Sherwood Forest, there is a plethora of landmarks to keep your admiration for the character glowing.

There is even the medieval church of St Mary’s, aged at over 800 years old, it is the supposed venue of Robin Hood and Maid Marian’s marriage. The popular hero also has a wide range of annual events themed around himself: the Robin Hood Festival at Sherwood Forest; the Robin Hood Pageant and Robin Hood Beer Festival at Nottingham Castle and the Robin Hood Half Marathon (an event I’ll be taking part in this weekend).

So if you have a particular interest in the story of Robin Hood, make sure you give Nottingham a visit in order to celebrate his narrative.

Police… they are everywhere

Moving from my home in Chelmsford, Essex to Nottingham, one major thing I noticed was the immediate police presence. I was unsure at first whether this was just due to Freshers’ Week; however, as the week crept on, their visibility remained.

My hometown in Essex had fewer than 1000 incidents of crime reported between July 2018 and August 2019. Therefore, moving to Nottingham, where there are police officers on most roads and community protection officers around each corner, was an intriguing point to take note of.

I was unsure why this could be. Does Nottingham have a higher crime rate than Chelmsford? Is it just because Nottingham is a major city? Do Nottingham spend more of their budget on protecting the community? I’m still unsure over why this could be; however, it’s something I want to explore and delve in.

Nottingham is the home of folk hero Robin Hood and there’s numerous attractions dedicated to him. | Credit: Visit Nottinghamshire

Range of music tastes

From RnB to indie to classic charts music; Nottingham’s music scene has something for everyone. Part and parcel of being a student involves nights out (especially in Freshers’ Week!); therefore, it would have been rude not to experience the wide range of venues on offer.

On my first night in the City I enjoyed visiting Rock City. A few days later I experienced The Point, a student bar over on the Clifton campus of Nottingham Trent University. Similarly, my flatmates have enjoyed their time when attending bars such as Ink, PRYZM or Stealth. There are still so many options for me to explore; although, if you’re heading to Nottingham soon then there will certainly be something for you to enjoy on a night out.

Variety of shops and food outlets

One main thing that my personal tutor, Jonny Greatrex, said was “you will discover something new each time you turn a corner”. How true he was. If you are after a meal out, there are an absolute plethora of options available to you. Chinese, Italian, Indian, American and Vietnamese are all examples of some of the eateries I found when exploring the city.

When shopping for brands, you are spoilt for choice in both the Intu Victoria and Intu Broadmarsh shopping centres. As a student, there are numerous discount supermarkets each within walking distance from the City campus accommodation residences.

Transport

In Chelmsford, the only way to travel through the city was either the bus service, walking or by bike; however, in Nottingham, they have trams! Fortunately, all of my lectures and seminars are within walking distance of my accommodation. On the odd occasion that I have to travel further afield (to church or the football) having a regular tram service makes things much easier.

Trams tend to arrive every seven minutes and run fairly late into the evening. If you are having to travel into the city from a distance for a night out, you may not be able to use the tram to return, however, you will easily be able to access the city centre.