Nottingham Castle: In Search of Robin Hood
For some time I’ve wanted to take the boys to Nottingham Castle. I know Nottingham reasonably well, I was a student there 10 years ago, but things are always changing and I used to travel about on public transport. I could catch a bus there, but it takes just under an hour, a bit too long with two little ones. So I plucked up the courage to drive. I wanted to get close to the castle as I’m very nervous about walking along busy roads with the boys. The council suggest a car park called Canal Street, but I couldn’t find it, I ended up going to a car park quite close to the castle. As I drove through the car park barrier I noticed the charges were over £10 for two hours!!! No way was I parking there, so I turned round and asked to be let out as I wasn’t prepared to pay their ridiculous prices, they could obviously tell from the tone of my (crazed mother) voice not to mess with me. So be warned any car parks near the castle are a rip-off. We decided to park at the Broadmarsh in the end, it was busy but the boys liked parking on the very top, quite impressive views too. I thought it’d be an awful walk, but it wasn’t too bad.
They first saw the Robin Hood sculpture and were immediately impressed. The boys being under 5 were still free so it was just £5.50 for me. The gardens are lovely with some brilliant sculptures. It was also nice and quiet and the boys loved exploring the play area.
We took a picnic and there is an outdoor picnic area to sit and eat. After our picnic we headed inside the castle, spotting Robin Hood along the way!
First of all we visited the gallery about the history of Nottingham. There were scale models of the city and displays about the people who lived there. We met Maid Marian on our way round, The Fireman thought she was ‘lovely’ 🙂 Down to the lower floor and we explored the ‘Hood in the Wood’ exhibit.
This is great for children, a brilliant atmosphere, the room decorated to feel like a forest. There is a dressing up area and a story telling area, along with trails to follow. The boys don’t stand still for long, but there are many displays explaining the history and the stories of Robin Hood. We then risked a trip into the art galleries and collections.
I have no idea what was on show, too busy watching they didn’t touch things!! A very enthusiastic and friendly member of staff told the boys there was something exciting for them to do and led us through the galleries to a spot where you can make music. He was so good with the boys. Helping carry the metal squares, they walked around an area of the gallery waiting to pick up the sensors to make music for that particular square, bit difficult to explain. They liked the square which started a rainstorm. Really appreciated this gentleman’s help. A quick trip outdoors, it was blowing a hooley, but take a look at that spectacular view of the Inland Revenue!
We headed back to the shop and booked onto a cave tour, led by Robin Hood himself! It was just a short tour into some caves, really fun and interesting, the boys remembered all the stories and recited them to The Cyclist that night. I decided after the tour is was time to start heading back.
We had a brilliant day here, despite my stress with the parking! It’s a full day out, quite exhausting as this photo shows 🙂