November 29, 2018, by Ryan Neal

A local’s guide to getting the most out of your Nottingham experience

Guest post by postgraduate Marketing student, Jonathan Theuring

Escape the student bubble: for some students the university experience consists largely of mixing with other students who they meet through their courses, the societies they join, or simply their accommodation. These are all great ways to make friends and enjoy the time you spend in your university town, but broadening your horizons can’t hurt. It can be hard to find opportunities to meet local people and get to know the real experience of living in an area whilst at uni. Weekend nights out are a great place to start. Try skipping the regular midweek student nights in favour of a more local club or bar at the weekend. This way you’ll get to experience what the place is really about all whilst avoiding the tedium of visiting the same club at the same time each week. Alternatively, you could consider joining societies outside of uni: check out the Nottingham Cinema Meetup, for example, a group with over 2,000 members who regularly meet up at the Broadway Cinema to enjoy the latest releases, providing the opportunity to socialise and discuss the films before and after each event.

Take some time off work (and explore): it’s important to keep your worklife balance in check whilst at uni for your physical and mental health. Luckily, you’re in the right place if you’re looking to take an afternoon off and go exploring. A stone’s throw from the Trent Uni SU is the Arboretum, a lush Green Flag award-winning park where I spent many lunchtime breaks during sixth form (my school was the big stone building with the statue that can be seen from the top of the park). If you live anywhere near this part of town, it’s a great place to take some food with your mates or simply go for a walk to clear your head.

Try something you’ve never done before: you’re in an amazing city for trying new things. Nottinghamshire offers a whole host of activities for adventurous types within close reach of the city centre – these range from skydiving to white water rafting at Holme Pierrepont, the home of the National Watersports Centre for the London 2012 Olympics. Of course, if you live in or around a big city you can probably do fun stuff like this at home. For those of you looking for an experience that is more uniquely Nottingham in its outlook, you could try seeing the area from a new perspective on a narrowboat trip down the canal.

Get to know the area: regardless of how long you’ve been here, trust me when I say that there are still hidden gems to discover. Situated within the beautiful Sherwood Forest Country Park just 30 minutes’ drive from the city centre is the Major Oak, the fabled haunt of Nottinghamshire’s legendary local hero, Robin Hood. A ubiquitous figure in British popular culture, Robin’s first recorded appearance was as a character in a 15th-century play performed in Exeter. More recently, he has featured in a number of video games and was even played by Russell Crowe in the 2010 film, Robin Hood, which also starred Cate Blanchett. Take your uni friends for a drive out to Sherwood Forest one weekend and soak up some of the culture. If you can’t drive or you prefer your culture with a side of alcohol, then visit Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem in the city centre, a pub that proudly claims to have been pulling pints since 1189. The bar staff at the Trip will tell you it is the oldest pub in Britain – then again, two other local pubs (Ye Olde Salutation Inn and The Bell Inn) are also in contention for this crown.

Photo credit: Arran Bee

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