Length: 7.2 km (4.5 miles)
NOTE: I was there the week of the August 2011 riots, where a police station and a university building were firebombed, among other incidents, but it didn't stop my evening runs, or the inevitable pub crawls later on!
|Less than happy hour: pub with smashed window during the riots|
If you find yourself in Nottingham, as I did last week during the riots, you might be wondering what there is to see as a runner. This is a route that takes you by a variety of scenic stuff, on a loop through the south side of town, along the River Trent.
There is a lot to see here: some of the old town, the castle, an ancient inn, caves, the Nottingham Canal with its revived waterfront, the park-lined River Trent, hanging bridges, the stadium, and the Beeston Canal with its locks and towpath. You can't beat the variety, so off we go!
|Nottingham's Old Market and Exchange Building|
|The castle gates|
Turn left on Castle Road to run downhill along the castle walls looming above on the clifftops.
You'll see Robin Hood's statue on the right, who hid-out in nearby Nottingham Forest. He's still aiming his arrow at the castle wall.
|Robin Hood takes aim|
|Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem|
NOTE: There are two other pubs in town that claim to be "Nottingham's oldest", which are also worth visiting. The "Bell Inn" is a very traditional pub with live jazz music, just off the market square. And "Ye Olde Salutation Inn" is a rock-oriented pub with a gothic crowd of regulars and live rock- and blues acts. It's the friendliest pub that I visited in town. An old guy with a basket full of seafood makes the rounds of the pubs each night, if you don't feel like the normal pub food.
To the left of the Olde Trip pub you can see some of the old cave entrances in the bottom of the cliff. Nottingham's earlier Gaelic name meant "Place of Caves", and people worked and lived in them until the 1920s.
|Caves next to the Olde Trip|
|Towpath along Nottingham Canal|
|Nottingham Train Station|
|At the River Trent|
|The hanging bridge|
|Nottingham Forest Stadium: The pre-game interview discussed the likelihood of rioting fans|
|Beeston Canal locks|
|Towpath along the Beeston Canal|
This is the same canal that we ran along before, with the restored warehouses. We are now heading back to that same spot. There are some streets that cross over the canal back into the town center, but they all go around or through the very unscenic Broad Marsh Shopping Centre. This is definitely one of the most depressing places to shop that I have ever seen, only rivaling the Mall in Luton for putting you off of ever entering a store again.
Run back to the same Wilford Road bridge where we earlier started running along this canal, at the Navigation pub, just past the Magistrate's Court. Turn right and run the one block to the intersection at Canal Road. But this time, keep running straight, up Maiden Marian Way, past Ye Olde Salutation pub.
At Friar Lane, turn right and run back the one block to the market square again. Now you've earned your evening ales at the Olde Trip, the Bell and/or the Salutation!