A trip through (a part of) the United Kingdom: Nottingham and its whereabouts

In the next week or so I’ll be posting updates on my journey with LittleEmily!

Two days ago we arrived at Gatwick airport and from there we took a train to Nottingham. Its historical centre is very nice to walk through. Most of the houses are built with dark orange bricks and with this particular pe of industrial-victorian facades that I love, especially in the rare moments when the sun is shining.

There is a castle in Nottingham, but it was built in the XVIIth century, and its not much of a thrill (sorry, touristic information office, it really isn’t. There I had my first ever fish and chips! It was good, but I don’t think my stomach will be able to take this amount of fried food again.

St Margaret’s church, not where Richard III’s tumb is.

It is a very nice town, but you can pretty much visit everything in a day. So we’ve also been to Leicester. I became a Richard III fan when I read The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman last summer and since then I’ve been trying to learn as much as possible about The War of the Roses. In case you did not know, Richard III’s corpse was found not so long ago buried in a parking in Leicester, so I went to see his tumb at the cathedral, which probably has the weirdest structure I have ever seen in a church.

Leicester’s historical centre is quite lovely, and has maintained its medieval ambience and charm. There I had my first ever steak and ale pie, which I never thought I’d like. It appears to be that English food is not so bad after all!

Then we walked to Abbey Park, a huge park in the outskirts of the city (which are not very pretty) that is completely worth the time. Not only it has very nice gardens and rivers crossing it, but also the ruins of a frmer abbey. To be fair, there’s just a bunch of stones tracing the structure of the building.

By the way, this is where Cardinal Thomas Wolsey died. There is a commemorative statue but I suspect it was Anne Boleyn who ordered it as it is placed just in front of the café, surrounded by tables full of families and children and large plastic parasols.

Victorian ladies that look like Cardinal Wolsey, or is it the other way around?

On our last day in the region we visited the town of Lincoln. After failing to avoid second hand bookshops, we struggled our way through Steep Street, which has a very appropriate name. The climb does not prevent one from admiring the cute two-story houses with quaint and fashionable shops.

Interior of Lincoln’s cathedral

After this we had lunch and there I tried the apple pie with custard. I’ve usually had apple pie with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream. Custard was a perfect combination for a thin and crispy crust and savoury apple bites.

Finally we set on to do some serious tourist information activities. First, the cathedral, it is huge! However, I am not sure if it is worth almost £7. You can always get in and have a glimpse from the entrance.

On the other hand, visiting the castle was a good thing to do. Well, they call it castle but in fact you see the prison and walk around the castle wall. There is a very interesting and interactive exposition at the gaol on the prisoners’ living conditions.

After that we had no time to visit the Museum of Lincolnshire Life but we did see the Mill. Surprise surprise, it was a plain mill, nothing extraordinary.

Detail at the entrance of the castle.

Next stop: the Peak District!

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