A pint of real ale is essential to the classic British pub-going experience. In Nottingham you can even enjoy one at an authentic medieval inn. Any of the city’s oldest taverns provides a perfect backdrop for sampling hoppy cask ales and craft beers from local breweries.
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem
Said to be Nottingham’s oldest pub, the popular Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem inn dates back to the reign of Richard the Lionheart. There’s a crackling coal fire and cosy corners dotted around the rooms, all of which are decorated in an atmospheric Tudor style. Some parts of the pub have been intriguingly carved out of the adjoining sandstone hill. Artefacts from the building’s history are on display throughout, including an antique chair that supposedly possesses the magical power to enhance female fertility.
Ye Olde Salutation Inn
Another contender for the city’s oldest watering hole is Ye Olde Salutation Inn. This white-washed hostelry has been serving Nottingham drinkers since 1240. Mind your head on the low, exposed ceiling beams, and settle in for the evening amid vintage hardwood furniture. The pub’s live rock music nights and quality craft beers from Castle Rock Brewery draw a colourful mix of bikers and real ale aficionados.
The Bell Inn
The Bell Inn welcomed its first customers in 1437 and still attracts crowds with its regular jazz and open mic nights, not to mention its wide selection of cask ales. The Georgian facade is slightly deceiving and the interior seems much older – cross the threshold to enter a wood-panelled room covered in vintage photographs from the pub’s bygone years. If you peek down the mesh-covered well shaft, you can catch a glimpse of the 12th-century cellars below.
The Vat and Fiddle
The Vat and Fiddle is often full of travellers looking for a quick tipple. You’ll find most of the Castle Rock ales on draft, and the fridge is always well-stocked with bottled craft beers. Be warned – it’s easy to get drawn into a long night of competitive gaming at the darts board or bar billiards table with the friendly locals.