On Friday, after having a glorious 10 hours of sleep, Sean and I started the day by setting up a game plan for my time in England. After buying a few train tickets to head to Manchester on Sunday, and scanning through Groupon for low cost activities and meals, we made our way into the city of Nottingham. Sean lives just on the outskirts of Nottingham so we took a bus into the heart of the city. Home to nearly 300,000 people and about 2 hours north of London, Sean showed me around his city.
This first building I saw after getting off the bus was the Town Hall, and it was nothing short of incredible. I quickly noted that there are a lot of beautiful buildings throughout Nottingham. We made our way around until we got to the Castle of Nottingham. The gates weren’t open, but we were still able to see a bit inside. Around the side of the castle was a pub that had been built into the cliffs. This pub, The Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Is considered the oldest inn in England. It’s dated 1189 AD and is carved out of the cliffs, going under the castle! We went in and had a drink before moving onto what Nottingham is best known for. Did you know that Robin Hood is from Nottingham?! Well he is, and I took a picture of Sean posing with his statue just outside the castle wall.
The plan was to meet up with a few of Sean’s friends later that evening at a pub known as Wetherspoons in the Market Square, but before heading there, we decided to make a couple of stops. Sean is big into parkour, also known as free running. He’s been on many buildings and often looks at buildings the same way I do… The look that questions, “how can I get up there?” The simple reason as to why it’s so appealing to ascend these buildings has to be the view. You can’t argue the fact that you can just see more from a higher loft. As we walked around, he shared with me the buildings he’s been on, and inevitably the crazy stories that followed. Cities in England, specifically the older ones, are built out more than up. If you can get on top of a building in Nottingham, you can just about see all of Nottingham. So, that’s just what we did. I know you’re probably thinking this is a bad idea, but we did it in the most responsible of ways. We just went to the top of a parking garage, known here as a car park. From above, we could see the tops of all the church steeples, and there were a lot! After some time, we made our way down and were in route to the pub when we came across a church that had recently been converted into a bar. It was called Pitcher & Piano, and was totally awesome. I personally think all churches should consider this transformation. I’ve always been a huge fan of the architecture that goes into churches, and the stain glass always looks brilliant! This beautiful work of art also had a full bar and could be rented out for parties and events! Someone needs to make this happen back home.
After a quick drink at the P&P, we went over to Wetherspoons where we had a burger and met up with Josh, Luke, and Liam. These guys are friends of Sean through free running and were all really great. We spent the night telling stories and having a few drinks before heading to a club called The Forum. We were out pretty late and had to catch a bus back to Sean’s. It was a great night, and Sean’s friends were a very entertaining bunch to hang with. I think later in the week we’ll be getting together for some free running. Wish me luck!