A guide to Nottingham for football fans
Updated: Sep 24, 2019
Football fans across the country have released a collective sigh of relief as the football season has finally started again. Even with the Women’s World Cup, the summer break seemed to go on for such a long time!
If you’re coming to Nottingham to watch a match this season, whether you’ll be supporting one of the home teams or a visiting one, we hope you have a great time. But, why let the fun last for just a few hours when you could stay for a mini-break.
Here is our rundown of what every football lover should know about Nottingham.
Five Nottingham football facts for you
Regardless of which team you support, you can’t deny that Nottingham has a fantastic football heritage. Just take a look at the below.
Like every city that is home to more than one football team, football fans in Nottingham are divided by their allegiance to one club or the other. And, it has been this way for a very long time. In fact, until their relegation at the end of last season, Notts County FC held the accolade of being the oldest club in the English football league and Nottingham Forest the second.
Of course, now the Magpies have conceded the title, Forest can now lay claim to being the oldest.
Strangely, although the football grounds face each other across the River Trent, Forest’s City Ground is officially in Nottinghamshire County and Notts County’s Meadow Lane Stadium is within the Nottingham City area. Go figure!
A Nottingham Lace Maker, Herbert Kilpin, moved to Italy in 1891. After being the first Englishman to play for a foreign team, he went on to found and coach AC Milan.
When Italian football club Juventus needed a new kit in 1903, they were sent some Notts County shirts and have played in the Magpies black and white stripes ever since. To commemorate the relationship, the English club were invited to play a friendly at the opening of Juventus’s new stadium.
The city can lay claim to a considerable number of footballing firsts. Referee whistles, the offside trap, and shin pads were all used first in Nottingham. And, Nottingham Forest was the first team to pay £1 million for a footballer when they signed Trevor Francis in 1979.
Getting to the match
There aren’t many parking spaces available by the football grounds so it’s worth booking accommodation nearby, or heading straight to the match when you arrive in Nottingham. Both the Nottingham Forest and the Notts County grounds are within walking distance of Nottingham Train Station – which is in the city centre – making rail a convenient option to get here by and the city centre the perfect place to stay.
There are regular buses to the ground from the city centre but it gets pretty busy on match days so, if you can, it’s easier to walk there and back.
Where to stay
If you do decide to stay in the city centre you have a huge variety of options to choose from. But, if after a day spent cheering on your team, you’d like some space to relax in comfort with your friends then make sure you book one of the city’s serviced apartments.
Here are two of our serviced apartments that are perfect for visiting footie fans. Both are in the same side of the city centre as the football grounds, yet close enough to the bars, shops, restaurants and clubs that you can also experience the rest of what Nottingham has to offer during your stay.
This spacious three-bedroom apartment is opposite Nottingham Train Station and right next door to Hooters. Keep on reading if you can’t place the name of that bar! Or, if you’d prefer to be closer to the rest of the city’s nightlife, why not choose one of the stunning Arena Apartments? Either way, they are just what you need for the perfect mini-break.
Nottingham is lucky enough to be packed full of both the big-name eateries as well as some absolutely amazing independent bars and restaurants. You can search through the vast majority of the city centre ones on this website.
But, if you’re wanting to get some food or drink a bit closer to the football grounds, you could always try the UK’s only Hooters? Famous for their chicken wings and the staff uniforms (ahem!) it’s always a favourite with sports fans.
Or if you’re into your ales, the Trent Navigation near to the County Ground is the perfect place to go. It’s the tap house for the renowned East Midlands-based brewery, Great Northern Inns, and you’ll find some delicious pub grub alongside a fantastic range of beers.