Citylife Nottingham

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Citylife Nottingham create unique experiences for international students here in the city, as well as helping them integrate into the community. It was founded by students, for students, so these guys know what they are doing! 

They offer bar crawls, meet-up events and parties at various nightclubs throughout Nottingham and include drinks offers, loads of entertainment and great opportunities to meet new friends throughout these events too.

Every Thursday they hold a free meet up event called 'Meet and Speak' at The Lacehouse from 9pm, a language exchange to help improve each others English/foreign language skills as well as making new friends! They also hold tours and trips to destinations across the UK, Europe and even Africa. 

Another brilliant service Citylife Nottingham offer is a FREE accommodation/house finding service, so to all those new and international students struggling with finding somewhere to live in Nottingham get in touch with them.

They also provide a free welcome guide too! With information about all things Nottingham, from transport, to nightlife, to health care, banking and more. You can download HERE.

So whether you are looking for accommodation, cultural experiences, parties, travel opportunities or even just meeting new people from around the world Citylife Nottingham is the group for you! http://www.citylife-nottingham.com

Live Music in Nottingham

We've got an amazing music scene here in Nottingham! With plenty of live music venues that host local and big time bands we highly recommend checking out, read on to explore our booming music scene.

THE MAZE  has live music nearly every night of the week, mixing a host of underground club nights and alternative band nights.  It has become a linchpin in the ever growing music community of Nottingham city, remaining one of our only truly independent venues. It has hosted the likes of Jake Bugg, Bonobo and Newton Faulkner so if you want to see any up and coming exciting musicians this is the place to be, as well as fun affordable nights out. Click here to view The Maze’s gig list: http://www.themazerocks.com/gigs

There is only 4 ROUGH TRADE stores in the WORLD!! (New York, 2 in London and 1 here!) By day they are a vinyl, CD and book shop but at night they have a bar and music area upstairs. Here you can go to various gigs, poetry recitals, album signings and meet other like minded music lovers.  Click HERE to see Rough Trade's gig and event listings.  

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ROCK CITY erupted in Nottingham back in 1980. Since then it has been one of the flagship venues in the UK for live music and club nights. They have held artists from the likes of Nirvana, Def Leppard, The Pogues, David Bowie,Guns And Roses, Ozzy Ozbourne, The Cure,Rage Against The Machine, Slipknot, Run DMC, Queens of The Stone Age, Bloc Party and that's not even close to us listing them all! A great venue for big bands to play, we highly recommend experiencing a gig here. It’s also received numerous awards, including Kerrang! magazine's Venue of the Year for ten consecutive years so that must count for something. Click for upcoming gigs.

THE BODEGA is another wonderful venue that we have in Nottingham. A close intimate gig and then a breath of fresh air in the beautiful fairy-lit beer garden. They pride themselves on having ‘festival headlining talent’ playing at their venue before they make it big including the likes of; Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Caribou, Florence and the Machine, The Libertines, Mumford and Sons and the Strokes. So it’s definitely a venue to head to for a fun night and perhaps you might become a fan of a new up and coming band. Click here to see Bodegas upcoming gigs: http://www.bodeganottingham.com/gigs

RESCUE ROOMS is a real highlight to our music scene with its 450 person capacity you feel like the bands are playing in your living room, its so intimate and lovely. The stage is raised higher than most so good visibility throughout.  Check out their listings here

And of course we have MOTORPOINT ARENA holding 10,000 people a night to see some of the biggest musicians in the world, upcoming gigs include The Killers and Andre Rieu. Take a look at their lineup HERE and you may be able to experience one of the bands you’ve dreamed of seeing!

Finally, If your wanting a cheap music event to attend in the city on October 8th there is the HOCKLEY HUSTLE event. Lots of local musicians playing in different venues throughout Hockley area in Nottingham City Centre raising money for 7 local charities, with 24 venues and 300 artists. Currently tickets are only £11! For all info check out their website: https://hockleyhustle.co.uk/

The city has loads to offer if you're wanting to immerse yourself in some music! Then after a fun gig or event IGLOO is placed so centrally that we are a short walk from all the music venues mentioned meaning you can crash out in our affordable and cosy rooms.

Nottingham Caves

Nottingham has over 500 known caves, with more being discovered every year. No other location in the UK has as many of these man made caves as we do! So much so that it was first known as the 'Place of Caves'. It turns out the whole city is built on them. They run deep underground and in the cliff side of Nottingham Castle. Many of them are linked with a network running under the whole city.

In the 11th century they were used as some of the first housing in the area and people continued to live in them up to the mid to late 1800s. Other uses for them included store rooms, a chapel, air raid shelters, slums, a tannery, work/factory rooms, a prison, storing live fish, brewing and storing beer, pub cellars, wells, cesspits and other daily life spaces most of us would now have above ground. In the present day Nottingham residents are using them as basements, bike stores, play areas and store rooms for their businesses, not much unlike what was happening here a thousand years ago!

The most famous tale of the caves is from 1330 when King Edward III went through a secret tunnel that led directly into Nottingham Castle. The castle was the residence of nobleman Roger de Mortimer who had been ruling England unlawfully and had been supposedly involved in the killing of Edward III's father. Edward III took Mortimer as a prisoner and took back his right to rule as king. The tunnel is known as Mortimer's Hole. 

To go in the caves and see their history you can visit the City of Caves attraction (check out their website here). You can also experience the caves by going for a meal at the Heart in Hand pub on Derby Road, or book a cellar tour at Ye Olde Trip. You may even stumble upon one randomly on your travels! 

What's on in August?

Riverside Festival - 04/08 to 06/08
Stretching along the banks of the River Trent/Victoria Embankment, enjoy live music, a huge fireworks display, dragon boat racing, funfairs, steam engines, craft fair and loads more. All free! An annual event enjoyed by locals and visitors every year. https://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/events-markets-parks-and-museums/events-in-nottingham/riverside-festival/

Dinosaurs of China @ Wollaton Hall - throughout the whole month
A one-time only world exclusive exhibition of dinosaurs in Europe for the first time. Held at Wollaton Hall with a complementary exhibition at Lakeside Arts. Featuring fossils and specimens never before seen outside of Asia, Dinosaurs of China brings to life the story of how dinosaurs evolved into the birds that live alongside us today. http://www.dinosaursofchina.co.uk/

Pagan Pride - 06/08
The biggest free pagan event in the UK, just over the road from Igloo Annexe and Pods at The Arboretum park. Talks, shopping, live music, friendly family festival vibes, free entry! http://www.paganpride.org.uk/

Melodica Festival @ Rough Trade - 12/08
"Melodica acoustic festival brings together songwriters and musicians from around the world and gives them the opportunity to experience playing in different countries, meet local artists, swap ideas and form musical collaborations. Audiences are treated to rare and intimate performances from artists they would normally never get the chance to see and local artists then get the opportunity to play at the other Melodica festivals." https://www.roughtrade.com/events/melodica-festival-at-rough-trade-nottingham

Hyson Green Cultural Festival - 19/08
A free annual event celebrating the diversity in the local community. Family friendly with loads of activites, food and music. Held on Forest Fields just a 10minute walk from Igloo Annexe and Pods. http://hysongreenculturalfestival.org.uk/

Leonardo Da Vinci @ Nottingham Castle - throughout the whole month
"A display of ten of the finest drawings by Leonardo da Vinci from the Royal Collection in a new exhibition. The works have been selected to show the extraordinary scope of the artist’s interests, from painting and sculpture to engineering, zoology, botany, mapmaking and anatomy, as well as his use of different media – pen and ink, red and black chalks, watercolour and metalpoint." http://www.nottinghamcastle.org.uk/explore/exhibitions/leonardo-da-vinci

Pull Up! with Reggae Takeover - 19/08
An interactive all-day event shines the musical spotlight on Nottingham's rich reggae heritage. A of talks, workshops and film screenings. Music will be provided by Reggae Take Over DJs plus special guests, and a tasty Jamaican menu will be available. http://www.nae.org.uk/event/pull-up-with-reggae-takeover/514

Nottingham Carnival - 20/08
A parade, live music, workshops, funfair, all in true Caribbean carnival style! £2 entry,  12-8pm at Victoria Embankment. Reggae legends Michael Prophet and Horace Andy are headling the main stage too. Take the tram from Market Square near Igloo Hybrid. http://emccan.org/nottingham-caribbean-carnival/

The Shins @ Rock City - 23/08
On their world tour! With support from Kidwave. Tickets £27.50 http://www.rock-city.co.uk/gig-guide/1202/the-shins

Kindread Sound System @ The Maze - 25/08
Nottingham's own heavyweight roots reggae sound system! Just a few minutes walk up the road from Igloo Annexe and Pods. £5 entry, fundraiser for keeping The Maze alive and kickin. Ital food, arts and craft stalls and a 12v 'off grid' sound system room upstairs. http://www.themazerocks.com/gig/kindread-presents-steppin-out-of-babylon-part-1

Jehst @ Rough Trade - 26/08
British hip-hop legend Jehst will be live in store performing tracks from his new album FREE! https://www.roughtrade.com/events/nottingham-jehst-live-signing

Rescue Room's Beer Festival - 27/08
Celebrate the bank holiday Monday with Rescue Room's first ever beer festival. They'll be turning the venue into an Oktoberfest style beer hall, hosting live music and showcasing craft beers. Tickets £10 which includes 2 drinks tokens! http://www.rescuerooms.com/gig-guide/2052/rescue-rooms-beer-festival

Getting around Nottingham

Nottingham is a fairly small city but we have sprawling suburbs and great places to visit outside of the city centre. 

The best way of getting around the city centre is by walking. Most streets are pedestrianised and don't provide access to cars which have to follow the 'one way' system around the city. Most roads in the immediate city centre only give access to taxis, trams and buses. But this is no problem because our city centre is very compact and everything is within walking distance! When you get to reception you can pick up a free Igloo map of the city centre and our staff will be happy to give you directions.

If you are travelling out of the city boundaries, or want to visit places such as Wollaton Hall, The University of Nottingham or other university campuses the best and cheapest means of travel is getting a bus.

Our main bus service is Nottingham City Transport (NCT). You can find all their bus routes and timetables on their website www.nctx.co.uk. Their system is well organised with colour coded buses for similar routes and super helpful bus drivers. An all day bus ticket for use on any of their buses is £3.70 for the day or £2 for a single journey. You will need exact change as the bus drivers don't give any. If you download the NCT app on your smartphone you can get live timetables and even pay by card for a mobile ticket (just show the app to the driver), it's cheaper this way too, £3.50 for all day or £1.90 for single!

Most buses leave from Upper and Lower Parliament Street, Market Square or at the side of Victoria Centre. You can pick up NCT leaflets and maps at our receptions, but some useful bus routes and numbers are:

Orange line: 36 stops at the Derby Road entrance of Wollaton Hall and University Park. 34 heads directly into to The University of Nottingham University Park and also passes Jubilee Campus.

Pink line: 30 goes to front entrance of Wollaton Hall, it also stops by UoN Jubilee Campus. 

Lime and Purple lines: Lime 56/57/58/59 and Purple 89/88/87 go up Mansfield Road to Forest Recreation Ground (for Goose Fair, Bonfire Night and other major events), Sherwood and Arnold. The 89 will take you to Bestwood Country Park.

You can also get the tram! It stops in Market Square just a minute away from Igloo Hybrid. Depending which direction you get (North/South) it will take you to Forest Recreation Ground, Train Station, QMC Hosptial, The University of Nottingham (South Entrance) or the suburban areas of Clifton and Bulwell. Find out more about getting around on the tram HERE.

Taxis are easy to find in the city too. There are numerous black cabs that can be waved down. Or you can book with firms such as D&G Taxis (0115 9500500) who also do a great deal of a fixed fee airport journeys of £26. Other taxi options include Nottingham Cars (0115 9700700) and Trent Cars (0115 9505050). 

And finally if you want to visit Sherwood Forest, the best public transport option is The Sherwood Arrow. It goes from Victoria Centre bus station just a couple of mintues away from Igloo Annexe and Pods. Their £10 Family ticket can be used for 2 adults or 2 adults + 3 children. All the details can be found on their website.

Happy travels!

Summer in the City!

If you want to get that summertime feeling in Nottingham City but don't know where to go look no further. Believe it or not we have a beach (kind of..), plenty of festivals and even outdoor cinemas.

Go down to Old Market Square between 13th July - 3rd September and you'll find Nottingham Beach... complete with a sandy beach, palm trees, a large paddling pool, rides, food and a 'beach bar' - you may even spot people snorkelling in the fountain!

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Head to Victoria Embankment for Riverside Festival between 4th-6th August for a classic British travelling funfair experience, street theatre, global foods, live music until late, plenty of things for kids to do and an amazing fireworks display over the River Trent (10.30pm on Saturday 5th). We recommend getting a spot by the river to watch it. The annual Dragon Boat race takes place over this weekend too next to the festival, and the best bit is it's FREE ENTRY!

Or if something more relaxing is your thing, this year Wollaton Hall Park is being turned into an outdoor cinema on the lawn at the front of the house itself. Screenings include classics such as Moulin Rouge, Jurassic Park and Pretty Woman. They are also showing Batman: The Dark Knight Rises which was filmed at Wollaton Hall itself... aka Wayne Manor! For all information and tickets go to their website HERE. Take a blanket and a picnic. Splendour Festival also takes place at Wollaton Hall on 22nd July!

Parks and Recreation

Nottingham is a wonderfully green city with plenty of areas for meeting with friends, going for a walk, or relaxing with an ice cream on a sunny day... entry to all parks is FREE! Here are some of our favourites:

The Arboretum

Notts city centre's oldest (and most beautiful!) public park space. A historic Grade II listed green flag award winning park with a historic collection of trees, an aviary and pond. The closest park to the city centre and just a few minutes walk away from Igloo Annexe + Pods, or catch the tram at Market Square 1 min from Igloo Hybrid! Throughout the year some great events are hosted here including Bands In The Park, Pagan Pride and the highly recommended Nottingham Green Festival.

Forest Recreation Ground

Most well known as the site of Goose Fair, Forest Recreation Ground has a long history! Once part of Sherwood Forest, it has been used as a site for sports and other recreation for the last 300 years. As well as Goose Fair it also hosts the annual Bonfire Night celebrations, Oktober Fest, fun run events, parades and circuses. You can grab a bite to eat or a slice of cake from Homemade Cafe at The Pavillion too! Read more about the park and it's history HERE. A short walk from Igloo Annexe and Pods or if staying at Hybrid catch the tram from Market Square and get off at 'The Forest'.

Wollaton Hall Park

Now most famous for being the home of Batman in the latest movies, Wollaton Hall Park is an impressive area with botanic gardens, formal gardens, cafe, a lake, forest, the house itself (which is both a historic house and Natural History museum!) and home to around 200 deers. Check out their website with all the info you'll need to visit. Just a short hop over the road from the University of Nottingham too... the NCT 36 bus goes to both (£3.70 day ticket or £2 single, family/group tickets also available).

Woodthorpe Grange Park

A little further out the city centre in the vibrant area of Sherwood sits Woodthorpe Grange Park. The park contains a tropical house, walled and formal gardens, a plant shop, cafe, and a 18 hole pitch & putt golf course. It was once the home of the old Nottingham railway line and elements of it can be spotted all around the park. All the flowers you see around Nottingham are also grown here by the council! Events at the park include a lovely annual Open Day/Grow Your Own weekend usually in May or September, with local producers, gardeners, craft stalls and food stalls focusing on gardening, bee keeping and environmental practises.

Highfields Park

Situated on the site of The University of Nottingham's University Park, Highfields is a beautiful space with a boating lake (amazing in summer!), Lakeside Arts and Theatre, Djanogly Gallery, two cafes, bowls, croquet, stepping stones over the lake, lots of beautiful trees and plants, super friendly (and very chubby) squirrels and other wildlife...beware of the geese! The NCT 34 bus goes directly into the park and if you're a student it's just a £1 for a single journey. The rest of Uni Park is lovely too, rated the most green university in THE WORLD(!) and one of the most attractive campuses in the country.

Bestwood Country Park

Once one of Britain's busiest coal mines, the area has been turned into 650 acres of wildlife loving space. You can explore the rich mining heritage at the old Winding Engine House (open on Saturday's 10am-12pm), visit the lakes, go on varying walks throughout the extensive forests and fields, see the remains of a Japanese garden, or have a bite to eat and a drink at Bestwood Lodge Hotel. Get there on the NCT 89 bus, there is a stop directly opposite Igloo Annexe + Pods reception building, or just a few minutes to Upper Parliament Street from Igloo Hybrid. More about Bestwood Park here.

Victoria Embankment

Not technically a park but a beautiful place for a stroll along the river on a sunny day! Memorial gardens and fountains, home to the annual Riverside Festival at the beginning of August, dragon boat racing championships and is also the new home of Nottingham Carnival. Really close to Trent Bridge Cricket Ground too.

Other Parks and Outdoor Spaces in the Area

Nottingham is home to many green spaces and country parks so if you've exhaused this list here are some more to check out: Attenborough Nature Reserve, Clumber Park, Gedling Country Park, Colwick Park, Arnot Hill Park, Rushcliffe Country Park and of course, Sherwood Forest!

Broadmarsh Bus Station - IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Please be aware that Broadmarsh Car Park and Bus Station are closing the 10th of July for reconstruction...

National Express and MegaBus will be stopping at Station Street, whilst other bus stops have been moved around as well.

The city made a pretty clear map, YAY! We can send a PDF to you by email, do not hesitate to ask for it.

TO IGLOO HYBRID:
https://goo.gl/maps/XuUk4uPLj6w

TO ANNEXE & PODS:
https://goo.gl/maps/JPzavVnZ3kp

Any information needed, come and ask, we will be happy to help the best we can :)

The Igloo Team

In search of Robin Hood

There are traces of Notts' most famous resident Robin Hood all over the city & surrounding areas! Here's some you can experience:

Robin Hood's Statue

Located near Nottingham Castle on Robin Hood's Lawn. The 2m high bronze statue was sculpted by James Woodford. It's estimated that it should last for 6,000 years! Around the statue are bronze images showing scenes from the Robin Hood legends. People come from all over the world to get their photo taken with it! Just a short walk (5mins max.) from Old Market Square and Igloo Hybrid.

Robin Hood Walk

Ezekial Bone is Robin Hood for the twenty-first century! This is the definitive way to learn all about the Robin Hood legend and to see the best Nottingham has to offer. Join the ‘Official Outlaw’ on an adventure around Nottingham as you follow a trail of historical facts to discover the truth. Learn how simple ballads over 700 years old grew into one of the greatest stories ever told! This fun exploration of the legend is told against the theatrical back drop of the City. As you visit places associated with Robin Hood, you will also see the town's key sites of interest and learn about its history and culture. The tour ends at Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem where Robin Hood invites you to drink ales with him! Igloo guests get 1/3 off the price! Just ask at reception. For full details/times CLICK HERE.

Robin Hood Festival

This is the annual festival's 33rd year running! Located within Sherwood Forest between 31st July - 6th August 2017. The festival includes forest walks, craft stalls, falconry, reenactments and fun interactive history. Entry is FREE. Parking is £5 or you can get the Sherwood Arrow bus for £5.80 return ticket or £10 return ticket for 2 or more peope travelling from Victoria Centre Bus Station.

Robin Hood Legacy

A new attraction to Nottingham, based on Friar Lane. Travel back in time through a state of the art audio-visual experience in the shadow of Nottingham Castle. Hear tales of Robin Hood's daring heroism. Learn the holy craft of ale-brewing from Friar Tuck and stand trial before the infamous Sheriff of Nottingham and come face to face with the legend himself! Open 7 days a week, admission is £9.95 for adults but you can also find a £2 off admission voucher valid until 31st August on http://www.robinhoodlegacy.co.uk/

Sherwood Forest and Major Oak

Legend has it that Robin Hood, Maid Marion, and the Merry Men lived in Sherwood Forest and specifically the Major Oak back in the 1200s. It's one of England's most ancient woodlands! Once a royal hunting forest, it covers 450 acres and contains more than 1000 oak trees, most of which are over 500 years old. There is a visitor centre with exhibits and shops too. If you don't have a car The Sherwood Arrow bus will get you there, it runs regularly from the city. READ MORE about Sherwood Forest's fascinating history.

You can read more about the legends of Robin Hood HERE and check out more Robin Hood experiences HERE

Special Offer 5% OFF for nights 22th-25th of May, 2017!

Coming to Nottingham these days & planning to enjoy one of these events?!

We offer 5% off per night of stay between Monday 22nd and Thursday 25th of May, 2017! Only when you book through our website http://www.igloohostel.co.uk and write in the Comment box "Special Offer 22th-25th of May 2017"

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