City Arts

Our final chosen charity! City Arts Nottingham develops arts opportunities that bring people together, stimulate change and create stronger, healthier communities. They believe that participation in the arts can enrich and transform people’s lives and have been pioneering this approach for over 30 years. They work creatively and collaboratively with communities and particularly target resources towards vulnerable groups. Projects include music, performance, visual and digital arts and are all facilitated by artists particularly skilled in working creatively with people.


City Arts have done everything from "working with older people in care homes, pioneering projects to enhance young people’s well-being, created a new Community Arts Garden in the heart of Hockley, showcased the talent of mental health survivors, made stunning contributions to Light Night and Nottingham Carnival, and engaged communities in the former Notts Coalfields. City Arts can and will continue to grow and expand participation in the Arts for all, regardless of health, ability, or economic status." 

This weekend they have their Christmas Pop-Up shop! Check out all the details below:


Showcasing the best emerging artists, makers and designers in the area. Shop for a wide array of handmade items from fine art to stationery, from clothes to jewellery, and from ceramics to glass work.

Opening Party: Friday 15th December, 6.00 - 8.30 pm
Come in from the cold and join us for a drink or two and some Christmas tunes at the opening party! A great chance to chat to the artists and generally get into the Christmas spirit!

Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th, 11.00 - 6.00 pm
Our pop up shop is open all weekend, so break the monotony of the high street and pick up some unique, original and beautiful gifts.

Hannah Satchwell
Ruby Ward
Nikki Charlesworth
Stan Charles Roberts
Fourbeat Walk
Harriet Morell
Glen Keep
Nicole Solarte-Tobon
Tracey Meek
Harry Martin
Kat Christou
January Norway Ceramics
The Thursday Group”

What's On In Notts... December Edition!

Ho Ho Ho... Christmas cheer has arrived in Nottingham! From the German Christmas Market being in full swing in Market Square to ACTUAL snow falling the other day; we are feeling super festive here at the Igloo. Check out what's on to get you in the Christmas spirit too.

PANTOMIME! Beauty and The Beast @ Theatre Royal - 9/12 to 14/01

Don’t miss this year’s spellbinding family pantomime Beauty and the Beast. Dreaming of a happier life, the beautiful Belle finds herself transported to a spell-bound castle held captive by a hideous beast. Can she see beyond the monster and fall in love with her captor before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose? Or will the Beast’s selfishness cost him the world he once knew and the hand of the girl that has melted his heart. Oh no he didn't..... oh yes he did! All info and tickets here >>


A Viking Christmas @ Lakeside - 9/12

Did you know that before Christmas, the Vikings celebrated Yule - or Jól - in December? Join us for a fun-filled Viking Christmas at Lakeside. Drop by the Learning Studio between 11am and 4pm to make a Viking ring to take away... a perfect Christmas present. Visit the Museum and meet two Vikings who will show you how the Vikings celebrated Jól. Children can make a puppet of the of the twelve 'Yule-Lads' - mischievious trolls who would visit children and leave gifts or rotten potatoes. 11am - 4pm. Fun for all the family and free!

Lantern-lit Christmas Cave Tour @ Nottingham Castle - 10/12

As night falls, collect your lantern at the gate and hear the Castle’s intriguing history as you wander the grounds and descend into the caves by candlelight. Tickets £15 per person, including festive refreshments.  7.30pm – 9pm

The Park Christmas Market @ Newcastle Circus (The Park Estate) - 10/12

Seasonal food, drink, plants and gifts for sale from local producers. 11am - 4pm.


Christmas Ghosts @ Nottingham Castle - 16/12

O come, all ye fearful… Hear spooky tales of Christmases past. Festive spirits guaranteed. Tickets £18 per person. 7.30pm – 9.30pm

Gogol Bordello @ Rock City - 16/12

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A Night of Dickens @ Wollaton Hall - 22/12

Listen to Dickens’ timeless classics, told by the fireside. Tickets £18 per person, including festive refreshments. 7.30pm – 9.30pm


Rise Up! The Nest Collective Winter Bash @ The Maze - 22/12

Get your Christmas dancing shoes on! Quality live bands on early to get you warmed up n in the festival spirit ready for some floor shaking DJ's that'll carry us through the night full of Nottingham talent and spirit! £5/£7 8pm till late! 18+, just up the road from Igloo Annexe and Pods.


Persian New Years Eve Meal @ Cafe Roya - 31/12

Celebrate the New Year in style at the UK's NUMBER 1 vegetarian resturant Cafe Roya! Relax and enjoy live sitar music with a glass of organic prosecco whilst a range of delightful Persian delicacies are bought to your table... Check the yummy menu out below! £50pp, 5pm or 8.30pm


Volunteer Experience - Nina

Written by one of our volunteers Nina who will be heading to Germany soon *sad face*, she has been a great member of our team and we are going to miss her dearly! She has spent the past 3 months here at Igloo, so if you wanted to know more about volunteering here, read on..

* * *

Back in July, when I decided to volunteer in the UK, I never would have thought it would be so hard for me to go back home!! However, before I leave Nottingham for good, I want to explain the reason why working at Igloo Hostels changed my view on many things.

During my stay in the hostel I met a lot of interesting people from all over the world. They told me about their journeys and their experiences in travelling. They kind of encouraged me to try it myself. So, I went around in Great Britain: to Liverpool, Dublin, Manchester, Cardiff and some other places. I really enjoyed seeing new things, taste new foods and meet various people in the hostels I’ve stayed. However, it always felt like coming home when I came back to the Igloo Hostel after one of my journeys. The people working there are amazing!! The work is not as hard as I expected, and I had enough free time to discover the city and its nightlife. For example, the Arboretum with all the cute squirrels, Wollaton Hall, the Museum of Nottingham Life, Sherwood Forest with the big oak tree, Newstead Abbey and the museum inside the castle. I also spend a lot of time with all the lovely volunteers who make the hostel a warm and welcoming place. Even though life will probably take me to many other beautiful places, I will never forget my time in Nottingham. Cheers for the precious memories!!   

Tarrah thenn!!


Arkwright Meadows Community Gardens

Every year Igloo chooses 3 local charities to support, for 2017/18 we have chosen Arkwright Meadows Community Gardens, City Arts and Make to Make. For every booking made via our website's booking button we put aside 50p, then at the end of the year we share the funds raised between the chosen charities. We feel it really important to support what is happening in our locality, and even more so organisations without much funding or backing from major groups, but who are still doing their thing and doing it well!

Arkwright Meadows Community Gardens was created in 2001 by local residents in the Meadows area of Nottingham. It was an unused playing field that has now been transformed into a beautiful space that provides the diverse community with fresh produce, education and oppourtunities to get gardening. The gardens also have a wide range of organically grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and plants for sale, as well as their home made chutneys, jams and other preserves. They welcome visitors and are just 10 minutes walk away from Nottingham Train Station, we urge you to take a small detour out of the city centre to see this wonderful place. Open until 4pm in the winter and on Saturday too! AMC also have a wide range of events throughout the year, with their next one being a winter hedgerow wreath making workshop - all event info here.

You can follow their community gardening adventures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Find directions to the gardens here.


Halloween 2017

A lowdown on all the spooktacular events occuring over the Halloween period in Nottingham this year. From ghost tours to beer festivals there is something for all the family to enjoy! Trick or treat...

Dark Tales & Dire Deeds @ The Malt Cross - 29/10

Join local raconteurs The Woolly Tellers for a evening of dark tales, stories and anecdotes in the beautifully restored Victorian music hall The Malt Cross. These experienced storytellers will take you on a journey into the dark macabre of human nature just in time for Halloween! £8, pre booking essential! Click HERE for full details.


Ezekial Bone's Halloween Guts & Gore Tour - 28/10

No ordinary Ghost Walk… Bored to death with the usual Ghost Tours? The truth is stranger than fiction! Join Nottingham ghost Mr Bone as he haunts the Lace Market, telling grisly tales of Guts & Gore. Stand where horrible history happened and hear true tales of murder, hanging, grave-robbing, misery and mayhem that took place amidst the finery and foulness of old Nottingham town.

£7, and suitable for ages 10 and above, approx. 80 minutes starts from: Cross Keys Pub. Booking: 07941 210 986 or contact Ezekial Bone

The Visited Folk @ Brewhouse yard under castle ROck- 28-31/10

In 1349 the Black Death visitation killed an estimated 1000 people in Nottingham. As more and more people died of disease, bodies were hurriedly buried and fear undoubtedly spread. To prevent the spread of the disease, caves cut into the rock beneath the Castle were used to isolate those who became known as the Visited Folk. Join archaeologist Scott Lomax and explore the caves they once inhabited. £6 entry, includes museum entry at Brewhouse Yard  underneath Nottingham Castle Rock, for more info click

Hand and Heart Halloween Beer Festival - 26-31/10

It’s Hand and Heart's 7th annual Halloween Beer Festival with 30+ real ales - many with a spooky seasonal twist, and live music.


Paranormal Investigation @ Newstead Abbey- 27/10

Join Haunted Events UK for a spine chilling evening of Paranormal Activity at Newstead Abbey, a venue that never stops delivering. Explore the stairwells, chambers and hallways of this medieval house that was once home to Lord Bryon and see if you can add to activity reports of the infamous White Lady, Black Monk or even Lord Byron himself.  7pm - 12.30am, £55 per person, 15+. More info here.

Magic School @ Intu Victoria Centre - 23-27/10

Spooktacular activities over the half term including 'The Big Trick or Treat' (28+29/10) where kids can dress up, free face painting and take part in a hunt for all the treats hidden in the centre!


Eleven eclectic companies have come together to create a fun trail guiding families around a vibrant area of the city centre. All participants need to do is follow the map to collect a number and letter from each venue. Why not ask a member of staff for a trick or a treat and you might be in for a surprise! Once all venues have been visited, the numbers and letter will reveal the winning Halloween phrase and number that enters yous into a grand prize draw –  the winner announced at Café Sobar’s Sobar Social Spooktacular on Friday the 27th of October 2017. (Guess what... Igloo Hybrid is a part of the trail!... come and trick or treat us) All info HERE.

Notts'Indie Shops!

We have a great independent business scene here in Nottingham, often these small creative businesses are tucked away in one of the many secret courtyards or old streets in the city centre. There are some real hidden gems when it comes to independent shopping too, you can always find something unique, from the finest foods to vintage American clothing.. here are some of our favourites!

Delilah Fine Foods - 12 Victoria Street NG1 2EX
The Midland's Traditional Delicatessen! Independent fine food and wine merchant, housed in a beautiful former banking hall. Just a few minutes walk from Market Square and Igloo Hybrid. All products are sourced from local and other small artisan producers.



Wild - 4-6 Broad Street, NG1 3AL
Possibly the best vintage clothing store in town for over 30 years, Nottingham's longest running independent clothing shop! Clothing and accessories from every decade in the last 60 years are available, loads of rare and cool stuff from the USA too.



Plates Records - 16 St James's Street, NG1 6FG.
Just around the corner from Igloo Hybrid and off Market Square you will find Plates, a record shop focused on "keeping alive things that inspire creativity, freedom and soul within music." They stock vinyl of all genres so if you're a record lover go crate digging here!

Handmade Nottingham16 St James's Street, NG1 6FG.
Situated right next to Plates Records, dedicated to showcasing local creative talent. They have all kinds of textiles, jewellery, prints and home accessories designed by locals! Great for little gifts or something to take home to remind you of your Nottingham trip.



Five Leaves Bookshop - 14a Long Row, NG1 2DH
Nottingham's independent radical and general bookshop, specialising in independent publishers. They specialise in "Cityscape and Landscape, Politics, Fiction and Poetry,Lesbian and Gay,  Counterculture,  International writing,  and Magazines and Journals."



Cobden Chambers - Pelham Street, NG1 2ED
Cute hidden courtyard with book store Ideas on Paper, jewellers Keishi Jewellery, Forever Records and Studio Chocolate.


Goose Fair

Here in Nottingham the nights are starting to get longer, autumn leaves are littering the ground, the fog and rain has arrived and a giant goose statue has appeared on a roundabout... it's Goose Fair time!

Goose Fair is one of Europe's oldest and most famous travelling fairs that has been held here for over 720 years. It is said that the fair started in 1284 and has only been cancelled a few times (once due to bubonic plague in the 1600s and then during WWI and WWII). Originally it was held in Old Market Square and gets its name from the thousands of geese that used to be sold at the fair. 

Now situated on the Forest Recreation Ground it hosts over 500 attractions and rides (think ghost trains, carousels, fun houses, dodgems, waltzers, a big wheel and LOADS more for young, old and everyone in between). There is also plenty of shopping stalls, street food and fun fair sweets (world foods, roasted chestnuts, crepes, noodles, the traditional fair brandy snaps and so on.) 

For a traditional experience at Goose Fair a cup of mushy peas and mint sauce is a must!! Then a trip to the Scouts cabin at the top right corner of the park for fresh hot doughnuts. Hidden amongst the rides and other stalls is the Cock On A Stick man who sells giant boiled sweet lollys in the shape of a cockerel, the authentic Goose Fair sweet treat that can be found nowhere else.

Admission is FREE! If you want to go on any rides they are all different prices but usually between £1-£6, you can collect vouchers or cheap ride tokens from The Nottingham Post and can sometimes find them online too, just google Goose Fair vouchers.

You can get to Forest Recreation Ground on the tram (a minute away from Igloo Hybrid) or if you are staying at Igloo Annexe and Pods it is just a 5-10 minute walk! It starts on Wednesday 4th October and continues until Sunday 8th October until 9pm. We recommend going in the evening or at night to get the full experience!

Wednesday 4th October 5.30pm - 11pm
Thursday 5th October 12 noon - 11pm
Friday 6th October 11am - 11.30pm
Saturday 7th October 11am - 11pm
Sunday 8th October 1pm - 9pm

Make to Make

Every year we choose 3 local charities to support, for 2017/18 we have chosen Arkwright Meadows Community Gardens, City Arts and Make to Make. We put aside 50p from every booking made via our website's booking button, then at the end of the year we share the funds raised between the chosen charities. We feel it really important to support what is happening in our locality, and even more so organisations without much funding or backing from major groups but who are still doing their thing and doing it well! So we would like to introduce you to our first chosen charity..


"Make to Make provides free creative workshops to anyone who wants to learn new skills, meet new people, build confidence and have a nice time while you're at it! It is a community. Make to Make is a Community Interest Company which hopes to achieve three main goals..

1. Create positive experiences through the medium of creative workshops designed for enjoyment and the chance for individuals to learn new skills.

2. Support local people from all walks of life, local creative businesses and the local economy.

3. Do some good! Improve peoples skills, increase self confidence, facilitate ethical business practice, make creativity more accessible and promote learning and collaboration."


The enterprise held a free sewing school at Gedney Resource Centre over the summer, with the theme being cultural crafts and sharing the heritage of textiles and techniques. We met up with some of the group at their final get together (lots of tea and cake.. yum) and it was lovely! They have developed a great community with all age groups learning new skills and getting to know each other.

Make to Make's latest series of events is LEGO CLUB. Held every other Saturday starting from 02/09 at Rough Tradeuntil the 21/07/2018. Take on difeferent Lego challenges, make new friends and get creative. Butties and brews on sale to feed hungry minds and the sessions are FREE!

To keep up to date with their news and events head over to:
or check out their website

Happy Making!!


What's on in September?

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.


Nottingham Castle Heritage Open Days - 10/09
FREE admission to the castle! Heritage Open Days celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture offering FREE access to properties usually closed to the public, or those which normally charge for admission.

Nottingham Mela @ Nottingham Castle - 10/09
Nottingham's annual South Asian celebration returns as Mela 2017! This year Nottingham Mela is bigger than ever, with a weekend extravaganza in September, filling New Art Exchange (NAE) and the majestic grounds of Nottingham Castle. On Sunday 10th, Mela continues in the open air, in the majestic landscaped grounds of Nottingham Castle. To coincide with National Heritage Open Days, the historic site will be filled with a colourful range of activities for the whole family to enjoy including: a dance programme, a line-up of live music performances, sports, street-food stalls, art and craft workshops for children and much more!

Broadfest - 16/09
Broad Street is about to get taken over for the second year in a row. 7 venues. 10 promoters. 1 night. Nottingham’s creative taskforce is linking up to deliver an electronic music festival to see off the summer good and proper, all centred on Hockley’s famous strip. There’ll be live art, clothing stalls, and loads of food to smash in what’s set to be one of the biggest parties of the city this year. Broadway, Rough Trade, The Angel Microbrewery, Brewdog, Bar 11,and Suede will all be stuffed full of grins and skanking bodies until the early hours. Check out their Facebook page.


Nottingham Green Festival @ The Arboretum - 17/09
Enjoy FREE live music, outdoor entertainment and adult & children’s activities plus community stalls with refreshments, ethical products and energy-saving technologies. Organised by grass roots, community based volunteers, with no regular statutory funding, the event features many product, information and food stalls, kids rides, workshops, natural therapies and sustainable technologies, performers and entertainment throughout the park and live music from the bandstand.

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."

Ricky Gervais @ Motorpoint Arena - 20/09
Considered one of the most influential British comedians since Charlie Chaplin, (received the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy 2016 BAFTA/LA) Ricky Gervais is returning to stage with his first stand-up tour in seven years: Humanity. Tickets and info here.


Speigeltent @ Old Market Square - 29+30/09 and throughout all of October
The Salon Perdu is one of a handful of the unique and legendary tents left in the world today; it has spent its life travelling the world from New York to Sydney, and since 2015 annually to Nottingham, as a small part of the Goose Fair returns to its spiritual home of Old Market Square. Live music, events and loads of fun!

A Day in Nottingham

Nottingham has so much to offer whether you are a solo traveller, couple, day tripper or family. We have come up with some affordable itineraries to make the most of everything going on in the city and surrounding areas. Find our first itinerary below...

In the morning use our kitchen facilities to cook a delicious breakfast that will keep you going throughout the day. There is a Sainsburys and other food stores just over the road from us so you can get your breakfast essentials there. Or pop into one of the many cafes close by. Hartleys do a great breakfast, as do Plava Laguna if you are staying at Igloo Annexe and Pods!

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Then head across to the Nottingham Contemporary art museum. (FREE ENTRY! photo left) Afterwards you can explore the Galleries of Justice, a museum dedicated to exploring the history of British law and punishment, it's super interesting! Then after you might want to sit down for a cup of tea and cake, we recommend Lee Rosys in Hockley as they have over 100 types of tea to try! (My personal favourite is the vanilla tea).

After resting your legs you may want to take a trip to City of Caves where you’ll get to discover the hidden world beneath your feet. There are over 544 caves below Nottingham (read our blog about them). You can get a combination ticket to visit both the Galleries of Justice and City of Caves which is useful.

Lunch time! Head over to Malt Cross (photo below) not only has it got delicious food but the dining room is beautifully decorated with a big glass domed ceiling and lots of bunting, it’s the perfect place for a memorable lunch and has it's own heritage to explore.


Whilst you’re at The Malt Cross, pop into the shop next door called ‘Dukki’ for all your Nottingham souvenirs. ‘Dukki’ is a Nottingham term of endearment, you may hear locals in the street saying “Ayup m’duck” as it’s a widely used term for saying hello!

Now it’s time to explore Nottingham Castle. It may be called a castle but it’s actually a big stately home, the castle was burned down by angry locals a few hundred years ago. It later opened as an art gallery and museum, currently it is housing a Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition. 

Take a wander down the side street leading to the castle and you can get a picture with a statue of our local legend Robin Hood. Then stroll a little further and find the oldest pub in England, Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem..


Head back to Igloo to cook dinner and socialise in the kitchen with other guests and volunteers. Or you could try out Annie's Burger Shack, (photo right) over 30 different burgers that can all be made veggie, vegan or meaty. 

If you fancy having a relaxing evening take a stroll over to Broadway, an independent cinema to watch an Indie or foreign film to top your day off without having to splash loads of cash. (Tickets are fairly priced, with under 25s only paying £4.50!)


Or If you want to explore our nightlife a bit more head over to Boilermaker, a cocktail bar hidden behind a simple boiler shop facade. Check out The Hockley Arts Club (photo below) too, hidden in an alley way in Hockley they do delicious cocktails and have possibly the most beautiful bar decor...ever?

If you're looking for live music or a club night The Bodega, Rescue Rooms, Rock City or The Maze are all great venues to explore!

At the end of your night you won't even need to worry about catching a taxi or public transport back as Igloo hostels are only 10-15 minute walk away from all central locations, so you can be wrapped up in bed in no time!