London or Nottingham????

Hi all, have been offered a house in Notts in exchange for my flat in London. Really big change for my and really scary too. I know nothing about Nottingham and am looking for some advice as to whether it would be a good move.

Obviously I would like to know what pollution levels are like compared to London and also air quality. Crime rate??? Also the area the house is in - on the borders of Daybrook and Arnold (NG5). Local hospital as I have a son with difficult asthma.

Sorry loads of questions but such a big decision - any help or advice or anything greatly received. The more info the more to base a decision on.

Please help, my brain is very confused.

Nikki (Jaydens mum) xxx

13 Replies

  • Cheaper, and more easy to get Test Match Tickets for Trent Bridge than Lords or the Oval. However Nottingham does have a very high crime rate, possibly the worst in the UK. Check Home Office site for stats.

  • NOTTINGHAM has a high crime rate in CERTAIN places as does anywhere!!!!

  • Hi Nicki,

    I live in Nottingham, and have done on and off for the last 18 years. I very much like the city and think it has a lot to recommend it.

    It is true that there have been recent episodes of crime which have got a lot of publicity, and that there are paticular areas where Nottingham does seem to come out worst on crime. However, when you look at the data properly and compare like with like, Nottingham really does not have a crime rate that is statistically different from another city of its size. Of course, there are bad areas, but you will find that in any city. I can't specifically comment on the Daybrook/Arnold area as I don't know it that well.

    There are good shops, theatres, cinemas, restaurants and art galleries here, as well as a lot of park land and the river. It is a short drive from the beautiful countryside of the Peak District as well. The city and county councils are highly motivated to improve the area and have lots of schemes going on to that end.

    Pollution levels are variable around the area, but I believe they are better than in central London. There is some effect with 'pooling' of bad air in the Trent basin (errm, I'm sure there is a more technical way of explaining it but I am not a meteorologist!) but overall the pollution levels are not that bad. I have lived in Nottingham, Birmingham (worse pollution) and Hereford (less pollution) over the last 10 years and have not found my asthma to particularly correlate with any one place.

    In terms of asthma care, I was always under the adult team so I can't comment from personal experience. I do know, though, that the Paediatric asthma team at Nottingham City Hospital (sorry, University Hospitals Nottingham, City Campus) is very highly thought of. The whole of Paediatrics is due to move to Queen's Medical Centre (sorry, University Hospitals Nottingham, Queen's campus!) in a few months time, so I expect there will be a little disruption for a while, but I am sure the standard of care will remain high. Certainly the adult asthma care is very good - my consultant, Prof Hall, at Queen's, has an interest in difficult asthma and was previously a National Asthma Campaign (as it was then) lecturer. I know he takes on patients from the age of about 16 and I would certainly very highly recommend him. The Paediatric and Adult ICUs at both hospitals are also very well thought of.

    Hope this helps - do message me if you have any more queries!

    Em H

  • Hi Nikki

    I know the area you are talking about reasonably well as lived close by for several years.

    I was under the city hosptial as an adult and it had a great reputation. As for peads my son use to be under a team at Nottingham Queens although going back 4 years, at that time they were excellent and i can certainly reccomend a good cons there . I was very very impressed at level of care thought and understanding to parents. The one draw back with Queens is it is very big hospital but once you find your way round its ok and easy to get to on the bus form where you are talking about.

    The one thing that nottingham has is shops and something I do miss.

    As for crime rate back in the times when I was clubbing Nottingham was known to have the most pubs and clubs per square mile outside of London. At that time it did have a bad reputation for certian crimes but overall as has been said crime wise some areas are bad but that is jsut like any place but where you are talking about is not a bad area

    Arnold town center has most things you will need and a good health center

    Not sure how old Jayden is but I can tell you a bit about a schools in the area

    If you would like any further info please feel free to pm me

  • Thanks for all the responses, I have done so much research on Nottingham through the web all that was left was to ask people who live there and go up to have a look myself.

    I really like what I have heard and found out and have wanted to move from london since my kids were little. Better late than never I suppose (try telling that to a 13 year old who thinks that everything outside of London is a barn in a field!!)

    Well we are coming up tomorrow to have a really good look - any suggestions as to places to go or things to look at - have a daughter who needs some pursuading.

    cheers again - and if the move happens will let you guys know.


  • Hi Nikki,

    Not sure how old your daughter is, but bits of the city centre are really nice, quite modern and elegant with some really nice shops, wine bars and restaurants. I would suggest you take in the newly refurbished market square, together with the nearby little arcades of boutique shops, as well as the Cornerhouse (winebars, restaurants, cinema) which is near to the Theatre Royal. Up the road from the Cornerhouse, towards Maid Marion Way, there are several newly refurbed streets of nice cafes and things, as well as more nice shops.

    If all your kids are old enough (it's not adults only but they don't like young kids) the restaurant/wine bar Saltwater at the top of the Cornerhouse is a nice (although not particularly cheap) destination for lunch. It has a rooftop bar where you can see across the sights of Nottingham. See here for info about the Cornerhouse:

    Nottingham castle is quite interesting - it's more a stately home than a real castle - although might be a bit boring for kids. There are some nice pubs near there as well - including two of the oldest pubs in the country, The Trip to Jerusalem and Ye Old Salutation Inn.

    Jayden might like the Nottingham caves in the Broadmarsh shopping centre - always popular with boys! The Tales of Robin Hood is also quite fun although your kids might think it's a bit babyish.

    Outside of the city centre, have a look at Wollaton park and the University campus. I particularly recommend the Lakeside Arts Centre on the Uni campus - it's open to the public, you can park there, there's a cafe and often activities for the kids like bouncy castles etc, as well as a really nice art gallery/shop. There's also the big lake which you can walk around, feed the ducks etc.

    Attenborough Nature Reserve, about five miles SW of Nottingham, is also a really nice day out, with a big lake with lots of nature, a very nice cafe and shop and lots of activities for kids.

    The National Watersports Centre at Holme Pierrepont, about five miles south of Nottingham, is great for a day out as well - again lots of nice scenery, and they do activities like white water rafting, dragon boating etc - although I don't know if they'll be doing it at the moment with the recent flood problems.

    That's all I can think of right now - I do sound a little bit like the Nottingham Tourist Board, don't I?! Genuinely, though, I think Nottingham is a great place to live with loads to do for all ages.

    I haven't tried to include directions cos I'm not much good at it and I don't know if you're coming by train, car or what - but AA route finder or Google maps should be able to oblige!

    Hope you have a successful trip - feel free to ask anything else you might want to know.

    Take care

    Em H

  • Theres ice skating in nottingham too, they have disco things on friday nights well good

  • Hi Nikki,

    Nottingham is my alma mater home. Have very fond memories of Florence Nightingale’s hall of residence.

    After some world travelling post uni finally settled in next door neighbouring home county and massively opposed football team city. (Both cities once shared the same footie manager)

    Nottingham can’t compare with London. But, let’s face it, London is the premier capital city in the world! (Financial at least atm)

    Closely followed by Manchester/ Birmingham then Nottingham – in England) I’m biased of course.

    Parents of youngish – even more so teenagerish children - will need excellent infrastructures. Nottingham now has a tramline for the suburbs, excellent rail links across the UK – and back down to London to see friends and for friends to visit, a comprehensive bus service plus pretty good car parks etc.

    However, be aware of Nottingham’s traffic wardens. They are vicious. Must have performance pay related targets for folks who leave their cars ten minutes and ten secs over ticket time, as I have experienced…err quite a few times now. Have got away re similar ‘overtime’ in five out of six continents in the world but NOT Nottingham)

    Other sporting venues not mentioned include the Harvey Hadden Sports Complex ( Stadium in my day) -athletics and all sorts of other events/activities now. Spent much of my not misspent sporting early years competing there with lots of other keen kids. Coaches really look after the ‘tiddlers’

    The Rugby Club – definitely my misspent underage years .Unfortunately peer pressure is difficult to contain or control.

    Wollaton Hall and Park. Great place for walking, exercising and playing. Wonder if the stuffed giraffe is still somewhere in the bowels of that Hall?

    Nottingham is also the ‘home’ - I use this word lightly - of Robin Hood. Boys in particular are very drawn to this legend. (My three were)

    Edwinstowe, and the major oak – quite close - is the forest of dreams.

    The Trent Valley does not enjoy the best press profile for asthma.

    However there are world class and outstanding research areas in this geographical region to include Nottingham and Leicester.

    The crime rate is the same as any other major city in the UK. Message here is don't go out alone - even the police went/ or go out in twos in cities like those beginning with an 'L' Going to hide from friends in Liverpool now ! -


    Enjoy tomorrow Nikki and have a paddle in the fountain even if it's raining!

  • Grrr, traffic wardens.

    Space outside Waterstones (my favourite shop) - disabled parking from 9am to 4.30pm, loading only after 4.30pm. Parked there at 3pm, displayed badge, got back at 4.40pm to find we had been given a ticket. This was on a Sunday!

    Yes, I know, I shouldn't complain, as technically we were in the wrong. Still annoying though!


  • Aww EmH, those Notts traffic wardens MUST be on performance related pay especially late on a Sunday afternoon or have stony hearts.

    More usefully often notice that the paramedics park at the side of Waterstones on a Sunday too!

  • Hi Nikki

    Someone else has mentioned ice skating, we do have a world class ice stadium, but we also have an Elite League Ice Hockey team, (Nottingham Panthers) so if your kids are into spectator sport is doesn't get better than that - fast, skilful and indoors!


  • Oi Mia - Liverpool is a fab city and according to signs as you enter the city is one of the safes in Europe!

    EmH - sorry to hear about parking ticket.

    Koolkat - let me know what you thought, I am taking sister to nottingham in september to look at uni xxx

  • hi all, we are back!

    We had 8 hours to spend in Notts but it was still not enough. My daughter (aged 13) was wowed by the shops in town centre and not a field in site!

    Mistake no. 1:

    The first thing we came to was the Broardmarsh centre. Straight into TK maxx with kids picking up all sorts of goodies - I was really quite sad and found myself wanting to buy nice looking 'mum' sorts of things - mop with flowery handle and matching broom and dustpan - ooohhhh. Decided against buying these as had to carry them around Nottingham all day. Came out with bag of clothes for Jayden and eldest saying 'but what about ME - I need new things too'. So spend the next hour or so looking in every clothes shop in the centre. Managed to escape without buying any more until we came accross H&M outside. jayden disappeared into Game looking at games consoles while the girlies went rummaging around Hennes. Another couple of bags later and kids starting to get hungry - so off in search of place to eat. BUT what came into view when we rounded the corner a FOUNTAIN. 'Mummy please can we just take off our shoes and socks and paddle????? PLEEEAASSEEE!!!!!!!!!!'

    Mistake no. 2:

    'Oh OK then but be careful' - 30 seconds later one bedraggled son and not quite so wet daughter come dripping along. 'Told you not to let them' - words of wisdom from teenage daughter. Youngest strips down to underware by fountain and is getting new clothes on before you could say Boo to a goosa with a wetson moaning he only has new tops and why didn't I buy him trousers as well. So back along high street in search of trousers for Jayden as I can hardly leave him dripping all around nottingham. Decide to go to Arnold for lunch as have been told by lady whose house we were going to see 'it's a fab little high street'. Spent next 30 mins looking for bus stop to Arnold before finding out it's by the Victoria centre and sent off in the right direction.

    Mistake no. 3:

    More shops on way to bus stop!! Upset eldest by refusing to go into Primark and Jayden by not going into watrestones and and every phone shop we past and youngest for not eating at lunch time. Finally got bus to Arnold with 3 hungry, moany kids who are upset that I cut their shopping trip short. Survived bus journey with promises of more shops and food in Arnold.

    Mistake no. 4:

    Kids not at all impressed with Arnold high street - could not find anywhere to sit down and eat (problem with not driving as you can only cover a short distance on foot). High Street shops were tiny and place was deserted. Then it started to rain. Ended up in Greggs the bakers at about 3 o'clock with the shelves left almost empty so had a sausage roll and a donut for lunch. Walked in rain to lady's house, got lost so it took much longer and kids and self not happy bunnies by the time we got there. The house was lovely but a bit out the way - coming from London I think we something a bit more central. After a really good start with the teenage daughter it all sort of fell to pieces at this point. So back on bus to town and a trip to Primark to keep eldest happy and a trip on the tram to keep younger two happy. Then a big meal in Pizza Hut before heading for the station.

    All in all we had a good, fun day out. A bit disapointed by the house experience but would definately consider a move closer to town. Even eldest said she would consider going to uni there when she gets older so long as it's not near Arnold! So for now will keep on looking for an exchange have a couple more people interested from other parts of notts ( I like West Bridgeford) and will go again if something comes up.

    One of the reasons I was looking at Nottingham is they have a fantastic gymnastics club and 2 of my kiddies are gymnastic superstars. Jayden is ranked 4th in the country for his age (not bad considering he misses so much training) and my youngest daughter (age 7) although too young to have a national ranking is already one of the best for her age.

    Thanks again for all your replys I shall definately go up again (not to shop) and do the tourist thing. We ran out of time to do the caves as it shut at 4.30 and we were still in Arnold. So a must for next time.

    Cheers Nikki

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