|Nottinghamshire - bounded by Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire - was once part of the homeland of the Coritani tribe and was later settled by Romans, Saxons and Danes.
The name of Robin Hood first appeared in William Langland's 14th century poem 'The Vision of Piers Plowmans'. According to tradition, he led a band of merry men against the forces of law and order in the shape of King John and the ruthless Sheriff of Nottingham. Tucked away in Sherwood Forest, they ate the king's deer in defiance of punishments such as disfigurement and blinding.
|Nearby Worksop is the world-famous limestone gorge of Creswell Crags, an area honeycombed with caves and one of the most northerly places visited by our Neanderthal ancestors. Stone tools and animal remains have been discovered in the caves.
The great city of Nottingham should not be missed and offers a litany of enthralling museums. Its modern name derives from an Anglo-Saxon chieftain called Snot - hence Snotingham! It possesses an evocative 11th century castle - erected by William the Conqueror and rebuilt by the Duke of Newcastle in the 18th century – and has surprises round every corner. A combination of the old and new, the city is a major seat of learning, an industrial giant and a place of ancient buildings.
|Its annual Goose Fair dates back to the Middle Ages, as does an inn called 'Trip to Jerusalem', which is hewn into a rock. It is said to be England's oldest public house.
Nottingham was then a prosperous market town but in the 18th century its population increased fivefold as its hosiery and lace industries boomed thanks to steam-powered machinery. Beneath its bustling streets is a remarkable labyrinth of more than 400 man-made caves. These have been transformed into a series of living museums, including old-time shops and a Victorian slum.