Nottingham is a great city and the 35 bus route showcases its history better than a visit to a high profile tourist attraction ever can.
The coalescence of Nottingham into a city greater than the sum of its parts is a largely untold story. In 1086 William the Conquerer ordered a survey of England, which we know as the Domesday Book. Fifteen places in the present-day city are listed, nine of which are served by the City Transport’s 35 bus route.
The 35 takes takes us through Nottingham history from the outside in. Without the likes of Bulwell, Broxtowe, Bilborough, Wollaton, Lenton and its other Domesday settlements, Nottingham today, might be no more than a small town with a ruined castle.
If you would like to know more, then our bus journey ends at the right place — outside the City’s Central Library where, on the first floor, you will find Nottingham Local Studies Library. Full of books, maps, digital records and so much more besides, it is a treasure house of information, with friendly staff, happy to help.
You can, of course, use History from a 35 Bus as a ‘bus and walk’ guide. The 35 runs every 10 minutes during the day (20 mins Sundays), so you will never have to wait long for a bus.
The journey begins from Bulwell Bus Station. The easiest way there from Nottingham City Centre is Nottingham City Transport bus 17, from Milton Street, opposite the Victoria Shopping Centre, or on a Tram going to Hucknall.
I have created two maps showing the 35 bus route from Bulwell to Nottingham City Centre. The numbers mark locations you can find in the text beneath each map, together with some photographs.
1. Bulwell Bus Station.
2. The Headstocks Pub.
3. Broxtowe Country Park.
4. Broxtowe Hall Close, off Broxtowe Lane.
5. Bilborough Village, off Strelley Road.
6. Strelley Village.
7. Oldmoor Wood.
8. Wigman Road. Junction with Bracebridge Drive.
9. Bracebridge Drive Shops.
10. Wollaton Vale.
11. Wollaton Village and Dovecote and walk to nature reserves and Wollaton Park.
12. Abel Collins Homes, Derby Road.
13. Wollaton Park South Entrance, Derby Road
14. Wollaton Hall and Nottingham Industrial Museum.
15. Highfields Park and Lakeside Arts Centre.
16. Adams Hill has some of Nottingham’s most expensive homes.
17. John & Eliza Jelley Homes on the south side of Derby Road, between Q.M.C. and Hillside shops.
18. Lenton Lodge once marked the edge of the Wollaton Hall Estate and the Nottingham Canal passed under the Derby Road at this point (the bridge is still in situ) and is the start of the Lenton walk. The River Leen diverts here into the course of the former Nottingham Canal as it flows south towards Old Lenton and the River Trent.
19. Lenton Priory remains at the end of Priory Street, off Abbey Street. On the right, past The Boat public house is a Nazareth Road. Walk to the end and turn left, where you will find a small burial plot marking the graves of twenty-seven nuns who once worked at Nazareth House, a now demolished children’s home.
20. Lenton War Memorial and Albert Ball VC Memorial Homes, then a short walk along Church Street, to Lenton Recreation Ground, Nottingham’s first public park, opened 1888.
21. Lenton Boulevard. All that remains of the once great Raleigh Factory is the old Head Office, with many fine friezes on its front elevation. Situated on the north side of the Derby Road, 3-4 minutes walk from the Savoy Cinema bus stops.
22. Savoy Cinema opened in 1935 and featured in the film ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’, based on Radford born Alan Sillitoe’s novel of the same name about working class in this part of Nottingham. Behind the Savoy are the Lenton Flats, built in the 1960s and now being demolished.
23. The Derby Road was notorious for highwaymen and this section of the road once had two tollgates. Towards the top on the south side is Garrison Lane, by Park Stores. Nottingham was once so riotous that Dragoon were permanently station in the town.
24. The (private) Park Estate is well worth exploring, Many fine house still remain, although most have been converted into flats.
25. Canning Circus is where seven roads meet. On the north side is Nottingham’s old General Cemetery, which enter through an arch in the middle of a terrace erected by George Canning.
26. Nottingham General Cemetery offers a leisurely downhill walk into the City Centre via Shakespeare Street and through the centre of Nottingham-Trent University’s City Centre Campus.
27. The Bonnington Gallery is on the west side of Shakespeare Street and is the University’s own art gallery. It is always worth checking what’s on if walking past.
28. Old Victoria Station Clocktower is a reminder of the fact that the Victoria Shopping Centre occupies the site of a once fine railway station. On the 1st floor of the Centre is Nottingham Market, open Monday–Saturday.
29. Theatre Royal and Concert Hall complex.
30. The Council House and ‘Slab’ Square, as the Old market Square is known to many. On the north side, across from the north Lion, stands a statue of Brian Clough. The Lions are a favourite meeting place. Look out for the free arts and events newspaper, Left Lion, to stay in touch with an alternative take on city life.
31. Angel Row and Nottingham Central Library. The 35 stops right outside. On the 1st floor is the city’s Local Studies Library, a great place to find out more about local history with the help of friendly staff. A few doors down towards Slab Square is the historic private Bromley House subscription library, with its lovely city centre garden.
32. The Malt Cross on St James’s Street, a little further down, is one of England’s few remaining music halls and now a bistro café bar, which has secured Lottery funding for a £1m makeover. Well worth a visit.
33. Nottingham Society of Artists Gallery on Friar Lane, between Maid Marian Way and Nottingham Castle, is one the city’s treasures. Almost always an exhibition of some kind on.
34. Nottingham Castle with its Gatehouse and Robin Hood statue is probably the city’s main tourist attraction. Opposite the entrance is Severns House, a fine small medieval timber framed building, presently empty, but still a city treasure. Down the hill, 2–3 minutes walk, is the Trip to Jerusalem public house, which claims to be the oldest pub in England, but the Bell Inn public house on the corner of Angel Row and St James’s Street is believed by many to be even older.
35. Nottingham Roman Catholic Cathedral is on the Derby Road between Angel Row and Canning Circus and is first stop for the 35 bus route as it heads towards Wollaton Vale, Bilborough, Strelley and Bulwell. When you get off the bus, walk up the hill and turn down a path between modern office buildings to find The Park Estate Tunnel, dug through sandstone so that carriages could be hauled in and out of the Estate. Now a footpath takes you through the Tunnel to the Park Estate on the other side.
In Nottingham City centre there are some forty sites of historic interest. For more information about see, please see the separate map and list on the same menu as this.