Nottingham Castle reopened today after being closed for three years after it underwent major renovations.
The £30 million needed to fund the development was provided by the Arts Council England.
Today I had the fantastic opportunity to tour the grounds and take a look at all the new exhibits.
The second you walk through the big gates, you could easily see where the £30 million had gone.
The modern, fancy gift shop catches your eye and the entrance to the Robin Hood experience looked pretty cool too.
In a surprising turn of events for a multi-million pound visitor attraction, you had to pass through the gift shop to get in and out of the castle.
It did not affect the overall experience, although it would have been nice to have left with a fluffy dragon toy.
I was greeted by the infamous Robin Hood who blew his fancy horn and told us all about his heroic stories as the saviour of Nottingham.
I was unsure if he was playing a character, or he truly believed he was ‘the’ Robin Hood.
Either way, he didn’t give me any money and I went on my way.
The castle grounds were filled with information posts that told the public about the history of the area – as a history nerd, I was pretty obsessed with these (in case you couldn’t tell).
Even when I was in the Paul Smith fashion exhibition (which was amazing) I was too focused on the mesmerising church window replica.
I didn’t expect to view a fashion display at a castle but I was pleasantly surprised at how well the castle had showcased the art.
My history head was sent into overdrive when I ventured into the Mercian gallery.
Like a child, I played with all the interactive activities and even made my own digital salt-glazed pot – I immediately sent a photo of it to my mum for a confidence boost.
The Rebellion and Mercian galleries were a lot darker than the art exhibits, I assume to mirror the gloom of the 19th century.
The displays were beautiful and there were volunteers left, right and centre waiting, itching, to help you with your tour.
One worker talked to us about how some people thought the price of admission at £13 was too expensive, but I thought it was a good deal.
However a passionate man did not agree with me, and was escorted out of the castle as he shouted about the pricing; probably my favourite part.
In terms of Covid, the place was cleaner than a hospital.
There was an abundance of hand sanitiser and everyone wore masks inside.
Cleaners were ready and waiting to wipe down services people had touched. I felt like if I sneezed someone would have come running with a tissue.
Ultimately, I had a really great time and felt I learnt a lot about Nottingham that I’d never known before.
A kid did cry (a lot) when his mum didn’t buy him a sword so I think it’s up to the person on what they want to gain from the experience.
If it’s a sword, maybe pre-plan that.
If it’s to learn and have a great day out – this will be perfect for you!