It may be hard to believe from the outside, but the modern Nottingham is actually home to a hidden, intricate network of caves that were once used as bunkers and shelters.
This extensive network is largely closed for public view, but the City of Caves is the dedicated area open for viewing and tours. Itís a fascinating look into the history of the city and if you have school-aged or older children, this may be a great school holiday or weekend activity in which they can learn more about the past.
These historical sandstone caves will bring to life the tales of World War II, when residents took shelter in the caves as bunkers during city bombings.
Their history, however, goes back so much further than the war and it is believed they were carved some 1,000 years ago. They have been used as cellars and residential dwellings for some of the cityís poorest citizens during the 19th Century.
From Monday to Friday, parents and kids alike can take an audio tour of the caves, while on weekends, the City of Caves runs actor-led tours through the passageways and tunnels. The caves are split into different areas to help visitors understand the vast differences between each era of the caves.
While everyone has to wear a hard hat, thereís very little danger involved in taking part in a tour. Each tour lasts for about 45 minutes, so itís not too long for children before they start to get restless.
You can access the City of Caves via the upper level of the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre in Nottingham. There are a number of stairs to navigate, so remember to wear comfortable and appropriate footwear.
If youíve lived in Nottingham for a while and havenít been on the tour, itís well worth a look (with or without the kids) and is a fascinating insight into a hidden world beneath the city streets.
For more family friendly things to do in Nottingham, read the dedicated Nottingham Mums Group page here.
Essential Information City of Caves
Upper Level, Broadmarsh Shopping Centre, Nottingham 0115 988 1955 Ticket Prices: £7.95 for adults, £6.95 for the over 60s and students with a valid NUS card. £5.95 for under 18s and children under 5 are free. £24.50 for a family ticket for 4 people (max 2 adults)