Moving to Nottingham

An overview of Nottingham

1,400 years ago, Nottingham was created as an Anglo-Saxon settlement by a leader called Snot. ‘People’ in Old English is inga, and ham means village – and so the name Snotingaham was born.

The city changed hands between the Danes and Anglo-Saxons for centuries, before becoming the site of numerous coups and battles between royalists and anti-royalist radicals.

This rebellious streak persisted with the Great Cheese Riot of 1766 – and the series of food-centric riots that followed over the next 50 years – as well as the creation of the Luddite movement, which opposed modern technology.

Nottingham is now best known for its Empire-era lace industry, its various sporting achievements and venues, and a literary heritage that includes legends like D. H. Lawrence, Lord Byron, and J. M. Barrie.

The city’s motto is ‘vivit post funera virtus’, or ‘virtue outlives death’, which is certainly true of its two greatest heroes: wealth-redistributing outlaw Robin Hood and European Cup-winning football manager Brian Clough.

nottingham town hall at night

Nottingham Council House looks this good and imposing all year round

The cost of moving to Nottingham

As with any relocation, the cost of moving to Nottingham will depend on where you’re coming from, and what you’re bringing with you.

If you’re planning to move the contents of a three-bedroom house (roughly 875 cubic metres of belongings) from London to Nottingham, you should expect to pay £1,259, on average.

This includes:

  • Loading and unloading
  • Packing services and materials
  • Dismantling and reassembling furniture
  • The fee for distance travelled

The drive from London to Nottingham is around 128 miles, and most removal companies charge £1 per mile (source: comparemymove, 2021).

The amount you’ll end up paying will also change depending on your moving date, the removal company you choose, and whether you need any additional services.

The cost of living in Nottingham

Nottingham is one of the 10 best places to live, work, and raise a family in the UK, based largely on the costs associated with living there (source: OneFamily, 2019).

The city is also in the top 15% cheapest places to work and buy a house in England and Wales (source: Office for National Statistics, 2021).

This is how much you can expect to pay for different goods and services in Nottingham (source: Numbeo, 2021).

ItemAverage price
Pint of beer£4
Regular cappuccino£2.46
Mid-range bottle of wine£6
Monthly public transport pass£55
Cinema ticket for one£10
Monthly gym subscription£28
1kg of local cheese£7.05

Property prices

Nottingham’s average house price is just £140,000, which is significantly less than the English average of £268,000 (source: ONS, 2021).

In fact, it puts the city in the cheapest 10% of all local authorities.

We’ve also worked out that this is the second-best place in the country to invest, behind Stoke-on-Trent. The average house price has gone up by 40% over the past decade, yet it’s still extremely affordable.

If you want to buy a terrace house in Nottingham, the average price is £143,102. The average cost of a flat is lower, at £122,927 (source: UK House Price Index, 2021).

If you want to rent a home in Nottingham, you can expect to pay £376 per month, on average – well below the English average of £730 (sources: ONS, 2021).

Council tax

The council tax bands in Nottingham for 2021/22 range from £1,483.84 (Band A) to £4,451.52 per year (Band H), depending on the value of your property.

There are discounts and exemptions available if you or someone who lives with you is disabled, receives certain benefits, or is a student or single person.

Electricity bills

You can expect your electricity bills in Nottingham to be lower than the UK average.

The average fixed cost of electricity in the East Midlands is £79.60 per year, which is £2.40 below the UK average of £82.

And the average variable unit price of electricity in the East Midlands is 16.9p per kWh, which is 0.5p below the UK average of 17.4p (source: NimbleFins, 2021).

Nottingham is overflowing with greenery and beautiful houses

Getting in and out of Nottingham

Nottingham is relatively free of traffic, compared to many other cities.

It’s the 12th-least congested out of 25 UK cities, with less busy roads even than places with smaller populations, such as Brighton, Hull, and Portsmouth (source: TomTom, 2020).

However, watch out for Nottingham drivers, who are the ninth-most dangerous in the UK – though still far behind drivers in Bristol and London in the danger stakes (source: The Compensation Experts, 2021).

The city council shelved plans for a clean air zone in 2018, after showing it could cut Nottingham’s carbon footprint without one.

East Midlands Airport is easy to drive to in 30 minutes, which is great if you want to explore dozens of destinations abroad, from Alicante to Zakynthos.

You can also enjoy a relatively quick and stress-free journey to the airport by getting on a bus, tram, or train.

Public transport in Nottingham

It’s easy to get around in Nottingham, thanks to the city’s thorough offering of trams and buses, which is of course called the Robin Hood Network.

You can hop on a tram from 6am to 11pm, or ride on one of the city’s many bus routes – which includes a night bus until 3:45am, on every day apart from Sundays.

You can purchase a pay-as-you-go Robin Hood card for £2, or a season card to secure unlimited travel on all buses, trams, and trains within Greater Nottingham.

These cost £612 for adults, £372 for under-19 year olds, and £490 for students who are over 19 – though if you buy one near the beginning of the academic year, you can usually get a discount.

Nottingham is also set to become the first city other than London to allow you to pay for tickets with cards stored on your phone.

Working in Nottingham

Health, education, and retail are the biggest employers in Nottingham, in that order. Between them, these three sectors provide 36% of jobs in the city (source: Nottingham City Council, 2020).

Unfortunately, Nottingham has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

It stood at 6.9% in the year from April 2020 to March 2021, which places the city in the worst 3.8% of local authorities in the UK (source: Office for National Statistics, 2021).

Hopefully, Nottingham’s biggest companies – Boots, car retailer Pendragon, and recruitment behemoth Staffline – can help improve matters in the near future.

Average salary in Nottingham

The average salary in Nottingham is £25,105 (source: ONS, 2021).

This is below the UK national average of £29,900 (source: ONS, 2021), and the 14th-worst of all local authorities, but fortunately it’s counteracted by Nottingham’s low cost of living.

You can see why Robin Hood spent so much time in Sherwood Forest

The best neighbourhoods in Nottingham

Nottingham is a city of welcoming, accepting people who have succeeded in turning this imperial hub of lace into a modern city overflowing with culture, nightlife, and stunning natural attractions.

Let’s have a look at three of our favourite neighbourhoods in Nottingham.

Lenton

The perfect place for students

Average property price: £230,128

The most popular area for Nottingham University students is also the best, not least because you’ll live within walking distance of thousands of your closest friends.

You’ll also be able to easily walk to university – especially if you study on the architecturally fascinating Jubilee Campus – as well as the Savoy Cinema, a local institution that shows both independent and mainstream films.

There are plenty of restaurants, pubs, and takeaways that cater to the local student population, and you’ll be just a short taxi ride away from all the best clubs in the city.

You should be able to find a decent place to live with little trouble – just make sure the house is warm enough, check with other students that your rent isn’t extortionate, and generally make sure your landlord isn’t taking you for a ride.

Mapperley

A lovely area for families

Average property price: £241,058

If you want stunning views, plenty of greenery, and excellent local schools, Mapperley’s the place for you and your family.

You and your little ones can choose between a host of well-ranked schools, including Mapperley Plains, Walter Halls, and Westdale, before enjoying the area’s many parks and playgrounds.

And if you want to treat the kids (and yourself), drop by the delicious, messy Burg Burgers, where meat-eaters and vegans alike can enjoy a tasty, oversized meal.

Just make sure you pick up some napkins.

Hockley

The ideal home for young professionals

Average property price: £116,667

There’s nowhere better for a young professional than the centre of Nottingham’s gorgeous Creative Quarter.

Once home to the city’s world-famous lace industry, Hockley is now a liberal, bohemian hub of vintage clothing stores, record shops, and tattoo parlours, where colourful street art abounds.

Catch a film at the independent Broadway Cinema, which hosts the fantastic Mayhem Film Festival every year, before checking out a free gig at the wonderfully friendly Jam Café, where the top-notch beer and coffee is almost as good as the music.

When you start to get hungry, enjoy some delicious Indian food in the hipster surroundings of Mowgli Street Food, or impress your friends with the best pizza in town at Oscar and Rosie’s. If you’re feeling bold, try the metre-long pizza with two sets of toppings.

And of course, no cool area would be complete without a sort-of-secret bar. Walk inside a nondescript boiler shop on Carlton Street, admire the combi boilers on the wall, and a bouncer behind the counter will guide you to the atmospheric bar.

Things to do in Nottingham

Culture

Nottingham is blessed with an abundance of culture, so we’d encourage you to jump in.

Go see what theatrical experiences are currently pushing boundaries at the Playhouse, Arts Theatre, or Theatre Royal, then enjoy live music at a massive variety of venues, from student favourites Rock City and Rescue Rooms to the indie Chameleon Arts Cafe.

If you appreciate art, wander down to the free Nottingham Contemporary art gallery, fine art haven Fletcher Gate, or George Thornton Art, where you can buy some modern pieces to spruce up your new home.

And if you love watching live sport, make sure you watch some ice hockey at the National Ice Centre, some cricket at the world-famous Trent Bridge, some tennis at the Nottingham Open, and of course some football at the City Ground or Meadow Lane.

History

Nottingham is the perfect place to travel back through time. First, grab a drink in the Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem pub, which dates back to 1189, according to its owners.

From there, it’s a short walk to Nottingham Castle, which was built a year after the Battle of Hastings, and has dramatically changed hands dozens of times since its construction.

From there, you can quickly walk to the system of sandstone bedrock caves that are as old as the city itself. These caves have been used as World War Two bomb shelters, pub cellars, breweries, restaurants, and conspirators’ bases.

It was here in 1330 that a young King Edward III secretly led a group of rebels through the tunnel system into the castle above, to avenge his father by capturing and overthrowing the de facto King of England, Roger de Mortimer.

And ensure you visit the Lace Market, a beautiful heritage area that was the centre of the lace industry during British colonial times.

Nottingham nightlife

The sheer number of high-quality bars and clubs in Nottingham can overwhelm anyone – in the best way possible.

Make sure you visit indie favourite The Bodega Social Club, clubbing goliath INK, and Stealth, where the dance music never stops.

The students among you will likely be made to attend Oceana at some point. If you can, gently guide the group to Rock City instead.

When it comes to bars, the city overflows with creativity, from hidden haunts like the Hockley Arts Club, Lost Property, and the excellent Boilermaker, to more visible locations.

Go to Das Kino for pizza, cocktails, and ping-pong, drink inventive creations at The Alchemist, and enjoy the eerie, gothic charm of the Edgar Allan Poe-inspired Pit & Pendulum.

And if you want a comprehensive rundown of all the best venues in the city, DesignMyNight has you covered.