Moving to Nottingham from the US
Built upon the legend of Robin Hood, Nottingham is one of the most vibrant, happening cities in the United Kingdom.
There is something here to cater for everyone’s tastes, whether you like to spend your free time shopping, clubbing, going to the theatre, or soaking up a bit of history.
From Nottingham Castle, to the self-proclaimed oldest pub in England and the famous Lace Market there is plenty to see and do on a range of budgets.
And with property prices a mere fraction of what you would expect to fork out in London, you can experience all that the Queen of the Midlands has to offer without having to resort to a well-known budget British cuisine, beans on toast!
As a member of the UK’s Core Cities, Nottingham certainly has jobs aplenty to go around.
Work in business administration accounts for more than 20% of the jobs in the city, which is no surprise when you consider that major brands including B&Q, Sports Direct, Vodafone and Boots call the city home.
Health and retail are also major sources of employment, yet all three of these careers will require an excellent grasp of the English language and a good standard of education.
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With most young people in Britain now studying for degrees, don’t be surprised if you come up against a well-heeled graduate, even for entry-level positions.
However don’t let that put you off – Nottingham could very well be the place to be over the next few years, with an anticipated boom in a wide range of industries, from sport and leisure to bio science and technology.
The benefits of this impending growth is already being felt in the city, where the unemployment rate fell by an incredible 16% last year.
Cost of living
You don’t need to be a millionaire to enjoy a good standard of living in Nottingham, far from it in fact.
The cost of living is almost half that of the UK’s capital city London, and for that you get access to a vibrant and historic city center with an award-winning transport system.
Nottingham has a great restaurant scene centered on the famous Lace Market. Your average meal out will set you back around $55. Groceries are around the same as any other location in the UK.
The transport system in Nottingham is fantastic, yet will only cost you $64 for a monthly pass, compared to $162 in London. For that you get a choice between bus, train and tram to take you speedily around the city.
The city has East Midlands Airport on its doorstep, Birmingham is less than an hour away, and London can be reached in around two-and-a-half hours.
As rents in the UK go, where property prices are continually on the up, Nottingham is more than reasonable. A one-bed apartment will set you back $522 per month, or $710 in the city center, while a three bed will cost you $940 outside the city, or $1120 if you want to be closer to the action.
Similar accommodation in London, by means of comparison, will set you back anywhere between $1,370 and $4,220 per month.
As with other cities around the UK, Nottingham has an enticing mix of apartments and houses to suit a range of budgets and individual requirements.
In total, 20% of the city’s occupied properties are rented, with a further 29% made up of social housing. Partly due to the fast-growing nature of the city, property prices went up by 10% last year.
Last year semi-detached homes were the most popular with buyers in Nottingham. They went for an average price of $183,400.
Terraced properties sold for an average of $136,800, meanwhile, while detached properties fetched $301,700.
Family-friendly: West Bridgford is one of the prime residential areas on the outskirts, with good schools and local shopping making it family friendly and an ideal place to make a home. Mapperly Park provides an intriguing alternative with its distinct mix of traditional and modern housing.
Hip and trendy: The Lace Market in the city center is popular with the younger population in Nottingham thanks to a range of apartments just a short walk from a number of trendy bars and restaurants in one of the most popular areas of the city.
Up and coming: The Park is an up and coming area of the city which offers a range of large properties alongside one and two bedroom apartments. It neighbours Park Wharf which is a popular canal-side development featuring townhouses and apartments.
Upmarket: Bramcote is an exclusive village setting which has a range of lovely cottages surrounding a small center. It has easy access to the city center and, more recently, has seen a number of new executive homes built.
Cost of moving
Nottingham is well connected so making the journey, and getting your belongings there, should be a breeze. Shipping based on a 20 foot container, the average sized move of a family of four will cost you approximately the following:
Schools and education
Nottingham has a range of schools which, typically for the United Kingdom, are a mixture of public and independent institutions.
There are more than 100 primary schools in the city, and 33 secondary schools from which students generally leave with good GCSEs. There are also a number of schools which define themselves as Catholic schools. Students at these schools will generally find their curriculum more entwined with Catholic religion.
You may have to be careful when you move, though. The academic year begins in September and it can be difficult to get a place, particularly if you are set on a particular school, mid-way through the year.
Universities in Nottingham
The city is blessed with two high-quality universities, The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent.
The former, the oldest, is a Russell Group university with a strong research background. Their graduates are coveted by employers the world over once they complete their degrees.
Nottingham Trent, meanwhile, boasts the highest number of graduates of any university in the country going on to work in their chosen profession within six months of graduating. A better rate than Oxford and Cambridge, in fact.
Ranking against the world
Set right at the heart of the UK, Nottingham is multicultural with plenty of opportunities for expats to settle by its meandering canals and beautiful architecture.
England is full of lovely, medium sized cities but Nottingham certainly comes off favorably when compared to major rivals like Liverpool, Newcastle, Bristol and Sheffield.
The increase in jobs, particularly within the generally well-paid science and technology industries, means that it will gradually begin to appeal to more and more expats, many of whom will be wooed by the inexpensive living costs in the city compared to London, Birmingham and Manchester.
And to top it all off, Midlanders are generally famed for being friendly, so you can guarantee a warm welcome while you acclimatize amidst the stunning Georgian architecture.
A day in the life
Why not start with a bit of retail therapy? Nottingham is one of the premier destinations in the Midlands for shopping, so you can stock up on high street brands at the Victoria Center and Broadmarsh, before heading to Hockley for an alternative, independent experience.
Once you’ve emptied your wallet it may be worth visiting one of the cities free art galleries or museums – the Museum of Nottingham Life will bring you up to speed on your new home while Nottingham Contemporary and Angel Row galleries will provide your afternoon with a spot of culture.
You can then top your day off with a drink and a bite to eat at the Lace Market, home to numerous bars and restaurants from get-what-you-know chains to exciting independents. It's a quarter of a square mile in which every taste can be catered for.
Then you can swap from the bars to one of the numerous nightclubs in the area if you want to dance the night away, or you can take in one of the many headline acts that visit the city at the adjacent and always-packed-out Nottingham Arena.