The Bell Inn

Address : 18 Angel Row, Nottingham, NG1 6HL

With its faux half timbered exterior, and a claim to be the oldest pub in Nottingham, it’s not surprising that The Bell attracts a lot of attention, and can get incredibly busy at times. We don’t disagree with those who say it all feels a bit corporate at times, but there are some redeeming features that make this worth a visit.

While the two front bars (one of which may date back to 1437) are certainly the cosiest, you’ll have to venture into the sprawling back room to see the biggest selection of ales – and very good it is too, with up to nine available at any one time – many of them Greene King but also a good mix from the Nottingham Brewery. At weekends you can expect to queue for a while – but the place is generally well staffed and the bar tenders work swiftly through the crowds.

The upstairs room – previously a restaurant – has now been rebranded as a gin bar, but also provides a good overspill area if downstairs gets too busy.

Music? Jazz is featured on Sunday lunchtime and other live music is on offer, usually on a Friday night. Gigs are sometimes replaced by live sport on big screen TVs in the back bar.

Food? A full Greene King menu of pub grub is available, including Sunday lunches and plenty of light bites.

People? The world and his dog gather here. Being bang in the city centre you can expect after work drinkers, shoppers, lively groups and tourists blocking the door as they try to work out where the olest door is.

Opinion? We have to say that The Bell has had something of a mixed reputation over the years. Being one of the oldest pubs in town also makes it one of the busiest. But it ticks all the right boxes, especially when it comes to real ale – and that counts for a lot.

Getting here : NCT Green, Orange and Blue lines to Old Market Square/Angel Row, Trent Barton Indigo, i4, Ruschliffe, Cotgrave, Villager and Mainline to Friar Lane (5 minute walk). NET Trams to Old Market Square.

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