A visit to Nottingham in central England is incomplete if you do not head over to this pub and have a drink or two. Believed to be the oldest surviving pub in England, the Ye Old Trip To Jerusalem or locally the ‘Trip’ has been listed as one of the best pubs in England.
Nestled under the Castle Rock, right beneath the Nottingham Castle, this pub was once a famous pit stop for crusader knights. The pub got its unusual name because King Richard the Lionheart and his men are said to have gathered at this historic royal dwelling before travelling to Jerusalem for the Crusades in 1189 AD. In fact, there are tunnels and cellar routes right underneath the pub that lead to the insides of the castle. However, these routes have been sealed off from the general public.
As soon as I settled in Nottingham and began my student life, one of the first places I wanted to explore was this pub. Hence, without wasting any more time, I carried around GBP 25 with me and headed to this iconic inn.
A hotspot of stories, good food, authentic drinks, ghosts, legends, and mysteries, I stepped back in the time when I entered the pub. Dimly lit with a golden tint shrouding the interiors, unlike the usual four-walled rooms, this pub is surrounded by cave walls on four sides. The perfect blend between a museum and an inn, the pub features several bars, cosy nooks, ‘cursed’ oddities, and relics from the history of Nottingham. Underneath the pub, there are deep cave cellars that were used to store ale for centuries.
In one such corner of the cellar, I found an old cockfighting pit. A part of the castle gaol is also located here. Not for the faint hearted or the claustrophobic, this area included the condemned cell and a small cell with small holes drilled to allow little air to flow through. I moved past the lower floor and climbed higher to a cavey nook on the higher floors of the pub. The stone walls were decorated with historic photos of Nottingham’s past, fairy lights, and swords from the earlier eras. Those who hate closed places and are claustrophobic should book a place either near the windows or on the beautiful wooden benches outside the pub.
“This place has almost the same number of artefacts as a museum”- this was my first thought when I walked all across the pub. The greatest attention drawer of the lot was the Cursed Ship placed in a glass box on the top of the bar. From a distance, it would look like a usual ship structure any collector would want to add to his collection but on a closer look, the actual story of the ship would be revealed by the bartender. This ship has not been cleaned for fifty years. Locals say that anyone who attempts to clean this dust covered ship by lifting up the glass box would meet unexpected deaths just like the last three people who attempted to do so. This ship model is said to have been left by a visiting sailor in the pub years ago and since then no one has dared to touch this “cursed” model.
The ship isn’t the only cursed object in this pub. The famous haunted chair that sits in the corner of the pub was once said to have supernatural powers. Any lady in her child-bearing years mysteriously got pregnant after sitting on the chair. Since then, no one woman has dared to sit on it. However, curious men did try to sit on the chair and succeeded. The chair has now, apparently, lost its powers.
The pub also boasts about having an in-house ghost. George Henry Ward, famously known as Yorkey, was the pub’s landlord from 1894 to 1914. Today, his spirit is said to haunt the grounds of the iconic pub. According to the inn’s website, Yorkey was very attached to his pub and never wanted to leave. So, even after his death, he pays regular visits to the cellar caves and plays tricks on the staff by moving things around. To add to the other worldly supernatural legends surrounding this beautiful inn, the Original Nottingham Ghost Walk company organises weekly ghost tours with the starting point being this inn.
The food served here has received high reviews. I was impressed with the quality of the food served here although the prices might be a bit too exorbitant for students or someone on a tough budget. At the bar, they serve their premium own ale ‘Olde Trip’ which is tasty and quite strong. The pub has become so well-known over the past year that it is now selling Ye Olde Trip souvenirs. You can buy ale jugs, t-shirts, badges, books, and magnets. Only a portion of it is on display, so inquire with the bartender about the full range of souvenirs available.
I came out of this cosy historic inn with a full stomach and a satisfied soul. From delicious hot piping food to yummy drinks and historic spooky legends, make sure you pay a visit to the Ye Old Trip To Jerusalem when in Nottingham. You sure wouldn’t want to miss a drink at a pub where the famous Robin Hood and his thieves frequented ages ago.
Also Read – Israel to fully reopen to tourists from March 1