Well, Nottingham has those too. Here's a rundown of our favourite places you might not have heard of...
Lost Property is a new secret bar that opened earlier this year. It's the brainchild of the folks behind the Mercure Hotel and The Curious Tavern and if you fancy a late drink it's open 'til 2a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. But you'll have to find it first! Weirdly its address is 7.5 Carlton Street. Then look for a booth and the man in there will direct you to the rooms full of keys, suitcases and other lost property long since forgotten by its owners.
Nottingham has not one but two secret bars and this one is right in the middle of Hockley. If you don't know what you're looking for it's easy to walk on past – unless, that is, you know your cocktails. A boilermaker is a beer + whiskey cocktail and the bar's entrance looks like a boiler shop. Because it's so popular there's often a queue (now you'll understand why boilers seem to be so popular in Nottingham!) and it's worth the wait. Go in through the 'Staff Only' door and be treated to a fantastic range of cocktails, with table service and late opening at weekends.
It's a not very well-known fact that Nottingham sits above a labyrinth of caves that were carved out to provide somewhere to live, prison cells and even bowling alleys, and you can visit many of them on guided tours. We had to bring it back to going out somehow so you won't be surprised to read that two of our best-loved pubs sit above caves: The Malt Cross and Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem.
Recently renovated, you can go on a tour of the caves below the Malt Cross and learn the last 300 years' history about the pub's location. You can visit the caves beneath Ye Olde Trip too – thought to be the oldest inn in the UK, dating back to 1189AD. It's nestled against the rock face beneath the castle and the caves used to be part of the pub itself but now act as the inn's cellars, making sure that their beer stays nice and cold.
If small spaces don't bother you and you feel like doing something completely different the escape rooms could be right up your street. The basic premise is that you and the rest of your team are locked in to a creepy room – they have names like 13utcher, Con-traption and Crypt-ic – and you have an hour to escape by cracking codes, finding lost items, building machines, and pitting yourselves against all sorts of mental and physical puzzles. Or you get locked in. If that sounds like fun you can find this hidden gem on Castle Gate.
Last but certainly not least is another secret place in Nottingham (that doesn't involve alcohol or frightening settings!) – an independent bookshop. It's tucked away down an alleyway opposite Nottingham Tourism Centre, so if you can't find it you can always pop in and ask where it is. It calls itself 'political' and 'radical' so depending which way you lean it may inspire your thinking or contradict it but as one of the only independent bookshops to open in the UK since 2000, and with regular events, readings, book signings (and a great range of reading material) it's well worth a visit.
For more information about our luxury serviced apartments in West Bridgford please get in touch and we'll be only too happy to tell you more about more all the wonderful places to visit in Nottingham.