Curious shoppers looking for inspirational gifts and fascinating places to socialise off the beaten track can now discover some of Nottingham’s more unique, interesting and independent retailers and eateries thanks to a new walking trail and mobile app.

The trail aims to make Nottingham’s vibrant independent sector, which includes diverse hidden gems from the quiet Cobden Chambers to the hustle and bustle of St James’s Street, more available to locals and visiting shoppers alike.

Nottingham City Council and partners hope that by making these shopping areas easier to find they will increase the number of people visiting and buying from independent retailers in the city. The trail was one of the projects commissioned by the City Council aimed at supporting Nottingham’s retail and leisure offer and enhancing the city’s public spaces.

Other projects funded through this programme include the Line of Light installation on Station Street, the new decorative archway at Trinity Walk and the proposed heritage improvements at Carrington Street.

Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Business, Growth and Transport, said: “Nottingham is a vibrant and attractive city for citizens, visitors and businesses alike and this is enhanced further by our wide range of independents that provide shoppers with a unique and quirky blend of retail and places to spend their leisure time.

“The launch of this trail which is available free of charge in our city centre and is easy to download as an app, will undoubtedly add to the experience of visitors to the city centre and will continue to build on Nottingham’s reputation as a creative and energetic city.

“We know that for every £1 spent in a small business, 63p is re-spent in the local area so shopping independently is good news for the whole of Nottingham’s economy and reinforces Nottingham as a key destination for shopping and leisure in the East Midlands.”

The Hidden Nottingham trail builds on the success of the Nottingham Trail which highlighted key visitor attractions and was launched in October 2016. It features ten distinct areas spread across the city from the Old Market Square to Hockley and Derby Road and a handy pocket sized fold out map showing the locations is available to pick up free in Nottingham’s Tourist Information Centre on Long Row.

Shoppers can also download a free app to their smartphone which will give them more information about the trail and is based on a series of entertaining short films which tell the story of the independent areas of the city centre. The app is available from or by downloading the free GuidiGo app and searching for “Nottingham Independent Shopping”.

Hidden Nottingham was funded and commissioned by Nottingham City Council and delivered in partnership with Visit Nottinghamshire, the Creative Quarter and the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) under the “It’s in Nottingham” brand and was produced by Makermet Creative, a design company based in Nottingham’s Lace Market.

Brendan Moffett, Chief Executive, Marketing Nottingham & Nottinghamshire said; “We are delighted to have joined with Nottingham City Council and partners in delivering this exciting new walking trail for Nottingham. The tour will help visitors and locals to discover the city’s independent retail offer and enhance their overall shopping experience.

“The city plays host to a large number of fantastic independent shops, all within walking distance, which make it such a unique and great place to visit, and sets Nottingham apart from other major UK shopping destinations.”

Kathy McArdle, CEO at The Creative Quarter added: “The city’s thriving independent retail scene is one of the things that really sets Nottingham apart from other cities in the UK so it’s great that this trail will make it easier for both visitors and local people to explore what’s on offer and discover the wonderful clusters of independent shops across the city – including districts, arcades and hidden walkways. The trail is also a brilliant way to link these together into an exciting experience and help drive football to independent shops throughout the city centre.”

Geoff Williams, director of Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) said: “As an organisation we have committed to investing around £100,000 a year for five years to support independently owned businesses through our series of It’s in Nottingham initiatives such as this new trail which will help both local people and visitors to the city discover Nottingham’s hidden gems for eating and drinking and shopping.

“These businesses are so important to our local economy, helping to differentiate Nottingham from other places and contributing to making the city an attractive and vibrant place to visit and spend time in.”