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Whether or not you’ve heard of Nottingham’s legendary Goose Fair, you’ll no doubt have a few questions about the event. What is it? When does it take place? Most importantly, why is there a fair dedicated to the humble goose?! Have no fear because CityLife is here to answer them all...
Why is it called Goose Fair?
Nottingham’s Goose Fair is a travelling fair that’s more than 700 years old. Originally, the fair marked the selling of geese to the local people and took place in Old Market Square. As the city changed, the fair also grew and developed.
Today, the fair is a yearly extravaganza of over 500 fairground attractions, all hosted at the Forest Recreation Ground.
What is the Goose Fair?
The first things people imagine when they think of the Goose Fair are its rides. From big wheels, to spinning cups, to helter skelters, this fair has it all. If you head into the city centre on your way to the fair, you can usually find some discount ride vouchers in tourist information leaflets, meaning you can enjoy more fun for less money!
Another thing to bear in mind is to save eating until you’ve experienced your favourite rides so you won’t risk feeling unwell. With so much food on offer at the Goose Fair, it’s easy to get carried away. Whether you fancy trying some traditionally British food (like chips and gravy or mushy peas and mint sauce) or want to fill up on sugar from the pick ‘n’ mix stands, there’s really something for everybody. Just make sure you take cash with you (especially coins) so paying for things is really easy!
Where is it and when is it?
The Goose Fair takes place at Nottingham’s famous “Forest Rec”. It’s easiest to get to via tram (just get off at ‘The Forest’) but is also accessible via bus or taxi. Just be aware that taxis tend to be more popular when the fair is on so leave plenty of time to get there and have fun before it closes for the day.
This year, the fair will run from 3rd-7th October. We’d recommend heading over in the late afternoon or early evening. That way, you get to experience the Goose Fair in all its glory by day and night. The Goose Fair also runs until late (finishing at 11pm some nights) and trams and buses run until around midnight, making it easy to make the most of your evening there.
Whatever you’re interested in, the Goose Fair is an unmissable celebration of Nottingham’s heritage. Experience the rides, grab some food and play ‘hook a duck’. It’s an easiest way of reliving your childhood!