10 bits of advice that should be in a Notts travelguide

Nottinghamshire is home to some lively market towns - Mansfield market recently had a makeover and it's got all sorts. Okay, it's no Champs-lyses - but you can grab some fresh local produce and the odd piece of chic antique.
Nottinghamshire is home to some lively market towns - Mansfield market recently had a makeover and it's got all sorts. Okay, it's no Champs-lyses - but you can grab some fresh local produce and the odd piece of chic antique.

Here's a list of essential tips we reckon no tourist in Notts should go without.

Local knowledge gets you everywhere - and as anyone who travels will know, the farther you go the stranger the world becomes. So here's some advice we would give tourists from far-flung parts of the world who want to stop off in Notts without getting lost, insulting the locals or winding up in a prison cell (written by people who have just been abroad).

Mansfield bus station is the Grand Central Station of North Notts' cultural and economic capital.

Mansfield bus station is the Grand Central Station of North Notts' cultural and economic capital.

1. You CAN drink the tap water.

In fact you MUST drink the tap water, it's gorgeous. Sweet, chilled, pure tap water, which won't kill you or give you a tummy ache, it's amazing. There's none of that dodgy typhoid water you get in North Africa, or the hard, metallic stuff in Greece which plays with your hormones. Here, you can suck on council pop all day long and you'll be fine. We love our tap water.

2. It's okay to say hello to everyone on the bus as you get on.

This doesn't always happen, but when it does, it's marvellous. People actually reply. It's not like London where you jump on a tube and people think you're a weirdo if you haven't got your face in a book and your headphones on. And talk to the drivers, they'll actually be insulted if you don't.

If you're looking for mountain ranges or awe-inspiring city-scapes you're in the wrong place me'duck. We got forests, and some of the best you'll find in Blighty.

If you're looking for mountain ranges or awe-inspiring city-scapes you're in the wrong place me'duck. We got forests, and some of the best you'll find in Blighty.

3. Kangaroo tickets do NOT get you everywhere.

While we're on buses - if you're staying in Mansfield and want to pop to the city, careful which bus you get on. This still bites me in the derriere on occasion.

4. Don't look young people in the eye.

Every country has its element. In Italy it's the mafia. In Russia it's the police. Well our teenagers are formidable. They will snap you like a Twiglet if you attempt to communicate. The best camouflage is to keep your eyes down at your phone as if you're playing Candy Crush and don't say anything uncool.

Our softly rolling hills are iconic for their majestic windmills reminiscent of the lush Netherlands. Try not to dismiss them as a blight on the countryside - they're more of a subtle but distinctive addition to the landscape symbolising the partnership between man and nature. We don't have a choice in the matter now anyway.

Our softly rolling hills are iconic for their majestic windmills reminiscent of the lush Netherlands. Try not to dismiss them as a blight on the countryside - they're more of a subtle but distinctive addition to the landscape symbolising the partnership between man and nature. We don't have a choice in the matter now anyway.

5. Don't try and haggle in M&S.

It doesn't work. Not in Boyes, not even in B&M Bargains. This isn't the Souks of Marrakesh. Prices is prices. You might have some bartering power in the market place, but even then those guys are the salt of the earth and they're frankly cheap enough, so just pay the asking price. Got it? Good. We're proud to still have working markets in fact - make sure you pick up some local produce before returning to your country cottage to cook an authentic plat du Midlands.

6. Policemen are not for playing with.

All this stuff about tickling beefeaters outside Buckingham Palace doesn't really fly, okay. Fair enough, they don't have guns (unlike the the rest of the planet - and we like it that way). But if you attempt to try on a copper's hat you will regret it.

7. Don't tip on the card machine.

It's kind of an unwritten rule here - our waiters work hard, and we can't quite stomach the idea of the managers nicking the kitty, so always tip in change. And don't accept any of that 'gratuity added to the bill' nonsense.

8. If you're lost, just ask for directions!

We're friendly folk, really. We're not about to lead you down a dark alley and demand your traveller's cheques. We Brits take pride in knowing where things are, and being able to educate someone who doesn't know something is what we live for, so as you try to locate the public lavs in Hucknall (there aren't any by the way) expect extensive detail with hand gestures, landmarks and points of interest. Even if we don't know where you mean, we'll take a stab at it.

9. Stay away from Derbyshire.

It's rubbish. You want to go to Sherwood Forest, me'duck. Who needs hills and glorious vistas when you've got the land of Robin Hood. Alright then... it's worth a trip. I'd avoid going through Chesterfield at peak times though, you can take the A38 and go round through Matlock. You've got Haddon Hall that way and all sorts, and you can stop in Bakewell for a pudding.

10. Try the local delicacy

France has cheese and wine, Japan has Sushi, America has... meat. We have ale. It's kind of our thing, and Notts has a number of local tipples which will give you the authentic flavour of the area. That's all we can offer really. Beer. And a pork cob.

Have we missed anything off our list? Send your suggestions to me at nick.charity@jpress.co.uk