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The Nottingham Goose Fair

Updated on July 23, 2012

Where It All started

Over 700 years ago, the Nottingham goose Fair was started in Nottingham apparently after King Edward I made a reference to it. It started as a simple trade event where high quality cheese was the main attraction. Initially the fair was held on 21 September, but sometime in 1752, after the Gregorian calendar shifted, the date also switched to October.


The Most Prestigious Fair

The famous cheese was the main deal in those early years, but as time went by, attention gradually shifted towards sports. Over time, there have been a few challenges to the survival of the games such as the cancellation in 1646 due to the bubonic plague and during the world wars in the 20th century, but still it has been possible to sustain the cherished tradition. The Nottingham Fair is still considered the single most prestigious fair in Europe.


Changes To Be Made

The actual length of the fair was 8 days in the show’s early years, but the days were later shortened to three days sometime in the 17th century in order to adapt to some major changes in the then current world. A lot had to be done in order to sustain and maintain the prestigious nature of the event and that meant cutting down on the days so as to avoid an inevitable collision with other similarly important events for the people. Changes like these started happening in the 1800s.


Maintaining Quality and Appeal

Although the fair maintained much of its initial quality and appeal, there were still a few other issues to look into and management tried to make a few changes, incorporate a few ideas while still maintaining the authenticity of the event. Such changes included a change in location and now the fair is held at the Forest Recreation Ground. There was also an increase in the number of days of the fair. It was changed from three days to four, which, by the way, did not last too long and had to be scraped.


Keeping It Alive

The days were further increased in 2006 to five due to an inclusion of a Sunday afternoon in the opening of the fair, which, as it later turned out, was not very lucrative, and so it was cancelled. Other inconveniences like the collision of the fair’s date with similar fairs also had to be taken into consideration. From all of this, it is evident that a lot has been done to keep the famous event alive.


Becoming a 5-day Event

Visitors to the beautiful city of Nottingham will have a pleasant experience at the latest event held from Wednesday the 5th to Sunday the 9th October. The decision for a 5-day event was made in 2009 and has been going on ever since. The five day Nottingham Goose Fair gives you all the time in the world to have fun and make some memories.


A Great Variety of Attractions

You can expect games and a wild array of attractions including rollercoaster rides, giant wheels, twists and water ridges just to mention a few and Nottingham city welcomes each and every individual from all across Europe and the world to come and share in this rich and fascinating tradition, which carries with it rich history from hundreds of years ago.

An Unique Experience

Anyone visiting this city would relish in the wide array of fun games available at this single event and the opportunity to experience something unique and special. Besides the fair, this beautiful city has on offer fun for kids and the whole family. Children will have the best time in the world in and around this fair with all the attractions available, from rollercoaster rides for the older ones to bouncing castles for the younger ones, everyone will feel welcome to join in the fun.

Goose Fair Activities and Fun


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    • SAFlights profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you guys for the great comments. ThompsonPen, although sad to hear I had a good chuckle when reading your comment.

      Marrellen, although this hub is about the Goose Fair, Nottingham also hosts the annual Sherwood Robin Hood Festival. It is really interesting as you can walk through the forest and be greeted by people wearing clothes from that era. Really a festival to participate in when you're a Robin Hood fan.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Sounds like fun and something not to be missed.

      Nottingham reminds me of the movie Robin Hood.

      Thank you for sharing this event with us....

    • ThompsonPen profile image

      Nicola Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bellingham, WA

      Sounds like fun!

      When I was living in the UK, I once heard on BBC 1 about some famous person who was on a roller coaster and - I believe this is exactly what was said on the radio - "broke his face" when a goose was flying in the path of the coaster, which of course he met swiftly with his face. It would kind of add of the hilarity of it if it was at the Goose Fair.

      thank you for sharing! I hope to find myself in the UK soon, so hopefully I'll be able to catch this!

    • jacqui2011 profile image


      7 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      Sounds like a great attraction for the whole family. Great information and nicely presented. Thanks so much for sharing. Voted up and useful.


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