Nottingham (i/ˈnɒtɪŋəm/ NOT-ing-əm) is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire.
Nottingham is famed for its links with the legend of Robin Hood and, during the Industrial Revolution, obtained worldwide recognition for its lace-making, bicycle and tobacco industries. With origins traceable back to 600 AD, Nottingham was granted its city charter as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Queen Victoria in 1897 and has since been officially titled the City of Nottingham. Nottingham is home to the BBC East Midlands offices and formerly to the Government Office for the East Midlands. It is one of eight members of the English Core Cities Group.
Whilst Nottingham has always had a tightly-drawn city boundary, accounting for its relatively small population of 305,700, making it the second largest city in the East Midlands behind its local neighbour Leicester with a population of 330,000, the Nottingham Urban Area has a population of approximately 640,900; in the 2011 census, it was the eighth largest urban area in the United Kingdom. Eurostat's concept of the Larger Urban Zone listed the area's population at 825,600 as of 2004.
Today, Nottingham is known for its nightlife, shopping, tourism (travel publisher Dorling Kindersley named it as one of its top 10 city destinations in the world in 2010), and as a sporting centre - the city boasts the National Ice Centre, the National Water Sports Centre, a world-famous Test cricket ground, two professional football teams, and top-flight cricket and ice hockey sides. In addition, around 60,000 students attend the city's two universities, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.
Culturally, there are two large-capacity theatres (plus a number of smaller ones), numerous museums and art galleries including the Nottingham Contemporary, an independent cinema (The Broadway, rated one of the 'best in the world' by Total Film magazine in 2009) and several live music venues, including the Capital FM Arena and Rock City, both of which regularly host major UK and international artists.
Nottingham also enjoys excellent transport links to the rest of the UK and abroad, and the city itself benefits from a state-of-the-art tram system and the largest public bus network in the UK. In October 2012, it was named Transport City of the Year, pipping Cardiff to top spot.