Review: Nottingham Goose Fair (2023)

Nottingham Goose Fair 2023
4 star review

A disruptive tram strike was avoided at the eleventh hour as Nottingham Goose Fair opened for 2023 on Friday night.

Running in an official capacity for more than 700 years, this modern funfair dominates the city’s Forest Recreation Ground.

Entering from the south side, a fairly steep downward path is taken to enter the fair, which explains why it is largely invisible as you approach.

The sounds are however of course noticeable from many hundred yards away.

But even by funfair standards, the music volume at some rides is extreme, even to the point of distorting the amplifiers.

Two large Ferris wheels offer the best views of the event’s layout, which is spectacular by night.

Nottingham Goose Fair 2023
The view from one of the fair’s Ferris wheels

The £5 fee for one of the shortest ghost trains ever is actually worth it due to the great jump scare a masked actor provides.

Meanwhile, numerous waltzers and other funfair staples are run with all the usual fairground intensity, often backed by blisteringly loud dubstep music.

Goose Fair is of similar scale to Hull Fair, which follows in a couple of weeks, but Nottingham’s event sees crowds managed a little better.

Another standout difference here is a vintage whip ride, with an experienced attendant giving people timed prompts to get the best out of the ride.

And the locally famous ‘cocks on sticks‘ stall still offers the cockerel-shaped lollipops after more than 70 years in the business.

Regretfully, we didn’t manage to try one before the stall had closed for the evening – but that’s just another reason to go back another time this iconic event rolls into town.

This year’s Nottingham Goose Fair runs until Sunday, 8 October.