There may be many good reasons to visit Arnold, a town in its own right on the edge of Nottingham. My guess is that if you’re reading this, you have a good reason of your own.
Our reason had little to do with Arnold itself or even Nottingham. We were on our way home from a short winter break. My wife was due to have an operation the following day, in a hospital just outside Arnold. The snow was falling heavily and we decided that if she were to get her operation at all we needed to be close to the hospital rather than back home forty miles away which was already in snowy chaos.
My smart phone for once lived up to that description and gave me a list of guest houses in the Arnold area, of which Rufford House was the nearest to the hospital in question.
I phoned the number given and – joy of joys – they had a room vacant at a very reasonable price. We arrived through atrocious conditions, probably in the nick of time: the roads were already becoming glazed and more dangerous by the minute. Mercifully there was ample off-road parking space on the drive of the house.
Our welcome couldn’t have been warmer. The couple who run Rufford House, Ken and June Kirk, were really hospitable and friendly, setting a tray of tea and biscuits in front of us within minutes of our arrival to bring us back to life after our nightmare journey
The house itself was spotlessly clean and tidy and the bedroom immaculate, with tea and coffee making facilities, a television and an ensuite shower-room.
There was a comfortable lounge with television for guests and a selection of tourist information leaflets, though as we weren’t there as tourists we didn’t get round to reading them.
Although they don’t cater for meals, June and Ken directed us to a nearby Sizzler Inn, the Ram, which was all of two and a half minutes’ walk through the snow and where the food was not just excellent in quality but in price too – in fact, unbelievably good value. And on such a cold night it was a warm and pleasant place to spend a while.
Getting back to the guest house, we spent a very comfortable night in a bed that was a cut above the average guest-house bed and in a bedroom that would have done justice to a high-class hotel.
Even if we’d been spoilt for choice in our search for a guest house we couldn’t have found anywhere better. The quality of hospitality proved as near perfect as one is likely to find in an imperfect world and we counted ourselves lucky to have hit on Rufford House by pure chance. The location, just off the A60, was very convenient, too.
Anyone who has any reason to visit Arnold, Nottingham or the nearby Sherwood Forest will find Rufford House the perfect place to spend a few nights. As for us, well, one day maybe curiosity will overcome us to find out what Arnold has to offer besides a hospital. And if it does, we know where we’ll stay.