It’s Robin Hood’s home, but sadly there’s not much of it left! Most visitors head to the village of Edwinstowe which is around 20 miles from Nottingham where you’ll find themed shops and the Sherwood Forest Visitor’s centre. The 450 acre Sherwood Forest Nature Reserve contains the most famous tree in the forest, the 800 year old Major Oak, which is in a sorry state. It’s within walking distance from the Visitor’s Centre. The Visitor’s Centre and the forest are free to visit although there is a small charge for parking. This is an extract from our free Nottingham City Guide.
When you arrive at the visitors centre there is an introductory film to watch which details the history of Sherwood Forest and the significant buildings and places nearby. There’s also a shop and restaurant. When you’re ready to leave the Visitor’s Centre, you can follow a number of footpaths into the forest. Most visitors take the path which leads you to the Major Oak, which is about 15 minutes walk. Because of its age, the Major Oak has needed extra support for the heavy branches for decades. Originally chains were used, then wooden supports and more recently steel props, which look a bit like scaffolding. As such England’s favourite tree, as it was voted in 2002, is not as attractive as it once was.
There’s plenty more to see in Sherwood Forest and the rangers do regular walks to help you get the most from your visit. Call ahead to the Rangers office to see what’s available. Bear in mind that Sherwood Forest has around 350,000 visitors a year and there are times when it can be busy – particularly at the annual Robin Hood Festival.
Sherwood Forest Visitors Centre is open from 10am to 5pm in the summer and from 10.30am to 4.30pm in the winter. Car parking at Visitors Centre is £3 per car (2012 prices). We’d also recommend a walk into Edwinstowe too where you can see the parish church which claims to have a marriage entry for Robin Hood and Maid Marian! Many of the shops in Edwinstowe have Robin Hood themes to them.
LOCATION & CONTACT
Address: Sherwood Forest Visitors Centre, Edwinstowe, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG21 9HN
Tel: +44 1623 823202 (Visitor Information)
Tel: +44 1623 823202 (Rangers Office)
Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre is around 20 miles from Nottingham on the B6034 just north of Edwinstowe. From Nottingham, take the A60 then the A614 and follow the brown “Sherwood Forest” signs which you’ll see once you get near.
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