Home to Robin Hood, the ancient “Major Oak” thought to be almost a 1000 years old, and one of the most important areas for wildlife in England, Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire attracts thousands of visitors a year and, with so much to do and see, no wonder it is one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations.
Places to Visit
The picturesque village of Edwinstowe is located just five minutes’ drive from the forest and is well worth a visit for those interested in Nottingham’s most famous son. Home to all things Robin Hood, legend has it that the local hero married his beloved Maid Marian in the church and a statue to the lovers stands proudly in the village centre, which these days it is home to a couple of pubs, and gift shops selling souvenirs.
National Holocaust Centre and Museum
Not exactly a fun attraction but fascinating nonetheless is the National Holocaust Centre and Museum, promoting acceptance and human rights through exhibitions and stories from survivors of the Holocaust the centre hopes to educate against prejudice and is definitely a unique experience.
Sherwood Forest Art and Craft Centre
There are so many hidden gems in and around Sherwood Forest, and one of the finest is the Arts and Craft Centre. Located close to the famous Major Oak, you can watch local craftspeople and artists at work as well as being able to purchase their unique pieces. Housed in what was once Edwinstowe Hall, there is a multitude of studios creating jewellery, paintings, textiles, ceramics and much more.
While staying in Sherwood Forest a trip to Nottingham is a must. Nottingham Castle Museum & Gallery overlooks the city from its clifftop perch and below it carved into the rock face you will find Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem at 800 years old it is thought to be one of the country’s oldest inns.
Beneath the city, you can explore the subterranean caves and the National Justice Museum presents a comprehensive and sometimes gory history of crime and punishment.
During the summer part of the city centre turns into a beach, The Nottingham Riviera as it is known sees hundreds of visitors flock to Old Market Square which boasts a sandy beach, paddling pool, funfair and all the fun of the seaside in landlocked Nottinghamshire.
Things to Do
There are tons of activities available in Sherwood Forest and the surrounding area. Anglers will love Sherwood Forest Fishery located close to Mansfield which offers a range of fishing to suit all abilities over five different, well-stocked lakes.
There are several equestrian centres close to Sherwood Forest offering pony trekking, and it’s a great way to explore the enchanting woodland.
Thrill and spills
Kids and adults alike can enjoy the thrills of the tree top trails and obstacle courses at the ever-popular Go Ape or you can indulge in everything from archery and paintballing to quad biking, zorbing even tank driving at one of the several activity centres in the forest itself with a seemingly endless range of outdoor pursuits.
Clumber Park offers bicycle hire and is ideal for families looking for safe off-road cycling with easy gradients, while Sherwood Pines, which also offers cycle hire is home to a varied range of off-road trails, ranging from family routes to extremely challenging trails for the more energetic and experienced rider.
Food and Drink
• Nottinghamshire boasts an excellent selection of eateries for all tastes and budgets. From delicious Michelin starred dining at Sat Bains to relaxed gastropubs, visitors are guaranteed to find something to whet their appetite.
• Lovers of international cuisine will be delighted at the variety of restaurants serving everything from fiery curries to tapas and French cuisine. If you’re a burger enthusiast, you will find the usual fast food outlets or alternatively head to Annie’s Burger Shack, an authentic American Diner which offers a wide variety of burgers for both meat lovers and vegetarians.
• Out and about in Sherwood Forest? Launay’s in Edwinstowe is a lovely converted 16th-century cottage which serves freshly cooked seasonal local produce.
• Nottinghamshire is also well-known for its friendly pubs, with historic inns such as Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, and The Bell Inn located in the heart of Nottingham both offer an excellent selection of real ales which can be enjoyed in unique surroundings.
• With a host of food and drink festivals throughout the year, including the famous Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival, Nottinghamshire and Sherwood Forest are a haven for foodies.
There are so many reasons why you should consider Sherwood Forest as a next holiday destination. Forests steeped in folklore and legends, scenery that inspired literary giants such as D H Lawrence and Lord Byron, luxury spa hotels and thrilling activities Sherwood Forest, has all the ingredients for an amazing trip. Meanwhile, you can shop until you drop in Nottingham, enjoy culinary delights, explore stunning gardens or simply enjoy the majestic forest landscape. One thing is guaranteed, you’ll be sure to want to return…
*This is a collaborative post with Hot Tub Hideaways who provide lodge holidays across the UK.