This is the perfect example of posts that never got written as I have been twice to Sherwood Forest since mum and granddad moved ‘up north’ and my blog post got forgotten, photos archived and other writing took precedence. So as a true Time Traveller I shall now take you there – twice in fact, as my visits were at different times of the year, winter 2009 and summer 2014.
Time Traveller is the Linky for bloggers who write about their travels, if you haven’t been anywhere recently then choose a good post from your archives or write one up that you never got round to writing. Add it to the Linky at the bottom of this post and try to visit a couple of others too.
Robin Hood and his Merry Men
I must let you into a secret first, when I lived in Italy and Thomas was about 4, Disney brought out the animated Robin Hood film. It was on relentlessly in our house as my son adored it. Friends popping in for a cup of tea would note his addiction to the Merry Men and as my name is Marianne they nicknamed me Lady Marion. The name stuck and still today they call me ‘Lady’.
Sherwood Forest is where the legend of Robin Hood takes place. The legend started way before books were printed and has been going strong for 600 years, the tales would have been originally told by ballad singers and storytellers, relaying his adventures to the listeners.
Robin Hood is mentioned in a poem dated around 1400, a 550 year old note found in a Latin dictionary in Eton school library which mentions him as an outlaw ‘infesting’ Sherwood Forest. A William Robinhood was tried for robbery in 1261 and a Robert Hood is mentioned in Kind Edward II’s household accounts around 1300.
Many mentions throughout time but nothing definite, the mystery lives on.
Visiting Sherwood Forest
Once I discovered that mum lived close to the forest the destination shot up my hit list, after innumerable sittings of Robin Hood, both Disney and other versions I needed to see the Major Oak with my own eyes.
The Major Oak is possibly 800 – 1000 years old and is surrounded by many other veteran oaks that have stood soundly for five centuries and more.
It’s a 15 – 20 minute walk from the visitor centre through the forest along well kept paths that are suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Here are my two on their first visit in 2009 in the twin buggy. Alice left, Bessie right.
Each season holds a different spectacle, the colours change, the wildlife changes and so does the smell and temperature for that matter.
On arrival you will discover the tree is fenced off preventing anyone getting up close but allowing a lot of space for photographs. I have read since this is also to prevent the soil over the tree’s roots becoming compacted. The boughs are so heavy they are assisted with supports placed strategically around the bottom. It is a marvellous sight and one that deserves time and attention.
For children there are plenty of wooden sculptures and interactive information boards plus a vast open area inviting them to run and play freely.
Sherwood was a royal hunting forest in it’s prime, an expanse of land where the king and his noble men would practise hunting and falconry, today during the summer months you can find birds of prey on show with their masters who put on displays too.
There are three marked circular trails to follow through the forest all starting at the visitor centre where you can also pick up a map.
Blue route – 1 mile a surfaced route via the Major Oak
Green route – 1 and 3/4 miles passing by some of Sherwood’s veteran oaks, heath and grassland.
Red route – 3 and 1/2 miles perfect for getting away from the busier parts of the park.
You can visit the Forest Table Restaurant for drinks and snacks, cooked lunch and even a Sunday carvery. A Robin Hood souvenir shop where you can pick up fancy dress, bow and arrows and all sorts of medieval replicas.
There is also an exhibition which my girls loved looking around and a video theatre showing a short video introducing you to Robin Hood Country.
The Forest is open every day apart from Christmas Day between 10 am and 5 pm and it is free to visit.
It is very easy to get to and there is plenty of parking at the entrance to the National Nature Reserve, there is a small charge.
It is dog friendly but they must be kept on a lead in designated areas and cleaning up is essential.
You can find all sorts of information on the Nottinghamshire website and plan your day accordingly.
Time Travellers Linky: for writers who love to get round
I thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone’s posts last week, thank you so much for joining in. If you write about travel please link up one of your posts, be it recent or from your archives and do try to visit a couple of other bloggers and comment.