Sherwood Forest: The Major Oak and Robin Hood

Sherwood Forest Robin Hood

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

Sherwood Forest statue

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.

Sherwood Forest banners

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.

sherwood forest autumn trees

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.

Sherwood forest summer trees

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.

Twins in Sherwood Forest 2009

Each season holds a different spectacle, the colours change, the wildlife changes and so does the smell and temperature for that matter.

Sherwood forest major oak in winter

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.

Sherwood Forest Major oak

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 Forest collage

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.

Sherwood Forest birds of prey

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.

Sherwood Forest visitors centre

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.

Sherwood Forest 2009 Mum and brother

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

Time traveller slider

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.


  1. April 9, 2015 / 7:36 AM

    I’ve never been to Sherwood Forest but it sounds like there’s plenty to see and do. Great idea for a travel linky – I’ve joined in but am not sure if my image has pulled through correctly or not.

    • April 9, 2015 / 7:42 AM

      Hi Christine, Thanks for joining in, the image hasn’t been pulled. Do you want to go in again and try once more? I can delete from the Linky later on? Or maybe it gives you the possibility to try a new image?

  2. April 9, 2015 / 7:55 AM

    I am embarressed to admit, I have never been Mari, and I live in Nottingham! It really looks great, I’ll make an effort to try and go this Easter. Have you been to Nottingham Castle? I love the Robin Hood statue just on the outside, so iconic, and reminds me of my childhood.

    • April 9, 2015 / 8:57 PM

      Now Nottingham Castle sounds like a very good idea, I’ll make it our next day out when I’m up at mum’s thanks for the tip. If you do get to go to Sherwood Forest, you won’t be disappointed, it’s beautiful.

  3. April 9, 2015 / 8:16 AM

    I have stayed at Center Parcs at Sherwood before and I agree that it is a lovely area, fabulous forest. Gorgeous photo’s Mari. Really been enjoying this linky xxx

    • April 9, 2015 / 8:59 PM

      Thanks Emma, I’m enjoying it too but will have more time after the Easter break so looking forward to getting ‘comfortable’ with it when I have more time on my hands.
      We’ve never tried Centre Parcs, it’s another item on the list and I’ve heard wonderful things about it.

  4. April 9, 2015 / 8:24 AM

    Must go back again now the kids are older, think they were about the age of your two in the buggy pic! Which is so sweet. It always makes me sad that there isn’t more forest, but have since found some amazing bits dotted around – it is broken up these days, but fun to imagine Robin’s adventures in it.

    • April 9, 2015 / 9:01 PM

      I love the area Penny, we took Baxter walking down unused train tracks and the girls asked to have their photo taken in a Miner’s Memorial garden as it was full of beautiful flowers, there is so much to discover. Britain is so beautiful and there is so much to see.

  5. April 9, 2015 / 8:26 AM

    Sherwood Forest surely can’t be beaten for history and legend. And those magnificent trees! I’d love to visit one day. Very cute shot of the twins when they were little.

    • April 9, 2015 / 9:02 PM

      Isn’t it lovely finding old photos and seeing how much they have grown? I love the legend that surrounds Sherwood Forest and I will always return to visit as it’s so beautiful.

  6. April 9, 2015 / 8:26 AM

    Thought about it and decided I had to share my trip to Kent ;) We’ve swapped counties this week!

    • April 9, 2015 / 9:04 PM

      Ha ha! We have indeed and what fun, I haven’t been to Chatham Dockyard, my granddad worked on the ships for a lifetime and it’s only 20 minutes away. I MUST go there. Thanks so much for joining in, it’s a pleasure to have you.

  7. April 9, 2015 / 8:30 AM

    I have always been fascinated by the Robin Hood story and would love to visit Sherwood Forest. The photos are lovely and the Major Oak looks fantastic. I

    • April 9, 2015 / 9:05 PM

      You got cut off, or hit send too soon. Thanks for joining in, I’m going to pop over and have a read of them all most likely in the morning as I am bushed right now xx

  8. April 9, 2015 / 6:00 PM

    That’s a magnificent oak there – spectacular. I’ve not been but it looks great and I bet there’s a magical feel to the place. Thanks for hosting x

    • April 9, 2015 / 9:06 PM

      It is magical Stephanie. Is it the legend? Is it something in the air? I’m not sure but I would recommend it as a fantastic family day out. Thanks for joining in, I look forward to reading your post. x

  9. April 9, 2015 / 6:55 PM

    I’ve never been and I lived in Nottingham in 1991, it is somewhere I keep meaning to visit, will probably have to wait till I move back to the UK

    • April 9, 2015 / 9:14 PM

      There are so many places I want to visit Chickenruby. I have to realise I will never fit them all in as it’s simply impossible that is why when I do visit a new area I try to see as much as I can as it’s a passion of mine. I love reading your posts as they are so far away from me, you take me somewhere that at the moment is impossible for me to get to. I thank you for that.

  10. April 9, 2015 / 7:48 PM

    Love the pic of the twins in the buggy! I have one of Robert, now nearly 10, in his buggy on ours!! He is only a few months old. We have never been to Sherwood Forest, but are rectifying that this summer, so will let you know what we think.

    • April 9, 2015 / 9:24 PM

      Oh interesting, I am sure you’ll love it. It’s so peaceful and interesting a real pleasure to roam. I’m looking forward to reading your post now and seeing Robert as a baby :)

  11. April 9, 2015 / 9:48 PM

    aww love this … this is my childhood! I grew up in the Village of Edwinstowe in which Sherwood forest is located and as a child this was my stomping ground and through the school holidays we went pretty much every day! ;-)

  12. April 10, 2015 / 8:31 AM

    I love Sherwood Forest, although it’s ages since I’ve been! Thanks for hosting, I will be back later to visit some of the other entries!

  13. April 10, 2015 / 8:36 AM

    The kids adore Robin Hood and I would love to take them to Sherwood Forest. It looks like a fabulous day out with loads to do to keep them entertained

  14. April 10, 2015 / 8:58 AM

    We must make the effort to do some more trips further north. This is easily daytrippable from the in-laws and it looks a lot of fun. H is quite into Robin Hood too.

  15. April 10, 2015 / 9:27 AM

    We’ve never been to Sherwood Forest, but it’s exactly the sort of place we would love! I love all the photographs! x

  16. April 10, 2015 / 12:48 PM

    I have never been to Nottingham and I would love to go and to explore Sherwood Forest, it looks a captivating place.

  17. April 10, 2015 / 3:34 PM

    I went to Nottingham Forest years ago when we stayed at the nearby Center Parcs. My Dad is from Nottingham originally so it was great to visit a few places with him. That tree is just incredible!! Love the vintage pictures of you all too Lady! Emma x

  18. April 10, 2015 / 10:31 PM

    That is a fabulous tree! I love looking at really old trees and imagining everything that they have witnessed. Wish it was a bit nearer!

  19. Abi
    April 11, 2015 / 6:28 PM

    I love Sherwood! Still a magical place even after many many visits :)


  20. April 14, 2015 / 5:37 PM

    I’d love to go to Sherwood Forest – it’s one of the many places in the UK that I haven’t visited but would like to explore. Thanks for running this Linky, it’s a great idea.

  21. April 23, 2015 / 7:57 AM

    Oh wow, what a lovely couple of visits to Sherwood Forest. I loved the Disney version of Robin Hood as a child and wanted to visit Sherwood Forest but have never done so – will have to add it to the list of places to visit if we are in that area. That oak is amazing – I always find really old trees fascinating.

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