A legend full of adventure and romance, the story of Robin Hood has been told for 700 years. Robin Hood is a star of both the silver screen and the written word, but the true heart of the ‘Man in Lincoln Green’ is found in the district of Newark and Sherwood. Here in the centre of England, amid pretty towns and villages lies Sherwood Forest and the heart of Robin Hood Country.
Let your imagination drift back in time as you explore the life and times of Robin Hood with all that this area has to offer. There is something for all the family in this very special district, with its unique history and many hidden delights.
In the 13th century, Sherwood Forest was one of the largest forests in the country, covering 7,800 acres. Part of the ancient landscape is today preserved in the 450-acre Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve.
Its most famous tree is the Major Oak. Hundreds of years old, it is the largest tree in the forest. Legend has it that its hollow trunk was once a hideout for Robin Hood and his Merry Men. The tree weighs approximately 23 tons, has a circumference of 33 feet and its branches spread to over 92 feet. Because of its national importance, measures have been taken to protect the tree ever since Victorian times.
Each summer the Robin Hood Festival takes place in the Sherwood Forest, when costumed characters roam, and where music, jousting and theatre bring the legend to life.
Just a few miles from Sherwood Forest, you'll find Sherwood Pines Forest Park, With cycle routes, children's adventure play trail, waymarked woodland walks and mountain bike area, there is plenty to discover.
Also located at Sherwood Pines is Go Ape, where you can discover the thrill of Aerial Trekking high above the forest floor.
Set in the heart of Robin Hood country, and once one of the great private estates in Sherwood Forest, Rufford Abbey Country Park is well worth a visit. Whether you want to walk through the lovely grounds or see the remains of the 12th century Cistercian Abbey, there is plenty to do.
Other places in our district have links with the legend of Robin Hood. Take, for example, the village of Blidworth, where it is said that Maid Marian was born and lived in a cottage prior to her marriage to Robin Hood. Robin's faithful companion, Will Scarlett, is buried in the churchyard of St Mary and St Lawrence.
It was in the village of Edwinstowe, lying in the heart of the forest, that Robin Hood married Maid Marian. While visiting Edwinstowe, don't forget to call in at the Sherwood Forest Art and Craft Centre, and browse through its 16 art and craft studios.
Explore these pages to make sure you get the most from your visit to magical Robin Hood country.