Central England – Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
Distance: 5½km/3½ miles
Time: 2 hrs
Type: Family, woodland
Where: Circular walk in Sherwood Forest
Start/End: Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve & Visitor Centre, Edwinstowe (SK626677).
Terrain: Firm paths and forestry tracks. Easy walking, but may be muddy after rainfall. No stiles, but two bridle gates.
Maps: OS Explorer 270; Landranger 120.
Whether Robin Hood ever existed is a moot point; less debatable is the long association between the folklore hero and Sherwood Forest. The verdant wild wood and Norman hunting forest where Robin and his Merry Men sparred with the Sheriff of Nottingham is now a shadow of its former self, when outlaws could have walked beneath the greenwood between Yorkshire and Leicestershire in the great Forest of Barnsdale. That which remains, however, offers a glimpse into that medieval landscape. This corner of Nottinghamshire oozes atmosphere, from the heathland of Budby South to the remarkable forest giants dappling the shady groves or standing, gaunt and twisted, in clearings beside sinuous woodland ways. Children’s imaginations can run riot here, where Longhorn cattle graze wood pasture, trees offer hidey-holes, and thin paths an escape route from the Sheriff’s vengeance… lots of chances, too, for nature watching and learning.
Click below to see a route profile and view the route on an Ordnance Survey map