England-Nottinghamshire Flag

Sherwood Forest >  Google™ Map  Sherwood Forest Logo

England-Nottinghamshire Flag UK > England > Nottinghamshire

Sep 2020

A legend in the making for over 1,000 years, a unique habitat for wildlife and a magical destination for over 350,000 visitors, they say.

Sherwood Forest Logo

These places can be a bit of a disappointment trees-wise and we're looking at you Bowland and New. A forest in the sense of an ancient, royal hunting ground with not that much actual woodland and it's all the fault of Willie Conker.

He brought the word with him and it wouldn't be for a few more centuries that it would come to mean, well, you can't see the wood for them.

I don't know, they come over here nicking our logs.

Not that it's the case here where there are millions of them, maybe, and nearly 1,000 are said to be 600 years old and older although you too will lose count after 20-odd.

Before the main event, however, there are a couple of distractions.

The shiny-new  Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre is run by a partnership including the RSPB™, no less. It's wildlife-friendly and encourages and educates children not to scream if they see an adder.

Back at the entrance, there's a  mini-funfair[1], obviously, encouraging children to scream if they want to go faster.

The old car park is currently being rewilded although there are some complaints that a busy road now needs to be crossed from the new one. This despite the original helping to kill the trees. Idiots!

[1] Of the sort last seen in Seaton Carew.

The National Nature Reserve provides access to more than 400 hectares of impenetrable canopy, which is no easier to imagine than just over 500  City Grounds. That's just a twentieth of the area occupied back in Willie Conker's day but at least everybody has nice furniture now, eh?

The eye-level view is best described as static and with a clear lack of whistling wildlife, the only form of entertainment is provided by dead trees that look like things.

Dead trees that look like things? This is the UK's most famous forest, probably, and you haven't even touched on you-know-who. Dead trees that look like things? Let's give it a go anyway...

The Great Stag, surveying his kingdom from a height, his aged frame no longer fit for the forest floor.

Easter Island Statue or  Monkey Man if you'd rather. Finally, and least convincing,  Dog Faced Boy?

Dead trees that look like things? Deary me.

The waymarked trails twist and kink but the constant backdrop makes for no sense of direction so it's not just complete idiots who could lose their bearings in here.

You are, however, guaranteed to arrive, somehow, at the Major Oak, the forest's main or is that only attraction?

Estimated to be knocking 1,000 years old, this is the largest oak in Britain and it's where Robin Hood and his cheery chums are said to have got their heads down. Several hundred years of visitors doing the same thing mean it's been fenced off since the '70s and some scaffolding is now necessary to keep it from collapsing.

The trees recede as the old car park is passed and the back of Edwinstowe Cricket Ground reveals itself to be where LBW now stands for Lost Bearings Wildly.

That's a joke, of course, and it's not nearly so difficult to track down a coffee in the Craft Centre's caff.

Things have been a little light famous folkloric figure-wise but you will already have passed Robin Hood on the way in, actually.

What with these peepers, these days, the archaic script was misread from a distance and it came as a huge disappointment to find no spicy pies on offer in the Visitor Centre's caff.

What does that say again? Ah! Halti!