Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

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, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre


During the Summer Holidays, while Rebecca was in Switzerland with Guides, Danny went on a PGL trip with single ventricle heart charity, Little Hearts Matter (I always wanted to go on a PGL trip when I was younger!).  As he was staying at PGL Caythorpe it made more sense for us to stay in the area too and have a break with the younger girls rather than driving the long distance four times back and forth.  We booked a three night stay at Premier Inn Grantham and had a chance to explore the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire areas.  On our first day out we chose to visit Sherwood Forest Country park and Visitor Centre.

Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park and Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



Sherwood Forest Country Park and Visitor Centre (NG21 9HN) is free to visit.  Parking costs just £3.  It is open every day 10am – 5pm and dogs are welcome.  We planned to just visit for the morning but found ourselves staying all day as there was lots to see.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre


Before we’d even left the car park the girls were getting into the “Robin Hood” spirit.  Growing up reading the stories and watching the shows I was very excited to finally visit Sherwood Forest, the setting for all these legendary tales.



, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre


If our visit had been a few days later it would have coincided with The Robin Hood Festival  which would have been perfect timing however even without this event on we had a great day all the same.


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



On arrival there are plenty of facilities- toilets, a restaurant- to grab a coffee or food, the Visitor Centre and gift shops.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

We began our day by sitting down to watch a video about the history of Sherwood Forest.  This was a great way to set the scene before exploring this nature reserve.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

In the courtyard there is a statue depicting Robin Hood fighting Little John on a bridge over the River Leen.  

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

This was their first meeting and neither man would give way. 


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

 When Little John eventually won the contest Robin Hood asked him to join his band of Merry Men.


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



There are other statues and wood carvings all around the country park.  


Robyn Hodes Sherwode Exhibition

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



Inside Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre there is an exhibition on Robyn Hodes Sherwode.


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



This is a must for all Robin Hood fans.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



This exhibition takes us on Robin Hood’s journey but there are also learning opportunities about nature and true historic events as well as the legends.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre


“And where this arrow is taken up,

There shall my grave digged be.”


From “Robin Hood’s Death”.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

“Bury me where my arrow falls” are traditionally Robin Hood’s last words to Little John.  Before dying he shot an arrow out through the priory window to mark the site of his last resting place in Kirklees, West Yorkshire.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

“The spirit of Robyn Hode lives forever in Sherwode Forest and in the hearts of those who seek him.”

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



The Major Oak Tree Walk

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



Next we followed the signs to the Major Oak Tree.  This was a lovely walk, one of many routes that we followed on this day.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



We enjoyed looking out for the little tree houses.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

We read informative signs along the way about the trees, flowers, insects and mammals living in the forest.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

We spotted another type of “Robin”.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

Can you spot the bug on this owl?

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



This gorgeous grey squirrel was so tame.


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre


We saw lots of insects on the walk too.

The Major Oak

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



We then reached The Major Oak.  The Major Oak is estimated to be between 800 – 1000 years old and has been crowned England’s Tree of the Year in a public vote run by the Woodland Trust.  


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



The world famous tree is a Quercus Robur, the English or pendunculate oak.  It weighs an estimated 23 tonnes, has a girth of 10 metres (33ft) and a spread of 28 metres (92ft) making it the biggest oak tree in Britain.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

Legend has it that the ancient oak not only provided Robin Hood with shelter, it was also the place where he and his Merry Men slept.

Archery

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

All of the older kids enjoy archery so Caitlyn was happy when she saw that there was a chance to have a go at traditional longbow archery at Sherwood Forest.  It cost just £3 for 6 arrows.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

Phew!  I’m so glad she missed the squirrel (can you spot it in the background?).


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

The Forest Archers were very patient and offered one to one tuition.


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



No “bullseye” on this occasion but she had fun!



More Walking Routes



, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre





We then stopped for lunch (more information on this below) and then went on another longer walk.


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

Again it was a gorgeous nature trail full of organic  treasure.  We found birds’ eggs (look at just  those grubby hands).

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre


I love this photo.  Even though the egg is already hatched it makes me think of this verse:


Soon the frail eggs they shall 

Chip, and upspringing 



Make all the April woods 


Merry with singing. 

from Nest Eggs by Robert Louis Stevenson in “A Child’s Garden of Verses”).

I need to buy a copy of this poem book for our home actually as it was one of my favourite poetry books when I was younger.  We didn’t see any of the chicks so I’m sure they were all safe in the nest.

We also spotted:

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre


  • Butterflies (is this a Meadow Brown?). 

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

  • A bearded man

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre


  • A cheeky imp

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre


  • Lots of caterpillars (to the delight of the kids).  This looks like a cinnabar moth caterpillar.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



  • A pair (well lots of pairs actually) of mating longhorn beetles.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



  • One of our favourite beetles- the ladybird ( we saw hundreds of these over the weekend which cheered me up as I really don’t see so many of these in Pembrokeshire as I used to.  I’m not sure if numbers have declined or if I look in the wrong places.).

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre


  • Lots of dragonflies flying above us ( I failed at getting a good picture sorry- this is the “best” of a bad bunch.  Ahem).

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

  • A spider wrapping it’s prey in the web.



, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

  • We played “conkers” with ribwort plantain (do you remember playing this version?  I still call those weeds “conkers” to this day!).

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

  • We found more fungi growing on trees.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



  • … and bumble bees pollinating the flowers.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



The  huge old tree stumps made great dens and places to explore.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

Dave and his girls!


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

I find the shapes of these old trees fascinating.


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre


The Cattle Enclosures

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre


Along the walk we found enclosures where English Longhorn Cattle are grazing.  We decided to walk along this way hoping to find some cattle.


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



In we went over the sty (or under in Izzy’s case!). 

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



We spotted more types of fungi.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

We found cow pat but no herds of cattle.  


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre


We had good fun looking for them though!


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

On our walk we also passed a potato field which was a great opportunity to show the kids the potatoes growing.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



Dave told the kids all about when he used to pick Pembrokeshire potatoes for a living.  I know my dad did this too and possibly my mum as well.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



There were apples (cob apples?) growing too.


The Play Park

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

We ended our walk with a play in the park which is located quite close to the car park so perfect to save until last before driving home.  It was good motivation for our girls once their legs were starting to tire.  Here the kids took “The Outlaw Challenge”.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



The trees make the best play base though!

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre


The Forest Table Restaurant

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



As I mentioned earlier we stopped for lunch after our walk to the Major Oak Tree.  The Forest Table Restaurant is located near the entrance with all the other facilities.  You can pop in for a coffee, a snack or hearty meal.


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre


The food was tasty and there were was a good children’s menu ( Izzy liked the kid’s box!).  

While we visited there was a wedding so the restaurant closed early so always check the opening times before you visit.


The Shops


, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre



There are two shops at Sherwood Forest Country Park, one is a general gift shop and the other sells “Robin Hood” and “Sherwood Forest” gifts.  This is the one we preferred as we wanted to buy gifts that  reminded us of our visit.

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

Their shop goodies kept them amused in the hotel that evening!


It was a great day out at Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre- such a bargain for £3 and even with the archery and lunch we didn’t spend a lot.  I hope we can visit again in the future with Danny and Rebecca.  We felt very relaxed here and there was a special atmosphere in this ancient woodland.


Have you visited Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre or this area before?

, Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

1 Comment

  1. , Visiting Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre
    Margaret Gallagher
    July 24, 2018 / 8:48 am

    What an amazing place – ive never been – bet the boys would be overjoyed – so much going on

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