We were delighted to attend the launch of the 35th annual Robin Hood Festival today at the world-famous Sherwood Forest. It’s the first Robin Hood Festival taking place at the forest since the RSPB started managing this historic site, so we were excited to see what this year’s celebrations had to offer.

The fun can begin as soon as you head out of the car park towards the forest, with a rather epic funfair for everyone to enjoy. After a quick whizz down the helter skelter and spin around on the teacups, it was festival time!

As soon as we entered the brand-new RSPB Visitor Centre – which is packed with the very best Robin Hood and wildlife-themed gifts – we were greeted by the friendliest of staff, eager to show us down to the café overlooking the forest’s new amphitheatre. We enjoyed a delicious fruit tea and fresh coffee before the day’s proceedings began.

Everyone gathered around the amphitheatre in the glorious sunshine – there were children of all ages, mums, dads, aunties, uncles, grandparents and a fair few super-cute pups – excited to see just what the gaggle of costumed entertainers and musicians had in store for us.

The award-winning comedy duo of jesters, Medieval Maniax, kicked things off, introducing the variety of performers one by one and asking the musicians to play us some medieval tunes. The crazy pair even treated us to a couple of rather silly, but definitely funny stunts. ‘Gloves of Destiny’ – that’s all we’ll say…

Once the festival had been declared as officially open, we made the short walk over to the arena where the first Grand Tournament was to take place. After we were introduced to our hero Robin Hood, his arch enemy the Sheriff of Nottingham, and the beautiful dapple-grey horses they were riding (Harry Potter – yes really, and Apollo), the games began! Robin and the Sheriff went head to head in a number of challenges, including jousting, archery and even a sword fight. It was so exciting to see the pair battle it out on horseback right before our eyes! Thankfully, Robin Hood prevailed, much to the Sheriff’s annoyance, and the crowds went wild – long live Robin Hood!

There were loads of other live performances taking place throughout the day, including marvellous medieval music from Blast from the Past, the rusty old knight Sir Crank-a-lot telling tales of medieval manners, Crazy Dutch Regulars’ brilliant children’s show, and lots more! Following the excitement of the Grand Tournament however, we thought it might be nice to take a stroll around the wonderful forest to see what else the festival had to offer.

As we merrily wandered through the forest, using the Festival Map in our programme as a guide, we came across so many lovely things for families to enjoy. There were kids pony rides, a brightly coloured storytelling area with stories being brought to life, have-a-go archery and lots of great stalls by the Major Oak, and live magician performances, to name just a few! There was even a tent with the most beautiful owls and birds of prey on display, and for £5, you could handle a bird with the assistance of one of the falconry experts.

There was so much to see throughout the forest, as well as the live performances taking place in the amphitheatre and arena all day – you could easily visit the festival over two days. By the time we’d made our way around the forest and enjoyed a number of activities and performances, we were ready for a sit down (and a bacon cob!). The service in the café was superb, despite it being busy due to it being the first day of the festival. Our food was brought out quickly and every single member of the Sherwood Forest team had a beaming smile on their face, and nothing was too much hassle for them.

The Robin Hood Festival is on now until Sunday 11 August 2019, with performances and activities taking place from 11am – 4pm. Entry to the festival is free, but there is a £6 car parking fee. For a day full of music, merriment and memories, we think that’s a pretty good deal!

This blog was written by Alex Broughton, Visit Nottinghamshire's Marketing & Communications Manager.


Robin Hood Festival 2020
Family Fun
Robin Hood Festival 2020

The FREE fun-filled week-long Robin Hood Festival at Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve has something for all ages, with lots of entertainment and activities.

Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre & National Nature Reserve
Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre & National Nature Reserve

Home of Robin Hood and once part of a royal hunting forest, Sherwood Forest Country Park covers 450 acres and incorporates some truly ancient areas of native woodland.



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