Many of us have heard the stories, been there, seen it, done it, got the green stockings. But the real legend of Robin Hood is so much more. It’s a story for the ages. The best part about it? His rebel spirit lives on here in Nottinghamshire.

So visit Nottingham and Nottinghamshire in 2022 and walk in the footsteps of Robin Hood. Discover the origins of a legend, the stories behind the myths and his infamous hiding spots.

Robin Hood Town Tours | The legend of Robin Hood | Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

The Story of Robin Hood

Outlaw, visionary and bane of the establishment, the tale of Nottingham's hero Robin Hood, who stole from the rich to give to the poor, is known the world over. Uniting universal themes of adventure, altruism and rebellion, his adventures have been retold down the generations, from medieval ballads to Hollywood blockbusters.

The fight against injustice, the longing to be free, the rebellious streak in all of us to be the masters of our own destiny. It’s a story that speaks to our most basic instincts and desires. Robin Hood is more than just a man and a story, he’s the personification of something we all truly long for. He remains as relevant in the 21st Century as he did in the 15th.

Robin Hood is truly one of the world’s best loved folk heroes and Nottinghamshire is proud to be the home of this spirited outlaw, meaning there is no better place to learn about the man and legend.

To read more about the history, including Robin’s enemies, timelines and the original stories that made the legend, visit our dedicated Robin Hood page.

Nottinghamshire connections

Nottinghamshire is littered with landmarks from the legends of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, from the dungeons of the Old County Gaol where he was held captive by the Sheriff of Nottingham to the church where he wed his beloved Maid Marian.

Walk in Robin Hood’s footsteps through the majestic Sherwood Forest to see his hideout the Major Oak, discover legendary tales of rebellion at Nottingham Castle or tour the town with the man himself before a pint of ale at the oldest inn in England.

The National Justice Museum, Robin Hood blog

Top 5 Places to explore the legend of Robin Hood:

1. National Justice Museum

Nottingham’s 15th Century Gaol and Shire Hall (pictured) has imprisoned some of the country’s most notorious criminals over the centuries. Legend has it that Robin Hood himself was held captive in one of the dungeons there, later being rescued by little John. Descend into the depths of the prison to explore the underground cells, hear tales of crime and punishment from throughout the centuries or check out their varied programme of events, from dramatic trail re-enactments to unique murder mystery evenings.

2. Robin Hood Town Tour

Join Nottingham’s legendary outlaw son on the Robin Hood Town Tour. Follow the trail and hear how the ballads that emerged 700 years ago grew into one of the greatest stories ever told! This fun, theatrical exploration of the legend is told against the back drop of the city. As you make your way through Nottingham, learn how the iconic tale of the hooded man remains as relevant as ever in the 21st century.

3. Edwinstowe

Edwinstowe is an historic village in the heart of Sherwood Forest. Legend states that it was here, at the beautiful medieval church of St Mary, that Robin married Maid Marian. The high street in the village has a statue in their honour! Whilst visiting Edwinstowe, why not take some time to visit Forest Lodge for a bite to eat, or spend some time visiting the villages local shops.

4. Sherwood Forest

Just a stone throw from Edwinstowe, venture into Nottinghamshire’s most iconic location, Sherwood Forest! The forest was originally established as royal hunting grounds dating back to the 10th Century. Made legendary as the home of the famous outlaw in the ballads of Robin Hood, amongst the great oaks you will find the timeworn beauty, The Major Oak, along with nature trails and walks. Sherwood forest is a must visit for anyone coming to Nottinghamshire.

5. Nottingham Castle

Experience 1,000 years of history at Nottingham Castle and channel the rebellious spirit of Robin Hood in the interactive galleries. Tour the caves that lie hidden beneath castle rock and enjoy the picturesque grounds of this world-class heritage destination in the heart of the city. Explore the permanent galleries that celebrate Nottingham’s rich and vibrant past. The Castle is a highlight in Nottingham’s cultural and heritage offer and puts the city firmly on the map. You will also find the famous Robin Hood Statue here, where you can take a picture next to the man himself. Be sure to look around the statue to see his Merry Men!

Our Expert Recommendation 

We asked Kit, one of our amazing staff members at the Nottingham Tourism and Travel Centre and expert in recommending activities, to share his top suggestion for visitors to learn about Robin Hood. He said: 'I recommend the Robin Hood Town Tour for a fun introduction to Nottingham's legendary son and the 21st century city he calls home.'

For more local and expert reccomendations, visit the Nottingham Tourism and Travel Centre in the heart of Nottingham City Centre and talk to our friendly staff. You can also pick up some fun Robin Hood themed gifts and memorabilia here, and it's just a short walk away from the Robin Hood statue.

The Major Oak, Robin Hood blog

Tourism and Sherwood Forest

Sherwood Forest is an iconic tourist destination and a focal point when exploring the magic and legend of Robin Hood in Nottinghamshire. We spoke to a couple of the organisations who look after the area, and why they think it's so important.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) manage the stunning Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre & National Nature Reserve. We spoke with Rob James (Communications Officer) about why he thinks the destination is so important:

"How often can you follow in the footsteps of a legend? At Sherwood Forest, the answer is every day, walking where Robin Hood’s cunning and courage thwarted the Sheriff of Nottingham time and time again. Step back in time with our guided storytelling tours through the forest and its ancient oak trees, each with a remarkable character of its own. Learn to handle a bow and arrow like Robin, Marian and the Merry Men and marvel at the iconic Major Oak (pictured) which sheltered them.

At Sherwood Forest and Budby South Forest today, you’ll find a nature reserve which not only buzzes with mystery and intrigue but also teems with wildlife, from the tiniest invertebrate to majestic birds of prey. Take one or more of our wonderful woodland trails and then dine and shop in our stunning Visitor Centre.

You can find out a whole lot more at or follow us on Facebook and Twitter."

Miner2Major is a landscape partnership scheme supported by National Heritage Lottery Fund, and they also celebrate and have a hand in developing the destination for tourism. We spoke with Charlotte Pratley (Lecturer in Museum Studies) and Steve Little (Miner2Major Scheme Manager) about this famous destination, and they shared some surprising insights:

"Sherwood Forest is known internationally for Robin Hood and the Major Oak but its natural and cultural heritage is much more diverse than many residents and tourists realise. Formed over 200 million years ago, the underlying sandstone of Sherwood reveals its truly ancient nature. This geology informs its rich biodiversity, from rare beetles to one of the highest concentration of ancient oaks in Europe.

Over centuries, people have shaped this landscape to harvest resources, creating the distinctive mosaic of ancient oak and birch wood pasture, heathland and acid grassland, large estate parklands, open arable land and remnants of mining activity you can see today. The might of monarchs and the horrors of war shaped communities and carved up the landscape but power did not only lie with the rulers, the people of Sherwood fought for justice and equality. Inventions and art created in Sherwood Forest, or perhaps inspired by the scenery, such as Hawksley’s water purification, Lovelace’s computing and Byron’s poetry, have changed people’s lives around the world. With every step in Sherwood Forest, you walk the path of those who called this place ‘home’ and add your story to its history."

Need more Robin Hood?

For more inspiration about a true outlaw experience, use our Robin Hood Itinerary and plan your UK staycation or trip to Nottinghamshire today. Or visit our Robin Hood Attractions page to create your own unique getaway in 2022.

This blog was written by Katherine Taylor, Marketing Executive at Visit Nottinghamshire.


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.

Nottingham Castle
Castle / Fort
Nottingham Castle - Visit Nottinghamshire.

Nottingham Castle promises the best day out for all, from history seekers to families wanting an action-packed adventure. Discover more and plan your perfect visit today.

Robin Hood Town Tour
Guided Walk
Robin Hood Town Tour Ezekial Bone | Visit Nottinghamshire

Now is your chance to see the sights, hear the stories and explore this cultural capital with Robin Hood as your tour guide to Nottingham.

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Nottingham

Situated at the foot of Nottingham Castle and nestled in the sandstone cliff rock, Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem is England's oldest inn and a landmark of Nottingham history.

National Justice Museum
National Justice Museum | Nottingham

Meet amazing, costumed characters from Nottingham's history in our Grade II* listed, Shire Hall. Explore the Victorian Courtroom, Georgian gaol, and ancient cells - all spread over five fascinating floors.

Major Oak by Lucy Hodson

Edwinstowe is an historic village in the heart of Sherwood Forest, the home of Robin Hood. Legend has it that it was here, at the beautiful medieval church of St Mary, that Robin married Maid Marian. The High Street is home to a statue in their honour.

Robin Hood Statue
Historic Site
Robin Hood Statue | Visit Nottinghamshire

An iconic Nottingham landmark, join the hundreds of celebrities and visitors who have had their photo taken at the famous Robin Hood statue at Nottingham Castle.

St Mary's Church Edwinstowe
Church / Chapel
St Mary's Church Edwinstowe


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