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Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, NG21 9HN
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Tel01623 824643

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Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre

About

Legendary home of Robin Hood and an awe inspiring nature reserve of ancient oak trees

Once part of a royal hunting forest, Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve covers 450 acres and incorporates some truly ancient areas of native woodland where slender birch trees grow alongside more than one thousand veteran oaks, most of which are over 500 years old.

The largest and most famous of these is the Major Oak - known throughout the world as the hideout of Sherwood's legendary hero Robin Hood.

A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Nottinghamshire's first National Nature Reserve (NNR), the forest is also home to a wide variety of flora and fauna that live on the dead wood and among the fallen leaves.

You’ll find plenty to experience at Sherwood, whether you’re here for the day or a shorter stay. Here’s everything you’ll need to know to make the most of your time in this magical place...


Read Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre's blog here!
 

Welcome Area & Visitor Centre

On arrival in the welcome area, you’ll find all you need to fuel your day out. There’s lots to see and learn here, from the wonderful wildlife that makes its home in Sherwood Forest, to the legend of Robin Hood and his infamous gang of outlaws.

Many visitors choose to go-it-alone and head off to see what they can find – but if you want some inspiration, pick up a trail guide – whether you’re inspired by the great oaks or on the hunt for Robin Hood, find the trail which best suits. Whichever you choose, there’s lots to find out about the wonderful wildlife, legends and oak trees which fill the forest.

Families can also hire fun backpacks for their youngsters to help them enjoy a number of different activities, depending on the season. Speak to staff in the welcome area to get one.

The Visitor Centre is the best place to start your journey. Brand new for summer 2018, the centre has been built by the RSPB and designed to provide a warm and welcoming gateway to Sherwood’s legendary landscape, and help to inspire the 350,000 annual visitors to enjoy and celebrate the forest’s rich and diverse woodland, wildlife and heritage.

It’s home to the on-site café, where you’ll find freshly made produce, from sandwiches and jacket potatoes, to homemade pies, or children’s take-out picnic boxes for any young adventurers too eager to wait.

There’s the Sherwood Shop with something for every budget – including pocket money shoppers – and gifts for all tastes and occasions. The place to pick up your Robin Hood and Sherwood mementos, as well as items from the RSPB range. And the toilet facilities are here too, with a Changing Places facility for users with disabilities, and their carers.

Grab refreshments and head out to the amphitheatre whilst you plan your next move, or let the children explore the exciting Robin Hood play area before you begin your forest adventure. From here, Sherwood Forest is yours to explore…

The visitor centre is open 10am – 5pm from March to October, and 10am – 4:30pm from November to the end of February.

If you are interested in finding out about becoming an RSPB member, and helping protect and care for this special forest, you can ask any of the staff members around the site. Benefits include not just free parking at Sherwood, but more than 200 reserves around the country.
 

Things to do

There’s no end to the adventures waiting to be had, and every path will offer up a little magic…that’s why many visitors go their own way. But the trail guides have something suitable for all ages, abilities and interests, and are perfect if you want to leave less to chance. Don’t forget to pick up a printed guide in the visitor centre before you set off.

And there’s always events going on! Time your visit to take in a seasonal guided tour or walk, learn some archery skills, or look out for daily activities board on arrival, to see what the wardens are up to today. You can learn more about how the RSPB are working to manage and sustain the forest, and sometimes, there’ll be the chance to have-a-go yourself!

Don't forget to check out the Robin Hood Festival, now in its 34th year! Each summer, this week long festival transports you back to the time of Robin Hood, with storytelling, medieval music and performances each day. You can also get involved in nature related activities organised by the RSPB, plus things like pony rides, archery, crafts, and check out scuffles between Robin and the Sheriff! Please check the listing for what is happening this year.

The historic village of Edwinstowe is close at hand too, plus a craft centre just across the square from our visitor centre. Walk around the village and you’ll uncover dozens of places which also play a part in the story of Sherwood, such as the nearby St Mary’s Church, which famously lays claim to hosting Robin and Marian’s wedding.
 

Accessibility

Sherwood Forest is an accessible environment for everyone, with wheelchair friendly trails and a fully accessible visitor centre. The visitor centre, shops and restaurants are all fully accessible for wheelchairs. A number of paths, such as the Major Oak path, are accessible to wheelchairs, but the oak is approximately half a mile from the visitor centre and there are some slight gradients along the way. 

As well as disabled toilets, we also have a large Changing Places facility at the visitor centre, which includes a hoist, shower, toilet and changing facilities for the comfort of our disabled users and their carers. Most standard disabled toilets are not big enough to cater for people who may need their carer’s assistance. This will be opening at the end of August 2018. Please call ahead to check if you are visiting before September 2018.
 

Dogs

Please keep dogs on lead around the visitor centre and under close control at all times. They need to be on leads in some areas of the forest to protect vulnerable wildlife such as ground-nesting birds, or where there are cattle grazing. Please look out for signs telling you where these areas are.

At some park events (for example, bird-watching walks), dogs aren't allowed. If in doubt, please contact the visitor centre.
 

How to get there

Local transport:

The Sherwood Arrow service runs hourly from Victoria bus station in Nottingham and stops outside the new visitor centre.  The direct journey takes around an hour. For up to date information check here www.bustimes.org.

The nearest train stations are at Shirebrook (6 miles) Mansfield Woodhouse (6.5 miles) and Mansfield (7 miles).  These are all served by the Robin Hood line, operated by East Midlands Trains and you can find timetables here www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk

Arriving by car and parking

You’ll find ample parking available at Sherwood in the main car park, just across the road from the visitor centre. The car park is accessed via the entrance on the B6034, and it’s open from 10am – 5pm in summer and 10am – 4.30pm in winter. Park up and follow the signs across the road and on to Forest Corner, where you’ll catch your first glimpse of the visitor centre through the trees.

Parking costs £4 for non-members, and is chargeable for anything up to a full day, and is free for RSPB members.

Being an RSPB member also allows you free parking and entry to 170 other reserves across the country, as well as supporting their vital work to give nature a home. 

Accessible parking for any visitors with disabilities is available adjacent to the new centre.

Guide Prices

Entry is completely free. Parking costs £4 for non-members, and is chargeable for anything up to a full day, and is free for RSPB members.

Map & Directions

Facilities

Other

  • Dogs Accepted
  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Max group size - 50
  • Min group size - 0
  • On-Site café/restaurant - Refreshments available. Restaurant (over 50 covers)
  • Picnic Site
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors

Parking & Transport

  • On site parking - For more information on parking, please see main body of text above.

Venue Facilities

  • Shop

Opening Times

Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre (1 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2018)

* Spring/summer opening times:
10am - 5pm everyday.

Please note: As this is an outdoor attraction, on rare occasions the park may be closed due to severe weather such as high wind..

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