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Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre & National Nature Reserve

Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre and National Nature Reserve, Forest Corner, Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, NG21 9RN

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Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre & National Nature Reserve

About

Sherwood Forest is a landmark thousands of years in the making, alive with nature, history and folklore, all waiting to be explored! 

It is known the world-over as the home of Robin Hood, and packed with stories, from the ancient oaks to the country’s most famous outlaw, and the work of the RSPB and their partners.

It is also a National Nature Reserve - a place to play, discover and leave with tales of your own, inspired by 420 hectares of beautiful, precious, unique woodland.

Things to do

A new visitor centre opened in 2018, managed by the RSPB and their partners on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council, heralding a new era for the forest and its very special collection of ancient oak trees and wildlife.

From the popular Robin Hood Festival, which attracts visitors from around the world to learning about woodland crafts or the rich history of Sherwood and Edwinstowe to finding out about the conservation work being done here, here something at Sherwood for all interests.

During holiday periods, there are guides in traditional medieval costumes in the forest, offering information to visitors, each with fantastic knowledge, focused on a range of topics from the diversity of the woodland to the ballads of Robin Hood – their stories are designed to make visits interesting, memorable and fun!

And talking of memorable visits, no trip to Sherwood is complete without seeing the Major Oak. This majestic giant has a canopy spanning 28 metres, a trunk 10m in girth and has watched over this special landscape for a millennium. It is a truly wondrous tree to see in any season. In fact, Sherwood has the finest collection of ancient oaks in Western Europe – that is, aged 400 years or more. These fantastic hollowed spectacles come in an assortment of shapes and sizes.  As well as having been around to see the English Civil War and all that’s happened since, they also provide fantastic homes for hundreds of species – from rare insects to mammals and birds.

Take the Giants Trail, and see how many of these wonderful old trees you can find. There’s trails to suit other interests too, whether you want to walk in Robin Hood’s footsteps or find out more about the wildlife which makes its home at Sherwood – pick up a trail guide in the visitor centre.  Each will go past the Major Oak – just a short fifteen minute walk or so from the new visitor centre.

There’s a host of other walks to do through the forest if you want to go a little further, including the beautiful heathland up at Budby South Forest – speak to the site team or pick up a map to find the best routes to take.

Events are staged throughout the year, and range from learning archery skills, to guided talks and walks and activities themed around Robin Hood, Sherwood history and a host of nature topics. See our website for details of dates, prices and how to book.

Food and drink

The new café offers a host of hot dishes as well as sandwiches, snacks and delicious cakes and a range of hot and cold drinks to enjoy inside or out - seated under our fantastic rooftop canopy, or in our new amphitheatre, with a wall-to-wall view across the forest. You could even get your food and drinks to go, and enjoy a forest picnic with the family.

Shopping and play

As you’d expect, the shop at Sherwood stocks everything you need for a legendary visit to the forest, from toy bows and arrows, to Robin and Marion dressing up costumes and souvenir gifts, t-shirts, books and local produce. There’s also a range of RSPB products.

From here, you can see across to the new Robin Hood-themed play area which includes a look-out post, swings  and rope bridge.  It is built among the trees – just where the legendary outlaw loved to be!

Parking

The new car park is situated along Swinecote Road, just a short walk away from the visitor centre. All-day parking is just £4 for cars, and free for RSPB members, coaches and minibuses. Disabled bays are available adjacent to the new visitor centre.

Accessibility

The new centre is accessible for wheelchair users and there is a lift to get between floors, as well as a ramp on the outside. The forest trails are wide with no steps and surfaced with firm gravel or shale chippings, although they can be muddy in wet weather and some are quite steep in places.

As well as accessible toilets, the new centre also has a Changing Places facility, including a shower, toilet and a hoist for the safety and comfort of visitors who require extra space and equipment.

Robin Hood Festival

Held for a full seven days in August, this popular family event attracts around 40,000 visitors to Sherwood Forest, to see a host of medieval attractions and entertainment, to browse olde world stalls and take part in a range of Robin Hood-themed fun. It’s free to attend (there is an increased car-parking charge for the week, and certain bookable events have a small charge too).

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Entry is completely free. Parking costs £5 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 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)

* Daily from:
10am-4pm until Friday 22nd March 2024
10am-5pm from Saturday 23rd March 2024 – November 2024
Closed Christmas Day. The forest is freely accessible all year round.

Awards

  • Regional and MiscellaneousNottinghamshire Hospitality Stars Awards Winner 2019 Nottinghamshire Hospitality Stars Awards Winner 2019 2019

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