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What it's like

It would be fair to say that most people associate Nottinghamshire with the Legend of Robin Hood and his traditional home in Sherwood Forest.  It would also be true to say that the ancient woodland found there is a major pull for walkers who visit the region.

In the past Sherwood Forest covered most of the county, now only a small portion of the original vast woodland still survives but includes the magnificent ‘Major Oak’ when Robin is reputed to have hid and asked Marion to marry him.

Sherwood is a delightful place to ramble with a great path network and well geared up for visitors.  But putting this aside you have a flattish county (with odd hilly bits) offering a network of footpaths that take you across ancient field systems and along rivers and canals. The walker is well catered for here with numerous footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways as well as access land to help him explore.

The Chesterfield and the Grantham Canal are very popular and the county has two long distance footpaths – The Robin Hood Way (an 88 mile route that zigzags through the county) and The Trent Valley Way.  Then there is Greenwood Community Forest, various parks and nature reserves and a lot of walks that explore areas close to the major towns. 

The highest point in the county is a restored colliery spoil tip at Silverhill which says much for the regions coal heritage but the regions natural high point is at Strawberry Bank, Huthwaite.

Take your pick – geographically they are quite close to each other and it’s not worth the debate over which should be classed as the official ‘top’.  There is far too much else to do here to worry about things like that.

Recommended routes

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  • Sherwood Forest Must include a visit to ‘The Major Oak’. An area full of routes and best started from Edwinstowe. Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre on 01623 823202
  • The West Leake Hills Only small hills in a nationwide context but delightful walking above West Leake Village with views over Nottingham and surrounding countryside.
  • Rufford Abbey and the County Park Easy walking near to Sherwood Forest with woodland, a lake and the Abbey and craft centre.
  • Grantham Canal Popular in all parts with many good tracks for wheelchair users. An atmospheric canal that provides popular walking in the county.

Must see and do

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  • Sherwood Forest Home of the legendary Robin Hood and also home to well laid out walks and a great visitor centre. Visitor Centre on 01623 823202
  • City Of Caves, Nottingham A manmade sandstone cave system underneath the city of Nottingham. Fascinating insight into how the locals used this subterranean system over the centuries. 0115 9881955 www.cityofcaves.com  
  • Cresswell Crags A limestone gorge riddled with caves and fissures and home to a museum and education centre. 01909 720378www.creswell-crags.org.uk
  • Nottingham Castle Fascinating castle with a history of murders, sieges and intrigue and part of an equally lovely city. 0115 9153670 www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/museums

Walker friendly accommodation

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Major calendar events

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Robin Hood Festival
28th July – 3rd August 2008
Not a walking festival as such but based in and around the Sherwood Forest Country Park so plenty of opportunities to explore and learn about the famous outlaw.

Local gear shops

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Useful contacts

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Worksop Tourist Information

Contact number for Worksop's TIC

Tel: 01909 501148

Retford Tourist Information

Contact number for Retford's TIC

Tel: 01777 860780

Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre

Contact number for Sherwood Forest's TIC

Tel: 01623 823202

Robin Hood Way

Website containing information from the Robin Hood Way Association


Visit Nottingham

Nottingham's official tourism site


Nottinghamshire Information

Nottinghamshire County Council website


Nottingham Tourist Centre

Contact number for Nottingham's TIC

Tel: 08444 775678

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