The ‘TimeTraveler’s Guide’ to Robin Hood’s Nottinghamshire, by Stephen M. Davis (TimeTraveler Press) includes a detailed itinerary you can follow in your search for sites related to Robin Hood and his merry men. The book doesn’t include every piece in the puzzle, and it has some misleading directions, but overall, it is a useful companion to accompany you on your quest.
Trains run frequently from London’s St. Pancras Street Station to Nottingham; however, a car is necessary to visit the locations outside the city. Nottingham is located just off the M1 Motorway, about two hours north of London. Papplewick is a short drive north of Nottingham on the A60, then west on the B6011. Friar Tuck’s Trail is on the A60 one-half mile north of the B6020 intersection. To reach Blidworth, return to the B6020 and head east for two miles. Perhaps you’ll have better luck finding King John’s Palace; stay on the B6020 as it turns north, and then head toward Mansfield on the A617. Before you reach the town centre, turn right onto the B6030 toward Old Clipstone. Just before the village, next to a pub, is a field where the ruined palace is located. To reach Edwinstowe, follow the B6030 for two miles till you reach the B6034, then turn left and go one mile to the village of Edwinstowe and the Sherwood Forest Country Park.
Nottingham and Edwinstowe are the best spots on this tour for overnight stays. The Cotswold Hotel in Nottingham is a family-run hotel with a good restaurant and a lovely garden. Double rooms start at £35, including bed and breakfast. Tel: 0115 955 1070. The Rutland Square is located in the city centre near the castle, and offers bed and breakfast accommodation for £58. Tel: 0115 941 1114. For a more historic night’s lodging, try Risley Hall, located about 15 minutes west of Nottingham. Set in a park-like estate with a swimming pool, the hotel’s main building is almost as old as the Robin Hood legend. Rooms start at £85 for bed and breakfast. Tel: 0115 939 9000. In Edwinstowe, the Friars Lodge Guest House is a short distance from Sherwood Forest. Rooms start at only £18. Tel: 01623 823405.
Tales of Robin Hood, in Nottingham, is a multimedia journey back to the days of Robin and his men. Tel: 0115 9483284. The Sheriff’s Lodge offers medieval banquets complete with minstrels, jugglers and jesters, on Friday and Saturday nights. Tel: 0115 9240088. In October, the Robin Hood Pageant is held at Nottingham Castle and features crafts, entertainment, and jousts. In July or August, a Robin Hood Festival is held at the Sherwood Forest Visitors Centre. This celebration, held this year from 31st July to 2nd August, is intended for the entire family and features jousting, archery displays, jesters, jugglers, and storytellers. Tel: 01623 824490.
The vicinity of Nottingham also boasts a number of important literary associations. The D. H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum lies just a few miles north-west of the city, in Eastwood. Tel: 01773 763312. Newstead Abbey, the ancestral home of Lord Byron’s family, lies north of the city off of the A60 road, and houses many mementoes of the writer. Tel: 01623 793557.
FOR MORE INFORMATION on the Nottingham area, contact the Nottingham Tourist Information Centre, 1-4 Smith Row, Nottingham NG1 2BY. Tel: 0115 947 0661. Or contact the Sherwood Forest Vistor Centre, Edwinstowe, near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire NG21 9HN. Tel: 01623 824490.