I took a day trip with a friend on Saturday to Nottingham and Sherwood Forest! These two places have been on my travel list for years now, but I could never find the right time to go.
In preparation for this trip, I re-watched some of my favorite Robin Hood movies. First, I watched “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” because that movie always makes me laugh, no matter how many times I’ve seen it! Next was “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” with Kevin Costner, Alan Rickman, and Morgan Freeman. It made me really miss Alan Rickman…Lastly, I watched my absolute favorite, the Disney version! I downloaded the soundtrack and on the three hour bus ride to Sherwood Forest I pretty much played the same three songs on repeat!
Sherwood Forest was our first stop! We only had about forty five minutes (the problem with these scheduled tours is I never get as much exploring time as I’d like), and in that time we walked through the visitor’s center and the Disney-esque exhibit, which walked us through the legendary tale.
Next, we hustled through the woods and down the trail to see the Major Oak tree. It was HUGE! According to local legend, this tree was Robin Hood’s shelter where he and his merry men slept while hiding from the Sheriff of Nottingham (who for me will always be Alan Rickman). The tree is estimated to be between 800-1,000 years old! It is so big that its branches need to be supported by scaffolding.
We made it back to the bus just in time for it to begin pouring rain, with a little bit of hail thrown in there.
The city of Nottingham was over an hour away, which I was not expecting! I had assumed that the forest was right on the edge of town, and maybe it had been hundreds of years ago and deforestation really hit this place hard?? I have no idea, but it really made me appreciate the legend a bit more. If it took over an hour to get to the city going 60+ mph, I can only imagine how long it took them walking and riding on horseback!
We reached Nottingham around 3pm, our first stop was to Nottingham Castle! I am a sucker for castles, in case you couldn’t tell…
Sadly, the original castle (which would have been very, very old) was torn down, and what is left is a museum built in the late 1800s. The “castle” sits on the top of “Castle Rock,” and looms over the city. It gave me a great view of Nottingham, which is much bigger than I had expected.
After exploring the castle grounds, we were starving! We wandered around town looking for a pub to grab lunch, but since it was a Saturday, everywhere was packed! We had to settle for Jamie Oliver’s, which was a bit disappointing since I try not to eat at chain restaurants when I travel, but the food was so delicious that I ended up not minding!
After lunch we wandered around town a little, and decided to head back to the museum. Unfortunately, they closed as soon as we got there.
It began to rain, so we popped next door to the Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem pub. It’s the oldest inn in England (some argue the world), dating back to 1189 AD!
We grabbed a pint and sat in the outdoor garden, which luckily was covered.
It began raining so hard, and eventually turned to hail.
We stayed there for the remaining hour, and then made the three hour bus trip back to London.