Searching for Robin Hood

 

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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!

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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.

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At the end of the exhibit, they have a wall filled with all the old posters of Robin Hood movies. There are so many!

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The story of Little John and Robin Hood’s first meeting, where Robin has to fight Little John in order to cross the bridge to the other side of the river

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Statues of Robin Hood were all over the Forest and the city of Nottingham – I was happy at the touristy-ness of it, because it gave me plenty of chances to geek out!

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.

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The Major Oak tree, estimated to be between 800-1,000 years old

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…

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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.

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High at the top of Castle Rock, which gave a fantastic view of the city! Although, it was definitely a long hike up to the top!

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I loved the entryway to the winding path to the castle. It made me feel like I was about to find the Secret Garden

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These are part of the caves, but we didn’t have time to go on this tour

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Another Robin Hood statue, another opportunity to geek out

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!

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Passed this architectural gem while wandering about

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.

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Museums of Nottingham

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!

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Can you see the castle in the background?

We grabbed a pint and sat in the outdoor garden, which luckily was covered.

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It began raining so hard, and eventually turned to hail.

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Moments before the hail began to attack

We stayed there for the remaining hour, and then made the three hour bus trip back to London.

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Went searching for Robin Hood…..found him!

 

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