Robin Hood Festival 2017

31 July to 6 August 2017 in Sherwood Forest Country Park

  • free entry
  • £5 car parking charge.

Events programme: What’s happening and where

Download the daily events guide

Activities take place at two main locations in Sherwood Forest Country Park:

  • Visitor Centre
  • Major Oak (10 to 15 minutes walk
    from the Visitor Centre)

Please note: There will be no jousting or falconry displays at this year’s festival. This is due to the building works taking place on site for the new Visitor Centre. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Children’s Outdoor Theatre performances take place daily throughout the day. Entry to the theatre includes a small charge.

Download our pre-bookable events guide.

Certain activities are subject to weather conditions. If you are travelling any distance, contact us to check ahead: 01623 823202.

Visitor Information

Car parking

  • cars: £5 for the day, including blue badge holders.
  • coaches and minibuses with over 12 seats: Free
  • motorcycle charge: £1.
  • Please follow signage rather than sat nav as road closures will be in place.

Car parking is limited and the festival is very popular. Consider using public transport or car-sharing if you can.

What should I wear?

This is an outdoor event, so come ready for our unpredictable English climate! Consider bringing with you:

  • umbrella
  • waterproof coat
  • pair of wellies
  • suncream and sunhats

Comfortable shoes are advisable as paths are uneven in places and much of the action takes place in woodland and grassy areas.

Smokefree Summer

Smokefree Summer logo

We are supporting Smokefree Summer as part of this year’s festival.

Smokefree Summer aims to make children’s and family events smokefree across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.  This means asking smokers not to light up in front of children.

Why is there a Smokefree Summer?

  • to provide positive smokefree role models for children and young people
  • reduce their exposure to smoking so it’s not seen as a ‘normal’ activity
  • increase the number of designated outdoor smokefree areas across Nottinghamshire to de-normalise smoking for adults
  • reduce the environmental and financial impact of littering of cigarette butts and packets.
  • empower parents and carers to speak up and be more vocal about not wanting their children to be around smoking.


Food and drink

  • The Forest Table  is open from 10am to 5pm, as well as catering stalls around the park
  • there are also various picnic areas around the site
  • strictly no BBQs in the home of the oaks!


On-site public toilets are available at the Visitor Centre only. No toilets are available at the Major Oak.

Cash machine

There are no cashpoints in the forest. Our indoor shop and catering outlets accept credit and debit cards but can’t give cashback.

There are two cashpoints in the village of Edwinstowe, which is a 15 minute (approx.) walk from Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre.


Because of the loud noises and crowds many dogs may find the event stressful. You are advised to leave them at home.

If you do bring your dog it must be kept on a lead at all times. You must clean up after them

Dogs must not be left in your vehicle.

Scooter Hire

For people who have limited mobility, scooter hire is available through Professional Mobility. The charge is £20 per day and proof of ID is required on collection.

For more information please call Professional Mobility on:

  • freephone: 0800 6335711
  • mobile: 07989 680034
  • mobile: 07941 970911.

Getting here

By bus

Sherwood Arrow (Nottingham to Worksop or Retford via New Ollerton) stops near to the end of the main drive.

Buses do not call at the Visitor Centre during the festival week because of a road closure. Passengers will be dropped in Edwinstowe Village, which is approximately a 10 minute walk from the Visitor Centre.

Coaches and tours

Coach parking is limited and allocated on a first come first served basis.

Charlie Peace – His Amazing Life and Astounding Legend

Price: £14.99 available now from Five Leaves Bookshop

Charlie Peace – His Amazing Life and Astounding Legend charts the evolution of a Victorian master burglar and murderer from truth to myth. The book begins with the way his crimes were reported in The Illustrated Police News before examining the growth of the legend in Penny Dreadfuls and ballads, before this criminal was uniquely transformed into a folk hero in popular theatre, waxwork shows, early cinema, music hall song and even comics.

The book will appeal to anyone interested in True Crime, 19th century literature, theatre and film history and popular culture. It contains kaleidoscopic extracts from rare and neglected sources and is heavily illustrated throughout.

Michael Eaton is a Nottingham-born playwright and scriptwriter. He is best known for his television docudrama scripts, including Shipman, Why Lockerbie and Shoot to Kill, and for writing the feature film Fellow Traveller (1989), which won best screenplay in the British Film Awards. In recent years, he has become known for stage plays (including a play about Charlie Peace in 2013) and his radio dramas for the BBC

Five Leaves is a small publisher based in Nottingham, publishing 15 or so books a year. Our roots are radical and literary. These days our main areas of interest are fiction and poetry, social history, Jewish secular culture, with side orders of Romani, young adult, Catalan and crime fiction titles. You can find our latest and forthcoming books below, backlist section by section, and order books through a secure site run by Inpress. Our books are also available from bookshops and internet sites including The Book Depository and Amazon. If in London, you will find most of our books in stock at Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, five minutes from Kings Cross

Nottingham Castle Cave Tours

12pm, 1pm, 2pm & 3pm
Taking place everyday when the castle is open

The complex network of caves hidden beneath Nottingham’s streets have had a firm influence on the fabric of the city’s history. Naturally, some of the most dramatic and well-preserved tales were based around the castle quarter, and this fascinating tour lets you in on all the secrets whilst exploring behind the scenes areas of Nottingham Castle. Take a tour to experience the caves for yourself, learning on the way the gruesome tales of Roger Mortimer, King David II of Scotland or you may be able to take a tour with Robin Hood himself…
With some of the caves dating back to medieval times, the tour is strenuous with LOTS of steep steps. However, for those who wish to descend through hundreds of years the tour is a must.
Tours last for approximately 30-40 minutes.

Costs £5 per person plus normal Castle entry fee!

Discover Your Nottingham with Chris Weir

Did you know Nottingham was once divided into a French and English Borough? Or that Nottingham once had a Blowbladder Street!? Local Historian and author Chris Weir will peel back the layers of history to reveal how Nottingham’s past has influenced the present and along the way we will discover characters like the firebrand Fergus O’Connor who was guaranteed to stir up the crowds in the Market Place in support of Chartism. Using maps, old photographs and the ‘gentle art’ of walking the group will explore Nottingham’s urban explosion. Including how the Lace Market developed, the fight for parks and gardens, the growth of the city’s inner suburbs, like Forest Fields…… and how the people of Nottingham fell in love with shopping and having a bit of fun!

  • Talk/Workshop: Thursday 7th September 2017 6:30 – 8:30pm at THINK, Cobden Chambers, Pelham Street, Nottingham NG1 2ED How Nottingham developed from a medieval settlement to a modern city. Fee – £6.00 (All fees non-refundable, all payable in advance).
  • Heritage Walk 1: (Old Market Square to Sneinton Market): Saturday 23rd September 2017 10:30am – 12:30pm Meet at the Left Lion, Old Market Square, Nottingham. A Walking tour to Sneinton Market, visiting Hockley, the first Boots Store, Victoria Baths, Victoria Park. The Board School, William Booth Memorial Hall. Returning to Market Square. (1.5 Miles) Fee – £5.00
  • Heritage Walk 2: (The Forest and Forest Fields): Sunday 29th October 2017 10:30am – 12:30pm Meet in front of the Forest Pavilion. Discover how the Forest became home for horse racing, cricket and suffragette protests and how the streets and industries of Forest Fields developed. (1.5 miles) Fee – £5.00 Students can book any and all of these

Fees for any further talks/workshops and series of heritage walks will be at the usual WEA rates (£3.85/hour). Interested? Then send your fees, indicating for which you are booking, and contact details to WEA Nottingham Branch, 39 Mapperley Road, Nottingham NG3 5AQ. Please make cheques payable to: WEA Nottingham Branch.

Tel: 01949 837 566


Further information at –

Students are responsible for their own safety when on the Heritage walks

Edwinstowe Historical Society: Launch Event for New Website and Opening of Archive Office

Chairperson Shirley Moore preparing for the event

Edwinstowe Historical Society received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2015. The grant has been used create an archive of the many photographs and documents which the society holds, digitize them and create a website which is accessible to anyone interested in the history of  Edwinstowe and the surrounding area.

The event was held on Saturday 8th July at Edwinstowe House. There was a comprehensive display of photographs and maps, films of the Lantern Parade and the Pageant were shown and the website homepage was projected onto a screen.

Shirley speaking at the event

A short speech was given by, Shirley Moore, the Chairperson of the society. She thanked the people who had worked and helped to achieve the aims of the project and outlined how the grant had been spent.  She was presented with a gift to show appreciation and to thank her for all her efforts in obtaining the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and co-ordinating the project.

The archive office is at Edwinstowe House, in a room kindly provided by Woodhead Enterprise Group.

Members of the Woodhead family with Chairperson and Committee Members

Mrs. Margaret Woodhead (on the left) is a founding member of Edwinstowe Historical Society. Standing at the back are Tom Woodhead Business Services Manager and David Woodhead, Managing Director of the Woodhead Enterprise Group Limited.

The website is in the development stage, but there are interesting pictures and articles on it.

The web address is:

The next meeting of Edwinstowe Historical Society will be on 20th September, 2017. The subject of ‘Wartime Nottinghamshire’ will be presented by Howard Heeley. Meetings are from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. Refreshments will be available.

For more information contact: Shirley Moore tel. no. 01623 822264.



Lido to Lakeside 1924 to 1992

We’re making a splash this summer celebrating 25 years of Nottingham Lakeside Arts. In a special installation, the Djanogly Gallery will be reimagined as the old Highfields Park Lido. Commissioned digital artist Barret Hodgson invites visitors to take a unique and interactive dip through the decades, from the opening of the Lido in 1924, through to its final season in 1980, and on to the opening of the Djanogly Gallery in 1992. The two week installation is an immersive, and at times interactive, 25 minute experience for everyone to enjoy, inspired by memories and images of Highfields Lido, and featuring highlights of exhibitions from the Djanogly Gallery from the last 25 years.

Come on in, the water’s lovely!

Highfields Lido was one of the many gifts Sir Jesse Boot made to the city of Nottingham. When it opened in August 1924 it was the largest inland open-air swimming pool in the country. It remained a prominent feature of Highfields Park until the City Council closed the space after its summer season in 1980. Eventually the Lido was demolished and the site acquired by the University of Nottingham.

In 1992, the Djanogly Gallery and Angear Visitor Centre opened to the public, and in 1994 the adjacent School of Music and Djanogly Recital Hall opened, completing the first stage of the arts centre. In 2001, the Pavilion, including the Djanogly Theatre, was opened, and in 2011 the galleries were expanded and the University Museum relocated to Lakeside.

Today almost 200,000 visitors annually attend and participate in events at Lakeside Arts as part of the University of Nottingham’s public arts programme. We hope Sir Jesse Boot would be proud.

We’d be delighted to hear your memories of the Highfields Lido – join us at #LidoLakeside to reminisce and share.

Saturday 17 June – Sunday 2 July
Djanogly Gallery
Open Tuesday-Sunday (Closed on Mondays)
Suitable for all. Timed entry tickets £3
Running time: approx. 25 minutes.
Lido to Lakeside will run up to 8 times daily* (*closed on Mondays)

Showing Times

Saturday 17 June
11.30am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.15pm, 3.30pm, 4.15pm

Sunday 18 June
12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.15pm, 3.30pm, 4.15pm

Tuesday 20 June
12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.15pm, 3.30pm, 4.15pm

Wednesday 21 June
11.30am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.15pm, 3.30pm, 4.15pm, 6.30pm, 7.15pm

Thurday 22 – Saturday 24 June
11.30am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.15pm, 3.30pm, 4.15pm

Sunday 25 June
12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.15pm, 3.30pm, 4.15pm

Tuesday 27 June
11.30am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.15pm, 3.30pm, 4.15pm 

Wednesday 28 June
11.30am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.15pm, 3.30pm, 4.15pm, 6.30pm, 7.15pm

Thursday 29 June – Saturday 1 July
11.30am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.15pm, 3.30pm, 4.15pm

Sunday 2 July
1.30pm, 2.15pm, 3.30pm, 4.15pm

All proceeds go to the University of Nottingham’s Life Cycle 7 charitable cause – Children’s Brain Tumour Research.
Book tickets via the link or call our box office team on 0115 846 7777

Pit Talk by Dr Natalie Braber

Revealed: The lost language of Nottinghamshire’s miners

Dr Natalie Braber with her new book Pit Talk

Dr Natalie Braber with her new book Pit Talk

Do you get confused between your elephant’s tab and your banjo?

If you do, you’re not alone because those are just two of the huge array of secretive slang words miners in Notts used to use while down the pit.

But with the decline of mining as an industry, the language is also in danger of becoming lost.

So Dr Natalie Braber, a linguistics specialist at Nottingham Trent University came up with the idea to create a part-dictionary part-anecdotal book to try and preserve the words.

Natalie, of East Bridgford, interviewed more than 50 miners from Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and Leicestershire to try and understand the huge variety of miners’ language in the East Midlands.

The 41-year-old said: “I found they had funny ways of saying things; like elephant’s tab would mean a big shovel, and powder monkey was a miner who carried the explosives. There are just so many different words and no one knows what they are or mean anymore.

“There are different coal fields all over the East Midlands and that is reflected in the vocabulary as some phrases are more regional – there are a lot more differences than I thought there would be.

“This is because miners moved around a lot so some used words others had never heard of before.”

Pit Talk was launched in Waterstones on June 9, and is suitable for people of any age – it is not an academic book.

She added: “The funny thing is I went to visit heritage groups who are preserving the physical things like shovels and lights, but they aren’t preserving the language and we should be, as it’s such a big part of our heritage.

Bus Tours on a Budget Success by Robert Howard

For the past ten years Sheila and Ken Robinson have been organising and managing an annual programme of mini-bus tours for the Hucknall Tourism & Regeneration Group (HT&RG), which was founded in 2002. For 2017 they have arranged no less than seven different tours on twenty dates.

Laura Simpson, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Senior Practitioner in Heritage Tourism had the brilliant idea of asking Sheila and Ken to run a training day, ‘How to run a heritage bus tour on a budget’, which took place on 16 June 2017. A group of some twelve interested individuals, at least four of whom found their way to the day via the NLHA Newsletter (myself included). Two attendees came from Derby, such was the interest. None of us left disappointed.

The morning was spent in the Dynamo House at Bestwood Country Park, where Laura did a presentation on Heritage Tourism in Nottinghamshire, which included information about the national scene as well. The county focus is on a collection of ‘themes’, including ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ (industrial history), ‘Rebellion and Freedom’ (dissent and liberty), ‘With Brush and Pen’ (literary and artistic heritage) and ‘Our Sporting Life’ (sporting heritage).

The recession has resulted in the way we take breaks and holidays changing. More of us now stay with friends and family than in hotels or self-catering, and from the nodding heads I guessed it was a fact most of those present could relate to. Another one of the many interesting points made by Laura which caught my attention was a reference to ‘visitors’ (not ‘tourists’) who ‘come in pursuit of the real’. These are people who want to visit local pubs, sporting events, maybe ride on a bus.

There was much in Laura’s presentation to hold the attention of local historians with an interest in reaching a wider audience, and as Sheila and Ken demonstrated with their presentation, you don’t have to have a museum or historic building. Organising walks is an obvious activity, but with the help of a mini-bus you can do much more. Sheila took us  through all the things you have to think about and plan for: funding (including sponsorship); costs (including insurance); routes (including duration); advertising ; Booking methods and the day of the tour itself — of which we had a perfect example after a sandwich lunch, when Sheila and Ken took us a Byron inspired tour from Bestwood to Annesley, Newstead Abbey, Hucknall, before returning to Bestwood, where we ended the day with a general discussion and muffins!

I went home mightily impressed by the enterprise of Sheila and Ken and thinking about the opportunities that exist for local historians everywhere to follow their example. I should point out that HT&RG does not duplicate existing bus routes or compete with them in any way. They fill up their 14 seat mini-buses quickly and they offered many tips on how to raise money from local businesses, especially people selling bathrooms and kitchens!

Among the pieces of paper we left with was a County Council Risk Assessment Record prepared for the training day. A useful document some might too easily dismiss as unnecessary. I found it quite the reverse. Laura’s enthusiasm also helped the day go well, as she made her way around the group talking to participants about their interests and reasons for attending.

I can see this training being organised again and when it is, book a place. You won’t be disappointed.

Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group website:

Riverside Parishes Churches Open Weekend 8 and 9 JULY 2017

All of the churches will be open from 10am until 4pm on Saturday and from 10.00 am until 3.30pm on Sunday; please note that there will be a service in South Muskham church starting at 9.30 am; everyone is most welcome to join in our worship.

The week end will finish on Sunday with a Songs of Praise in St. Michael and All Angels church, Averham at 4.30pm when we will sing favourite hymns and be entertained by other ‘acts’!

St. Wilfrid Kelham: Visitors will be able to follow the footsteps of their predecessors to discover the interesting and unusual features of the building. There will be a display of photographs and artefacts to explain some of the church’s history, current work and aspirations for the future.


St. Michael and All Angels Averham: Information leaflets for both adult visitors and children will be available to guide you around this lovely grade one listed church. Historical registers obtained from the County Archives will be on display.


St. Wilfrid North Muskham: Come and learn about the history of the church over the past 900 years.


St. Wilfrid South Muskham: A murdered priest; mysterious voices in the Chancel; crabs though many miles from the sea; a door said to have been damaged in the Civil War; a grand service to celebrate Victorian refurbishment following great storms: learn more of these and many other interesting facts as you walk around our beautiful church. There will be simple crafts for visiting children and refreshments on the ‘house’/church.

Nottingham Industrial Museum and the Black Boy Hotel

(Picture credit: Nottingham City Council)

Nottingham Industrial Museum is pleased to announce the launch of a new exhibition by researcher Richard Upton detailing the history of the well-loved, but long demolished Black Boy Hotel.

Open at weekends (including Bank Holiday Monday) throughout August, the exhibition will give a detailed history including architects plans, photographs and a carefully reconstructed scale model of Fothergill’s glorious building.

Located on Long Row in the City Centre, the Black Boy Hotel was rebuilt on the site of a 17th century inn in the late 1880s by renowned local architect Watson Fothergill. Credited as having had a great impact on the architecture of Nottingham, Fothergill designed over a hundred buildings in the city, from offices, banks and warehouses, to churches and private dwelling houses. His easily recognisable style includes the use of contrasting horizontal bands of red and blue brick, dark timber eaves and balconies, and elaborate turrets and stone carving.

The Black Boy Hotel was described in the 1939 Official Guide to Nottingham as being “established centuries ago as a posting house, by judicious planning and reconstruction it has been transformed into one of the most up-to-date hostelries in the Midlands. There are 90 bedrooms all fitted with hot and cold running water, and several bedrooms have communicating private bathroom and toilet accommodation. Self-contained suites are also available. The hotel is centrally heated and all floors are served by electric lifts. The Black Boy enjoys an unrivalled reputation for its catering and has excellent accommodation for banquets, balls and social functions of all kinds…There is a gentlemen’s hairdressing saloon, on the premises”.

The building survived until 1970 when it was demolished amidst great public outcry and sadness to make way for a new building which was occupied by Littlewoods, and more recently Primark. This new modernist build is in stark contrast to Fothergill’s easily identifiable style.

Private weekday group tours of the museum and the exhibition are available to pre-book for specialist interest groups and local history societies – please email for more information.

Entrance to the exhibition is included as part of the normal Museum entry charge and of course the museum and all its galleries and displays are open as usual.

Normal Wollaton Hall and Deer Park car parking charges apply.

Wheelchair and pram access throughout the museum (apart from the upper observation decks in the Steam Hall).