Visitor Parking

Car park locations and times

Our main car park is located on Swinecote Road and has space for more than 250 cars and motorbikes. Our overflow parking area enables us to accommodate 700 vehicles.

There is a separate area for coach and large vehicle parking. Please see the parking charge information below.

The main car park postcode is NG21 9QB. Please be aware that this is also the postcode for the neighbouring residential street, Maythorn Grove.

Its What3Words reference is ///pouch.etchings.wakes

There is also an accessible car park for disabled visitors or those with mobility issues next to the Visitor Centre building on Forest Corner NG21 9RN.


Opening times

Our car park opening times are as follows:

Monday 6th November 2023 – Friday 22nd March 2024: From 9am until 4pm.

Saturday 23rd March 2024 – November 2024: From 9am until 5pm.


Exiting after entry barriers close

After 5pm (4pm in the winter), you will find the entrance barriers to both our car parks locked.

Leaving the main car park 

You will still be able to exit via the alligator tooth ramp in the exit lane at any time.  Overnight parking or camping in the car park is not permitted.

Please do not enter the car park via the exit lane, as this damages the teeth and could also damage your vehicle.

Leaving the accessible car park

You can exit the accessible car park in Forest Corner at any time until 7pm in the summer, as the barrier across the road to the cemetery is locked at that time.

In the winter, you must ensure you depart the accessible car park by 4pm as the cemetery road barrier will be locked then.


Prices and payment for cars and motorbikes

Parking your car or motorbike costs £5 for anything up to a whole day (see below about sheltered parking places for motorbikes). It’s all you pay. There is no admission fee to enter the reserve on foot.

Simply pay at the machines using cash, card or contactless device when you arrive, and display the ticket in your car.

You can also use the PaybyPhone app at anytime during your visit. Our location ID is 806294.

We recommend you use this link to access the website

Alternatively, use the app store on your phone to download the PaybyPhone app.

If you are unable to use the machines or prefer not to use the app, you can always pay for parking in the Visitor Centre shop on arrival.

Please ensure you do pay for parking, as it is the only charge we make and it helps to sustain this wonderful and rare landscape and its wildlife.

Please note that there are certain special event days during the year when parking charges will be higher for all visitors, including RSPB members.

This applies even if you do not intend to watch or partake in those events on those days. The dates when these charges apply are advertised here so that you can plan your visit accordingly.


RSPB Members

If you are an RSPB member, parking is free all year round, except on special event days. You can display your membership card on your dashboard to receive free parking.

If you are a member, but don’t have your card with you, please speak to our team in the shop on arrival and they can verify your membership details.

Becoming an RSPB member also entitles you to free parking at RSPB reserves across the country.

If you are not a member, but would be interested in supporting the work of the RSPB, our membership fundraising team is on site most dayd and can talk to you about the benefits of membership, including free parking.


Coaches and buses

There are also coach and minibus spaces in the main car park. Parking for coaches and other large vehicles using the coach parking area is £15 per day. Please make sure your coach hire company is aware of this before making your booking.

Operators should email or call 1623 677321 to notify us of their planned arrival at Sherwood and Budby.



Motorbikes can be parked in the overhang area at the far end of the Visitor Centre building, which provides shelter from the weather. If parking here, please use the parking machine in the accessible car park or pay your £5 parking charge in the shop on arrival.


Out of hours

Anyone wishing to visit the forest outside of our normal opening hours can park at the education centre – the blue wooden building next door to the cricket club in Forest Corner – which will be open from 3.30pm until 9.30am during school term times and 5pm until 9.30am at weekends and school holidays.

A £5 release charge will be applied if your wish to move your car while this car park is locked during the day.

Please refrain from parking on the turning circle outside the Visitor Centre, as this is used frequently by the Sherwood Arrow bus service. If other vehicles are parked there, even for a short time, this can block the route for the buses.