Plan your visit

A visit to Sherwood Forest is an extremely affordable adventure for everyone.

There may only be one other forest in the world which has a name as well-known as Sherwood .

But there are few better value days out to be had in the UK than coming to Sherwood and Budby South Forest, which is another wonderful RSPB reserve which adjoins Sherwood.

***Unfortunately, our Visitor Centre lift is currently not working. We apologise for any inconvenience. Our staff will be happy to advise if you have any questions about this.***

Click on words highlighted in red below for more information.

Parking is usually just £5 per day for non-members of the RSPB and free for members (there will be some advertised special event days when the charge is higher for all visitors, including members), and it’s free admission to walk on to the reserve. That’s it.

There’s no ticket office or turnstile to walk through and pay at.

Whatever you spend in our shop or cafe after that, or to book a guided walk or other event, is up to you, but it all helps to support the vitally important conservation work of the RSPB across the UK and the world.

And if you join the RSPB as a member, you get to park for free, not just here, but at every other RSPB reserve in the UK.

Here’s everything you’ll need to know to make the most of your time in this magical place.

The Visitor Centre is the best place to start your journey. It’s home to our café, selling a range of snacks and drinks, including our bird-friendly coffee.

There’s the shop with something for every budget – including our pocket money shoppers – and gifts for all tastes and occasions. The place to pick up your Robin Hood and Sherwood mementos, as well as items from the RSPB range.

The toilets are here too (important to note because there no are toilets out on the reserve), with a Changing Places facility for disabled visitors and their carers.

We are also a Breastfeeding Friendly venue.

It’s here you’ll discover our wonderful Welcome Area where you will find that our staff and volunteers are full of information and inspiration for your visit.

So, snap our map before heading out on our trails, grab some refreshments and head out to our amphitheatre while you plan your next move, or let the children explore our exciting Robin Hood play area under the oak trees before you begin your forest adventure.

From here, Sherwood Forest is yours to explore…

Opening Times

The Visitor Centre is open from:
10am – 5pm from March to October.
10am – 4pm from November to 22nd March 2024.

Things to do while you’re here

There’s so many adventures waiting to be had, and every path will offer up a little magic…that’s why many visitors go their own way, with something suitable for all ages, abilities and interests, from fungi to fauna.

And there’s lots going on, as you’ll discover on our Events page. Time your visit to take in a Robin Hood-themed guided tour or walk or even learn some archery skills.

You could learn more about the the work we’re doing to manage and sustain the forest,  the site’s history, or may be something about the magnificent Major Oak!

The historic village of Edwinstowe is close at hand too, plus a craft centre just across the square from our visitor centre.

Walk around the village and you’ll uncover dozens of places which also play a part in the story of Sherwood, such as the nearby St Mary’s Church, which famously lays claim to hosting Robin and Marian’s wedding.

Caring for the forest

We are totally committed to caring for Sherwood Forest – and hope you’ll help us to do this too during your visit.

Cycling and horse riding

Please respect other users at all times.  Cyclists and horse-riders, please stay on public bridleways and take care when passing pedestrians and each other!

Foraging

Removing fungi or any other kind of foraging is not permitted in the forest, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Removing any plant or fungus is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Litter

There are bins provided for your rubbish, but we would prefer it you could please bag it up and take it home with you.

Fires

No fires or barbecues are allowed anywhere in the forest at any time of year. Not only is this a threat to the incredible ancient trees and wonderful wildlife of Sherwood Forest and Budby South Forest, but also to soil-dwelling invertebrates and other vital organisms under the ground.

Drones

Flying drones is not permitted within the Site of Special Scientific Interest area, as it has the potential to damage Sherwood’s fragile ancient oaks and disturb the flight paths of birds above Sherwood and Budby South Forest. Drones should also not be flown anywhere within 50 metres of other people.

You can request permission to fly a drone for professional purposes, e.g. filming, by emailing us at sherwoodforest@rspb.org.uk but this must also be approved by Natural England, the government’s advisory body for the environment. This process can take several weeks, so please contact us in good time if you wish to film here using a drone.

You will be expected to provide evidence of your competence to fly, such as a Civil Aviation Authority permit or overseas equivalent.

Follow the Countryside Code

The Countryside Code also has lots of other great advice about how to help protect the special landscape we have at Sherwood Forest.

Bringing your dog to Sherwood Forest 

You can walk your dog at Sherwood at any time of day.  For out-of-hours parking, please see our Visitor Centre section.

Please keep your dog on a lead around the Visitor Centre and under close control at all times. Well-behaved dogs are permitted in the cafe and dog bowls with water are provided in the amphitheatre and Welcome areas.

All dogs will need to be on leads in some areas of the forest to protect ground-nesting birds, or where we have cattle grazing. Please look out for signs telling you where these areas are.

If your dog is not on a lead when out on the trails in areas where it is not requested, please make sure it is within sight and recall distance.

Ensure you clean up after to your dog. Bag any waste and place it in the dog bins provided at the entrances to the forest.

You may know how your dog behaves when out with you, but others will not. Be respectful of other visitors and their dogs, and ideally put your dog on a lead where there may be the risk of encountering other animals, especially Sherwood’s vulnerable feeding and nesting wildlife.

Ticks

Please be aware that there are ticks in the forest throughout the year and at higher levels during the spring and autumn months.

They are part of the natural environment and have become far more prevalent in recent years in response to changes in climate.

If you are walking your dog in the reserve, we recommend that you keep to the paths and discourage your dog from exploring the undergrowth, as they are then less likely to be troubled by them.

However, please do always check your dog and yourself for ticks following a visit. Please note that dogs should be kept on leads, or within sight and recall, during the spring and summer months in order to protect our ground-nesting birds.

On Open Access Land at Budby South Forest, dogs should by law be kept on leads within fenced areas of the heath between 1 March and 31st August.

Keeping your dog on a lead will also reduce the likelihood of your pet exploring areas of dense vegetation where ticks may be more concentrated. The Kennel Club website has a page with advice about ticks and dogs which you can access here.

Please wear appropriate clothing when walking in the forest, such as long trousers, particularly if you leave the main trails.

There are detailed tick awareness notices on display around the reserve and the visitor centre. You can find the latest advice from the UK Health Security Agency here. There is also information from the NHS website here.

 

Naturism

A small number of naturists have been infrequently walking in the wider Sherwood Forest landscape for several decades.

This includes Budby South Forest, which the RSPB has managed since 2014, but also adjacent land managed by Forestry England, as well as parts of the nearby Thoresby and Welbeck Estates and the large Public Right of Way network across the landscape.

Naturism on RSPB Reserves Policy

How to find us

The reserve is located around 20 miles north of the city of Nottingham and is within easy distance of both the M1 and A1.

Heading from the south via the M1, take junction 29 and then the A617 to Mansfield. Follow signs for Mansfield Woodhouse, where you can join the A6075 which takes you directly to Edwinstowe.

From the north via the M1, exit at junction 30 and join the A616 heading towards Newark, following it until you see the signs for Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre.

From the A1, exit at Tuxford and follow the A6075 to Edwinstowe, via Ollerton.

Plan your journey

If you have an electric vehicle, this map shows where you can find charging points in the local area.

Please note that our main car park is accessed from the B6034 Swinecote Road and not from Forest Corner.

You may use the turning circle outside the Visitor Centre to return to Swinecote Road, but this is strictly a no stopping area.

Click here for full parking information.

Accessibility

If you do have accessibility needs, you can park your vehicle in the accessible car park which is right next to the Visitor Centre building in Forest Corner (Postcode NG21 9RN).

Read about our accessible and Changing Places facilities here

Public transport

The Stagecoach Sherwood Arrow bus service runs hourly from Victoria bus station in Nottingham and stops outside the Visitor Centre.

The direct journey takes around an hour. For up to date timetable information check here

For the route map showing all the stops where you can pick up the service, click here.

The nearest train stations are at Shirebrook (6 miles) Mansfield Woodhouse (6.5 miles) and Mansfield (7 miles).  These are all served by the Robin Hood line, operated by East Midlands Railway and you can find timetables here www.eastmidlandrailway.co.uk

Staying for longer

If you are planning to stay for longer in the area, the Newark and Sherwood tourism website has listings of self-catering, hotel and B&B options.

If camping or caravanning is your thing, try the campsites.co.uk listings page, which has more than 30 places to stay near here on its website.

Please note that camping is strictly not allowed within the reserve.

 

What’s on at Sherwood?

Wind rain and shine, 12 months of the year there is plenty going on here – discover our programme of guided walks and other events celebrating this forest, its wildlife and its legends.

Our events calendar and booking