- Sherwood Pines Forest Park is in the heart of Sherwood Forest, the ancient wood most famous for the legend of Robin Hood.
- Learn a new skill, whether it's bushcraft or horse-riding, inside of the Forest.
- Go on a walk through the centre of Sherwood and explore the trails, before playing in one of the brilliant play areas.
- See birds or the Gruffalo as you walk through the ancient trees.
Sherwood Pines Forest Park, Mansfield, is inside of Sherwood Forest and is cared for by Forestry England. Originally called Clipstone Heath, it was renamed to Sherwood Pines after pine trees were sown there due to removal of trees during World War One. It's the largest park in the East Midlands and is, therefore, a unique area to visit. With a visitor centre, as well as offering several activities like walking, mountain biking, a Robin Hood hideout and more, there'll be something to do in the forest. Then, if you enjoy Sherwood Pines Forest Park, you can also explore Attenborough Nature Reserve or Wollaton Hall, both in Nottinghamshire!
Sherwood Forest is an ancient forest in Nottinghamshire and is best known because of its association with Robin Hood. Robin Hood, the legendary outlaw, supposedly lived in Sherwood Forest with his friends, otherwise known as merry men. This gave him the nickname Robin of Sherwood. The basis of Robin Hood may have been from Roger Godberd, a real medieval outlaw. In 1265, Godberd was outlawed for fighting against King Henry III. He, and a band of fugitives, settled in Sherwood Forest in 1267. Godberd was at times captured by the Sherrif of Nottingham, Reginald de Grey, but was often rescued either by his band of fugitives or even aided by the knight Richard Foliot who let the group stay at his castle. As you walk around the forest during your visit, it's easy to imagine yourself as part of the Robin Hood story.
If you're a family who enjoys being active on foot, there are plenty of activities you can try at Sherwood Pines Forest Park. There are two great walking trails: Dragonfly trail and Nightjar trail. The Dragonfly trail is easy to access and is a one-mile walk. The surface is great for all weathers, and the trail leads all the way to the children's play areas. You'll be able to see some of the oldest trees in the forest, and will take you to the Dragonfly pond. The Nightjar trail is slightly more difficult as it's unsurfaced. If you turn off the Dragonfly trail on this route you'll go through a variety of habitats; a great opportunity to see more of the nature of Sherwood. If you're a family who enjoys running rather than walking, there's a 5km running route taking you through a mixture of Pine and broadleaf trees across Sherwood Pines. Remember the area might be a little muddy, so be prepared. Want to learn how to use a map? Try the Gruffalo orienteering course. Using a simple map to find twelve Gruffalo markers hidden in the deep, dark wood. Great for walking, skipping or jumping, you can learn great skills while discovering more of Sherwood Forest. If your kids are a little older and don't want to travel the site with the Gruffalo, there are orienteering courses for a variety of levels that will take you through the area on several different routes. Want to get around in another way? Cycling and mountain biking trails are available to get you around Sherwood. You can also learn how to ride a Segway. Can you find the Gruffalo Sculpture inside the forest?
Want to learn something new, or have a play in the woods? There are lots of activities you can do. Learn how to do bushcraft at Sherwood Pines. Play at a play area; there are two inside the forest! Inside the forest, if you go deep enough, you might even find Robins Hood Hideout, a huge climbing frame with two tree houses. Go Ape in Sherwood is brilliant, with the Nets Adventure, Tree Top Adventure and Tree Top Challenge. Jump from platform to platform, swing and climb through the trees, and see Sherwood in a completely new way. There are lots of activities to do at this site. Hire a Forest Activity Bag; go on a mini beast hunt and use binoculars to see birds in the trees. You can even learn how to do horse riding.
For something more unique and educational historically, enter the trenches at Sherwood Pines. It's a life-size recreation of a trenches system. Climb down and investigate the machine gun nests and fox-holes. The information throughout the trenches is focused on biography and conveying the stories of the people who served in the First World War.
Sherwood Pines Forest Park Events are varied. Every week Parkrun organise running events; free, weekly, 5km timed runs that are easy to join in with. You can also discover more extravagant events like Christmas at Sherwood Pines Forest Park. Enjoy winter walks on Christmas trails, and get festive treats at the Sherwood Pines Forest Park Cafe. You can even meet a surprise guest.
If you're feeling hungry after your brilliant day out, you might enjoy the Sherwood Pines Cafe, in the centre of Sherwood Pines Forest Park. They have a variety of food, including homemade specials, hot and cold drinks, and light bites. Lots of the ingredients are locally sourced, so you're supporting Nottingham trade. The sausage rolls are considered legendary by the locals.
Want to stay nearby? You can camp inside the Forest Park, or go on a Forest Holiday inside Sherwood Forest. The cabins are unique and hidden away inside the trees, so it's a brilliant forest holiday. There are also hotels near Sherwood Pines Forest Park. The Forest Lodge Hotel is comfy and great value. Muthu Clumber Park Hotel and Spa is very luxurious and close by. There's plenty of unique places to stay.
What to know before you go
- Sherwood Pines Forest Park is open every day except Christmas Day. Summer opening times are 8am to 10pm, winter opening times are 8am to 6pm.
- Lots of Sherwood Pines Forest Park has level access, including the main entrance. The World Was One replica trenches have steps down to them.
- There is a public toilet accessible for disabled visitors.
- Public toilets for men and women both have baby changing facilities.
- Sherwood Pines Forest Park is pushchair friendly.
- Sherwood Pines Forest Park is located in the heart of Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire.
- By car, use the B6030 east of Kings Clipstone.
- There's a large car park near the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre.
- By bus take the number 14 or 15 to Kirton or Walesby from Mansfield Bus Station.
- By train, go to Mansfield Train Station and take the bus.