Plan your visit
A visit to Sherwood 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 this.
But there are few better value days out to be had in the UK than coming to Sherwood and Budby.
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 Sherwood 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. And the toilet facilities are here too, with a Changing Places facility for users with disabilities, and their carers.
We are also a Breastfeeding Friendly venue.
It’s here you’ll discover our wonderful Welcome area as well. Our staff and volunteers are full of information and inspiration for your visit. Snap our map before heading out on our trails too.
Grab refreshments and head out to our amphitheatre whilst you plan your next move, or let the children explore our exciting Robin Hood play area before you begin your forest adventure.
From here, Sherwood Forest is yours to explore…
The Visitor Centre is open 10am – 5pm from March to October, and 10am – 4pm from 6th November to the end of February.
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 our 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 ask that you take three things away with you from the forest after your visit today:
Great memories, an even bigger love and respect for nature and your rubbish!
We are totally commited to caring for Sherwood Forest – and hope you’ll help us to do this too during your visit.
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!
Fungi 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.
Please use the bins provided for your rubbish, or, if possible, please take it home.
No fires or barbecues are allowed anywhere in the forest.
The Countryside Code also has great advice about how to help protect the special landscape we have at 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.
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.
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.
How to find us
If using a satnav the postcode for our new Visitor Centre is NG21 9RN – our car park is on the other side of Swinecote Road to the Visitor Centre though, so please look out for the green signage when you arrive or if you use the What Three Words app the location code is inflating.elbowing.buckets
The entrance to the main car park is on the B6034, just north of the village of Edwinstowe, between the A6075 and the A616, 20 miles north of Nottingham.
Heading from the south via the M1, take junction 29 and then the A617 / A6191 for Mansfield, turning onto the A614 Old Rufford Road, following signs to Sherwood Forest.
From the north via the M1, take junction 30 and follow signs for Worksop via the A619, then the A57 to Upper Morton, where you’ll find signs directing you on to Blyth Road, and then through Edwinstowe and to Sherwood Forest.
If you have an electric vehicle, this map shows where you can find charging points in the local area.
Arriving at Sherwood
The Sherwood Arrow service runs hourly from Victoria bus station in Nottingham and stops outside our new 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
Sherwood Forest visitor centre is an accessible environment for everyone, with accessible parking adjacent to the centre, disabled toilets and a large Changing Places facility which includes a hoist, shower, toilet and changing facilities for the comfort of our disabled users and their carers. We have surfaced trails but some of our pathways do have inclines and may not be suitable for wheelchair users. Please speak to our team at the visitor centre for advice about the best paths to use if you have accessibility needs.
We have a mobility scooter available for hire at £3 per hour.
Booking in advance is essential, so please contact us no later than the day before your visit to book. We are not currently making any same-day bookings.
You can check on the scooter’s availability by calling us on 01623 677 321 or emailing us at email@example.com.