Plan your visit
You’ll find plenty to experience at Sherwood, whether you’re here for the day or a shorter stay.
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.
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 – 4:30pm from 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 great with an expert – but remember, lots of our fungi is poisonous, so please don’t be tempted to help yourself to it, and keep a close eye on children!
Please use the bins provided for your rubbish, and put compostable items from our cafe in the specially-marked bins.
This ensures it doesn’t get mixed with general waste, and can be made into lovely compost which we can eventually use around the forest!
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.
Please keep dogs on lead around the visitor centre and under close control at all times.
They need to be on leads in some areas of the forest to protect vulnerable wildlife such as ground-nesting birds, or where we have cattle grazing.
Please look out for signs telling you where these areas are.
For out-of-hours parking, please see our Visitor Centre section.
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.
Arriving by car and parking
Accessible parking for any visitors with accessibility issues is available adjacent to our new centre.
You’ll find ample parking available at Sherwood in our main car park, just across the road from our visitor centre. For satnavs, please use postcode NG21 9QB and follow signs once close.
The car park is accessed via the entrance on the B6034, and it’s open from 10am – 5pm in summer and 10am – 4.30pm in winter (usually, the car parks open earlier than 10am). Please note that the Visitor Centre (including toilets) does not open until 10am.
Park up and follow the signs (we love arrows at Sherwood!) across the zebra crossing and on to Forest Corner, where you’ll catch your first glimpse of our visitor centre through the trees.
Parking costs £5 for non-members, and is chargeable for anything up to a full day. It is free for RSPB members.
If you are a member, place your membership card upside-down on your dashboard for free parking.
Please note that parking costs £10 per vehicle per day for all visitors on certain special event days. You find the dates on our Robin Hood Festival page.
We kindly request that you use the car parks provided and do not park on neighbouring residential streets.
As well as using coins and contactless payments at the pay and display machines, you can also pay for parking using the PaybyPhone app. Our location ID is 806294
Being an RSPB member also allows you free parking and entry to 170 other reserves across the country, as well as supporting our vital work to give nature a home. See details about how to join, and help us care for Sherwood Forest on our membership page.
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 information check here www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/east-midlands/sherwood-arrow
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 also ordinarily have a limited number of mobility scooters available for hire. Booking in advance is preferable. You can check on the availability or book in-person in our retail department, call us on 01623 677 321 or email us at email@example.com.