Walks and Trails
Our growing series of walks and trails gives you a great introduction to the forest – they are the perfect way to begin to get to know this exciting place.
Developed to suit all interests and energy levels, you can collect a printed version from the visitor centre and follow the markers through the forest.
The Major Oak Trail
1.5 miles | Approximate time 45 mins
The essential Sherwood Forest experience, taking you to the iconic Mighty Oak, Robin’s famous hiding place, and winding back through the magical forest to the visitor centre. Whilst visitors could once not only go right up to this magnificent tree, but actually climb inside it, you’ll see we now keep our visitors at a little distance. This is to protect the roots of this special tree, which were being damaged by the compacting of the soil from the footfall of hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Even at a little distance, there’s no disguising the wonder of this 1,000-year-old tree. From its huge girth, with a trunk measuring around 10m to the 28m canopy of leaves, this giant produces up to 150,000 acorns on a good year – and we hope there will be many more of these to come!
0.75 miles | Approximate time 30 mins
Sherwood Forest is home to Europe’s largest collection of ancient oaks, and you can walk amongst the giants of this forest, on a trail that visits a number of them. If you were ambitious, you could try finding all 997 – but it might take a while! You’ll see some of the other ancient oaks which share this forest with the mighty Major. They are not all as big or as famous, but each is fantastically unique and offers a special home for hundreds of birds and insects.
They are truly stunning to look at – and important to the life of the forest throughout their long lives, providing special habitats for many species, more than any other native tree in the UK. As well as the magical atmosphere of sharing some space with these trees, we hope you’ll begin to understand their importance as you wind your way through this wonderful landscape, and consider the changes these whispering giants have witnessed. Many already have names, but why not have some fun and make up some names of your own to remember these legendary oaks?
2 miles | Approximate time 1 hour 15 mins
This walk is designed to celebrate seasonal change, showing beautifully how this landscape adapts over the year. From the haunting outlines of the leafless oak and birch trees in winter, which throw fascinating shapes in the reduced light, to beautiful colours which erupt during the spring and summer, as the forest bursts into life. It is a feast for all your senses, not just your eyes, as the smells and particularly the sounds differ throughout the year. Listen out for some of our wonderful bird population – the cuckoo is one of the most distinctive sounds, along with our woodpeckers, who use their drumming to mark their territories and attract mates.
4 miles | Approximate time 2 hour 30 mins
Ideal for adventurers, experience the different habitats which the RSPB is looking after for future generations. This trail will show you that forests are not just about trees, but a rich collection of different landscapes such as heathland and wood pasture. This is what makes them so diverse – and such great fun to visit! Whether your aim is to spot some of our wonderful wildlife, seek out our ancient oaks, or maybe even go looking for Robin Hood himself, this is a trail which will really introduce you to the magic of this fantastic forest.