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Robin Hood in Nottingham

The story of Robin Hood has been told for more than 600 years and it’s a tale so well known that it doesn’t need to be retold... but don’t worry, we’ll tell it anyway.

Legend has it that in the time of Richard the Lionheart a minor noble of Nottinghamshire, Robin of Loxley, was outlawed for poaching deer. He is said to have lived in Sherwood Forest, making a living by stealing from rich travellers and distributing the loot among the poor of the area. It’s here he gained a band of followers, his Merry Men, and the love of Maid Marian.

Despite the efforts of the evil Prince John, namely the Sheriff of Nottingham, Robin avoided capture and was granted a full pardon when King Richard returned from the Crusades.

There are many sites around Nottingham associated with Robin Hood, including Nottingham Castle [map], St Mary’s Church [map] in the Lace Market, Edwinstowe Church [map], where he supposedly wed Maid Marian, and Fountaindale [map] , near Blidworth, where his battle with Friar Tuck is said to have taken place.

In the 12th century, when Robin Hood is believed to have lived, few people could read or write and as a result there is little written evidence of Britain’s best-loved hero. Instead, people learnt about Robin’s exploits through poems and songs, such as the 16th century ballad 'A Geste Of Robyn Hoode'. Since then many more books and songs have been written about the world’s most famous outlaw and Hollywood heart-throbs like Errol Flynn and Kevin Costner have portrayed Robin on the big screen.

Fact or fiction, the story of Robin Hood and his Merry Men has captured the imagination of generations, as it means so many things to so many people. Whether you love it for the triumph of good over evil, the robbing of the rich for the poor, or for the romance of Robin and Marian, one thing is certain, it’s an enchanting tale.

These days the legend lives on in Nottingham at the Tales of Robin Hood [map], the city’s most popular tourist attraction situated on Maid Marian Way. Just a two-minute walk from Nottingham Castle, this interactive museum makes for a great day out with family, school or as part of a tourist group.

Here you can enter the dark and romantic world of medieval Nottinghamshire to experience life, myth and adventure, just as Robin Hood did way back when! There is also a bronze statue of Robin Hood [map], with his bow and arrow, at Nottingham Castle.

Those wanting to see where the ‘Prince of Thieves’ spent his days should head out to Sherwood Forest Country Park [map]. In the visitors' centre here, there’s an exhibition detailing how Robin and his men lived. The major attraction here is the Major Oak, where Robin is supposed to have hidden.

If you want to go the whole hog, pay a visit to the Sheriff’s Lodge [map] on Canal Street, where you can enjoy a five-course banquet and live entertainment, while dressing up like Robin or one of his merry men.

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