We live about 30-40 minutes from Sherwood Forest Visitor’s Centre. Years ago, Sherwood Forest stretched as far as where we live and South Yorkshire also has links to the legend of Robin Hood (our closest airport is Robin Hood Airport on the outskirts of Doncaster), however, it is in Nottinghamshire that is most associated with him and it was to Edwinstowe we went to attend the annual Robin Hood Festival at Sherwood Forest Visitor’s Centre.
There were various characters around the Visitor’s Centre and Major Oak – including various musicians.
Most of the children really enjoyed (we went with John’s parents, niece and nephew as well as Nin, Ted and Erik). The storyteller told two stories, but I only heard the second one (due to having to walk around a bit to settle Anna), it was the story of “The Winter Cherries” (scroll down a little on the page for the story) and this was the first time I’d heard it – well worth a read!
Ted wasn’t interested in the slightest and went exploring with Erik (who didn’t know that you’re not supposed to climb trees in a Site of Special Scientific Interest – *sigh*)
Erik managed to get a pic of me.
I don’t know why, but this carving reminded me of Odin.
The rather obligatory, for this sort of thing, folk dancing. Not sure if the above is strictly Morris Dancing (because I don’t know very much at all about Morris Dancing), but there was also the more recognisable men jumping around with bells, etc. All of the dancers must’ve been exhausted because, although rather overcast for most of the day, it was very warm and ‘close’.
The famous Major Oak.
We also watched a falconry display – but unlike displays I’ve seen in the past, the falconer told us some very interested things about the natural behaviour of barn owls, peregrine falcons and the hawks he flew (I couldn’t tell you what sort of hawks they were as I didn’t catch what he said). The hawks snatched mice thrown up into the air – amazing to watch!
There was a bit of jousting and general fighting.
We sat on the hill to watch (as it was really packed around the arena) and have a bit of a rest.
One tired 16 year old.
We then took a walk to St Mary’s Church in Edwinstowe. It was wonderfully cool inside (a relief after the heat of the day) and to our surprise, we found this gentleman inside who had quite a lot to tell us about the history of the church and also of archery – I have now learnt where we get the terms ‘cock up’ and ‘knocking on’ and ‘knocking off’ from. The children (and John’s father) were absolutely fascinated and all had a go at trying to pull back the string on the bow.
There were some beautiful windows – I particularly like this one of the archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
We were all rather tired at this point and whilst I would’ve liked to have visited the Art & Craft Centre, I don’t think the children would’ve made it (plus John’s mother has recently had a major operation and has to be careful not to over exert herself) – definitely something to do on another visit (plus I would like to go back to the church and spend a little more time in there).
An enjoyable day but it was good to get home and put my aching feet up!