the best routes Sherwood Forest has to offer.
Sherwood Forest Walks and Trails
This series of walks and trails provides a great introduction to the forest and offers something to suit all interests and abilities. Each trails start at the RSPB Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre where walkers can collect a free guide.
The Major Oak Trail
This 1.5 miles (approximately 45 minutes) trail provides the essential Sherwood Forest experience, taking walkers to the iconic Major Oak and winding back through the magical forest to the Visitor Centre. The route journeys past some of the Major Oak’s ancient neighbours, with Robin’s famous hiding place a 15-20 minute walk from the Centre.
This 0.75 mile (approximately 25 minutes) trail is the perfect route to walk amongst the giants – Sherwoord Forest is home to Europe’s largest collection of ancient oaks. The trees are truly stunning to look at and, throughout their long lives, are an essential element of the forest, providing unique habitats for many species. Ambitious walkers can try to find all 997 that share this forest with the mighty Major Oak.
This 2 miles (approximately 1 hour 15 minutes) trail is designed to celebrate seasonal change, showing how beautifully this landscape adapts throughout the year. From haunting outlines of the leafless oak and birch trees in winter, which throw fascinating shapes in the pale light, to the eruption of varying colours during spring, summer and autumn, it’s a feast for all the senses.
This 4 miles (approximately 2 hour 30 minutes) walk is ideal for adventurers who want to experience the different habitats that the RSPB is looking after for future generations. The trail highlights how forests are not just about trees, but also include a rich collection of landscapes such as heathland and wood pasture. Whether wildlife spotting, seeking out the ancient oaks or hunting for Robin Hood himself, walkers will undoubtedly discover the magic of the forest.
Edwinstowe Walking Maps
The vibrant and busy village of Edwinstowe is in the heart of Sherwood Forest. Its pretty High Street is just a five minutes’ walk from the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre and bustles with a variety of independent and unique shops.
A series of walking maps enables visitors to enjoy the village and explore the surrounding area:
- Route one: 5 miles walk taking in the River Maun and Sherwood Forest
- Route two:5 miles walk around Rufford Lake
- Route three:25 miles walk through Sherwood Pines and the Maun Valley
- Route four:8 miles walk around Edwinstowe and to the Major Oak.
Vicar Walk Country Park Trail
Vicar Water Country Park has had a fascinating history before becoming a Green Flag award winning Country Park. Formed on the site of a
former mine, it lies in the shadow of the headstocks of Clipstone Colliery, just south of Clipstone village.
At the centre of the park is Vicar Pond, a large fishing lake that was created by the 5th Duke of Portland in the 1870’s. Today, the lake is a thriving course fishery and the park itself is a designated local nature reserve.
This beautiful trail provides a short walk around Vicar Pond, taking approximately 30 – 40 minutes to complete. Starting at the Vicar Water Visitor Centre car park, it’s a great walk for everyone, with its level paths suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
Sherwood Pines offers a fantastic range of cycling and mountain biking trails for everyone from novice rider to seasoned professional. The trails are colour coded to cater for all abilities.
This 6 miles (9.7km), blue grade, family trail is ideal for the intermediate rider. Exploring the forest, riders can expect to see natural terrain, uneven surfaces and fast flowing corners with berms.
This 0.5 mile (0.8km), orange grade, bike park is suitable for riders aspiring to an elite level of technical ability – incorporating everything from full on downhill riding to big air jumps. There is a Dirt Jump Zone with graded options varying from beginner to advanced, and a Downhill Zone, starting from a wooden start tower, with four interlink runs down the hillside to the valley bottom.
This 3 miles (4.8km), family friendly, green grade trail is a circular route that starts at the Visitor Centre and loops through the forest on an extensive all-weather network. Taking approximately 1 hour to complete at a leisurely pace, the route is ideal for those with small children who may tire on the longer trails or anyone just wanting a gentle ride in the forest.
This 0.5 mile (0.8km), blue grade trail is suitable for intermediate cyclists or mountain bikers with basic off-road riding skills. Located near the Visitor Centre, it’s a great place for riders to practice and improve their skills level. Providing a variety of technical trail features and a mini loop of single track, it’s a great place to have fun.
This 8 miles (13km), red grade trail is suitable for proficient mountain bikers with good off-roading skills. Named after Lord Kitchener, the famous WWI General, the Kitchener Trail flows through the forest linking broadleaf and pine woodland with heathland and clear fell sites. It is a great introduction to riding single track and its nice mix of rocks and roots gives it a red grading.
Ancient Sherwood Cycle Route
This 20 miles (32km) circular route starts at Sherwood Forest Art and Craft Centre, taking riders through Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve into woodland and on to the National Trust owned Clumber Park, before making the return journey.
The route is designed to take a day when incorporated with planned stop-offs for refreshments, activities and enjoying the attractions.
Riders should be aware that there are three road crossing points en route and a further two in Clumber Park. The terrain is mainly flat and pathways are generally maintained but there are occasional inclines that require some physical effort.
Sherwood Pines Parkrun
This friendly Parkrun takes place every Saturday at 9am in Sherwood Pines Forest Park.
Everyone is welcome to come along and race against the clock on this 5km run, at whatever pace they like. It’s free to join, but entrants are reminded to register before their first Parkrun and bring their barcode.
After finishing the course which comprises a mixture of trail paths and compacted stone paths, runners can stop to enjoy a post-Parkrun coffee in the Sherwood Pines Café.
The Longhorn is an ever popular, annual running event set in private areas of Sherwood Forest and the beautiful grounds of Thoresby Park, overlooked by Thoresby Hall – a stunning Grade I listed, 19th Century country house.
Runners can choose from a 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon, 50k Ultra or 60k Ultra in an unrivalled forest setting. Running over old military roads, cleared tracks through ancient woodland and grassed paths around the country estate, the route includes a few small hills to provide a challenge around the course in the most scenic surroundings. Along the route, runners will catch sight of the famous Longhorn cattle of Thoresby Estate – appreciating why the race couldn’t be named after anything else!
Whether a novice or elite runner, The Longhorn offers a great day out – there’s also a race village with a range of hot food and drinks and free bouncy castle for children.
The Thoresby10 is an annual, autumnal trail run, set in the beautiful grounds of Thoresby Park. Entrants can choose to race over 10k or 10 miles, running along old military roads, cleared tracks through ancient woodland and grassland paths around the country estate. The routes include a few small hills to provide a challenge, as runners make their way through the beautiful countryside and forest and past the lake. The stunning autumnal colours make this a race to remember in this natural area of beauty.
There is also the option of a 5k run/walk for all abilities, offering a different route, taking participants past the beautiful church at Perlethorpe through woodland groves and back to Thoresby Hall.
The event is ideal for everyone from novice to elite runner. With a race village offering everything from hot breakfasts to cakes, it’s the perfect way to enjoy an autumn day.
Sherwood Forest Trekking Centre
Based in Edwinstowe, Sherwood Forest Trekking Centre offers pleasure rides for everyone, from complete beginners to experienced riders, through the heart of the beautiful forest. With a range of horses suitable for all abilities, the Centre aims to make everyone smile as they enjoy the great outdoors on horseback.
Kirkfields Equestrian Centre
At its riding school in Mansfield, Kirkfields Equestrian Centre offers tuition to people of all ages and abilities. The Centre offers a wide range of horse riding lessons including dressage, racing, show jumping, and cross country as well as more sedate lessons for those wanting to learn to ride at a more leisurely pace. It also runs riding holidays and hacking courses throug Sherwood Forest.
Coloured Cob Equestrian Centre
Based in rural Creswell and on a peaceful bridleway, Coloured Cob Equestrian Centre provides a stunning trekking experience as it takes riders through the archaeological beauty spot of Creswell Crags – a limestone gorge with caves that date back to the Ice Age.
The Centre offers a range of treks tailored to suit all ages and levels of ability, from children and beginners through to 4-hour advanced treks into the beautiful Clumber Park forest. There’s even the option of a pub ride!
Swimming / Gym
Visitors to Sherwood Forest are welcome to access the facilities at South Forest Complex as well as those at Dukeries Leisure Centre.
Based in Edwinstowe, South Forest Complex offers a great range of facilities including swimming pool, gym and indoor bowls along with a choice of four places to eat. The swimming pool is perfect for families as it is equipped with a flume, toddler pool, jacuzzi, sauna and plenty of poolside seating.
The Dukeries Leisure Centre in Boughton, on the outskirts of New Ollerton, has a fitness suite, sports hall, studio, and activity room as well offering a range of classes.
Go Ape! Sherwood
Go Ape! Sherwood offers four brilliant outdoor quests to get stuck into. Adventurers should be prepared for some serious speed on the Challenge course where the tandem zip wire speedometer can hit 20 mph. Kids are spoilt for choice with a Treetop Adventure course and one of the only two Nets Adventures in the UK. There is something for everyone over 1 metre tall – whether climbing, swinging or bouncing above the forest floor!
Located at Sherwood Pines, not far from Robin Hood’s infamous Major Oak hideout, the 100-year-old pines provide a high canopy above the forest floor, hiding the ropes and courses from view. Visitors can enjoy tackling the Big Four of Go Ape! before exploring the forest or taking advantage of Sherwood Pines café.
The fantastic Forest Segway is part of Go Ape! Sherwood. Those looking for an adventure with a difference, can head out into the beautiful forest on a heavy-duty all-terrain Segway. This unique experience is perfect for adults and kids alike and brings a whole new dimension to exploring the forest.
Expert Segway tuition is provided before the instructor guides riders through the forest on varied trails suited to everyone’s ability.
Go Ape! Sherwood is located at Sherwood Pines, not far from Robin Hood’s infamous Major Oak hideout, and just 17 miles from Newark. The 100-year-old pines make up the largest forest in the East Midlands – with more than 3,300 acres for visitors to explore after completing their Segway adventure.
Lockwell Hill Activity Centre
Lockwell Hill Activity Centre is the perfect place for those looking for a fun day out with friends, family or colleagues. Boasting 60 acres of land, located at the junction of the A614 and A617 between Mansfield and Newark, just north of Nottingham, it prides itself on offering high quality activities and events for all ages and occasions.
Whether planning a family outing, corporate team building event, stag or hen party or just a fun day out, there is plenty to choose from including motorsports (quad biking and 4×4 off roading), target sports (rifles, archery and crossbows) and team activities (It’s a Knockout and assault course). There is also a café offering buffet and party food whatever the occasion.
Set in the heart of Sherwood Forest, covering over 150 acres of woodlands and clearings, Adrenalin Jungle is the largest multi event outdoor activity centre in the East Midlands.
Whether just looking to try something new, planning a stag/hen or birthday celebration, organising a team building event, or simply looking for a family fun day, the Centre has something for everyone. The wide range of outdoor activities includes quad biking, 4×4 driving, paintballing, archery, laser tag, Segways, falconry, clay pigeon shooting and bubble football.
With the majority of activities based in one location, action seekers can simply pick from the extensive list of things to do or create their own bespoke event itinerary.