Cycling into the Life of Robin Hood
The county of Nottinghamshire is filled with attractions and offers a wonderful experience for cyclists with its wide range of routes and trails throughout rural and urban areas. There are plenty of accommodations from which to explore this vast area. The county has a special affection for cycling as it has been home to the infamous Raleigh bicycle brand for decades. But perhaps the true lure of Nottinghamshire isn’t found in the vast trails that extend through the county but rather in the legend of a mysterious hero that has enchanted generations. Most of us are familiar with Robin Hood and his Merry Men as a dashing group of heroes, praised by the people for their generosity, bravery, and honesty. The story of his adventures has been told countless times in medieval ballads and Hollywood blockbusters. Constantly associated with the Sherwood Forest where Robin hid from the king and his men, thousands of tourists arrive each year to seek out this legendary figure that has inspired us for centuries.
For cyclists, there is no better way to seek out an authentic Robin Hood experience than to pick up the Robin Hood Trail where you will be able to discover the life of Robin along the way. The trail stretches from Nottingham Castle, the home of Robin’s arch enemy, all the way to the Galleries of Justice, where law and order was administered. Beginning at the Nottingham Tourist Centre, the Robin Hood Trail features twelve panels along the route that tell the most popular stories of Robin Hood.
Panel 1 tells the story of Robin as he graduates from being a talented archer to an outlaw forced into hiding in the Sherwood Forest. Nearby the panel is one of the oldest pubs in Britain, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. Since 1189, it has stood at the foot of Nottingham Castle and is most definitely a place where many tales of Robin Hood were exchanged by the fire.
Panel 2 tells the story of Robin’s first encounter with the seven-foot tall Little John who later became his best friend. Nearby the panel, you will find the Robin Hood statue commemorating the life of this whimsical figure.
Panel 3 tells the story of the discovery that Will Scarlet was Robin’s nephew and how he later invited Will into the forest. One of the most popular attractions in the city is located near this panel. Nottingham Castle was the seat of power for Robin’s arch rival, the evil sheriff. The castle features more than 1,000 years of history and many props from the Hollywood blockbuster.
Panels 4 & 5 are near St. Nicholas Church. The panels tell the story of Robin’s encounter with Friar Tuck and how Robin discovers the news that his love will be married against her will. The church is one of only three medieval Christian foundations that remain in Nottingham.
Panel 6 tells the story of one of the sheriff’s futile attempts to trap Robin. This is a good opportunity for a rest at the nearby Royal Children Pub which took its name from Princess Anne who sought refuge in Nottingham while the throne of her father, King James II, was in danger of falling. It is rumoured that her children were accommodated at the inn.
Panel 7 is the story of Maid Marian and her journey to the forest to save Robin from Guy of Gisborne.
Panel 8 tells the story of Robin’s portrayal as a beggar attempting to discover what life was like. Bordering these panels is St. Peter’s Church. The medieval church is both historically and architecturally fascinating.
Panels 9 & 10 tell the story of Robin Hood’s encounter with the assassin Guy of Gisborne along with an encounter with King Richard the Lionheart who remained in the forest with Robin for several hours in admiration of the stories he had heard. Beneath the panels lies an exciting world of caves. The City of Caves offers visitors the opportunity to descend into the depths of these original Anglo-Saxon tunnels.
Panel 11 depicts the story of the death of the Sheriff of Nottingham as the trail nears its end. Near by the panel you will find one of Nottingham’s most iconic buildings, the Nottingham Contemporary which is one of the largest contemporary art galleries in the country.
Panel 12 is the last stop along the trail telling the sad story of Robin’s death where he was betrayed by a relative. The nearby Galleries of Justice is where the county’s sheriffs were based in order to keep peace and administer taxes. The buildings were once known as the Sheriff’s Hall.
Preparing for your Excursion
There are plenty of resources available online for cyclists who wish to carefully plan their days in search of Robin Hood. A complimentary booklet about the Robin Hood Trail is available at Nottingham Castle and the Tourist Information Centre. Nottingham participates in the Department of Transport’s cycle journey planner which provides cycling routes between various locations. Before setting forth on your journey, be sure to check the latest weather and ensure that you have brought all of the routine cycling necessities, including details of any policies you have to protect your bike in case of damage or theft. Having the details to hand if you do encounter any problems will save time and effort. Why not think about visiting the native woodland in Sherwood Forest? This is home to over a thousand veteran oaks. The largest of these is the Major Oak which is rumoured to be the hideout of Robin and his men. The tale of Robin Hood is a story that continues to inspire and enchant people of all ages. He was indeed a criminal in the eyes of the law. But his quest to steal from the rich and give to the poor has won this iconic figure the hearts of countless people around the world. Whatever your belief, the heroic tales of Robin Hood are still alive and well in Nottinghamshire and well worth a day of exploring.
Looking for Robin Hood memorabilia, clothing and toys? Please visit www.robinhoodshop.co.uk.
|Each of the following listings shows the venues direct email, web address and telephone number. The card holder discount section details the general discount they may offer, click on this to view their entry and check the terms of the offer. The event the venue is putting on for Cycling into the Life of Robin Hood is shown under Event, please click this to view the Cycling into the Life of Robin Hood event details.|