World Heritage Day in Robin Hood Country
It’s #WorldHeritageDay, which gives us an excellent excuse to celebrate some of the wonderful history and heritage that you can explore right across Nottinghamshire.
The spirit of Robin Hood is never very far away here, and is undoubtedly one of the county’s main attractions. During your visit, follow in his footsteps and explore Sherwood Forest and Visitor Centre.
The forest is a 450-acre country park and nature reserve and many of its trees are over 500 years old. You can take a walk along one of the way-marked paths and leafy glades to see the mighty tree, the Major Oak; where the legend of Robin Hood and his merry men comes to life. There is an abundance of flora, fauna and wildlife, nature showcased at its best.
Creswell Crags; is an incredibly significant heritage site, boasting the oldest prehistoric cave art in the world. With activities for the whole family, you can take a scenic walk through the honeycombed gorge, a cave tour or visit the museum, gift shop, and the Crags Edge Café with its open terrace.
Nestled in the very heart of Robin Hood Country is Rufford Abbey and Country Estate.
Commanding a picturesque setting, the former 12th Century Cistercian monastery is one of the best-preserved remains of its kind in England. You can walk around the tranquil lake and it offers a rich habitat for many different species of wildlife, it’s a birders paradise.
Clumber Park, meanwhile, is a must on your visit to Robin Hood Country. Belonging to the National Trust, the estate covers over 3,800 acres of parkland, woods and farmland and boasts the longest double avenue of Lime Trees in Europe.
Stretching over 2 miles long it’s the ideal place to enjoy a gentle stroll and soak in the views. The Walled Kitchen Gardens are a treat; built in 1772 to supply the Dukes of Newcastle with vegetables and fruit, it is now home to the National Collection of 72 apple varieties and over 130 varieties of rhubarb.
The year 2020 will mark the 400-year anniversary of which the Pilgrims set sail aboard the ‘Mayflower’ for America in 1620.
Many of the Pilgrims originated from the villages in and around this pocket of Robin Hood Country which offers a wealth of heritage and history. Whether you’re a day tripper, on a flying visit or have time on your hands; Nottinghamshire’s Pilgrim County embraces the very essence of the journey the founding fathers of the New World took. Covering over 50 square miles, a warm welcome awaits you.
All Saints Church, at Babworth is a must visit, if you want to see the one of the main landmarks associated with the Pilgrim story.
The Museum of the Horse in Tuxford, offers a journey through over 2,000 years of horse history; the earliest pieces dating back to 600 BC.
Tuxford is a quaint village and old coaching town boasting its own fully working windmill. Nearby, the equally unique Walks of Life Heritage Centre chronicles our history on wheels with collections of handcarts, seed drills and prams.
Travel further north and visit St. Peters Church in the pretty village of Clayworth. This picturesque little 12th century church is the home to the Traquair Murals. It is the largest piece of ecclesiastic artwork to be found in the East of England; painted by Scottish artist Phoebe Traquair in 1904, they are stunningly beautiful and well worth a visit to this quintessentially English village.
Just 6 miles away is the market town of Retford; its attractive continental style market square is dominated by a Romanesque inspired town hall and has a selection of bars, coffee shops and restaurants.
Download the Mayflower Pilgrim Trail and suggested itinerary at www.visitnottinghamshire.co.uk/mayflower-pilgrims
The picturesque market town of Newark stands on the River Trent and offers a wealth of heritage, historical attractions and plenty of green space for relaxation and recreation.
The impressive medieval castle is undoubtedly one of the most significant landmarks around. The town has many interesting buildings to explore and the architecture is diverse, especially so in the lovely cobbled town square, overlooked by the imposing Newark Town Hall & Art Gallery.
The National Civil War Centre tells the story of life during the English Civil War through unique and interesting exhibitions, displaying many rare and newly discovered artefacts.
Picture postcard Southwell
Southwell is one of the county’s most attractive towns, with many strands of history running through its heart. A day or full weekend can easily be spent exploring its fascinating buildings and shopping streets. The town is home to the iconic ‘Bramley Apple’ where the very first tree was sown back in 1809.
Over 200 years later the tree still stands, in a private cottage garden. Loved all over the world; the Bramley apple is celebrated by way of an annual festival, held every October.
Southwell’s majestic Minster is possibly one of the greatest examples of Gothic architecture in the county. A church has stood on the site of Southwell Minster since 627, becoming a cathedral in 1884. The remains of a large Roman villa were found beneath the Minster in 1959, some of which can be viewed inside. Scrumptious cake and a pot of a tea can be enjoyed at the Refectory in the Minster grounds. Also serving seasonal dishes, magnificent views can be enjoyed from the patio area.
When visiting the Minster, stroll to the Archbishop’s Palace located just behind it. The Palace was used as a base for the Scottish army in 1645 and King Charles I was taken here before being handed over to the Parliamentarians by the Scots.
The National Trust run Workhouse, stands just off the A612, as you leave Southwell towards Newark. In 1824 Rev. J.T. Becher and George Nicholls had the workhouse built to implement a new kind of social reform. The poor and infirm from surrounding parishes were all sent here. The Workhouse, Southwell is extremely well preserved and offers the visitor a step back in time.
Download the Southwell Trail at www.visitnottinghamshire.co.uk/southwell
This content was published in our 2017/18 Visitor Guide – which you can read or order here.
Words by Sally Outram