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The Robin Hood Festival – A legendary summer holiday experience in Sherwood Forest

The National Nature Reserve, which is indelibly linked to the world’s favourite outlaw, is hosting the 37th annual Robin Hood Festival across five weekends from the end of July until the August Bank Holiday.

Since the 1980s, the famous forest has hosted events each summer to celebrate its legendary inhabitant, with a host of things for families to enjoy from popular films, to jousting, music and comedy.

This year’s event begins with three days of outdoor movies, a selection of real family favourites, presented by Adventure Cinema.

On Thursday 27th July, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone gets the ball rolling, followed by Moana, 80s classic Dirty Dancing on Friday 28th July. The Gruffalo and Stickman starts the programme on Saturday 29th July before wrapping up with not one, but two Robin Hood movies. 

Where better than Sherwood Forest to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Disney’s classic animated version of the legend? Then it’s Russell Crowe’s turn to portray the outlaw hero in the 2010 Hollywood blockbuster treatment of the story.

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On Sunday 30th July, festival-goers will be able to put their own cunning to the test when the Sheriff of Nottingham will be in the Forest, inviting visitors to parade down to the Major Oak and then to hunt down Robin and the outlaws, while the Sheriff takes a barely-deserved summer break!

On August 4,5,6 – Medieval jousting – a firm favourite of the Festival for many years – is on offer, with the brilliant Knights of Nottingham returning after their triumphant Sherwood debut last year. They will be staging their spectacular Robin Hood-themed arena show twice daily.

Visitors can also see the hilarious Medieval Maniax who’ll be bringing their anarchic brand of time-travelling comedy to the Festival once again throughout the weekend, alongside other familiar faces including entertainers Bill Brookman, What A Palaver and Nathaniel Bagshot.

Sherwood Forest is one of Europe’s few remaining ancient oak woodlands, home to more than 400 living oak trees – among many, many thousands – which have stood in Sherwood since at least Elizabethan times. In fact, it is estimated that the iconic Major Oak, still standing proud in the heart of Sherwood, set down roots as far back as the time of the Norman Conquest. 

On August 12 and 13 – the nature reserve, one of more than 200 managed by the RSPB, the UK’s largest conservation charity, will be celebrating its incredible ecological legacy with a weekend of activities, talks and demonstrations.

On August 19 and 20 – it’s time to revisit Medieval England with a Tournament of Champions. Three leading historical re-enactment groups, The Ferrers Household, Sir John Savile’s Household and the Lord Thomas Stanley Retinue, will be immersing visitors in the brutal era of the Wars of the Roses, which raged through the 15th Century.

Not only will they be doing battle, but they’ll be providing the schooling a knight of the day would have needed to wield a sword in such volatile times.

On August 22 – This Is My Theatre bring their stage version of Robin Hood to Sherwood on their tour of English venues in an evening performance that promises music, song and lots of fighting. 

On August 26, 27 and 28 this year’s festival concludes with a fantastic celebration of the county of Nottinghamshire and three days of all-action arena shows featuring The Sherwood Outlaws, pitting Robin and his forest friends in their eternal feud with the tyrannical Sheriff of Nottingham and his forces.

Their show will be more than ably supported with the return of the Medieval Maniax and many other Festival regulars.

And this being Sherwood Forest, there’ll be lots of opportunities to learn the noble outlaw’s art of archery down by the Major Oak.

Admission to the reserve and the performances is free, although parking charges apply. There will be a small charge for some activities, including archery.

Tickets must be purchased for each cinema screening and the This Is My Theatre performance.

For full details, go to www.visitsherwood.co.uk/events/



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