Friday, 23 December 2011

In search of Robin and his Merry Men.

I should have posted this last week but I'm afraid I just haven't been able to summon up the enthusiasm to write it. I think working all Christmas knocked the stuffing out of me a bit, especially with it being a night shift as well. Anyway it's done and dusted now.

These photos were taken in Sherwood Forest last Thursday when I had a day out with Sal. She was spending Christmas down with her folks from where I picked her up and we sallied forth in search of Robin and his Merry Men. Oh and also to exchange our Christmas presents!

We met up in Kiveton and went for a quiet drink in a delightful pub called The Parish Oven at nearby Thorpe Salvin. It's one of the pubs in that area where they do communal carol singing which is a tradition that has become a major part of the locals Yuletide festivities. Thorpe Hall is said to be the inspiration for "Torquilstone" in the novel Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott.  According to the story, Ivanhoe is imprisoned in Tourquilstone before being released by King Richard the Lionheart and Robin Hood. 

We then headed to the Forest and in particular to search for the Major Oak which, legend would have us believe, is where Robin Hood and his Merry Men hid from their enemies. The fact that the tree would probably only have been a sapling in those days is by the by. It's an impressive oak tree by any standards though.

There was a very interesting Visitors Centre plus a cafe and gift shop where I bought a Robin Hood fridge magnet; I think Sal has finally worn me down with regards to buying tat. We also had a comical fight with a machine into which you place a penny, turn a huge wheel which flattens it and presses a crest on to it. I was convinced Sal had broken it but brute force and sheer ignorance got it going again. Why do things like that only ever happen to us??

We then had a look around the Craft Centre before walking into the local village of Edwinstowe where legend has it that Robin Hood married his sweetheart Maid Marian in the local Church of St Mary's.

We also found a lovely homely pub called the Forest Lodge which had a good selection of real ales and a warn coal fire but unfortunately they weren't serving food so we had a drink and then it was back to the faithful Red Lion for our Christmas meal and to exchange presents. I'm beginning to feel a bit like a local in there now!

Sal bought me some lovely presents and for me, this was my Christmas Day. I couldn't have wished to have spent it any other way or with a nicer person.

Ancient Oak tree

Ancient Oak tree

The Major Oak

The Major Oak


The Laughing Man

Silver birch wood

Silver birch wood


Christmas Robin

Sal with a smile :)

Robin of Loxley

The Merry Men

Sherwood tat

A journey of two halves.

It was one of those all too frequent occasions when the weather forecast had a big wad of thick cloud and rain hanging over Cumbria whilst ...