The Forestry commission have excelled themselves in developing a wonderful area for all ages to enjoy nature at its best within the beautiful surroundings of Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. Sherwood Pines is open every day except Christmas day, from 8am until dusk and has large, scenic areas for parking. It cost us £6 to park for the whole day, which we felt was well worth it for the great day we had in such a gorgeous place. There is so much to do at Sherwood Pines…
- For us, the Mountain Biking was what lured us to Sherwood Pines. For the young and family cyclists there are a couple of trails ranging from an Easy Green, 3 mile route for families to enjoy an hours steady cycling and a Blue, Adventure Cycle trail, which is another steady paced, easy trail, although you can spend a full morning or afternoon cycling at your leisure around this forest trail. For us, it was the more technical trails which we couldn’t wait to try. The first of the more advanced trails is the Skills Loop. It’s a fairly short trail, but designed to advance your skill levels. Then there’s the really fun ride, The Red Kitchener trail, which is a great 8 mile/13km track taking you through the winding forest, with uphill and fast downhill, flowing Berms and rollers and a mixture of naughty rocks, small jumps and roots to try to trick you along the way. It’s classed as a difficult trail, which is fair. It’s brilliant, we loved it and did it twice. It is certainly a fitness trip! This is a link to the cycle map. There is a Bike shop for hiring bikes too if needed.
- Walking around Sherwood Pines is an absolute pleasure. There are two trails, one being the Dragonfly trail,which is classed an Easy 1 mile walk and the other is a Moderate walk called the Nightjar trail which is 3 miles long. Both takes you around the forest where there is plenty of nature spotting. There are places to stop and picnic along the way too. I always love to be amongst nature and you certainly are part of nature here. The trees are absolutely gorgeous, stretching up as far as you can see and there’s plenty to hug! If you’re quiet, you can’t miss the bird songs and there are plenty of squirrels jumping through the trees, not to mention the interesting insect life.
- Bushcraft is very popular in Sherwood Pines. While we were there we saw a group having fun building a shelter. They take groups of all ages and for most occasions; School groups, birthday parties and team away days for instance. We didn’t take part in the Bushcraft while there, but apparently you can learn skills such as willow basket weaving, shelter building, fire lighting, wood whittling, campfire cooking and you can even learn how to purify water to make it safe to drink and learn such things as how to make glue from pine resin to name but a few.
- Orienteering is loads of fun, although I haven’t done any since my school days. It’s a challenge where you’re given points of interest or things to find along a trail. Sherwood Pines have three orienteering routes, one being The Gruffalo, an easy route for children, one being for families and another being an intermediate route.
- There are many Events happening throughout the year at Sherwood Pines from a Fungi Foray, where you can have a guided tour learning about Fungi to Gary Barlow in concert this month, which is unfortunately fully booked.
- Wild running routes are also mapped out for those of you who would like to run free within the forest and find exhilaration from the challenges the wild forest puts in your way. Something my knees won’t allow, I’m afraid, but my head would love to.
- Horseriding in Sherwood Pines is welcomed if you buy a permit. It’s lovely to see horses in the woods, (the horse tracks are separate from the walking and cycling routes).
- Go Ape Forest Segway looks so much fun! We’ve never done it, but while we were walking we came across a group of Segway(ers). Apparently you can have an hours worth of Segway fun around the forest for £35 per person
- Go Ape Tree Top Adventure, for those who aren’t scared of heights. You can swing around the trees like Tarzan, enjoying the views from up high or have fun on the zip slides. There’s a specific one designed for young ‘un’s too.
- Volunteering is welcomed by the Forestry Commission and that’s not just within Sherwood Forest, but in many areas.
- Eating at Sherwood Pines Forest is a choice between either the Cafe or bringing your own picnic or barbecue. We were in Polly our camper van so were able to use our own facilities along with having a barbecue. There are so many beautiful areas where you can sit and enjoy your picnic and there are also plenty of picnic tables with litter bins dotted everywhere. I have to say, the whole place seemed very clean and litter free.
- There are plenty of areas to spread a blanket on the ground and enjoy time with your families, picnicking, kicking a football around or just relaxing to read a book. We found it a fabulous atmosphere with plenty of happy folk.
There are plenty of things to see and do at Sherwood Pines, including projects they are still developing, such as the trenches which is a replica in the making of how trenches would have looked to the soldiers using them. I believe they are looking for volunteers to help with the project.
We’re going back for another visit in July with Jon’s sister and children for plenty of biking, walking and more exploration of this fabulous forest. Can’t wait 🙂
All the information on Sherwood Pines Forest can be found on the Forestry Commission link Here and I have added links to the individual activities throughout the post.
Have you been to Sherwood Pines, ridden The Kitchener bike trail or just enjoyed the beautiful surroundings of the Forest? I’d love to hear if you enjoyed your time there 🙂