I was quite keen to explore Robin Hood country, so when the Youth Hostel was offering £10 beds, I jumped at the chance. It's just a shame that they only had one night for me, but never mind I had two good days walking out of it. Friday was 17 miles and Saturday was 13.5. The hostel is a purpose built building on the edge of Edwinstowe village and close to Sherwood Forest Country Park and the Major Oak.
The Art and Craft Centre is housed in a converted coach house and stables, next to the hostel. It is the former Edwinstowe Hall. There are eleven craft studios enclosed by a glass roof foyer, and five more studios outside with a picnic area.
Off I went to explore some of the 450 acres of Sherwood Forest. Those of you who have read my previous reports of trying to find my way in a forest will remember that I am not very good at it. Never the less I am willing to have another go as this forest seems to have very well defined paths, including the easy to follow Robin Hoods Way. So off I went with map in hand.
I seemed to have been walking for quite a long way, and wasn't really sure if I was heading in the right direction. My plan was to walk westbound, then turn right for a mile or two, then head for the village of Budby, through Duncan Wood and Budby Corner Plantation to Clumber Lake and Park. There was a point where I was a bit confused, but I came across a strolling couple who put me on the right track for Budby. I really must remember to put my compass in my bag next time.
This is an old fashioned post box still in use in Budby. Isn't it lovely.
This ornate iron gate must have been at the entrance to a house on a large estate at one time, but now the railings are incomplete and you can walk round it to the other side. The house is hidden in the trees to the left hand side of it.
This is Clumber Bridge which goes over the bottom end of Clumber Lake. Some of the stonework has been recently restored.
And here we have a map to the park, it is managed by the National Trust. There are 3,800 acres of picturesque parklands and gardens, woodlands and a lake to explore. I'll just have a half hour or so, as I still have a lot more walking to do if I am going to stick to my original plan.
This is the stable yard which has recently been refurbished.
The Anglican Church of St Mary the Virgin is a grade 1 listed building. It's beautiful.
Time was pressing on so I left the park at Hardwick Village and walked over this footbridge, towards the main A614 road. The cars have to drive through the water here as it tumbles over the minor road and down the weir towards the River Poulter. It was still lovely and sunny, I have been lucky with the weather.
By this time I realised that my original plan will have to be amended to take in a shorter route back. I wanted to go down the long distance footpath to see Robin Hoods cave then follow the River Maun to New Ollerton and back to Edwinstowe, but I could see that I was going to run out of daylight if I attempted that. So I crossed over the A614 and took the road past Shepherds Lodge and Thoresby, back to Budby. From there on some of it would be retracing my steps, but looking for a short cut through the forest back to the Major Oak. The sun was low in the sky, it wouldn't be long before it sank out of sight, I wondered if I would make it back before it got completely dark. I took this last photo, and stepped up my pace, I just had to get back as quickly as I could, or I would be in trouble.