The week long Robin Hood Festival, held at the Sherwood Forest Visitors Centre near Edwinstowe is a wonderful experience for young and old alike and attracts more than 50,000 visitors every year. This year was its 25th Anniversary and it ran from the 3rd to the 9th August; the 2010 festival is provisionally expected to take place from August 2nd until August 8th.
In 1997 I took my family to this annual event and we had a fantastic day out. With the legendary Sherwood Forest as a backdrop we witnessed, the archery, juggling, jousting, falconry, puppetry and the story-telling by Allan-a Dale. The open air theatre is not to be missed neither is the medieval craft stalls; seeing those craftsmen is just like stepping back in time.
During our day-out, my young son was quite excited to see an ice cream van near the Visitor Centre, so he took to his heels to join the queue. Unfortunately he slipped on the gravel and cut his knee. A young girl in medieval costume, waiting there, picked him up and comforted him. Seeing his cut knee she asked our permission to take him to Robin Hood’s camp, clean his knee and apply some medieval ointment. We said that was fine, so we followed her through the forest to Robin’s camp where she sat him in Robin’s chair and applied some first-aid from the Middle-Ages. His tears very quickly dried up and his little face was a picture. This was a day he would never forget!
At the festival, children are always keen to collect the autographs of all the characters, especially Robin and the Sheriff, but for my son, pride-of-place went to the signature of the maiden who had come to his rescue-even though as it turned out, she was the daughter of the Sheriff of Nottingham!!!
So a very special thank you to that particular young lady, whom I believe was from the re-enactment group Legends.
If you would like to see more pictures from the annual Robin Hood Festival, I thoroughly recommend Charlotte White’s website at http://www.robinhood.org.uk/rhfa.htm. Not only are there some superb pictures from all the recent festivals, also the yearly Robin Hood Pageant held at Nottingham Castle. While on her site at http://www.robinhood.org.uk/ be sure to also check out her pages on the Robin Hood films and television programmes and have a go at her excellent Silver Arrow Competition.
If you click on the label Sherwood Forest below, there is a lot more information on the history of this legendary woodland.