Outdoors,  Walks & Hikes

Sherwood Forest Budby Heath Walk

This Sherwood Forest Budby Heath Walk is a lovely little adventure that creeps onto less well trodden ground. Great if you wish to explore beyond the Major Oak. There’s good terrain variety also more challenge under foot.


Parking in the new RSPB Sherwood Forest Car Park (over the road from the Edwinstowe cricket ground), take a steady climb up to the old visitor centre entrance. The route starts here and turns right, along the path that runs aside the the old buildings. However, owing to works here Q4 2018, the start is subject to change or detour.

Heading out, straightaway you’re flanked by a mix of ancient trees and Silver Birch while underfoot the path quickly morphs from hard-pack to natural trail. At the bottom we turn right, following this path to the B6034. Crossing the road a huge canopy greets you (see photo) as you climb up to meet the old wooded colliery fence.

Stick with the route winding through the woods then meander until you reach the Budby Heath entrance. Keep right here then follow the outer trail until you enter the parkland at the cattle grid gates.

Follow the path up and over the heath you’ll eventually clip the tree line on your left. Cross one more cattle grid then begin a gentle descent towards the lower forest ahead of you.

Off Route Option Before the GPS left turn at the tree line, consider a shortcut across the heath  (it’s just tyre tracks – but why not try it?).

When you reach the junction (you’ll know it when you see it), be cautious!⚠️The route encourages you to take the main path ahead but in fact you want to take a sharper left, in effect almost walking back on yourself. It’s less well trodden than the main path with heath on your left, towering Pines on your right.

The rest of the route in effect carries you gently back down into the heart of Sherwood Forest. Finally, there’s one brief ascent up to the old visitor centre, where this loop comes to a satisfying close.


Please don’t venture into the old colliery woods.⚠️ There are dangers related to mining and it’s far enough from the road for your screams to go unheard. That is, assuming you don’t accidentally find a mine shaft!

On a lighter, fluffier note, Budby Heath is home to some amazing cattle and sheep (Oct thru Dec). If out walking with dogs or kids, please be mindful that you’re not alone. Although unlikely, you may come nose to nose. 

For further habitat information, seasonal birds and facilities at Budby South Forest Nature Reserve click HERE

When you return, there’s a variety of refreshments and service in and around the visitors centre. The little village of Edwinstowe opens up just around the corner with good choice of pubs and food options. Well worth a visit!

Distance 4.7mi.
Average Pace 3.0mph
Duration Estimate 01h 40m
Total Ascent 249ft
Surface Type Forest paths · Natural trails
Surface Condition Variable · Mixed
Steepest Ascent +8.9% (at 2.7mi.)
Steepest Descent -6.7% (at 4.0mi.)
Total Uphill 1.7mi. (36%)
Total Downhill 2.0mi. (42%)
Grid Reference SK 62602 67219
Start Latitude 53.198375
Start Longitude -1.0643569
Nearest Post Code NG21 9QB
Sherwood Forest Budby Heath by Spike #spikeblogs
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This is an entertaining route leading out of Sherwood Forest before briefly entering the wilds. It crosses through the beautiful Budby Heath before descending gently back toward the outer edge of magical Sherwood Forest.

Great route if you want to see the RSPB Sherwood Forest NNR different from the normal perspective. Given that it’s just under 5 miles, this route will surely appeal to walkers of all ages, experience and ability.


Spikes Rating is subjective. Regardless of walk, hike or ride it’s uniquely based on; Terrain Condition, Variety, Seclusion, Services/Pub, Exploration, Photography, Wildlife, Points of Interest, Natural Beauty & Camp Potential.

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