Outdoors,  Walks & Hikes

Sherwood Forest Outer Walk

This Sherwood Forest Outer Walk is a clockwise loop of the perimeter trails. Crossing the normal visitor path, it offers glimpses of the rolling fields that contain Sherwood Forest and then draws us back in via the Major Oak.


In the second half of 2018 the management of Sherwood Forest NNR (National Nature Reserve) was taken over by the RSPB. A number of significant changes have taken pace. The old crumbling visitors centre is now closed together with the adjacent car park. The new Sherwood Forest visitor centre is now open and can be found overlooking the Edwinstowe cricket ground. Car parking is now situated directly opposite, across the main road.


If parking in the new car park, this hike starts by crossing the road and following the path up to the right, towards the old visitor centre. Picking up the start of the GPX route we take a sharp left and head out on a wooded trail that drops down towards the heart of Sherwood Forest.

After crossing the main visitor trails the path narrows as rolling farm land opens to the left and denser varied forest flanks our right. There’s good natural variety for a couple of miles before the trail turns right, in-towards a gentle ascent.

Mile 3 to 4 is my favourite. The woodland has lots of variety; from pine plantation to storm damaged ancient oaks, this is a brilliant place to break out your favourite tree reference guide. Plenty of spots for a wild picnic too!

Mile 4 to 5 undulates a little before crossing the main visitor route and turning into the central Sherwood Forest parkland. There’s various areas of natural interest on the return leg. I’d strongly advise a little exploration here, not too far off the beaten path you can gain a wonderful appreciation for the ancient nature of this treasured forest.


This route is ideal for a mid-way rest, but please be wary of where you stop. Many of the trees here are very old. Dead branches, hanging twigs and debris can be a real overhead danger, so please remember…

Before you sit down – always look up! – Spike

Horses, ranger vehicles, cyclists and logging activity can feature along this route. Please give way to all traffic and follow any signs and warnings regarding log stacks, dangers and active forestry works too.

When you return, there’s a variety of refreshments and service in and around the visitors centre. If closed the quaint little village of Edwinstowe opens up just around the corner. There a choice of pubs, general stores and food stops are peppered all along the high street. It’s well worth a wander if you still have the legs!

Distance 6.1mi.
Average Pace 3.0mph
Duration Estimate 02h 04m
Total Ascent 314ft
Surface Type Mixed trail · Natural path
Surface Condition Variable · Good
Steepest Ascent +7.8% (at 2.7mi.)
Steepest Descent -11.1% (at 4.0mi.)
Total Uphill 2.5mi. (42%)
Total Downhill 2.4mi. (39%)
Grid Reference SK 62686 67201
Start Latitude 53.198199
Start Longitude -1.0631016
Nearest Post Code NG21 9HN
Sherwood Forest Outer by Spike #spikeblogs

Plat A Route logo by Spike #spikeblogs

Sherwood Forest elevation by Spike #spikeblogs

This is a beautiful perimeter route of Sherwood Forest NNR. The outward path takes you along the boundary before climbing gently into the forest. The return leg curves through the nature reserve passing by the legendary Major Oak, and onward to the old visitor centre and beyond.

This route perhaps best suits folk familiar with the popular visitor trails, interested in exploring a little further afield. There’s gentle terrain variety, gradual gradients and beautiful flora and fauna to watch out for.

At 6 miles long, this route does require an effort so sensible footwear, fluids and a little food are wise luggage. There’s good mobile and GPS service with Edwinstowe village the nearest stop for services and refreshments.

Robin Hood wasn’t home when I passed, but there are signs of activity & rumours he’s been seen in the area! 


Spikes Rating is subjective. Whether a 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.

Sherwood Forest Budby Heath Route

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