Edwinstowe (meaning resting place of Edwin) is where Robin Hood allegedly had his camp in Sherwood Forest. The local church, St.Mary's claims to be where he married Maid Marrion.
Surrounded by all that remains of Sherwood Forest, Edwinstowe is now an ex-pit village with a thriving tourist industry.
Road - From Nottingham (20 miles) take the A614 north. From Mansfield (10 miles) the A6075 east. From Newark (11 miles) the A616 west and from Retford (10 miles) take the A1 south.
Rail - Nearest station is Newark Northgate (on the east coast main line) or Mansfield Woodhouse (on the local Robin Hood line).
Bus / Coach - Stagecoach bus services 33 and 36 connect Retford and Nottingham via Edwinstowe. Bus service 15 leaves from Mansfield to Ollerton via Edwinstowe.
Air - Small local airstrip at Gamston (near Retford). Nearest major airport is East Midlands Airport about 35 miles to the south-west.
Edwinstowe is a pretty small place so walking is the method of choice. Local taxi services will take you further (but get them to quote you a price before travelling). It is possible to hire bikes from Center Parcs (if you are a resident).
Another tip, the local council seem to have realised people want to visit the forest so charge appallingly high prices for the car park. If you have a car, it is best to park on the rather twee newish housing estate that backs on to the forest and walk through an alley by the Youth Hostel. Hint - Paddock Close (a wierd name as there is no paddock and its not a "close" i.e. cul-de-sac) is the best place to park - although avoid the locals who seem to be constantly mowing the lawn / washing their car / sweeping the drive in order to keep an eye on you. :-)
In Edwinstowe itself
Other local attractions that have proved to be worth a visit include:
Lots of Robin Hood dross in all the local shops. If you like "tat" you'll be in heaven. The local craft center (near the forest) also sells "stuff" of variable quality by local artisans.
Rufford Park has a shop with a large selection of rather cool pottery. It also includes some appalling clay "troll/elf" type figures that I just wanted to smash. However, Rufford is very expensive so I had to make do with my Robin Hood pencil sharpener.
Eat / Drink
Edwinstowe contains no less than seven pubs, most of which are on the high-street. The "Forest Lodge" also contains an o.k. resturant and will serve passable "bar food" (i.e. <insert meat dish here> and "chips" with a round of veg). We spotted at least two Chinese take-aways (of unknown quality), an Indian take-away that sells radioactive looking (and tasting) curry and a Chip Shop called (wait for it) "Robin Hood's Plaice". The inhabitants (numbering about 5000) surely know a thing or two about greasy food and drink! The well known Dukeries Hotel has now been re-branded (to the horror of locals) to "Ma' Bell's".
Sherwood Forest Youth Hostel, Forest Corner, Edwinstowe, Mansfield, Notts, NG21 9RN Tel: 01623 825794 Fax: 01623 825796 Email: [email protected]
Open: Feb to Dec (not Xmas) + New Year (1.00pm) Capacity: 39 Family Bunk Rooms: available
Prices per night: Adult - £12.50 Junior - £8.50
A purpose-built modern youth hostel. An ideal base for exploring Robin Hood country. Just a short walk to Major Oak and Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre.
Although there are various B&B's dotted around the village the Youth Hostel is probably the best option in terms of value-for-money and facilities.
If you want to try something a little less basic there is a Center Parcs holiday village a mile south of the village. Visit http://www.centerparcs.com/ for more information. Although unavailable to this writer, according to locals it contains a domed faux-tropical swimming pool with chutes, wave machine and other water related fun, a lake for sailing, windsurfing and plenty of other fun and games for members of the family of all ages. However, locals warned of buying produce from the super-markets within the holiday village itself as the prices are a lot higher than those found a mile away in Edwinstowe's Co-op superstore shop.
The local ISP runs a web portal for the locals: http://www.edwinstowe.net/forum/main.php
Check out the official "Edwinstowe" site at: http://www.edwinstowe.co.uk/pages/main.htm but not a lot seems to be going on there.
Most useful information can be found via google at: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&q=edwinstowe&spell=1