I saw an advertisement for the Robin Hood Festival and felt that as American I was required to attend to I put it in my calendar and on the appointed day off I went. Parking was easy as it was in a field adjacent to the entrance to Sherwood Forest. Yes, THE Sherwood Forest. Not the fake on you may have seen in other places. It is an actual park with stores, displays, a restaurant and entertainment. It is an actual forest too by the way, lest anyone confuse it with a couple trees masquerading as a forest. I paid my entry fee and headed in to the fabled forest and as I had arrived a bit late the place was filled with tourists already. I stopped in for a quick bit and had some authentic Robin Hood sandwich and a little John drink to make the day totally authentic.
I couldn’t pass up the souvenir store and identified some targets for purchase later in the day so I didn’t have to carry them all over the place. There was a picnic area, and areas cordoned off for actors who were performing with instruments or just acting out a scene from the time period for the onlookers. I continued on down a marked route through the forest to see where it went as it was part of the festivities.
They really went all out for this as there were buildings, tents and various setups throughout the maze I wandered through filled with period actors and actresses. Everyone was in their Robin Hood era clothing, playing their parts and traveling around the forest. I passed groups of actors on a wagon heading off somewhere with supplies and goods for sale perhaps somewhere else in the area. As I recall there were a couple guys with a very old saw demonstrating it’s use to enthralled onlookers. People were stopped watching bread being made, tools fabricated and people living their lives as they would have done long ago. All, Quite fascinating to say the least.
I managed to find my way to a clearing where seats were set up and a large area was cordoned off for some type of an event. And true to form there was a jousting event and small battle recreations enacted throughout the day for the crowd. I sat myself down on the grass adjacent to the larger of the areas and watched knights reenact jousts and head to head battles. It was it appeared to be a series of events where knights would battle each other in a variety of events to win the attention of the Queen or perhaps a Princess. All the activity made the event quite interesting.
I managed to pry myself away and wander down another path and what do I see but a setup where anyone could come by and pretend to be a news anchor on a stage the BBC had set up there. I of course walked up to the table to ask what was going on and one of the staff immediately recognized I was an american and began having some fun with me. The accent thing again, and we both had some fun with it and I ended up with a few extra parting gifts probably because I was good natured about the whole thing. As I was joking with the BBC staff a very attractive blonde walked over and it turned out to be Ann Davies. I happened to be a watcher of BBC while I lived over there so I recognized here and asked to take a picture. She of course obliged and I must say she is quite attractive in person as she is on tv. We chatted a bit, I snapped a couple photos and moved on after saying goodbye to the event hosts. What a luck turn of events, Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest, Ann Davies, Wow.
I worked my way back through the forest and turned up again at the place where I entered and there were a couple people playing some type of instrument I’d never seen before. It was something that was played several hundred years ago and I don’t unfortunately recall what the name of it was but I did sit and listen for a bit.
Well, it was back to the store to make some purchases and I ended up getting some Sherwood forest chocolate and various other candies for myself and to mail home for the others to sample. A great day in Sherwood Forest if I do say so. If I’m ever in England and the fest is on I intend to show up again and enjoy the festivities.