Robin Hood (spelled Robyn Hode in older manuscripts) is a heroic outlaw in English folklore, a highly skilled archer and swordsman. He has become known for “robbing from the rich and giving to the poor”, assisted by a group of outlaws known as his “Merry Men”. The origin of the legend is claimed by some to have stemmed from actual outlaws, but some say it is only from ballad and story.


Robin Hood and his band of “merry men” are usually shown as living in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, where much of the action in the early ballads takes place. So does the very first recorded Robin Hood rhyme, four lines from the early 15th century, beginning: “Robyn hode in scherewode stod.

In modern versions of the legend, Robin Hood is said to live in Sherwood Forest in the county of Nottinghamshire. For this reason the people of present-day Nottinghamshire have a special affinity with Robin Hood, often claiming him as the symbol of the county.

Specific sites linked to Robin Hood include the Major Oak tree, located in Sherwood Forest County Park, which is claimed to have been used by him as a hideout. Robin Hood’s Well, located near Newstead Abbey (within the boundaries of Sherwood Forest), and the Church of St. Mary in the village of Edwinstowe, where Robin and Maid Marian are historically thought to have been married.


There are many stories of Robin Hood and Nottingham Castle. Nottingham Castle was used by the Sheriff of Nottingham as a court and if Robin was captured, he would have been held prisoner within the dungeons or towers of the Castle. However, the stories always tell of Robin getting out sometimes with the help of his Merry Men and who knows he may have even used the caves and tunnels under the Castle to escape back to Sherwood Forest.


Nottingham Castle is located in a commanding position on a natural promontory known as "Castle Rock", with cliffs 130 feet high to the south and west.

In the Middle Ages it was a major royal fortress and occasional royal residence. In decline by the 16th century, it was largely demolished in 1649.

The Duke of Newcastle later built a mansion on the site, which was burnt down by rioters in 1831 and left as a ruin.

It was later rebuilt to house an art gallery and museum, which remain in use to this day.

Little of the original castle survives, but sufficient portions remain to give an impression of the layout of the site.

For more information: Nottingham Castle

Discover a hidden world beneath your feet underneath the streets of Nottingham. Explore original sandstone caves on performance tours with friendly characters, Archie and Annie the Archaeologists, or wander through at your own pace with a fantastic audio tour.

You will be taken on an archaeological journey under the cobbles of some of Nottingham’s most famous streets and up through Drury Hill. Discover how Nottingham dwellers once lived and learn about their journey through the ages.

See the caves as they have never been seen before, stripped back to their original historic element and discover the logic that went into building, shaping and maintaining these fascinating dwellings.

For more information: City of Caves