Sherwood Forest YHA – 10th September 2011

Posted by @ 9:31 pm on Tuesday 11th October, 2011.

As we were travelling to Sherwood Forest YHA on the Friday afternoon we were expecting the weekend to be grim - 80mph winds were forecast for the next few days, courtesy of the tail-end of Hurricane Katia. Not the best of conditions for woodland walking, but ideal for finding the limits of the Montane Lite-Speed H2O windproof jacket that was supplied by Adam Smith. Well... nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.

 

Sherwood Forest YHA

 

After getting sorted at the hostel we went out into the calm warm late afternoon and walked into Edwinstowe in search of bar-meals. Enquiries at pubs drew blanks, but we were directed to Dukeries Lodge on the High Street. Their restaurant room was booked for a celebration but they made up a table for us near the bar and gave us great service. The food was excellent, a cut above our usual standard of fare, the servings were huge but the prices low. Result!

We strolled back to the hostel wondering where the bad weather was.

Next morning we were up bright and early for the mandatory YHA breakfast, and after that we kitted up for a walk around the local woodlands and headed off for the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre.

 

On the way to the Visitor Centre

 

On arrival a guide-map was purchased for a nominal fee. On the back was a 10% discount voucher for meals at Dukeries Lodge, so that was the evening vittles sorted. Serendipity or what?

Anyway, there was plenty of "Robin Hood stuff" going on all around. He was in the tress, on posters, inside key-rings, in a movie and even in the toilets. He's going a bit grey in his old age, though:

 

Robin Hood

 

There was a good choice of well-graded paths through the woods so we concocted a DIY circuit that would tax the kids a bit and eventually bring us to the Major Oak. As you'd expect, there was plenty of interesting stuff to point the camera at:

 

Confused bracket fungus on a fallen trunk

 

One of many old oak trees

 

A mushroomy thing

 

Fallen wood #1

 

Fallen wood #2

 

Stragglers

 

The stragglers sent up front

 

To the adults it was a Chestnut, to the kids it was a baby hedgehog. It had to be cared for, mainly by feeding it biscuits:

 

The Woodlanders

 

Red Admiral

 

Some of the enclosures were set aside for grazing. In one there were many of these beasts, I got fairly close but legged it when the leader started to scrape the ground and got set for a charge:

 

Close enough

 

Too close!!!

 

Back on the path all was sweetness and light...

 

Hands

 

until I was brutally attacked by a stick. I was walking a pace or two behind Chris when she stepped on the end of a fallen branch. The other end was levered into the air just in time and at just the right height for me to walk straight into it, thus spearing my knackers with some force. There was much swearing while I crouched doubled-over at the side of the path. Anna laughed but the younger kids were curious as to what I was doing, luckily they were satisfied with the honest explanation that I was "checking for nuts". As far as I know, there are no photos of this event or of the aftermath.

 

Storm damage

 

A spot of easy tree-climbing

 

The Face Tree

 

The Knobbly Tree

 

At last we arrived at the Major Oak and sat at the picnic-tables while scoffing our packed lunch. The kids had a go at archery, the adults declined (I was in no fit state to be toting a 50lb-pull bow):

 

The Major Oak

 

Anna on the pull

 

The trunk of the Major Oak

 

Note the wide stance and the pained expression

 

Back at the Visitor Centre I got my revenge on Anna:

 

Gotta get me one of these for home!

 

After that we spent a while at the kids' playground and then made our way back to the hostel. Despite the forecast it had been a dry, warm and calm day.

Washed and changed, we went off to Dukeries Lodge again for another fine meal. While we were there the heavens opened and a storm hit, the roads were more like streams and the drains didn't cope. I was hoping that it would last until I could get the Montane jacket wet but by the time we'd finished desserts the storm had passed on and all was warm and calm again. The jacket would have to wait another day - the forecast for Sunday was for some badass weather.

Back at the hostel we stayed up to watch yet another Last Night of The Proms bereft of Henry Wood's Fantasia on British Sea Songs. Barstewards!

 

To be continued...

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