Sometimes the smaller activities are the best. Sometimes you have to just do the weird and wacky. The Robin Hood Experience in Nottingham was one of those ‘I can’t believe it’s still open’ places.
I’m still not sure what N thought of it. I wish I’d had longer to stay and read all the information but N was in his usual whizz round mode and ready for lunch.
On our 2nd day in Nottingham, we were blitzing the visitor attractions. When you visit somewhere that’s walkable, it means you can fit a lot into just a couple of days. The weather wasn’t that great with the rain due in at lunchtime, so we were looking for indoor attractions that were fairly short, but gave a little interest and education.
I have to admit that N’s education on Robin Hood is somewhat lacking compared to my childhood. Back in the 80s to 00s we had multiple options on tv and film to watch Robin Hood. From children’s tv Maid Marian and her Merrie Men, to Robin of Sherwood with Michael Praed. and then Jason Connery. Right through to the 2006 Jonas Armstrong Robin Hood series. Not forgetting of course Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. I think the only film I’ve seen at the cinema more than once.
But N’s not seen more than the first part of Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood, so his knowledge needed bringing up to date. The Robin Hood Experience would do that.
If you’re expecting big and flashy you couldn’t be further from the truth. The Robin Hood Experience is basically a few floors of a small sized shop/house. Be prepared to climb stairs, no room for pushchairs, and no access other than a small space on the first floor for wheelchairs.
It’s basically a mix of a museum of memorabilia to the history of the legend of Robin Hood, as told through history and the small and large screen.
It’s a quirky and eccentric experience, and I can’t really imagine you seeing anywhere like it outside of the UK.
You pay your entry fee, then start at the top of the building and work your way down. The experience includes smells, sound and sight (think a cheaper smaller version of the Jorvik Centre). It takes you through the different characters found in the Robin Hood history, how they appeared through the years in different incarnations. There’s fun facts and trivia throughout the different floors and rooms, with everything you can imagine crammed in various rooms and down the stairways.
There’s so much to read, touch and look at. We even went over stepping stones across the stairway at one point.
Surprisingly N enjoyed the ‘children’s room. There you could complete your own Wanted portrait and reason for warrant of arrest and add it to the world. The post it wall with visitors names was a fun touch.
We had a sword fight (because why not), although we drew the line at dressing up. I could imagine young children would love it in the room.
Downstairs was all the tv and film memorabilia and toys. Some I remembered seeing in my childhood, but there was so much. Definitely a chance to reminisce.
There’s a small gift shop area as you arrive and leave, but we didn’t hang around as lunch was calling. You’re always greeted as you arrive by the person on the till who’s dressed as one of the characters. I can’t say ours looked much like Maid Marian, but you may be luckier and meet Robin Hood!
For a 30 minutes to 1 hour stop off between other activities, the Robin Hood Experience is a bit of fun for those of us who grew up watching various Robin Hood shows on tv or at the movies. I think N was a bit bemused by the place (I have to admit it was a little off the wall for a tourist attraction when nowadays we’re used to seeing much more modern flashy places to visit). It’s a bit old fashioned, a bit like a junk shop, but full of memories and lots of information if you want to gen up on the myth or reality of the legend of Robin Hood.
Only a small walk across the road you’ll find the statue of Robin Hood by Nottingham Castle (the latter unfortunately shut down), so you can have your photos taken with the man himself.
I’m now thinking I need to rewatch some of the old tv shows and introduce N to them.
Which Robin Hood do you remember?
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