Saturday, June 12, 2010

12 June 2010 Sherwood Forest, Newstead Abbey, Epperstone Manor

A cute squirrel in Sherwood Forest. NB there is no rabies in England.

Mick standing in front of the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest.

Lyn standing by the Sherwood Forest sign.

Lyn in front of the Major Oak Sherwood Forest.

Mick at Epperstone Manor, Epperstone where he did his Police training.

A gardener made out of chicken wire. Superb in real life.

Superb Lion Skin rugs at Newstaed Abbey.

Newstead Abbey, ancestoral home of Lord Byron.

Newstead Abbey

Mick holding historic helmet, Newstead Abbey (sign said I could!)

Lyn at Newstead Abbey

Today we went to Sherwood Forest, then to Epperstone Manor followed by Newstead Abbey.

Sherwood Forest is where Robin Hood reputedly lived and is about 20m miles north of Nottingham. There is a huge Oak Tree called the Major Oak where he hung out with his Merry Men and under which he no doubt had the odd interlude with Maid Marion (see pic it's not X rated).

Sherwood Forest is a beautiful place with lots of wild life. We saw quite a few grey squirrels (see pic) which are such cute animals. Driving through the English countryside to get there is quite something and Lyn can't get over how beautiful it is.

We heard a cuckoo ringing out through the forest and saw lots of other different birds. And no, we didn't see Russell Crowe or for that matter Kate Blanchett.

After the mandatory tour through the gift shop and the passing over of pounds to the checkout operator we were off to Epperstone, a small village about 15 miles out of Nottingham. We didn't plan to go there but we saw the sign on the way out to Sherwood Forest.
I did my Police Training at Epperstone Manor in the early 60's and was keen to see if the old parade ground was still used. Alas the whole place has been sold to developers and we had a long chat to the chap who bought it. He allowed us to take a few pictures as the Manor was being converted to 6 units with million pound plus price tags. I did a salute on the front steps (see pic). He was also building many more units in the grounds and was planning to build a house for himself as well. Since it has extensive grounds there was plenty of room to build many homes.

It was then on to Newstead Abbey which used to be a priory and the ancestral home of Lord Byron. We did a tour of the Abbey and the grounds which were spectacular with wonderful gardens, lawns and lakes which were full of water birds. We found this exquisite statue of a gardener which was made out of chicken wire (see pic). Also inside the Abbey were 2 lion skin rugs complete with heads (see pic).
As well as a tourist attraction it is also available for weddings and one was being held whilst we were there although we were un-impressed when the bride arrived in a 1975 Ford Cortina (even though it had been done up beautifully). We both thought such an exquisite place deserved better. Anyway, when the bride got out with large visible tattoos on her arms and an ill matching outfit we had to leave!

We grabbed a drumstick from cafeteria (not called that in the UK) and headed home.

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