Britain Celebrates Robin Hood

Robin Hood's Major OakVisitBritain, the national tourist office for England, Scotland and Wales, invites travelers to visit the British sites that set the stage for this year's action-adventure movie from director Ridley Scott, Robin Hood, starring Oscar-winners Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, in theaters May 14. VisitBritain has just launched a Robin Hood-themed microsite, www.visitbritain.us/robinhood, which offers in-depth itineraries, behind-the-scenes location information and travel ideas.

Visitors can follow in the legend's footsteps while walking Nottinghamshire's Robin Hood trail, stopping at 12 thematic locations along the way that explore the legend of Robin Hood. Nottingham Castle has a Robin Hood - The Movie exhibition of costumes, props and behind-the-scenes memorabilia from the new film, which was created by the movie's set designer, Sonja Klaus, and will be on display through October 2010. May is Robin Hood month in Nottingham, with activities planned including, jousting, archery and medieval festivals (www.mynottingham.gov.uk/robinhood). Travelers can also explore the stunning locations that provide the backdrop for the film, which was shot on location in England and Wales.

Nottinghamshire - Home of Robin Hood: In Nottinghamshire, travelers can embark on the Robin Hood trail using a map that highlights 12 locations throughout Nottinghamshire. Each location is relevant to the legend and includes places he lived, fought, hunted and preyed upon rich folk. "In the Footsteps of Robin Hood," a free audio trail podcast is available for free download on the website.

Visitors to Nottingham Castle can tour the 17th century mansion built on the site of the original medieval palace, once the seat of power for the Sheriff of Nottingham. Just a short distance away from the Old Market Square, this ducal mansion, which is in use as a museum and art gallery, houses most of Nottinghamshire's finest and decorative art collections. Also at the foot of the castle is the seven-foot Robin Hood statue.

Travel back in time at the Galleries of Justice Museum and discover the days when Nottingham Shire Hall was the only place in the UK where a person could be tried, incarcerated and hanged on the front steps, all in the name of justice. Visitors can see England's history of crime and punishments come to life through actors, audio guides and more. An underground dungeon has recently been identified as being the cell thought to be where Robin Hood was imprisoned by the Sheriff of Nottingham.

City of Caves plays an integral part in Nottingham's history, as well as the time of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Visitors can travel back in time at this popular attraction and explore the labyrinth of unique hand-carved limestone caves underneath the city, which once led to the Nottingham Castle.

Legends say Robin Hood lived in many parts of Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve. Here, visitors can find the famous Major Oak (pictured above)—the oldest living tree in the forest that some say was Robin Hood's hideout. Visitors can also travel along walking and cycling trails and stop by the new "Robin Hood-The Movie" exhibition, which appears like a medieval encampment deep in the forest. A large wooden cart that was used in the film provides rustic seating to view behind-the-scenes footage. In August, visitors can enjoy the annual Robin Hood Festival, which dramatically re-creates the Robin Hood legend with sword fighting, story telling and archery demonstrations.

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