Robin Hood’s Major Oak, Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire

Robin Hood’s Major Oak stands magnificent in Sherwood Forest just a short stroll from the Visitor Centre at Edwinstowe. At least 800 years old, possibly 1100, it is one of many ancient and gnarly oaks in this part of the forest; in 2022 it was chosen as one of 70 trees across the UK for the Queen’s Green Canopy, a Jubilee event to inspire more tree planting.

How big is it exactly? Well, the canopy spread is 28 metres, the trunk circumference is 11 metres and it’s estimated to weigh at least 23 tonnes. It’s not known for sure if the trunk is just one, or if it’s formed of several smaller ones fused together over the hundreds of years that it’s steadily grown through winter storms and snow, through ravaging winds and scorching sun. It’s certainly stood the test of time but needs a little help in its old age, so the trunk is fenced off and the heavy boughs are supported.

According to legend, this is the very tree that Robin Hood and his band of merry men took refuge in, hiding in its enormous trunk, sleeping in its mighty branches. These days it provides shelter to countless creatures – squirrels, bats, beetles and a myriad more insects and fungi. If you’re in this part of the world on your large group holiday, go and see this old man of the forest so you can tell all your friends you’ve seen Robin Hood’s Major Oak. Then, quite appropriately, go to The Royal Oak for a hearty pub lunch.

All information correct at the time of writing

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