Famous for being the home of folkloric outlaw Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest, in Nottinghamshire, England, is the stuff of legend. The hotels neighbouring it are pretty legendary, too. There are accommodation options with acres of formal gardens, croquet lawns, spas and roll-top baths. There’s even a place where Queen Victoria stayed in the early 19th century. Here’s our pick – bookable on Culture Trip.
Just a five-minute walk from Sherwood Forest Park, the Forest Lodge Hotel is set inside an 18th-century coaching inn. A few of the bedrooms include period features, such as Victorian fireplaces and four-poster beds, but they’re modern spaces on the whole. The restaurant is the best place to take in the hotel’s heritage; it has soaring beamed ceilings and wood-panelled walls. The menu, meanwhile, is full of classic pub dishes, including steak and ale pie.
Multiple books could be written about the history of Ye Old Belle, a 25-minute drive from Sherwood Forest. It was a key stop-off for 17th-century stagecoaches, and the young Queen Victoria lodged here in 1835. Period features and antiques are everywhere, especially in the four-poster bedrooms and the Restaurant Bar 1650, complete with chandeliered ceilings and wood-panelled walls. The spa is the exception – it offers 11 modern thermal experiences, including a snowstorm walk.
This Grade II-listed manor house hotel, a 40-minute drive from Sherwood Forest, is engulfed by green. There are 6 acres (2ha) of formal gardens, including a rose garden and an Italian garden. Beyond this, there’s parkland laced with quad bike trails and archery and clay pigeon shooting areas. The grounds are also home to a garden spa, with highlights including a blossom steam room, a Himalayan salt sauna and a treehouse relaxation lounge.
Inside a row of renovated colliery cottages, Twin Oaks Hotel is a half-hour drive from Sherwood Forest. The rooms here still have a cosy cottage feel to them, with lots of wood and earthy colour schemes. The restaurant is the hub of this hotel; everything from breakfast to afternoon tea is available here. Whatever you order, you can count on hearty portions – the onion rings are as big as bangles, for example.
Once a farmhouse, the Dovecote Inn has been a village pub since 1835. Inside, it has all the hallmarks of a classic countryside inn, including beamed ceilings, exposed stone walls, open fireplaces and a blackboard menu listing the day’s specials. Meanwhile, the bedrooms, with their tweed accents and wood colour schemes, are in a modern barn conversion away from the main pub.
With its red-brick walls and white sash windows, this Georgian townhouse hotel is in the pretty market town of Newark, a 40-minute drive from Sherwood Forest. There are just three elegantly decorated ensuite rooms here. One room features a roll-top bath, while another one has an antique brass bedstead. You can enjoy breakfast at the hotel and relax in the drawing room, with its plump sofas, chandelier ceiling and open fire.
This Grade I-listed 19th-century country house hotel is just a 10-minute drive from Sherwood Forest, but as there’s so much to do here, you may struggle to find time to visit the forest. Thoresby Hall offers a long list of organised activities, from falconry to wine tasting. It has two restaurants and a terrace where you can enjoy drinks while taking in views of the croquet lawn. Also, there are regular party nights with live music and special guests.
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