We left Redbourne in rain this morning but it fined up, remained fairly overcast but fine for the rest of the day.
We made a few changes on the run today. Still visited a couple of Churches and castles but quick visits and early into Edwinstowe to have time for a relax at the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve.
First stop was Lincoln and a look at one small section of the castle, we had no interest in a detailed look but it is a big castle. Built around 1068 by William the Conqueror and involved in a number of battles after that, the castle is still in use and contains the Law Courts. The castle also contains a copy of the Magna Carta, but having come across two other copies displayed, we didn't have it as a high priority. We then took a look around the ruins of the Bishop's Palace but due to rain and flooding damage earlier in the year, only the Tower was accessible. The climb up the tower was by the usual spiral staircase but this one has a stone handrail all the way up. We hadn't come across that before. Met a lovely lady in attendance there.She immediately identified the Philip Island Superbike lanyard on the camera and being a Superbikes fan and bike rider, we got to talking for quite a while.
We then dropped a couple of nominated locations and headed directly to Newark-on-Trent as that was the shortest way to Sherwood. Stopping in Newark-on-Trent was a lucky break as we managed to get a free park, no easy feat I tell you. We went for a coffee and dropped in on the Church of St Mary Magdalene as it is a very old church and Newark-on-Trent had involvement in the civil war. The church is still in fairly good condition outside and beautiful inside. After a look around the local market, we were on our way again.
We were just exiting the village of Ompton when there was a traffic holdup and cars were turning around. Flashing lights of a police car were visible further ahead so we assumed that the road was blocked. We about faced and found an alternative route as Google maps started to show red on the section we had been about to travel. The detour took us through some narrow roads and farming country and judging by the oncoming traffic, the road was being used by inbound traffic as well. Only added a few minutes to the drive.
Into Edwinstowe and dropped the car off at our accommodation and walked the couple of kilometres to the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve. There is not a lot of the original Sherwood Forest left these days and steps were taken to save the remainder. The reserve is now about 450 acres of what was once a 10,000 acre forest. What was there is great to walk through though we weren't lucky enough to see much in the way of animals, except for a few squirrels and birds. There are supposed to be small numbers of Red Deer but not where we were today. Apparently, even though Robin Hood and his Merry Men are no longer there, deer poaching is still a problem. A key focal point of the reserve is "The Major Oak" . This old Oak tree is estimated to be at least 1,150 years old. The story goes that an Oak takes 300 years to grow, 300 years to live and 300 years to die. This one has its main branches held up by props to support their weight and the main trunk is almost hollow, eaten by fungi. Tonight's accommodation is across the road from the church in which legend says, Robin Hood and Maid Marion were married.
A good day today with plenty of time to relax and enjoy things. We now need to plan our last few days on the road to make the best use of them.