The town of Edwinstowe was last year named the best place to live in Nottinghamshire by a lifestyle publication. With its variety of independent shops, pubs and restaurants, villagers say it ‘has it all’.
And its location on the edge of Sherwood Forest, a major Nottinghamshire tourist destination, synonymous with the legend of Robin Hood and his merry men, attracting hundreds of thousands of people each year, is treasured by those who live nearby.
In fact, some Edwinstowe people visit the Nottinghamshire landmark, home to the legendary Major Oak, estimated to be around 1000 years old, on a daily basis.
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“I love it here, it’s so peaceful and the forest is just around the corner,” says Andrew Garton, 60, who enjoys the tranquility of the area. “We have all the stores we need around here.
“We used to have dogs and we were in the woods with them all the time. It’s a lovely place.”
Retired Christine Prince, 69, who has lived in the village for over 40 years with her husband Gordon, says: “The walks and the woods are my favorite parts, we’d be lost without them.
“We go to the forest every day, sometimes twice a day. If we didn’t have a dog, we would still go there for a walk, but there are many walks in the village and in the forest.”
But the town is also well connected to other parks, as Gordon explains. “There are trails we can ride for two or three miles, and there’s also Clumber Park and Rufford Park not too far away.”
In their 40 years of living in the town they have noticed changes. Says Christine, “The town has grown a lot, which we don’t like, but that’s the future. More housing, more people and more congestion on the roads, something we’ve all noticed over the years.”
Retired Peter Dedine, 72, says: “The village has it all, it’s the community and the forest, the fantastic cricket club, lovely restaurants and a friendly pub. It’s all on your doorstep.”
“My wife walks to the woods every day, and even though I don’t go every day, I do go a lot.” Veteran Julian Thomas, 59, who has lived in the town his entire life,
He said: “It’s just a nice quiet town, friendly people and a low crime rate.”
Giving his opinion of Edwinstowe, a 67-year-old man, who does not wish to be named, says: “It used to be a lovely town where everyone knew everyone and it was very friendly, and that was down to the mining aspect.” .
“It has changed a lot since then. Sometimes it can be busy due to tourism.”
When asked what he likes most about the town, he says, “Probably the forest, it’s great and we don’t appreciate it because, in two minutes, you could be in the forest, but for someone who lives somewhere else, you have to travel”. To visit him. We take it for granted.”
It comes as the Newark and Sherwood District Council works with partners on future improvements to the forest and the wider area. And the long-standing, family-run Sherwood Forest Fun Park, located within the forest, recently closed after 300 years.