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Guest blogger Dale Twigger the Web/SEO Marketing Officer for Experience Nottinghamshire shares how they promote the world famous Sherwood Forest:
From a tourism perspective, promoting the history of Sherwood
Forest is an essential part of enabling visitors to the area to get the most
value from their experience.
One of the main things that we try and do on our website is
present Sherwood Forest as several major country parks, including Clumber Park, Thoresby
Park, Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve and Sherwood Pines. Whilst the
history of Sherwood has meant a fragmented forest in some ways, we are still
very fortunate to have such excellent open spaces available to the public.
Many visitors associate Sherwood Forest as the home of Robin Hood too,
so it’s important to relate the forest and its ancient history to potential
visitors. Recently, we have re-launched the Robin Hood audio trail online,
which takes visitors around 15 countywide locations.
On the trail, you’ll obviously find Nottingham Castle and
the National Nature Reserve but we also include King John’s Palace in King’s Clipstone
as a former royal hunting lodge. The lodge was the recent subject of a Channel
4 Time Team investigation.
On the trail, we also acknowledge some of the woodland areas
that add value and enable visitors to get off the beaten track a little. Places
like Thieves Wood and Fountaindale are included and reference is also made to
Haywood Oaks near Blidworth.
More recent history also plays a part in adding depth to the
marketing of Sherwood Forest. The Dukeries area which is a unique area of the
estates of English nobility include Thoresby Hall, Clumber Park, Welbeck Abbey,
Rufford Abbey and Worksop Manor.
Whilst Worksop Manor no longer exists, we are able to work
with the other four estates. In particular, the Welbeck Estate has recently
expanded its visitor experience with the addition of the School of Artisan Food
and in summer 2012 the No Direction Home Festival will take place in the estate
All in all, we try to use the history of Sherwood Forest as
much as possible to be able to offer depth to the visitor experience. As the
forest has fragmented over time, it sometimes can be difficult to present but
overall we’re excited about the future.
Nottinghamshire County Council are currently investigating
options for a new visitor centre at the National Nature Reserve and remain
committed to the long term aim of developing regional park status for the
forest. Hopefully the new visitor centre can act as a central reference point
for wider Sherwood Forest which takes in the areas I’ve mentioned and more.
If we continue to promote the broader area through our
website and social media, and with exciting new developments under
consideration, we’re enthusiastic that visitors to the region will be able to
engage more with the wonderful depth of offer that Sherwood Forest provides.