Lovely Nottinghamshire village steeped in folklore and surrounded by nature for families to enjoy

High Street in Edwinstowe.
-Credit: (Image: Nottingham Post)

Nottinghamshire is not short on brilliant places to live, but not many offer a mix of mythological scenery and picturesque village life. The historic village of Edwinstowe sits just outside Nottinghamshire's legendary Sherwood Forest and offers a lot to residents with its access to the great outdoors, good schools, quality food and drink, and reasonable house prices.

Legend has it that it was here, at the beautiful medieval Grade-I-listed church of St Mary, that brave outlaw Robin married Maid Marian. The folklore vigilante and his band of Merry Men also supposedly took shelter at the Major Oak within Sherwood Forest, a colossal 1,000-year-old tree named after soldier Major Hayman Rooke.

And while naysayers may argue Robin Hood spent most of his time in Yorkshire or even did not exist at all, what's less controversial is that Edwinstowe is a lovely place to live and visit. Villagers say those inhabiting its pleasant streets share a strong sense of community and enjoy unparalleled access to the countryside, as well as the impressive canopy of the 375-hectare forest.

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There is a charming high street and although there are unsurprisingly no supermarkets, all the usual chains are just a short drive away in towns like Mansfield and Shirebrook. Nottingham or Sheffield are just 50 minutes away by car if you need to do any intensive retail therapy, but there are also enough stores to nip to for a few bits, as well as a craft centre selling homemade products like unique jewellery, chocolate, and handmade soap.

The Major Oak in Nottingham forest
The Major Oak in Nottingham forest -Credit:iStockphoto/ChrisCafferkey

For foodies, Launay's restaurant offers a creative fusion of English and French cuisine that is fetchingly housed within a 16th-century cottage. If you're just looking to have a cup of tea or coffee and maybe a few slices of cake, The Village Kitchen is well-liked by locals, with it having the bonus of being next to the storied church of St Mary.

Edwinstowe also has some excellent pubs including The Forest Lodge, which is popular with diners but also has a wide selection of ales and wine. Away from food and drink, those looking to relocate with their family or start a new one have a good choice of quality schools in or close to the village.

All nearby schools have been rated Good in recent Ofsted inspections, including King Edwin Primary School, St Mary’s Church of England Primary School, and The Dukeries Academy. All these benefits and the village's unique setting appeal might cause house hunters to suspect any property in Edwinstowe would come with a very hefty price tag, but in the last year the average price was £265,803 according to right move - which is lower than the UK-wide average.