Babes in the hood

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The Independent Culture
A large forest, an evil sheriff and an outlaw with a predilection for green tights are Nottingham's chief claims to fame and provide the perfect excuse for an annual celebration: The Robin Hood Festival.

Now in its 11th year, the festival has been twinned with the unlikely sounding Arizona Renaissance Festival (a themed village in the middle of the desert), which is flying in King Henry the Only, an American Henry VIII impersonator, to strut his stuff alongside Sherwood's more traditional residents.

The main action takes place around an enormous, ancient oak tree which is where Robin and his merrie men are said to have hung out after a hard day's pillaging. Here you can chat with the gang about archery techniques and pick up tips on robbing from the rich and giving to the poor.

With its audience participation focused firmly on the pint-sized, this is the perfect event for energetic kids. There are plenty of organised events such as "have-a-go" archery sessions and treasure trails, as well as performances of Robin Hood's Greatest Adventures.

The highlight of the festival will be the Black Knight Medieval Entertainers whipping out their lances for the Jousting Jamboree on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 August.

Robin Hood Festival, Mon 31 Jul-Sun 6 Aug at the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre, Nottingham (01623 824490). Entry to the forest is pounds 1 to cover car parking

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