LOS ANGELES, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- VisitBritain, the national tourist office for England, Scotland and Wales, invites travelers to visit the British sites that set the stage for this year's epic action-adventure from director Ridley Scott, Robin Hood, starring Oscar-winners® Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, in theaters May 14, 2010. VisitBritain has just launched a Robin Hood-themed microsite, www.visitbritain.us/robinhood, which offers in-depth itineraries, behind-the-scenes location information and travel ideas.
Visitors can follow in the legend's footsteps while walking Nottinghamshire's Robin Hood trail, stopping at 12 thematic locations along the way that explore the legend of Robin Hood. Nottingham Castle has an exciting Robin Hood – The Movie exhibition of costumes, props and behind-the-scenes memorabilia from the new film, which was created by the movie's set designer, Sonja Klaus, and will be on display through October 2010. May is Robin Hood month in Nottingham, with activities planned including, jousting, archery and medieval festivals (www.mynottingham.gov.uk/robinhood). Travelers can also explore the stunning locations that provide the backdrop for the film, which was shot on location in England and Wales.
Nottinghamshire – Home of Robin Hood
In Nottinghamshire, travelers can embark on the Robin Hood trail using a simple and fun map that highlights 12 locations throughout Nottinghamshire. Each location is relevant to the legend and includes places he lived, fought, hunted and preyed upon rich folk. "In the Footsteps of Robin Hood," a free audio trail podcast is available for free download on the website.
Visitors to Nottingham Castle can tour the magnificent 17th century mansion built on the site of the original medieval palace, once the seat of power for the Sheriff of Nottingham. Just a short distance away from the Old Market Square, this ducal mansion, which is in use as a museum and art gallery, houses most of Nottinghamshire's finest and decorative art collections. Also at the foot of the castle is the seven-foot Robin Hood statue.
Travel back in time at the Galleries of Justice Museum and discover the days when Nottingham Shire Hall was the only place in the UK where a person could be tried, incarcerated and hanged on the front steps, all in the name of justice. Travelers can see England's shocking history of crime and punishments come to life through actors, audio guides and more. An underground dungeon has recently been identified as being the cell thought to be where Robin Hood was imprisoned by the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. (http://www.galleriesofjustice.org.uk)
City of Caves plays an integral part in Nottingham's history, as well as the time of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Visitors can travel back in time at this popular attraction and explore the labyrinth of unique hand-carved limestone caves underneath the city, which once led to the Nottingham Castle. (www.cityofcaves.com)
Travelers can end their day in Nottingham by relaxing over a pint at Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, thought to be the oldest pub in England and certainly one of the most fascinating. Carved out of castle rock, it is thought that tales of Robin Hood were told here, helping to spread the word about the legend and his antics. (http://www.triptojerusalem.com)
Nearby, visitors should travel to Sherwood Forest and stop along the way in the village of Edwinstone. Here, travelers can find the Church of St. Mary, where Robin Hood and Maid Marion were wed. There is a statue of Robin and Marion in the town centre.
Legends say Robin Hood lived in many parts of Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve. Here, visitors can find the famous Major Oak—the oldest living tree in the forest that some say was Robin Hood's hideout. Visitors can also travel along exciting walking and cycling trails and stop by the new "Robin Hood-The Movie" exhibition, which appears like a medieval encampment deep in the forest. A large wooden cart that was used in the film provides rustic seating to view behind-the-scenes footage. In August, visitors can enjoy the annual Robin Hood Festival, which dramatically re-creates the Robin Hood legend with sword fighting, story telling and archery demonstrations. http://www.sherwoodforest.org.uk
British Film Locations used in Robin Hood
Freshwater West, in Pembrokeshire, Wales, served as the setting for the thrilling and brutal French invasion scene in Robin Hood. This gorgeous, golden expanse of beach in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is ornamented by pools of rocks and bordered by enchanting low cliffs. You'll usually find surfers—rather than soldiers—here as this location has some of the best waves in Wales. (www.visitwales.com)
It's no surprise the beautiful Virginia Water, also in Surrey, was one of the settings chosen for Robin Hood. Located only a few miles outside London, it is part of The Great Park, which comprises thousands of acres of lush gardens, lakes and woodland. The Great Park is recorded in Saxon documents as a hunting forest used by monarchs and nobles. Adjoining the royal residence of Windsor, it has evolved over the centuries under the patronage of Kings and Queens. Relax in the ornamental Savill Garden, explore the northern shore of Virginia Water with its flowering forest and exotic shrubs and see the award-winning Savill Building with its excellent art gallery. (http://www.theroyallandscape.co.uk/)
A thundering battle scene featuring mounted warriors was filmed in the glens of Thorpe Pastures in Dovedale. Visitors can discover this dramatic limestone ravine famous for its stepping stones that cross the River Dove. This part of the Peak District is superb for walking, riding, cycling and climbing. (http://www.derbyshireuk.net/dovedale.html)
In the film, the vividly realistic Tower of London was recreated via an elaborate set and digital effects, but visitors to London can visit the real Tower of London and get an authentic flavour of this brutal period in Britain's history. This mighty fortress on the banks of the River Thames has been a royal palace, a prison, an execution site, an arsenal, a mint, a keep for wild animals and a jewel house. You can see artifacts from every part of this extraordinary history on a visit. See the crown jewels, awesome architecture, and fearsome arms and armour. (www.hrp.org.uk)
About the Movie
Oscar® winner Russell Crowe stars as the legendary figure known by generations as "Robin Hood," whose exploits have endured in popular mythology and ignited the imagination of those who share his spirit of adventure and righteousness. In 13th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power. And whether thief or hero, one man from humble beginnings will become an external symbol of freedom for his people.
Robin Hood chronicles the life of an expert archer, previously interested only in self-preservation, from his service in King Richard's army against the French. Upon Richard's death, Robin travels to Nottingham, a town suffering from the corruption of a despotic sheriff and crippling taxation, where he falls for the spirited widow Lady Marion (Oscar® winner Cate Blanchett), a woman skeptical of the identity and motivations of this crusader from the forest. Hoping to earn the hand of Maid Marion and salvage the village, Robin assembles a gang whose lethal mercenary skills are matched only by its appetite for life. Together, they begin preying on the indulgent upper class to correct injustices under the sheriff.
With their country weakened from decades of war, embattled from the ineffective rule of the new king and vulnerable to insurgencies from within and threats from afar, Robin and his men heed a call to ever greater adventure. This unlikeliest of heroes and his allies set off to protect their country from slipping into bloody civil war and return glory to England once more.
For more, go to: http://www.robinhoodthemovie.com/
VisitBritain markets Britain to the rest of the world and England to the British, building value of tourism by creating world-class destination brands and marketing campaigns. It also builds partnerships with—and provides insights to— other organizations that have a stake in British and English tourism.