East Midlands What's On

Newstead Abbey hosts Robin Hood Live this April

Robin Hood Live (previously known as the Robin Hood Pageant) has been completely re-imagined for 2020 and will be staged in a forest setting close to the historic Newstead Abbey for the first time ever whilst Nottingham Castle is undergoing its £30m redevelopment.

This spectacular and immersive live experience will be themed around the power struggle between Nottingham’s best-loved outlaw and his arch-nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham (#ChooseYourSide). It will offer a diverse programme of entertainment including dramatic medieval re-enactments, a wealth of costumed period characters, historic demonstrations, hands-on activities, theatre and much more.


Taking place on Saturday 4 – Sunday 5 April, this unique and highly immersive event will see the grounds of the historic Newstead Abbey transformed into a recreation of 12th century Nottingham, filled with the sights, sounds and smells of Robin Hood’s time and offering the chance to come face-to-face with medieval minstrels, artisans and colourful characters, including the legendary Robin Hood himself. The aim is to depict the life and times of Nottingham’s iconic hero and some of the real historical figures of the time in a captivating and historically accurate manner, celebrating the legend and keeping it alive for future generations.


A diverse range of medieval characters will be wandering the grounds; visitors can get an audience with the great King Richard I and learn about 11th century cures from medieval field hospitaler Fra Justin, whilst avoiding less savoury characters such as the King’s Executioner and even the Medieval Gong Farmer, complete with cess bucket.


Dramatic re-enactments and combat demonstrations will include The Knights of Nottingham clashing on horseback and on foot, falconry shows and displays from the UK’s leading 12th century re-enactment society, Historia Normannis, who will depict the lives of the Saxon outlaws and their Norman Overlords at the event in a number of interactive camps.


There will be a wealth of theatre, storytelling and music to entertain visitors, with several bands of wandering Medieval Minstrels, storytelling from the Bard from the Bower and the tale of Robin Hood and the Monk performed by No Strings Puppet Theatre.


There will also be plenty of demonstrations and hands-on arts and crafts activities to get involved with, from candle dipping to arrow making and from pottery to smithing, showcasing the various crafts and trades of the medieval era in a highly memorable and enjoyable way.


Visitors are also encouraged to eat, drink and be merry, with a variety of food stalls and a licensed bar provided by local brewery Castle Rock Brewery.


Ticket prices are as follows:

Adult £12.50
Concessions (under 15, over 65) £10.50
Family £35.00 (up to 2 adults and 3 children)

All Robin Hood Live ticket holders also receive complimentary admission to Newstead Abbey and grounds (worth up to £10 per person). Tickets are available to purchase from https://www.visit-nottinghamshire.co.uk/whats-on/robin-hood-live-p454861


Robin Hood (Tim Pollard), said:


“I'm really happy that once again the legend and spectacle of Nottingham's most famous outlaw can be shared and enjoyed by so many families and visitors from our county, country and abroad. The Robin Hood stories have a global appeal to people of all ages and I'm very proud indeed to be working alongside so many great performers, entertainers and reenactors.”


The Sheriff of Nottingham, Councillor Patience Uloma Ifediora, said:


“This is a really great event where history comes alive. The battle between myself and Robin Hood has continued through the ages and I really feel that the time has come for the Sheriff to win the day. Why not come along and watch the battle as it unfolds? It promises to be a wonderful day of family fun at Newstead Abbey.”


Kinga Kapias, Acting Marketing and Communications Manager at Visit Nottinghamshire, said:


“Robin Hood Live is set to be a truly enchanting and spectacular event. One of the most engaging ways to learn about a historical period is to experience the sights and sounds for yourself, and what better way to learn about Robin Hood than by stepping into his world? We’re confident that this event will inspire an interest in Robin Hood and his time in future generations as well as helping to keep the legend alive for years to come. This highly immersive and entertaining event is expected to draw huge crowds, and is a great way for visitors to experience the legend of Robin Hood ahead of Nottingham Castle reopening in 2021.”