"" Writer's Wanderings: Merry Old England - Robin's Tights and Arthur's Sword

Friday, May 09, 2014

Merry Old England - Robin's Tights and Arthur's Sword

Camelot? For real? 
And Sherwood Forest does exist? 
But what about King Arthur and Robin Hood? 

As we have done in the past with trips to Ireland and New Zealand, our future travel plans include a round-the-country trip to England. While perusing several sites to add to that itinerary, I found an article on Smarter Travel.com that listed several mythical places to visit including Camelot and Sherwood Forest. Let's start with Camelot.

In Shropshire, England, you can follow the King Arthur Trail. The fourth largest city of Roman times in Great Britain, Virconium at Wroxeter is thought to be the site of Camelot. You see, researchers have discovered that there was a King Arthur. He was king of the Votadini tribe and he married a lady named Ganhumara. So, okay, that's close to Guinevere, right? Apparently if you follow the trail, the legendary pieces will all fit into place. It should be very interesting.

Now Robin Hood, according to legend, roamed with his merry band in Sherwood Forest. There really is such a place in Nottinghamshire. It was once a large forested area where royalty hunted deer. Perfect for the tales of Robin Hood, right? But wait! Tracing the personage of Robin Hood actually puts him in a different area.

The first known literary reference to Robin Hood was in 1377 and puts his birthplace as Lockersley in Yorkshire in 1160. Unfortunately there is no Lockersley in Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire for that matter but there is a Loxley in Staffordshire. Then too, there are other men who seem to fit the legendary figure of Robin Hood (none of them resembling Errol Flynn, I'm sure) and show up in other accounts. It all seems very confusing but then we are talking about men in tights.

Whatever the case, we would enjoy seeing Sherwood Forest and imaging the merry men and fantasizing about a perfect place called Camelot. Great Britain is a beautiful country with quite a historic past--legendary or not.

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