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Sherwood Forest has been attracting visitors for centuries because of its connection to the legendary hero Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men. Lying to the north of Nottingham, the Forest was originally the huge hunting ground of Norman kings. Over the centuries much of the woodland was cleared and great landowners took control over significant swathes: indeed, the part of the county to the south of Worksop was given the name The Dukeries because it contained the estates of four dukes and one lord. Although some of these grand houses have now gone and others are in private ownership, the public can enjoy open access to the beautiful parks and woodland at Clumber, Rufford Abbey and Thoresby. Today