English Legends

I'm sure you've all heard of King Arthur and Merlin and Robin Hood, but did you realise that many of our myths and legends derive from the mythologies of Ancient Greece?

If you look closely, you'll find more similarities than you might think possible.

But England has its very own heritage of myths and legends. And that heritage includes some of the most well-known and popular legends in the world.

To discover some of England's most fascinating myths and legends and the historical places around them, the English Tourist Board has created an interactive Myths & Legends online map.

You can also download a podcast series on their website or play EnjoyEngland's Myths & Legends Facebook character quiz to find out which character from the myths and legends of England you most resemble!

Robin Hood © Ian Francis | Dreamstime.com

With the recent release of Ridley Scott's new film, Robin Hood, the passion and interest for true English legends has certainly been revitalised and many of the locations connected with these stories can still be visited today.

As all Robin Hood fans know, the famous outlaw is synonymous with Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, where visitors are still able to enjoy the pastimes of Robin Hood's time and try their hand at jousting and of course archery!

May is Robin Hood month throughout Nottinghamshire with special events and activities. So don't delay and plan a short family break to go experience Robin Hood first hand.

Robin Hood and his band of merry men are not, however, the only English legends worth pursuing on England's shores.

King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table have been the subject of Hollywood films time and again and whole libraries worth of books have been written about their exploits. King Arthur is arguably one of the most popular mythical figures in English history.

Arthurian legend is rich with intrigue. From Camelot to Avalon, to Excalibur and even the Round Table itself, planning a holiday around tracing King Arthur's legend will be nothing but a delight for the entire family.

One of the key places to visit will be Cadbury Castle in Somerset. Long reputed as the site of Camelot, the beautifully isolated medieval fortress will enchant and delight. The site was even excavated during the 1950's and so compelling were the findings that a Camelot Research Committee was formed to dig even deeper into the legend. Tracing King Arthur is a great family adventure that will undoubtedly capture the imagination of children and adults alike.

There are many more myths and English legends that are worth a second look. Some are even true!

  • The Pendle Witches - One of the most famous witch trials in England. Travel to Lancashire and immerse yourself in this true story of murder, revenge and witchcraft!

  • The Schooner Hotel - Twice declared as the most haunted hotel in England by the Poltergeist Society. Are you brave enough to enter this establishment?

  • Dick Turpin - This romanticised highwayman poached, burgled and murdered his way into the history books during the 18th century.

  • The Beast of Bodmin - Do you dare search for this elusive beast on the moor at dawn?