A new tourist centre, which is based at one of Sherwood Forest’s best-loved historical attractions, was officially opened last week.
The information centre, which is in the Abbey Courtyard at Rufford Country Park near Ollerton, was unveiled by Sherwood MP Mark Spencer at a special ceremony on Friday.
The new facility, which is run by Newark and Sherwood District Council, gives visitors the chance to find out about attractions and events around Newark and Sherwood, Mansfield, Ashfield and further afield.
It replaces the previous centre, which was at Ollerton roundabout, and opened its doors to the public in mid March.
Describing the role of the new centre, tourist information officer Deborah Hibbert said: “We promote the attractions in Newark and Sherwood and also provide a service for residents with holiday information and days out in the wider area.”
Unofficial estimates show that more than 1,000 extra visitors came to the centre in March and April.
Deborah said: “Our footfall figures have increased especially over the Easter weekend.
“We are serving a lot of new customers since we moved here and they are picking up a lot more leaflets.
“People who are coming to Rufford for the day are discovering that there is much more to see and do in the area and so are staying longer or deciding to make a return trip.”
Speaking as he cut the ribbon, Mr Spencer stressed the importance of promoting tourism in the county.
He said: “I would like to thank the council for facilitating the tourist information centre.
“It is worth remembering how lucky we are having Robin Hood and maybe we don’t bang our drum loudly enough.
“This will be a small contribution. With the new visitor centre at Edwinstowe, we’ve all got a role to play in banging that drum.
“I’m delighted to be asked to cut this ribbon and to declare it officially open.”
The centre is open every day from 10.30am until 4.30pm.
Visitors are able to use the parking facilities free of charge for 30 minutes. After that, normal Rufford Park parking charges apply.
For further details about the new centre call Mansfield 824545. Alternatively, people can email firstname.lastname@example.org.