Situated to the east of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire has gentler but less spectacular scenery. There is little high land, although the rolling landscape of the Leicestershire Wolds to the south is prime hunting country.

Nottinghamshire is famous for the semi-mystical figure of Robin Hood; even today, as in the medieval legend, the county still has a sheriff and a goose fair, and much of the Sherwood Forest remains. It is perhaps the most impressive remnant of the vast forests that used to cover England.

In the past, Nottinghamshire was also a strategic military gateway between north and south; there are two strongly fortified castles at Newark and Nottingham.

The county was mined extensively for coal, which brought wealth to the owners of many large estates, especially the Duke of Portland, the Duke of Newcastle and Earl Manvers, whose estates lay in the area known as the Dukeries, south of Worksop.

Today, there are still working mines, some of which are open-cast. Prices are lower in the former industrial and mining areas, and higher for good property within easy reach of Nottingham and other major towns. The most sought-after areas to live include the Vale of Belvoir, which runs into Nottinghamshire, and the western side of the Dukeries.

Major towns

Nottingham, Mansfield, Sutton in Ashfield, Long Eaton, Newark, Beeston, Worksop and East Retford.

Transport links

Train: St Pancras to Nottingham, 1hr 55min; St Pancras to Mansfield (via Nottingham), 2hr 50min.

Car: Nottingham is 128 miles from central London and Mansfield 143 miles, via the M1.

Public schools

Rodney School, Newark (01636 813281). Co-educational, age range 8-18, day and boarding. www.rodney-school.co.uk/

Nottingham High School (0115 978 6056). Boys only, age range 11-18, day. Associated preparatory school. www.nottinghamhigh.co.uk/

Nottingham High School for Girls (0115 941 7663). Girls only, age range 4-18, day. www.gdst.net/nottinghamgirlshigh/

Trent College, Long Eaton (0115 973 2737). Co-educational, age range 11-18, day and boarding. www.trentcollege.net/

West Bridgford High School, Nottingham (0115 981 2967). Boys only (co-educational sixth form), age range 5-18, day. www.westbridgford-comp.notts.sch.uk/

Worksop College (01909 472931). Co-educational, age range 13-18, day and boarding. www.worksopcollege.co.uk/

Ranby House, Retford (01777 703138). Co-educational, age range 3-13, day and boarding. www.ranbyhouseschool.co.uk/

Leisure

Golfcourses: Bulwell Forest, Nottingham (0115 977 0576); Newark (01636 626241); Sherwood Forest, Mansfield (01623 26689); Wollaton Park, Nottingham (0115 978 7574).

Hunts: the South Notts, the Grove and Rufford.

Fishing: river Trent.