Visiting Scrooby & Babworth, Nottinghamshire

Scrooby and Babworth are in the Bassetlaw district of north Nottinghamshire. Today, the county is also well known for the city of Nottingham, Sherwood Forest - the Home of Robin Hood and being a centre of cultural, sporting and retail excellence. The surrounding countryside of Nottinghamshire has beautiful rural English villages, art galleries, excellent food and significant heritage.

The bustling market town of Retford is central to the nearby villages of Scrooby, Babworth and Sturton le Steeple - all of which are key to Nottinghamshire’s Pilgrim connections. Retford is less than 90 minutes by train from King's Cross, making it an easy day trip from London.

Pilgrims Gallery at Bassetlaw Museum is a Heritage Lottery-funded project and is a great starting point to familiarise yourself with the Pilgrim story. Comprehensive interpretation tells of early days in Babworth and Scrooby, fleeing to Holland, the Mayflower journey and early days in America.

The Gallery also contains William Brewster’s study, a replica of what the room in Scrooby Manor may have looked like, and in here you can listen to William Brewster tell tales of his life.

Inside the Pilgrim Gallery at Retford

There are four different films and four audio stories to listen to suitable for all ages, and the Gallery even has Pilgrim Snap and Dominoes to keep little ones occupied, plus plenty of dressing-up costumes.

A stroll around Retford takes one through St Swithun's Church, where the interpretation boards tell the stories of Retford Separatists who chose to stay behind and try to change perceptions from within the church.

Across from St Swithun's Church is The Hub, a local tourist information point which, in addition to having a café, also has a Pilgrim Room on the first floor of the building.

Today, Nottinghamshire is also well known for the city of Nottingham, Sherwood Forest (the home of Robin Hood) and for being a centre of cultural, sporting and retail excellence. The surrounding countryside has beautiful rural English villages, art galleries, excellent food and significant heritage.

Follow the Pilgrim Roots itinerary through north Nottinghamshire and take time to visit some of the county’s highlights. The Pilgrim Roots trail includes Scrooby, Babworth, Sturton le Steepls and other nearby destinations including Austerfield and Gainsborough.

More information on Pilgrims Gallery and the Pilgrims Trail can be found by visiting

Inside the Pilgrim Gallery at Retford

Scrooby, Babworth and the Mayflower story

The leading religious Separatists who voyaged to America in 1620 were originally from the Bassetlaw area of Nottinghamshire, where their beliefs were shaped.

Regarded as dangerous religious renegades who rejected fundamental principles of the State and the established Church of England, they worshipped in secret to avoid arrest and persecution.

Among them was William Brewster who was brought up in Scrooby. Inspired by the radical words of Richard Clifton, the rector of nearby All Saints' Church, Babworth, Brewster is believed to have founded a Separatist Church in his family home - the (privately owned) manor house at Scrooby. He was fined for non-attendance at St. Wilfrid’s Church in Scrooby but was respected as an elder and spiritual guide, and played a significant role in the congregation’s later journeys.

Among the 35 million Americans who can trace their ancestry back to the Mayflower is Hollywood actress Ashley Judd, who is actually a descendant of William Brewster himself. The revelation was made to Judd on an emotional episode of the popular TV show Who Do You Think You Are?

The delightful All Saints’ Church dates back to the 15th century, Richard Clifton was parson here from 1586 until 1605. The church contains many interesting items recalling the Pilgrims.

Supported by our national sponsors and funding partners

Scrooby & Babworth's Mayflower programme

Supported by a £500,000 award from the Heritage Lottery Fund, partners from across Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire came together to develop an exceptional programme of heritage activity commemorating the birthplace of the Separatists and the stories that inspired their journey to America. More than 100 activities were planned in the build-up to and through 2020 and 2021. Alongside the PilgrimAGE 2020 festival, highlights included:

  • Upgrading the Pilgrims Trail to increase its scale and content, including digital resources. Throughout 2020, the trail was enhanced by a range of activities targeting visitors and residents, providing unique experiences that engaged people with the local landscape and heritage. In Scrooby, for example, a new Finger Post sign with all the partner Mayflower destinations provided a great photo opportunity, and the specially-cultivated Pilgrim 400 apple took pride of place adjacent to the Village Hall.
  • A series of high-profile exhibitions took place across the Roots region, including a new permanent installation in Gainsborough Old Hall and multiple shows across Doncaster’s Heritage Festival.

  • A brilliantly diverse cultural programme, with activity ranging across performance, photography, health and well-being, digital, writing, schools engagement and more. This was developed in partnership with local communities and organisations such as Bassetlaw Christian Heritage and the Percy Laws Gallery, ensuring that content was accessible, authentic and carry real resonance for visitors and residents


Scrooby & Babworth Mayflower Highlights

  • Events
  • Attractions
  • Accommodation

Price on application

Mayflower Pilgrim Tours

Guided Walking Tour

Personal guided tours of the home villages of Brewster, Bradford, Robinson and Smith.

Price on application

Pilgrims & Prophets Tours

Driving Tour

Tours of the Pilgrim Roots region and sites connected with the Pilgrim people and congregations.

Price on application

Brackenbury’s Britain

Guided Walking Tour

Brackenbury’s Britain specialises in cultural walking and driving tours of the Pilgrim Roots region.

Free, donations welcome

All Saints' Church, Babworth

Historic Site

All Saints' Church, Babworth, where Bradford and Brewster went to hear Richard Clifton preach.


Pilgrims Gallery

Visitor Attraction

Pilgrims Gallery is an interactive exhibition at Bassetlaw Museum in Retford

£2.50 per person; group rates available

Mayflower Pilgrim Visitor Centre

Visitor Attraction

Pilgrim Museum and Tourist Information centre, with displays, interactive content and artefacts in Retford.

From £770 per person

Select South West Tours

Driving Tour

Unforgettable private 5 day adventure across the UK tracing the journey of the Pilgrims who set sail on the Mayflower in 1620.

Free; fishing £8 to £12 per day

Torworth Grange

Food and drink

Torworth Grange is a Café Restaurant, Fishing Lakes, Farm Shop and Camping and Caravan Site, situated right in the heart of the Pilgrims Trail.


Harley Gallery

Visitor Attraction

Harley Gallery and the Portland Collection are a free to visit art gallery, cafe and shop on the award winning Welbeck Estate

£4 adults; £2 children; group rates available

Clumber Park

Visitor Attraction

The National Trust's award winning Clumber Park is considered the jewel in North Nottinghamshire's crown.

Free; donations welcome

Scrooby Church

Church or religious building

St. Wilfrid's Church, Scrooby is where William Brewster and his family worshipped.

Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Spa Exterior

Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Spa


A 60 bedroom hotel with suites, lodges and a luxury spa.

Bedroom Suite

Browns of Holbeck

Bed & Breakfast

One of five finalists in the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2014 in the Bed and Breakfast/Guest Accommodation category, The Old Orchard Cottage is a 1730 stone country cottage.

The Sherwood Hideaway Bedroom One

The Sherwood Hideaway


Escape to the forest: luxury lodge holidays in Sherwood Forest. Nottinghamshire Tourism's Holiday Village of the Year.

The Angel Inn, Blyth

The Angel Inn, Blyth


The Angel Inn is an historic Coaching Inn, and is one of the oldest in the country with parts of the building dating back to the 12th century.

Thoresby Hall

Thoresby Hall

A grade 1 listed 19th century country house retreat with spa, gardens and fine dining.

Clumber Park Hotel

MGM Muthu Clumber Park Hotel & Spa


Occupying a privileged position on the edge of Sherwood Forest, this Nottinghamshire hotel is a haven of unrivalled tranquility and natural beauty; an ideal base for exploring the county.

West Retford Hotel

West Retford Hotel


BEST WESTERN PLUS West Retford Hotel is an 18th-century manor house set in over 4 acres of professionally landscaped gardens in Retford, North Nottinghamshire.

Torworth Grange Camping & Caravan Site

Torworth Grange Camping & Caravan Site

Camping and Caravanning

A scenic camp and caravan site right in the heart of the Pilgrims Trail with the added benefits of fishing lakes, farm shop and restaurant.

Jerico Farm

Jerico Farm

Bed & Breakfast

The perfect bed and breakfast stop for your visit to Nottingham. Our country property awaits you with lovely views and an award winning farmhouse breakfast!

Interior of the Kings Park Hotel, Retford

Kings Park Hotel


The Kings Park Hotel was formally Retford's town police station which dates back to 1890.

Hodsock Priory

Hodsock Priory Courtyard

Bed & Breakfast

Exclusive B&B with 10 stylish, self-contained apartments for up to 20 guests on a traditional English country estate.

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