One of the most striking sights that greets you upon your arrival in Mansfield is the grand Victorian viaduct that bisects the town centre, with its 15 graceful arches of red brick, one of the largest examples of its type.
But this is by no means the only piece of historic architecture in the town: there are a number of 18th and 19th century mills and foundries that have since found other uses, such as nightclubs; the old Mansfield station building, designed by none other than Isambard Kingdom Brunel, had fallen into disrepair but has now been completely restored to its former glory; Mansfield's Old Town Hall, with its early Victorian frontage and Doric columns, offers an imposing presence over the market square.
Placed, as it is, on the borders of Sherwood Forest, the legendary home of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, much of the local tourist trade is centred around the famous outlaw. Having said this, the forest itself is well worth a visit whether you have an interest in Robin Hood or not, because it is one of the most ancient and unspoiled areas of oak woodland in Britain. In the centre of Mansfield there still stands a tree that, legend has it, was declared the centre point of Sherwood Forest at around the time of Hood's adventures.
Another keystone in Mansfield's history was the coal mining industry - there were as many as 15 local collieries in coal's heyday - and this fact is commemorated in the shape of 'The Bronze Miner', a sculptural tribute by an internationally acclaimed artist to the labours of local miners, that stands near the market-place.