round Robin Hood's barn
around Robin Hood's barn
On a long, indirect route. A: "What took you guys so long to get here?" B: "Well, rather than just going through town, our esteemed driver took us all around Robin Hood's barn instead!"
round Robin Hood's barnby a circuitous route.
Robin Hood is the semi-legendary English medieval outlaw reputed to have robbed the rich and helped the poor. In this expression, Robin Hood's barn represents an out-of-the-way place of a kind that might be used by an outlaw or fugitive such as Robin Hood. Recorded from the mid 19th century, the phrase seems to have originated in the dialect speech of the English Midlands, the area in which Robin Hood is said to have operated.