Kings' park - Gardens, features and facilities

Located in the very heart of Retford, award-winning Kings' Park is often described as the 'Jewel in the Crown’ of the Council’s green spaces.

Covering an area of over 10 hectares, the park is divided into two parts by the River Idle, which provides a scenic backdrop for people using the facility. The park has many features and facilities including:

  • Children's Water Play Area* (Open May - September)
  • Bowling Green*
  • Tennis Courts x2*
  • Multi-Use Games Area
  • Skate Park
  • Play Area
  • New Performance Stage
  • Rose Garden
  • Community Garden
  • Wildlife Garden
  • Formal Gardens
  • Kiosk/Public Conveniences*


Parkland to the east of the River (Formal Gardens)

Rose Garden

This area of the park is an ideal setting for relaxation and passive recreational pursuits. It boasts various types of specimen trees from different regions of the world, as well as neatly kept hedges, regularly mown lawns, impressive water features and flower beds.

Here you will find the various formal gardens laid out in a traditional parkland landscape including a stunning rose garden planted with a wide range of colourful, highly scented roses and lavender with climbing rose varieties supported on ornate metal archways leading into the centre of the garden. Next to this garden is the limestone rock and water garden with its very own waterfall feature cascading over the rocks into the pond area.

Goodwin Hall Gardens

The park’s refurbished tennis courts are available for informal use free of charge throughout the summer months.

The Community Garden is found behind the Goodhall Hall building on the Chancery Lane boundary of the park. Accessible by the riverside path through the park it incorporates patio-cum-seating with raised beds and trellis work for climbing plants. There is also a large circular paved section with seating surrounded by mixed planting and an impressive winter border that adds to this garden feature adjacent to the arboretum area of the park.  The garden provides an opportunity for both users of the Hall and visitors alike to meet and relax within a quiet and colourful garden environment.    

Parkland to the west of the River (West Retford Hall side)

In contrast to the Formal Gardens, the parkland to the west of the river opened as an extension much later – in 1960 – and caters for younger visitors.

The park includes a children’s play area with a range of challenging and stimulating play equipment along with the more traditional items of equipment such as swings, slides and roundabouts for children of all ages.

In August 2016 the park celebrated the opening of a new children’s water and sand play area next to the existing play area incorporating a pirate ship, water cannons and jets, hanging buckets and sand play.

Splash park Retford

Please note that this facility is seasonal and will re-open daily between 10:00am and 6:00pm from May to September. 

Take the opportunity to enjoy some light refreshments or maybe an ice cream or hot/cold drink from the park’s new kiosk. Open most days during the summer months from April to September the kiosk also offers access to the toilet facilities.

Kiosk at Retford Kings' Park

For older children and young people a separate bespoke concrete skateboard park facility and multi-use ball court can be found on the area between Inkerbridge Bridge (Pelham Street) and Carr Bridge (West Street). The area is known as 'Retford Skate Park'.

Skate park, Retford Kings' Park

Multi-Use Performance Area

The multi use performance area was opened in 2017 providing a modern and bespoke facility that has become a popular venue for staging various events and shows within the park.   

The concept and design was supported by the Retford Civic Society who successfully applied for a £20k grant from Nottinghamshire County Council's Supporting Local Communities towards the costs of building the canopy.

Designed to be functional, robust and add interest to the park. The performance area has been located to maximise the best views of the area in an amphitheatre setting. It was purposely built to be versatile and led itself to any type of performance has become a regular venue for the hugely successful annual “Panto in the Park” shows held through the summer months. 

In August 2023 we officially celebrated the opening of our new multi-use Performance Area.

The Retford Civic Society successfully applied for a £20k grant from Nottinghamshire County Council's Supporting Local Communities towards the costs of building the canopy.

Kings' Park Performance Area


The Wildlife Garden

Although found in the parkland to the west of the river, the Wildlife Garden with its impressive habitats requires a separate mention and is always worth a visit, whatever the time of year.

The Wildlife Garden is home to an impressive array of birds and wildlife, including Nuthatches, Thrushes and Pipistrelle Bats. You may even be lucky enough to spot Tawny Owls resting during the day or a Woodpecker flitting between the trees.

AccessAble Guide

View Accessibility Information about King's Park.

AccessAble. Click for Accessibility Information.



Last Updated on Wednesday, July 10, 2024