A place for adventure since 1913
The story so far
Hello there! I’m Charles Wicksteed, the founder of Wicksteed Park. Some of you bright sparks may already know a bit about the history of this place – but if not, here goes…
In 1913, I used some of the money I’d made as an inventor and engineer to buy a big patch of meadow just outside Kettering, Northamptonshire. The goal was to create a model village for the local community.
Why? Because I believed people would thrive best in well-designed homes, surrounded by countryside. At the time, many families across Britain lived in cramped houses with no gardens. And the only place their children had to play was the street.
Next to my village I built a big, safe playground, packed with engineering marvels of my own design, like the world’s first slide. And so Wicksteed Park was born.
Word got around quickly. Visitors flocked to try out our famous Waterchute – the first in the world. There was a train and charabancs (a sort of horse-drawn sightseeing bus) for people to ride. It was one of the first leisure parks in the country. And it’s still going strong today.
…is for Unique!
There’s a host of things that make Wicksteed Park special. As well as the thrills to be had on over 30 rides and attractions, you can run around in our arboretum, or even row on our lake! Altogether, we have 147 acres of Grade II parkland for you to explore. And unlike most leisure parks, we’re a charity – so every penny you spend is invested into making the park even better.
L is for Lake
When Wicksteed Park was first built, the man-made lake was a star attraction. Thousands came to paddle, row, swim and sunbathe. Now, a £2 million Heritage Lottery restoration project has given it a new lease of life, with beaches, nature spots, rowing boats and much more.