Wicksteed Park Park and Grounds |Wicksteed Park Lake | Arboretum |

Around the grounds

Limber up – there’s loads to explore


is for Lake

Our lake’s looking lovelier than ever now, thanks to £3 million of sprucing by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Wicksteed Charitable Trust, Northamptonshire County Council and Kettering Borough Council. It’s the heart of our park, with shingle beaches, a pontoon, nature spots and the arboretum for you to enjoy. And there’s a pretty special natural play zone in the works to boot.



is for Ecology

Our second lake, at the south end of the park, is super-secluded, which makes it a great wildlife haven. Eagle-eyed visitors can spot terns, kingfishers, grebes, ibis, swans, diving ducks, and hundreds of droning dragonflies in the summer. Just across the boundary are two SSSIs (that’s Sites of Special Scientific Interest – tongue twister!), which means this is a really important habitat for British wildlife.



is for Grounds

Wicksteed Park is made up of 147 acres of parkland. That’s over 100 football pitches! And a game of footie is just one way to enjoy them. There are hills to roll down, a lake to paddle in and trees to climb. Have a wander around and see what you can find!


is for Arboretum

Planted in the Seventies, our arboretum is now a lovely mature wood full of exotic trees. The leafy glades are a nice place to sit and read a book – or try to see how many squirrels you can spot shooting up the tree trunks.



is for Flowers

Our small team of gardeners do an excellent job at managing our formal gardens as well as creating new pockets of interest all around the park. We are always on the look out for green fingered volunteers to help us out.



is for Aviary

There will be approximately 60 colourful and chatty free flying birds inside the huge Australian themed aviary named Woolloomooloo including, diamond doves, various finches, budgies and kakarikies , plus lots of interesting plants. Entry is free for Wickys Play Factory users on production of a valid ticket, otherwise enter with a valid wristband or 1 ticket per two people. Minimum 1 ticket.


TripAdvisor Small

“You can easily lose a few hours here, as everything is an adventure”

Jenarn86, TripAdvisor


is for Motte and Bailey

Want to be King of the Castle? Just behind our arboretum are the remains of a Norman motte-and-bailey – a 900-year-old castle! The motte (earthworks) is easily visible at either end. This land is managed for us by the local Wildlife Trust, so please keep your pooch on a lead.


W alphabet

is for Watermeadow

Across the A6 (AKA Barton Road) is another historical gem. Before fancy fertilisers, farmers used to improve their crops by flooding their fields with river water using specially-dug canals. Local volunteers helped restore these canals to create our watermeadow: a beautiful habitat full of sedge, reeds – and lots and lots of birds.


is for Amphitheatre

Our grassy amphitheatre is very comfy for singing, dancing and general larking about. You can even hire it out for special events. All together now…



is for Round House

Restored by our very own team of carpenters, this is our original 1920s roundhouse, which has been neglected for years. It’s now a key part of the lakeside, providing shade when it’s sunny, and shelter from those little summer showers England gets now and then.


is for Heritage

We are rightfully proud of our special heritage and want  to share it with all . Charles Wicksteed, our founder, did not follow strict Edwardian protocol. He tore up the park etiquette rule book and was the first park to introduce children’s play as a major feature. We were also the first to allow boys and girls to happily play together and for people from all walks of life to enjoy the acres of grass rather than be confined to formal paths. We were also famous for our goat’s milk ice cream which has just been re-introduced. Our ice cream can be found in the main trading street.



is for Quote

“Teach children what they can do rather than what they are not able to do”  Charles Wicksteed.

slides and playground roundhouse 1930s or 40's

In years gone by…

Old-Lake Charles Wicksteed here! Our original lake was built around the start of the 1920s, and between regattas, swimming, boating and water polo, it got an awful lot of use. Now, the Heritage Lottery Fund has helped us restore it to its former glory, as a focal point for the entire park. Hooray!

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