Things to do in Retford

Although Retford is small town, there are still a lot of things to do. Retford is home to some beautiful nature spots and great entertainment venues. There are countless pubs and eateries, and to burn off the calories there are plenty of places to go on walks. Retford is surround by lots of public footpaths and bridleways. There are always things to do in Retford.

Paddle boarding on the Chesterfield Canal

Retford Sports

Whether you want to play or watch, Retford is home to a lot of different sport teams and clubs who are always looking for spectators or participants.

The 2 main local football teams are Retford United and Retford FC.

Retford United was founded in 1987 by Retfordian Brian Jackson to give the town a senior club after Retford Town had gone out of business. They play at Cannon Park just on the outskirts of Retford on Leverton Road. There is plenty of parking available on match days and it’s not too far to walk if you live near Spital Hill. Cannon Park serves hot a cold food on matchdays and has a fully licensed bar. The stadium, although small, has some seating options and plently of space to stand around the pitch.

Retford FC are the newer of the 2 clubs and were formed in 2015. They play at ‘The Rail’ which is a football pitch located next to the East Coast mainline and is situated next to Retford Oaks Academy. There is parking at the Railway club across the road and it’s not far to walk from Ordsall.

There are also a host of other sports clubs and teams, including Rugby and Cricket.

Retford also has a great golf club. Retford Golf Club is located in Ordsall and features an entire 18 hole course spread through lush woodlands and even goes over a trainline. There is ample parking, a fully licensed bar and they do a nice Sunday roast.

Theme Parks and Activity Centres

Retford is lucky in the fact it is close by to renowned children’s theme park Sundown Adventureland which is situated just outside of Retford in the nearby village of Treswell, close to Cottam Power Station.

Sundown Adventureland is home to many rides and attractions, including the Rocky Mountain Railroad and the Angry Birds play zone. There is also 2 large indoor play areas for when the weather isn’t great. Sundown Adventureland often have discount weekends for local residents so if you live local it could be a cheap day out.

There is a new Flexbus service which goes from Retford to the surrounding villages so getting to Sundown Adventureland isn’t a problem if you don’t drive.

Captain Jacks is another option which is located in the town centre. The venue has a soft-play enclosure for children and does hot and cold food. It is good option for a Retford day out if you have small children. It’s located just out of the market square towards King’s Park.

There is also a children’s play area in King’s Park as well as a skatepark and water play area.

Outdoor and Nature

There are plenty of things to do in Retford if you live the outdoors. Retford is home to King’s Park, which was opened on 29 June 1938, to commemorate not only the reign of King George V, but also the Coronation year of King George VI. The Park covers some 10 hectares on either side of the Idle River, just off the town centre. In addition to formal gardens, it contains large areas of grassland suitable for ball games and picnics, a children’s water play area, bowling greens, tennis courts, skate park, children’s play ground, a performance stage, rose gardens, wildlife gardens and public conveniences.

Retford is also home to Idle Valley Nature Reserve, located just outside of Retford on North Road. It is a nature reserve that features numerous lakes and rights of way to walk around. It is a great spot to watch sunset over the largest lake. The reserve is open all year, and access is free, although visitors are asked to donate for using the car park. The main part of the reserve is accessed from the visitor centre. The northern end of the reserve can be accessed by walking from the visitor centre, although it is also accessible via Lound village.

The visitor centre and shop are open daily except Christmas Day. Most of the reserve and its facilities are wheelchair accessible, but some areas can be muddy and unsuitable for wheelchairs at times.

Retford and the surrounding areas conduct a lot of farming, so there are a lot of public rights of way around these fields for walks and there is also a lot of bridleways if you enjoy horse riding.

There is also a weekly market in Retford which you can have a walk around while in town.

Food and Nightlife

Retford has a lot of different pubs, eateries and places to go if you want to relax with food or a drink. The town centre is host to different types of places ranging from traditional pubs to modern bars. There is also a vast amount of different food places in the town centre and a few different fast food restaurants. There are different varieties of food available in Retford, such as Italian, American, Chinese, Indian and traditional pub food so there should be enough to settle any appetite. There aren’t too many late night options when it comes to night life, but there are a few pubs that stay open till after midnight.