Wicksteed Park was founded by playground equipment entrepreneur Charles Wicksteed in 1921, and is now run by a charitable trust as the largest free children's playground in Europe.
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Charles Wicksteed was a local Kettering-based entrepreneur who ran a company manufacturing various machinery and power tools. At the end of the First World War, he used some of his factory's central heating pipes to build swings for local children. This led to the formation of the world's first playground equipment manufacturing company, and the official founding of Wicksteed Park in 1921.
Upon his death, the park was bequeathed to a board of trustees which continues to run it to this day. It is the largest free children's playground in Europe, and is open year round as a place for children to come and play.
Alongside the boating lake, sandpit and wide open grassy areas, many additions have been made to the park over the years. Wicksteed is the proud owner of the world's oldest operating waterchute ride, which was built in 1926. There is a narrow gauge railway that offers trips around the lake, and various more modern rides including a rollercoaster, log flume and go karts.
Wicksteed Park is a beautifully kept, very relaxing place, with plenty to keep the family entertained. It is a credit to its original founder, maintaining a similar ethos to his intentions when it was opened almost a century ago. The park is free to enter, although there is a car parking charge and rides operate on a wristband system.
The largest free children's playground in Europe
Pinfari steel rollercoaster
Zip wire and climbing wall
Veteran car ride
Rowing boats for hire
High flying spinning ride
Traditional fairground carousel
Train ride around the park
Children's rollercoaster themed like a ladybird
Small lake for paddling canoes
Putting fun for the whole family
Gentle clown themed rollercoaster
Giant snakes & ladders slide