Region: East Midlands

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: Barton Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire NN15 6NJ

Contact: 01536 512 475



Wicksteed Park is loved and admired for its welcoming atmosphere, beautiful parkland and fabulous array of playthings. But did you know that it dates back to the First World War? And that its name is recognized across the world for pioneering children’s play?

The park was made as a gift for the people of Kettering in the first decades of the 20th century by Charles Wicksteed, owner of a successful engineering firm based in the town. Wicksteed Park is highly unusual in that it has always been offered as a benevolent act by a private charitable Trust, taking money only for extra facilities such as refreshments or rides, as a necessity to pay for the maintenance of the open space.

Wicksteed Park has been with us for almost a century now, during which time its offer of free open space for family play has been made uniquely possible by hundreds of volunteers – Wicksteed family members, dedicated local people and inspired experts. Much has changed, but much has been carefully preserved, and there have been comings and goings, hard times and good times. All these are additions to Wicksteed Park’s unique story, Along with all the fun of the rides and attractions, we also offer:

Programmes of Study based on Key Stages 1-4.  There's a wide variety of topics on offer - art days, design days, storytelling, a Victorian living experience and the new World War 2, giving students an insight into the hardships of war.
We have worked with a number of local schools and Educational specialists to put together a range of lesson plans for you to be able to use prior to your visit.  We also encourage individual schools to develop their own programme of study using Wicksteed Park as the practical base.  If you would like further information, then please contact our Education Officer on:

We understand the complexities that all teachers have when planning an out of school activity and therefore we would like to offer our assistance wherever possible.  One such area is the carrying out of pre-visit Risk Assessments or the gathering of risk assessment information, therefore please contact us.

To find out more about the Wicksteed please visit our website:


Why is this venue great for School Trips and Educational Visits?

We Have 200 Acres of parkland, with amazing natural beauty. We have some diversity habitats, which some areas are managed by the wildlife trust. Our 1926 is one of the oldest theme park rides in the country. We have over 25 rides in the park, from a miniature railway to the 3rd longest zip wire in the country. We also have a rich and varied history and heritage spanning from the Victorian period through World War 2 to the present day.


What does a typical school trip or educational visit include?

Education Packages at Wicksteed Park.

Fairground Forces:

£5 +V.A.T per pupil.

Capacity: 60


Suitable for key stages 1 and 2

Activities include:

•    Talk on the different types of ride at Wicksteed.

•    Have a go on a ride at the park.

•    Design your own fairground ride.

•    Make a fairground ride

Victorian Day:

£5 +V.A.T per pupil.

Capacity: 60


Suitable for key stages 1 and 2

Activities include:

•    Train or Carousel Ride.

•    Victorian Sand Art Bottle to take home.

•    Model Boat Making.

•    Playing with traditional toys.

•    Coconut shy.

•    ‘Hockey Pokey’ Ice Cream.

•    Make a Victorian school.

Engineering day:

£5 +V.A.T per pupil.

Capacity: 60


Suitable for key stages 2 and 3

Activities include:

•    Talk on engineering and its place in the wider world.

•    KNEX team engineering challenge.

•    Spaghetti tower challenge.

•    Medieval Catapult making.

•    Real Engineering project -Tour recent of engineering works at Wicksteed.

World War II Day:

£5 +V.A.T per pupil.

Capacity: 60


Suitable for key stages 1 -3

Activities include:

•    World War II Talk.

•    World War II toys.

•    Talk on Wicksteed Park’s role in World War II.

•    Grenade Throwing Drill.

•    Evacuee Train Ride.

•    Drill Ground Practice.

•    World War II Assault Course.

•    Wartime Food.

•    Code Breaking and Intelligence.

Mini Beast and Habitats:

£5 +V.A.T per pupil.

Capacity: 60


Suitable for key stages 1 -3

Activities can include:

•    Mini Beast hunt.

•    Pond dipping.

•    Make and locate animal homes.

•    Design a Mini Beast.

•    Look at food chains and webs.

•    Making a bird Box.

•    Adaptation in nature.

Single Sessions- Wicksteed Train Tour:

£2 +V.A.T per pupil.

Capacity: 100

Duration: 1hr

Suitable for key stages 1 -3

Activities can include:

•    Talk about the Wicksteed Railway.

•    Station tour.

•    Guided Tour of the park by train.

Single Sessions- History and Heritage of Wicksteed Park:

£2 +V.A.T per pupil.

Capacity: 30

Duration: 1hr

Suitable for key stages 2 and 3

Activities can include:

•    Talk about Wicksteed Park.

•    Onsite museum Visit.

•    Handle original park artefacts.

•    Ride on the Train or Carousel.

Single Sessions- Mini-Beast hunt

£2 +V.A.T per pupil.

Capacity: 30

Duration: 1hr

Suitable for key stages 1 and 2

Activities can include:

•    Hunt for mini beasts around the park.

Wicksteed Park reserves the right to amend/cancel/reschedule events at any stage, if deemed necessary in their opinion, or if circumstances arise outside their control. They also reserve the right to alter or change the programme and line-up without prior notification. However we will take all reasonable steps to contact you if we can.

We offer the above sessions either as they are, or we can tailor them to meet your specific needs. In addition to the ones listed, we are often able to deliver unique sessions for your current topic. Please contact us to discuss your ideas or to book.

Education Officer Christina Sansford

01536 512475 ext 235.

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This venue has the following accreditation:

We are in the process of working towards this accreditation.

What size groups do they cater for?

5 – 1000! depends on the activity.

What can they provide you with to support your school trip or educational visit?

Mainly depends on the education day. Once booked on an education day, teachers will be provided with a timetable for the day, and if the children are unable to complete and work on the day they can take the resources back to school with them.

Can you take photos, video or audio? Are there any copyright restrictions?

Yes plus No copyright restrictions.

How do you arrange a risk assessment?

We do provide our risk assessment management summary, with proof of our insurance, but we do advise institutions to do their own risk assessment before they visit, and can contact the education officer to arrange a pre-trip visit.

We are a Category C Approved Centre and our risk assessment can be found online at:

What are the contact details for their education officer?

Christina Sansford– Education Officer

01536 512475


What does it cost?

Prices start from at £2 per sessions. Full days starting from £5 per pupil, for education days.

For school group bookings for rides only, it is £9 per pupil and £14 per adult. We offer four free adult / teacher wristbands for the first twenty paying pupils, then one free wristband per ten additional paying pupils.

Coaches park free of charge, and your drivers will receive a free wristband!

Is specific clothing required?

Depends on the activity. If you are outside then please bring appropriate clothing for that time of year.

Do you have first aid on site?

We do have first aiders on site, but we also advise the group if they can to bring a qualified first aider with them. Most do as part of the course for insurance.

What facilities do they have for school trips and educational visits?

We have plenty of catering outlets available. As well as an ‘oldy worldy’ sweet shop and gift shop. These are open on education days, but most pupils bring their own lunch.

Are there disabled facilities?

Disabled Toilets and all buildings are wheelchair friendly.

What are your opening days and hours?

Educational days are generally 10am-2pm. Monday- Friday

For the rides, 10.30am – 4pm. 7 days a week June to end of August.

Specific rides can be opened later at advanced notice.


Do you have any testimonials from previous customers who have visited you on an educational visit?

“Thank you so much for arranging the D-Day event. It was an outstanding that really bought WW2 to life. I don’t think I have had so many positive comments about a trip in a long time.”
Paul Primary Head teacher.

“Your hospitality was superb and the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and got a lot from the sessions.”
Cathryn Year 2 Teacher

“The Victorian Day was amazing, can’t wait to come back next year!”
Debbie Deputy Head

Age of Children / Pupils: Pre-school 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years

Type of Visit: Adventure Playgrounds Indoor Activity & Soft Play Centres Outdoor Education Parks and Gardens Residential School Trips

Curriculum Topics Covered: Business Studies Design and Technology English Engineering Leisure & Tourism Media Science

Months Open: All Year Round January February March April May June July August September October November December

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