Retford is a beautiful market town in Nottinghamshire, and it’s one of the oldest market towns in the UK. Retford sits on the River Idle, and it also has the Chesterfield Canal running through it.
Retford train station is Grade II listed, and it has fantastic services for local residents. Sitting on the East Coast Main Line, there are regular services through to Scotland (stopping at York, Leeds, Newcastle and more) and it only takes 1hr20mins to reach London Kings Cross. Retford’s also served by the Sheffield to Lincoln line, which opens up access to other places, such as Worksop and Gainsborough. The town is close to the A1, making it easy to commute or travel further afield from here by car. There are good bus services including a regular service through to Doncaster Sheffield Airport, which is only 14 miles away.
Families enjoy settling in Retford because it has a great selection of schools available. There’s a good number of primary schools, including St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Carr Hill Primary School and Ordsall Primary School. The town has three secondary schools, which are The Elizabethan Academy, Retford Oaks Academy and St Giles School. There are also several nurseries and pre-schools, some of which are based within the grounds of a primary school.
Retford town centre is all focussed around The Square, which has the Grade II listed Town Hall within it. The open-air market runs here every Thursday and Saturday and it’s extremely popular. The town centre has a good mix of independent stores and national brands, so there’s something for everyone. There’s a New Look, Clarks and Argos, as well as large supermarkets like Morrisons, Lidl and Iceland. Independents include La Rosa Boutique (a women’s clothing store), Pettits (a shoe store) and Yum Yum Sweet Shop.
Locals can choose between various cuisines when they head out to the local restaurants here. No5 Grove Street Restaurant serves high quality, locally sourced British food, Dante’s Italian is cosy and authentic (and it’s located in what used to be stables for the coaching inn), and Gurkha Tandoori Restaurant is an incredibly popular Indian restaurant here.
The town has a great selection of traditional, historic pubs, many of which are now listed buildings. The Galway Arms has great music nights, The Ship Inn is a very cosy pub and serves quality food, and Beer Under The Clock provides some excellent cask ales and craft beers.
For healthcare, there’s Retford Hospital, which has a Boots Pharmacy, and there are GP services available at places like Retford Health Centre.
There’s plenty to do in and around Retford. Sundown Adventureland is just 15 minutes away with a play area, farmyard animals and plenty of rides for younger children to enjoy.
Idle Valley Nature Reserve is a beautiful spot to explore and it has a visitor centre with a café and shop, so you can make a full day of it. There’s a treehouse play area for the children, as well as a wheelchair and pushchair friendly lakeside walk.
The town has two theatres, which are Majestic Theatre Retford and Retford Little Theatre, and they provide people with great entertainment all year round.