Retford, Notts - does anyone know it?

(76 Posts)
CatAndHisKit Fri 17-Jul-20 12:09:13

Considering Retford along with couple of other places in East Mids, which have a good train link

But what's it like? I've been to Mansfield not too far and it's not my thing, too sleepy (no station so maybe that's the reason). Also like the look of the park n REtford, but is it nice of gets antisocial behaviour etc? I'd need to be close to the station.
How about amenities, supermarkets - I don't think many in town but is there a good connection to any good retail centres?

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CatAndHisKit Fri 17-Jul-20 12:09:44

*train link to London (first sentence)

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jimjamjoo Fri 17-Jul-20 12:49:20

I've heard it's a bit of a dump 😳 sorry OP but it doesn't have a great reputation round here...

CatAndHisKit Fri 17-Jul-20 13:34:03

ah ok, any info is helpful, so thanks jim.

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jimjamjoo Fri 17-Jul-20 14:00:12

There are some lovely little villages nearby. I've heard Gringley on the hill is pretty. Where else are you looking?

katmunchkin Fri 17-Jul-20 14:08:37


katmunchkin Fri 17-Jul-20 14:12:20

Oops! Mansfield does have a train station but to get to London would be a change at Nottingham, and it's a much slower line than the East Coast Mainline. Plus Mansfield isn't a great town to live in (I can say this as I live here but from Retford!) Retford is a nice small market town - not too much going on but doesn't suffer too badly with anti-social behaviour when compared to its neighbours of Worksop and Gainsborough. As PP said there are lots of pretty villages close by, and house prices are very reasonable, as you'd expect in the East Midlands.


Hoppinggreen Fri 17-Jul-20 14:26:15

DH is from there and his family still lives there
To be honest it is a bit of a dump and not very diverse but there are some lovely villages round the area.
There is a Morrison’s and Asda but it’s not great for shopping. Meadowhall is probably the closest big shopping centre
I would choose to live there to be honest

HexagonsHecateAndHecuba Fri 17-Jul-20 14:27:02

Where are you from @jimjamjoo? Interesting that a small North Notts town should be a subject of such discourse.

Mansfield is one of the UK's most deprived areas (in the top 20% as FB of 2019). Bassetlaw has areas of deprivation but fairs better than Mansfield. Both areas suffered due to the closing of the collieries and now the power stations.

Retford is small but the surroundings are lovely. 10-15 mins to Clumber Park. 20 mins to Sherwood Forest. 40 mins to Sheffield/Meadowhall.

Within the town there is King's Park (there is a child friendly play and water park). The main park can get busy on warm sunny days and some groups will leave litter......but you get that anywhere.

On the outskirts of town is the Idle Valley Nature Reserve - that's a lovely walk (different ones you can do and different things to see as the season's change).

There is close proximity to two good independent schools (3-18) as well as one very good state secondary in Tuxford or the Grammar school in Gainsborough. Majority of primaries are ok but check carefully as a couple are not!

Not much to do for kids/teenagers. Local shops are limited.....but there are plenty of cafes/bistros/pubs for eating out. Nearest cinema is Worksop .....decent enough and hardly ever busy. Bigger cinema chains in Doncaster and Sheffield.

House prices are good and there are some lovely areas in and around Retford/surrounding villages.

Biggest drawback - BREXIT voters! The town is insular and the prevailing political current is definitely right leaning. Currently represented by a new Tory MP (who seems as ineffectual as his Labour predecessor). Local Council is Labour. There are very few BAME families - there is (for now) a thriving and friendly Polish community.

Depends on what you want for your family. In my opinion it's far friendlier and attractive than Mansfield l/Worksop but not as nice as Newark (trains are more frequent to London from there). Not much for young families/teens, but within easy reach of Nottingham and Sheffield, the Peaks, east coast etc.

PM me if you want.....lived here all my life

jimjamjoo Fri 17-Jul-20 14:41:21

@HexagonsHecateAndHecuba so sorry didn't mean to offend. Sounds like you have a much better idea than I do! I know someone whose family live in Gringley and have only really heard her view. Have visited a couple of times (Retford) but perhaps I saw it at its worse during the recession.

HexagonsHecateAndHecuba Fri 17-Jul-20 14:57:35

@jimjamjoo no offence taken 😄. I assumed you were a Worksopian as there is a friendly rivalry between the two towns 😂

I'd say that due to the COVID crisis and the looming Brexit deadline, the town is heading back towards a recession......but it won't be alone. Hopefully it can bounce back - and remain the thriving little market town it has always been. There are worse places to all depends on where you're moving from and what facilities you are used to.

CatAndHisKit Sat 18-Jul-20 20:26:37

thank you, Hezagon
I've been only looking at REtford for the good London train link, so wanted to ask wjat was it like - I am generally searching in Lincoln or Western suburns of Sheffield as I want to be in that area for business reasons.
I didn't expect REtford to be amazing, but was wondering if nove enough. I think going by all the info, it's not for e but does sound like a good ebough place to live with school aged children, for many.

I never considered Mansfield - did visit in the past but Retford is better due to the station. I did have a feeling Mansfield was brexit land too. Newark is still a candidate sort-of but not much there atm house-wise - would beed to be a perfect for me house to consider it.

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Ell19 Sat 18-Jul-20 20:29:43

Mansfield is definitely Brexit land. Lived just outside in a little village all my life and it’s sad how far gone the town is now.

bobloblawlawblog Sat 18-Jul-20 20:35:19

You might be better off with Chesterfield than Mansfield way if working in Sheff direction? And Mansfield and a lot of the towns and villages around there are VERY UKIP. And also very high unemployment and drugs rates.

Would you consider somewhere nearer Nottingham? Much more culturally diverse, transport excellent and still affordable.

CatAndHisKit Sat 18-Jul-20 20:54:28

*bo8 I need a direct train to London so unless it's NOttingham itself (or Newark and Lincoln which I have another thread on) then I can't see other options. I don't like Long Eaton - it's fine but not for me. I@m already in East Mids btw but didn't wany to specify where SW/West of Nottingham).

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CatAndHisKit Sat 18-Jul-20 20:54:45

sorry, bo

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CatAndHisKit Sat 18-Jul-20 20:55:31

Ell ha thought so! it's interesting how you just get the vibe evn on a very short visit. I thought Newark was too but people say it's ok.

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augustusglupe Sat 18-Jul-20 21:07:08

If you’re southwest Nottm at the mo I’d stay in the vicinity. Beeston, Chilwell, Bramcote are decent/nice areas
A bit out of range I know but Grantham is only an hour and 10 to Kings Cross.

FlamedToACrisp Sat 18-Jul-20 21:17:08

A relative lived in West Drayton, about a mile from Retford. It was a friendly village, but so quiet, there wasn't even a shop - and the church was closed on Sundays! In comparison, Retford was the bright-lights-big-city lifestyle. She loved it there and never wished to live anywhere else.

NotMeNoNo Sat 18-Jul-20 21:23:44

I live in Nottingham and have family in Newark/Lincoln. The trains thing is interesting. The East Coast Main Line is a fast electrified line which is why there are fast connections to London on the Newark/Grantham line. The Midland Main Line is having piecemeal upgrades but is still slower. Hs2 is uncertain and years off.

I got a bit lost as to where you need to be for work etc, are you looking to move north of Nottingham?

CatAndHisKit Sat 18-Jul-20 21:44:48

augustus I was considering Grantham too but saw bad reviews. CAn you advise on it? I'm not used to small towns really - interesting that Beeston is good, but then there is no direct train again.

Flamed haha not according to this thread it's a bright busy place! maybe used to be...or yo uposs meant everything is comparative!

NotMe I'm self-employed so not fixed to a certain place but want to stay in East Mids for property prices / good connetons. But I would also consider a SW Sheffield suburb (prices are too high for the one I really like) and also Lincoln city. I need a direct train to London as I like to go often.

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Binglebong Sat 18-Jul-20 21:48:28

Don't do lincoln of you want London links! Trains are terrible.

Ell19 Sat 18-Jul-20 22:09:18


Close to Newark for trains to London.

CatAndHisKit Sat 18-Jul-20 22:22:01

Bingle why terrible? They estate agents go on about the direct train grin - I know they are not very frequent but do you mean often cancelled / bad trains in terms of old stock?

Ell what's it like? will haev a look. I'm not in NOtts btw, East Midlands goes all the way to Leicester.

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nobodysdaughter Sat 18-Jul-20 22:46:58

The villages along the ridge between Grantham and Lincoln are very nice. Grantham has an excellent link to st Pancras, I'd have a bit of a drive round that way if you can. I'm from up there and recently drove through sleaford, it was a lot prettier than I remembered too.

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