Your Parks: Willow Park
For our Spring issue we toured Willow Park, part of the Killarney group of parks in Nottinghamshire, and discovered homes bordering a carp lake and a very neatly-kept estate. This time, we talk with some of the people who have bought homes here
Graham and Denise Driscoll
Denise and Graham moved to Willow Park from Kent. Graham explains: “In summer 2016 Denise took early retirement from teaching. That was our opportunity. We initially looked at parks in Kent, and then broadened our search.”
Denise takes up the story: “We’d never been to Nottingham. In October 2016 we visited a park in Lincolnshire – and then came here.
“We immediately fell in love with the place. Sophie Brown (who owns the park with her brother Alex) showed us a bare patch of earth where our home could be sited.”
“Then we chose the home – and arranged some alterations and tweaks. We made the kitchen larger and had French doors put in the main bedroom, to lead out to our patio. Sophie sent me samples of fabric so that I could choose…”
“This park ticked our boxes of rural location and completely new area where can explore at our leisure for days out.
“We both play golf; the golf club is next door.” That’s another box ticked.
Denise says: “When we first had our home delivered, I came a couple of times to arrange our modifications. Neighbours offered tea and made us feel welcome. There is a warm sense of community and caring here. It’s like having a ready-made circle of friends. We lived in our previous house for 35 years and never got to know
We are talking in the lounge of their home over coffee and we, too, feel very welcome.
Denise and Graham surely have one of the nicest park home plots you could find anywhere. It’s on the edge of Willow Park’s lake. Their extensive decking area reaches out over the lake; a magical location for barbecues! A metal artwork plaque on the wall depicts bottles of wine; the sunset barbecue scene is complete!
Canadian geese are on the lake and big carp rise, open-mouthed, as we approach the water.
Graham and Denise’s plot is large; there’s a summer house and garage and parking for two cars. The summerhouse accommodates Denise’s hobby of creating crafts. It’s her retreat. And it’s clear that the Driscolls are perfectly settled and happy with their new lifestyle at Willow Park.
George and Glynis Wilkie
George and Glynis had moved into their Stately-Albion Windsor just two weeks before our visit.
They didn’t move far – they lived in Mansfield. George explains: “We’d been looking for about three years for a bungalow but didn’t see anything we liked.
“We had looked at Willow Park a year earlier, and then did a lot of research. We liked it because it’s not a big park and homes are set at different angles.
Glynis takes up the story: “Then we had the pleasure of choosing a home. We chose the Windsor because we didn’t want an open-plan layout. We are extremely pleased with it,” George adds.
“We saw it from the outside and decided it looked cottagey and nice. Then when we went inside it seemed bigger than we had anticipated and the level of fixtures and fittings is extraordinarily good.
“We had a certain amount of input into the details; we worked well with Sophie and Alex who have the attitude that everything is possible. We chose all of the fabrics and decided on a change in the bathroom; we went for a freestanding bath…”
“We have met more people since coming here than living on the street where we were for 30 years.”
Terry and Thelma Dovey
It’s now six years since Terry and Thelma moved into their Stately-Albion Arundel.
They already knew the Calverton area well. “We came past Willow Park and noticed that some trees had been removed; development was obviously taking place – and then we saw there were two park homes.”
Willow Park was then at the beginning of its transformation into the park home estate it is today.
Terry says: “We came to have a look at one of the homes. Thelma walked though the door and said ‘wow’ instantly. We had no intention of moving. The next day we put our house on the market and in 12 weeks it was sold.”
Terry adds; “We had a large garden which was a lot of work. Here, the garden is manageable.”
Both Terry and Thelma play golf. “Willow Park is next to a golf course, which is a bonus!”
They’ve made some alterations to the Arundel: the second bedroom has been turned into a sitting room: “We didn’t need a spare bedroom.”
They love everything about the Arundel including the lofty height of the ceiling. “We love walking into the village; there are lots of walks around here.
“It’s just like being on holiday all of the time,” says Thelma.
Len and Pat Hand
Len and Pat welcome us into their Stately-Albion Wentwood: “We were looking to downsize; we had a huge garden and a four-bedroomed house. The garden had become a chore.
“We have a holiday lodge in the Peak District; we were talking to the warden of that park and conversation turned to park homes. That was two years ago. Until then, we had never heard of a park home!”
That conversation sowed the seed. “Our lodge in Derbyshire is open-plan. That’s great for a holiday lodge but we didn’t want an open-plan main home, so the Wentwood is ideal.”
The couple previously lived at Woodthorpe, six miles away. “We didn’t want to move far
from friends,” says Pat.
Len continues: “We found this park by accident, while out at Southwell (nearby).
“There were three homes,” Pat says, “We looked at the smaller two and then saw this one. I fell in love with it. We went away and walked from here to the village of Calverton, to make sure we wanted to live here. We quickly became sure – and the golf course is big bonus for Len!
“The community feel is great. There are barbecue and fish and chip nights. It’s lovely.
“The pond is one of the big attractions. We still sit out there on the decking and think we are in a dream. Moving here is the best thing we ever did.”
Calverton, Nottingham NG14 6FZ
0115 965 2426