We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Idle Valley Nature Reserve

Features Animals
Closed Now: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Open today: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Review Highlights
Regular visitor

Me and my partner walk around idle valley quite often , it’s a lovely walk, and although we don’t... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Retford, United Kingdom
via mobile
Peaceful walk then picnic lunch

Went with family including toddler. A very good walk around the lake spotting loads of flora and... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Eddie B
Retford, United Kingdom
via mobile
Read all 258 reviews
All photos (87)
Full view
Certificate of Excellence
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent69%
  • Very good25%
  • Average4%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“bird watching”(10 reviews)
“lovely walk”(16 reviews)
Closed Now
Hours Today: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
See all hours
North Road | Postcode for Satnav: DN21 8RQ, Retford DN22 8SF, England
+44 1777 858245
Reviews (258)
Filter reviews
258 results
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Show reviews that mention
All reviews bird watching lovely walk brass rubbings bird life home made cakes water birds homity pie lovely place car park wildlife trust large lake nice cafe information centre varying lengths bike ride lovely food
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 258 reviews
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Me and my partner walk around idle valley quite often , it’s a lovely walk, and although we don’t have dogs we see a lot there and they seem to love it also. Highly recommend. We also visit the cafe, reasonable prices.

Thank Dazgrego
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Went with family including toddler. A very good walk around the lake spotting loads of flora and fauna, with a very excited 22 month old in tow. Paths well sign posted and informative. Stopped to picnic outside the visitors centre, the staff were very helpful...More

Thank Eddie B
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The cafe makes a cracking cuppa and the homemade cakes are a delight. The little shop has some interesting bits and bobs and you can get your top grade binoculars there.

Thank Nigel P
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Such a pretty place to take your dog for a walk...even if I didn’t live close by it would definitely be a place I’d look into going too

1  Thank plblatter123
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

There are lots of signed walks from the car park. We go here often with our dogs. You can also get a drink and a snack. Obviously, an excellent place to go if you like watching waterfowl.

Thank ZacMonaco
Reviewed 2 September 2018

My husband is the wheelchair user. We go regularly and find the Reserve accessible in the majority of areas. The Reserve is free to visit, if you want to make donation for parking you may do so. The visitor centre and cafe is ideal for...More

1  Thank Winifred C
Reviewed 29 August 2018

Went here this week for the first time with the grandkids. We all loved it. Went into the main reception area first, looking through the binoculars and various bits and pieces Got a map from a lovely lady manning the desk. Really friendly staff Not...More

1  Thank CarolScr
Reviewed 22 August 2018

we went to the reserve for the first time the walks were quite flat there was several walks to choose from our grandchildren and their Mum and Dad went a lot further than us but we all enjoyed it, seeing lots of bird life and...More

1  Thank JaneNorman B
Reviewed 13 August 2018 via mobile

Enjoyed the scenery and walk but was spoilt by the visit to the cafe as the prices are wayyyyy too expensive. My hot chocolate was £2.50 and as you can see by the picture once you delve past the froth you are lucky if you...More

Thank mair0se
Reviewed 8 August 2018 via mobile

Having recently had a minor operation on my knee I can't walk too far and need flatish ground but the sun was shining so we went to the reserve and we're able to get close to a good number of vantage points with the car...More

Thank Jan W
View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all 2 nearby hotels
Hickman Hill Hotel
167 reviews
5.80 km away
Best Western Plus West Retford Hotel
720 reviews
9.44 km away
Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Restaurant
606 reviews
12.43 km away
Travelodge Retford Markham Moor
205 reviews
13.57 km away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 106 nearby restaurants
The Sun Inn
79 reviews
3.14 km away
Adam's Bay
471 reviews
4.79 km away
Johnson's Fish & Chip shop
199 reviews
5.14 km away
226 reviews
5.13 km away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 42 nearby attractions
Gainsborough Old Hall
413 reviews
5.33 km away
St Peters Church
9 reviews
6.77 km away
Gainsborough Heritage Centre
41 reviews
5.48 km away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
6 April 2018|
Response from Davemustained | Reviewed this property |
No , but plenty to do in the visitor centre using the telescopes to look out over the lakes , and colouring sheets , and adventure walks .
27 March 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Joannemariemansfield |
There are many paths that you follow that follow the fields and the river Idle where dogs can be off lead also. We do a 7 mile walk following the arrows and nearly all is off lead.
Angela F
9 April 2015|
Response from Yummyfoodfood | Reviewed this property |
There is no charge to enter and parking is free, beware the gates get closed at night but there is also parking before the gates if you like a sunset walk. There is, of course, a charge for the cafe and certain special... More