History of Cosgrove Park

Cosgrove Park near Milton Keynes started life as a caravan park over sixty years ago when the site it occupies in the Ouse Valley Park was extracted for sand and gravel.  The extractions transformed a series of open fields on the picturesque Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire borders to form twelve of the beautiful lakes which are at the heart of today’s Park.
Cosgrove Park Holiday Home and Touring Park has been a family owned business since 1960.  Since that time the Park has benefited from significant investment and development which has improved its infrastructure and landscape and greatly improved the quality of services available to its customers. 
Over this period, we have introduced over thirty thousand new shrubs and trees to enhance the natural environment for the Park’s wildlife and we have also upgraded the roads and pathways around the Park to improve access for our customers.  


1940 and early 1950s

Cosgrove Park began in the 1940s as a sand and gravel extraction site. After several years the park was then sold to Betts and Faulkner, then again to Dowsett’s and Hall’s. The sand and gravel extracted from the park was used to build the M1.



Once the M1 junction was finished and there was no longer a need for extracting gravel the lodge with the park were sold at auction to a Mr White. Mr White was the first person to have the idea to turn the park into a leisure facility. So he started to look at putting in planning permission to do this. Eventually planning was granted by the local planning authority, this is when the park became a leisure facility.


Early 1960s

Mr White sold the park and the lodge with the permission to make the place into a holiday park to the Clarke family. The family created a ten year plan where they would endeavour to change the park into a leisure facility. This may have sounded easy, but the park had been left in rather a mess, the ground was covered in humps and bumps everywhere, so parts of the park had to be smoothed out before any type of leisure facility could be installed.

Around this time the first few static caravans, tourers and camping pitches arrived and the park started to become like the park we know today. As the park had lots of lakes, a water skiing club formed and grew into a regular group. The park became renowned for the shows they put on and there were long queues for speed boat rides around the lake.


At this time people on foot could enter the park for free and cars were charged. The only charged activity at the time was the swimming pool. More and more jobs became available as the park grew.


The Clark family then made the lodge into a hotel, creating even more jobs.



By the 1970s the Lodge and Park were both purchased by Charles Mackenzie-Hill, who for a time lived at Cosgrove Hall. At the time he wanted to make the park into a luxury housing development, so put in planning permission to do this. The park was closed for a period of time, however the planning permission was refused.


Mid to late 1970s to present

After the park had been refused planning permission Charles Mackenzie-Hill then sold the park to the Steele family, who still own and operate the park today. At the time, and to the present day they also owned/own another leisure facility, Whilton Marina just up the A5 (about half an hour away from the park by car). They subsequently sold the lodge hotel to the Emmett family, who developed and continued the business as a separate enterprise.


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Venetian Marina Whilton Caravan Storage Whilton Marina
Cosgrove Park. Main Street, Cosgrove, Milton Keynes, MK19 7JP.
Phone: 01908 563360 Fax: 01908 263615