Northamptonshire Travel Guide

Grand Union Canal at Braunston, Northamptonshire

Introduction and Overview

The Northamptonshire Travel Guide highlights a number of local attractions and places of interest for visitors. The area guide includes travel information on local events, transport, facts & figures, entertainment and accommodation giving an insight in to the county.

The county is one that has traditionally been overlooked by tourist guides and visitors. This does the county a disservice given the county has some scenic countryside, fine churches and historic houses as well as a world renowned motor racing track. Northamptonshire is a landlocked county located in the East Midlands; that has eight other counties on its borders.

Northamptonshire is essentially a rural county with a relatively small population, those seeking peace and quiet in the countryside are likely to warm to Northamptonshire. The gentle rolling hills and farmland characterise much of the county, the county is a contrast to the major tourist centres with the crowds and hectic pace.

The county allows you to enjoy its attractions at a more relaxing pace.

The county has played a key role in some important historical events such as in Naseby, the site of one of the most momentous battles of the English Civil War back in the 17th century. The battle sealed the fate of Charles I, who was finally defeated by Oliver Cromwell’s roundheads; he was then incarcerated at Holdenby House.

The county became well known in the Middle Ages with the manufacture of boots and shoes and produced the footwear for Cromwell’s large army. With the industrial revolution, the natural resources of the region were utilised, in particular the reserves of iron ore in the Corby area.

The town of Northampton has a long history dating back to the Saxon period.

However much of the town's early buildings were destroyed by a fire in 1675, meaning much of the architecture in evidence today is Georgian. More trouble was in store when Charles II ordered Northampton Castle to be razed after the Restoration.

There are some notable survivors of all this destruction including St. Sepulchre, a 12th circular century church built in emulation of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Northampton is famous for its open markets and boasts one of the largest open markets in the town. There is also a 19th century cathedral in the town.

Kettering is an affluent town 15 miles north of Northampton. Historically the town was famous for its association with the shoe industry started during the 19th century.

Local points of interest include the Glendon Lodge Complex where visitors will find a number of independent shops along with a café offering an interesting alternative to traditional high streets or large indoor shopping complexes.

Broughton House is a historic house and gardens that is open to visitors during spring and summer. Home to the Duke of Buccleuch & his family it is a living house and includes wonderful collections of fine arts including furniture, textiles, porcelain, and paintings.

Wicksteed Park is located close to the town centre in Kettering, the theme park includes a number of rides, rollercoaster’s and family attractions offering a fun day out in a scenic country setting.

Corby is located in north east Northamptonshire approx 25 miles from Northampton. Local attractions include Corby Boating Lake, located in the heart of Corby there are geese, water fowl and swans along with garden and woodland birds. There is a play area for children and walking and picnic facilities.

Kirby Hall is a historic 17th century mansion noted for its impressive architecture and design, there are tours available and scenic gardens.

Deane Park is a medieval manor dating back to the 16th century. The mansion is a living house with tours of the house and gardens available, the house is known for its impressive collections of furniture, memorabilia and portraits.

Daventry is a market town located in the west of Northamptonshire. Located close to the Watford Gap and M1 motorway, the town has a historic market centre that includes a number of historic buildings. The High Street hosts regular farmers and street markets.

On the outskirts of the town is the Daventry Country Park; that includes a reservoir and is a popular place for bird watching and angling. The park provides a number of walks, picnic areas and areas for walkers and cyclists. The 18th century Holy Cross Church in Daventry is a Grade I listed building noted for its classical style of architecture.

Rushden is a town 15 miles east of Northampton. Notable attractions include Rushden Museum and Rushden Transport Museum that showcase local history and transport vehicles. Historic buildings include Rushden Hall that is currently the headquarters of the local council.

St Mary’s Church is a centuries old church with notable architecture located in the town. Rushden Hall Park includes tree lined paths making it a nice place to enjoy a walk, in the summer it hosts a number of concerts.

Wellingborough is a market town located 10 miles from Northampton. The historic town dates back to the 6th century and includes the All Hallows Church, a 12th century church that is the oldest building in the town. Shopping facilities in the town include the Swansgate Shopping Centre with a range of stores and facilities.

Wellingborough Museum includes a range of artefacts, collections and exhibits that relate to the history of the town. The Castle Wellingborough is an arts venue that shows cinema, theatre, drama, music and a range of classes and workshops. The venue includes a diverse range of live events.

Northamptonshire has a fine historical tradition and this sense of history is reflected and preserved in some impressive stately homes and churches in the county.

Its location means it is just a few hours drive or train journey from London and very assessable particularly by motorway for visitors from the Home Counties and the Midlands.

The quiet, rural and relaxing county does host the British Grand Prix at Silverstone adding plenty of exhilaration, noise and excitement to proceedings. The countryside is on the whole unspoiled by over development; the county is still mainly agricultural that gives the county its rural appeal and charm.

The county will appeal to those looking for a break in a relaxing environment away from the crowds.

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