Northamptonshire Attractions

Northamptonshire offers visitors a choice of local attractions in the region offering visitors a number of interesting and charming places to discover. The county includes museums, parks, gardens, a number of historic buildings, theatre, concerts and events. Northamptonshire’s location in the East Midlands means the scenic English countryside and the great outdoors are all within reach located close to the towns and villages with a range of things to see and do in the county.

We have outlined a number of interesting attractions and places to visit for visitors to Northamptonshire, these include:

Althorp House is the best known of Northamptonshire's country estates. It is among the finest estates in England and has been in the ownership of the Spencer family for over 500 years and was home to a young Princess Diana. The late Diana, Princess of Wales is laid to rest at the Round Oval in the heart of the mansion’s 500-acre park. The Stables host the extremely popular exhibition entitled ‘Diana, a Celebration’. Inside the house lies among the best collections of portraits in the world that features works from Rubens, Reynolds, Rubens and Gainsborough among others.

Althorp is well known as the home of the Earl and Countess Spencer, there has been a house at Althorp since the beginning of the 16th century when Sir John Spence bought land here. The original house provides the main construction of the current house. Althorp is set in spectacular grounds, covering some 450 acres of parkland; it makes for a truly grand site.

A popular visit is to the All Saints Church in Brixworth, located a few miles north of Northampton. All Saints is England's largest and finest Saxon church still intact, it was thought to have been built around 660. The church incorporates even earlier Roman tiles, has a 9th century tower that was built to withstand Viking raids. There is another Saxon church at Earl's Barton, where the 10th century tower has been augmented by a Norman nave. The upper floors of the tower could only be reached by a ladder, which in turn could then be withdrawn to discourage attackers.

Canons Ashby House is located in Daventry, Northamptonshire. Located in the tranquil Northampton countryside, this Elizabethan manor house is set in beautiful gardens. There is an impressive collection of wall paintings and Jacobean plasterwork. It has been he home of the Dryden family since its construction; Canons Ashby has survived largely unaltered since 1710. There is also a formal garden with colourful herbaceous borders, an orchard featuring varieties of fruit trees from the 16th century. There are also the remains of a medieval priory church on the site.

Lamport Hall in Northampton is regarded as an outstanding classical house and home to wonderful period rooms filled with fine furniture and art. Visitors can explore the house, a Grade I listed building and the gardens. Highlights inside include the High Room noted for its impressive ceiling. The gardens provide a wonderful backdrop to the house, there is the Italian garden along with a host of wonderful plants, flowers and shrubs to see for visitors.

Northampton Museum & Art Gallery is located in the centre of the city. Northampton is known as the boot & shoe capital of the UK and the museum shows this when charting the history of the town through the various ages. The museum has a wide range of collections such as that of shoes, shoe machinery and geology, ephemera, social history, archaeology and fine and Decorative Art. The museum charts the local history using sound and film along with objects, from the Stone Age all the way to the 20th century.

Coton Manor Garden is a charming garden that has been well maintained. It is located in the heart of the rural English countryside in Northampton. Coton Manor Gardens were laid out during the 1920's and 1930's, the garden is approx ten acres and is situated on a hillside position extending down from the manor house that itself goes back to the 17th century. The garden is well known for its luxuriant borders, by using a wide range of unusual plants, which provide colour through all of the seasons.

The garden has a natural advantage of plenty of water, which is channelled effectively into numerous pools and streams. The Stableyard Café here serves a variety of light lunches, snacks and teas. Visitors can sit outside in the Stable Yard enjoy their tea and snacks and relax admiring the beauty of the garden.

The world famous Silverstone Race Circuit is located in the Northamptonshire countryside, it is known as being the home of the British Grand Prix and stages many other races in different formulas. Racing fans can visit the circuit and enjoy the many driving experiences available here. The exhilarating circuit means you can experience the thrill of driving some exotic machinery on the famous track, among the cars are supercars, rally cars, Lotus and Ferrari to name but a few. A visit here is a must for motor racing fans and if visitors come when the British Grand Prix is one, they will experience an unforgettable atmosphere and wonderful race day excitement.

Northampton’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre is England’s largest round church. It is also Northampton's oldest standing building, built in 1100 on the orders of the first Earl of Northampton, Simon de Senlis. It was based on the original Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Known as the 'Crusader Round', it is a place for worship as well as theatre and concerts. Round churches are rare in the UK; this one has a peaceful atmosphere to it and makes for an interesting visit. Address: Sheep Street, Northampton, NN1 3NL and Telephone: +44 (0) 1604 754782.

Visitors with a penchant for the arts can go to the Royal and Derngate Theatres located in Northampton. They offer a wide variety of theatre and music, the theatres take part in many new projects, with an aim of having arts more assessable for everyone. There are two auditoria and Underground, a creativity centre and home to the Youth Theatre featuring a wide range of workshops and projects for the community. The diverse programme here varies from opera to stand-up comedy to drama and dance to name but a few.

The theatre also offers a programme of Creative Projects giving people the opportunity to become involved in performing, writing and find out more. With its wide array of performances arts fans are likely to find something that appeals to them here.

It is recommended that prior to visiting Northamptonshire; visitors do their research and ensure any sights and attractions they plan on visiting are actually open on the days you intend on coming. The transport is also worth checking as maintenance and engineering works can mean a restricted service on public transport and the road network.

Northamptonshire does not enjoy the high profile of some other English counties and is sometimes missed by visitors; the county is well worth a visit, it has plenty of rural charm and scenic English countryside to enjoy. There is a lack of large cities offering visitors a place away from the hustle and bustle associated with large cities and large urban environments. There are a choice of historic attractions, including museums, historic houses, parks, gardens and cathedrals with fun days out for the whole family with Althorp and Silverstone being two of the best known attractions. Northamptonshire’s attractions ensure visitors can enjoy a short break, weekend away or a longer stay here.

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