Spanning a range of 760 square miles, Northamptonshire lies in the heart of England and is landlocked between eight other counties. Much of Northamptonshire seems to have remained to a degree intractable as to earlier human occupation, bringing about an evidently small populace.
George Washington, the first President of the United States of America, was born to the Washington family who had moved to America from Northamptonshire in 1656. The county town is Northampton which is around two hours from London by train.
Towns in Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire has many towns and villages to see, with six large population centers, including Northampton, Wellingborough, Daventry, Corby, Kettering, and Rushden.
With a populace of 212,100 recorded in the 2011 evaluation, Northampton is one of the biggest urban centers in the United Kingdom without city status. Archaeological proof of settlement in the region goes back to the Bronze Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods.
In the Middle Ages, the town rose to national importance with the foundation of Northampton Castle, which was an infrequent imperial living arrangement and often facilitated the English Parliament. Modern-day Northampton has lots to see including Rockingham Castle, Wicksteed Park, and Broughton House.
Wellingborough is a large market town and district in Northamptonshire, England. Because of continuous flooding by the River Nene, the town was built over the level of the floodplain. Initially named “Wendelingburgh”, the town was established in the early sixth-century Saxon period by a Saxon pioneer called Waendel and has an entry in the Domesday Book under the name of “Wendelburie”.
The medieval town of Wellingborough housed a humble monastery – now the Jacobean Croyland “Abbey” – which was a branch of the much larger monastery of Croyland Abbey, close to Peterborough, about 30 miles down-river. Modern-day Wellingborough boasts Santa Pod Raceway, AMF Bowling, Hart Family Brewers and The Castle.
Corby is quite close to the county town, Northampton. The district had a populace of over 61,000 at the 2011 Census. Figures discharged in March 2010 uncovered that Corby has the quickest developing populace in both Northamptonshire and indeed, England. The town was at one time referred to by locals as “Little Scotland” because of the substantial number of Scottish workers who came to Corby for its thriving steelworks business.
The neighborhood has been worked for iron metal since Roman times. An ironstone industry created in the nineteenth century with the creation of the railways and the finding of massive ironstone deposits in the area. By 1910 an ironstone works had been created. In 1931 Corby was a little town with a populace of around 1,500 but developed quickly into a good sized town, when the holders of the ironstone works, the steel company Stewarts & Lloyds, decided to put up a huge incorporated ironstone and steel foundry at the site. Modern-day Corby has plenty to do including Rockingham Motor Speedway, Deene Park, and Rockingham Castle.
Parks and Gardens
Northamptonshire is a lovely county with plenty of quiet gardens and historic old houses to see and positively brims with photographic opportunities.
Steane Park Garden
This beautiful old garden is found just outside Brackley, quite near to the outskirts of beautiful Buckinghamshire and ancient Oxfordshire. It is located near the site of the old medieval town of Steane, which has an entry in the Domesday book. Steane Park Garden is approached through parkland, with a large variety of excellent trees and a sprinkling of wild blossoms.
The feeling of history is evident with a lovely church, originally built by Thomas Crewe in 1620 neighboring the lake and ancient stew ponds. The alluring formal gardens looked over by a beautiful copper beech, an excellent cedar of Lebanon and a red chestnut (best seen in May), prompts a more relaxing and lush garden near the lake, with meandering pathways, wild blooms, and a wonderful folly.
Cottesbrooke is a stunning old Queen Anne house dating from 1702, nestling in the delightful award-winning gardens and parkland in rustic Northamptonshire. The elegant eighteenth-century manicuring of the Park, its vistas, and lakes, are by an unknown hand and much of it has been remarkably well restored. The gardens are of wonderful variety with numerous specimen trees not found anywhere else. The formal and wild gardens adjacent to and surrounding the house have been for the most part created in the present century and these advancements have been ongoing right up to the present day.
Variously recognized landscapers have been included – Robert Weir Schultz, Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, and Dame Sylvia Crowe. The idea behind the design of the gardens originated from the late Catherine Macdonald-Buchanan. Projects funded by the present incumbents of the gardens have been headed up by garden designers in principal such as James Alexander Sinclair, Angela Collins and Arne Maynard.
This wonderful 20 acre Grade 1 recorded garden, set in stately surroundings, has lots of rare features to see. Away from the stunning formal gardens lie the wonderful old terraces of the first Elizabethan rose garden – one of the best-protected and cared-for examples of its kind. There is additionally a delightful walled kitchen garden with the original Victorian nurseries. The Elizabethan Garden was replanted in 1980 by Rosemary Verey, utilizing only plants accessible to her in 1580. The Tous Tous fringe was named after a pet dog owned by Lady Clifden’s little girl, which is buried somewhere in the garden proper.
The 1980 replanting here was begun by Rosemary Verey and subsequently finished by Rupert Golby as a beautiful and aromatic, fragrant border. The pleasant Pond Garden is situated amongst new yew hedges and was also redeveloped by Rupert Golby. King Charles Walk Border is a look back to the time of Charles I’s imprisonment here; he was a fast, brisk walker and Lord Pembroke (his keeper at the time) experienced issues keeping pace with him.
Attractions and Places to See
Northamptonshire is a lovely old county and has many historic places to visit and a lot of interesting and exciting things to try.
Boughton is one of Britain’s most fantastic and best-protected stately homes. On top of the wonderful qualities of the House itself, you can likewise enjoy the eighteenth century manicured gardens, the surrounding forest land, and a fantastic country park. Boughton holds one of Britain’s most extraordinary collections of beautiful fine art, with an excellent exhibit of furniture, woven artwork, porcelain and classic carpets in the State Rooms and Halls.
Guests can take in a wonderful selection of compositions by extraordinary artists, including The Adoration of the Shepherds by El Greco, Gainsbourgh’s portrait of Mary Montagu, grisailles and portraits by Van Dyck, and the famous Breaking Cover by John Wootton.
Only 50 minutes from London, sitting in unspoiled countryside, Aynhoe Park is an elegant and luxurious British stately home. Aynhoe Park is the dream and creation of James Perkins and his unbridled passion for collecting and entertaining, home to treasures from his Grand Tour of the world in a beautiful seventeenth century Palladian home sitting in 250 beautiful acres of Capability Brown gardens. With luxurious bedroom suites and a full butler service available, Aynhoe is a unique retreat into the British countryside with exceptional levels of comfort and elegance.
A most intriguing house, owned and redeveloped by the Brudenell family since 1514, from a medieval estate house around a courtyard into a Tudor and Georgian mansion. Guests at the house can see numerous rooms from different periods, giving great insight into the family home of numerous eras.
The most daring and flamboyant member of the family to date was the seventh Earl of Cardigan, who famously headed the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava and of whom there are numerous noteworthy relics and pictures on display. Mr. Edmund Brudenell, the current incumbent, has taken care in restoring this grand old house since the damage sustained in the Second World War. The gardens have additionally been enhanced during the last thirty years, with long borders of bushes, old-fashioned English roses, and rare flowers.
Things to Do
Northamptonshire is known nationwide for its outdoor pursuits and family days out.
The Nene Whitewater Rafting Centre
The Nene Whitewater Centre was the UK’s first pumped artificial whitewater course. They offer exciting activities aboard rafts, canoes, and kayaks, as well as fun activities for kids and the whole family, such as raft building, deck walking and more.
They also offer to the tube, a phenomenal experience where visitors must pilot the inner tube from a tractor or other large land vehicle down rapids using only a paddle. For a high-octane day out, the Nene Whitewater Rafting Centre is a must.
The massive play frame zone gives kids an involving, exciting and overall safe place to truly let off some steam and burn off all that energy. The modern and stylish play zone offers 3 separate slides and lots of interesting activities you won’t find anywhere else.
In the event that youngsters require some assistance from their adult carer, they are welcome into the play zone as well.
The Manchester Treasure Trail
The Jungle Parc Adventure Course is intended for kids from the age of 4 and up and has many fun exercises, for example, rocket launchers, rope bridges, swings and cargo nets. Parents and guardians can go with kids completely free of charge on this course. The X-plorer Course is for guests from 10 years of age and is a bigger form of the Jungle Parc Adventurer Course, and has extra challenges, which are reviews and updated every year.
Swing, float and climb through the treetops, on a course suitable for grandchildren, parents, and grandparents! There is an area for guests to enjoy a nice picnic and well-behaved dogs are more than welcome too.
Afternoon Tea Ideas in Northamptonshire
Northampton is very popular with tourists looking for old houses and country estates, and it’s no surprise that a bustling afternoon tea trade has sprung up in this lovely old county.
Fawsley Hall, Daventry
Set in lovely parkland, the work of Capability Brown, Fawsley Hall is an elegant country retreat set deep in the heart of beautiful Northamptonshire. Fawsley was a Royal house as far back as the seventh century and the Hall was added to throughout the years as the resident Knightly family grew in noble stature with rulers including Elizabeth I coming to stay at the hall.
Take Afternoon Tea in the Great Tudor Hall, the Old Laundry Bar or outside in the Courtyard which incorporates a choice of finger sandwiches, scones with tasty clotted cream and delicious preserves, sweet homemade cakes and delicate pastries as well as a fine selection of hot tea or rich espresso.
The Granary, Fawsley
Open from 2 pm to 5 pm daily, their comfortable hotel terrace offers beautiful views of the expansive Fawsley estate – making it a glorious setting for their teas. Their tearoom menu incorporates a selection of heavenly cakes, sandwiches, frozen yogurts and enticing desserts. They believe only in home-made foods, loaded with real goodness which is the reason they source ingredients locally wherever they can – only utilizing fresh, quality ingredients in their dishes. The Granary is pleased to offer Honeybuns cakes which are gluten-free with the majority of their teas coming from Teapigs, celebrated for their tasty, aromatic full leaf teas.
Wedding Venues in Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire is home to beautiful old country estates, sprawling manor houses and Tudor and Elizabethan stately homes, all offering excellent wedding deals.
Highgate House, Creation
Highgate House is an elegant seventeenth Century country house in the wonderful countryside only seven miles from Northampton. Its glorious setting makes it the ideal wedding venue for couples looking to tie the knot in Northamptonshire. With three authorized civil wedding and civil partnership rooms, a choice of wonderful function rooms and 97 luxurious en-suite bedrooms, Highgate House can easily accommodate your wedding from ceremony to reception right to the end of the celebration evening. Award-winning food is lovingly prepared by a gifted group of gourmet chefs, lead by none other than Northamptonshire’s Chef of the Year, Lee Gaskins, using only the finest, locally sourced ingredients.
Oundle Mill is a beautifully redeveloped and converted watermill built over the River Nene on the outskirts of the romantic market town of Oundle in Northamptonshire. A chic yet thoughtful restoration superbly brings together contemporary allure, smooth stone and old oak pillars to offer a memorable and enchanting setting for your wedding. Romantic yet contemporary, the relaxing rural location and chic surroundings of Oundle Mill make it the ideal backdrop for a breathtaking and beautiful wedding.
The Mill has all the right elements: beautiful area, lovely old venue, exquisite cuisine, carefully selected fine wines and a laid-back ambiance. Oundle Mill is built over four stories: there is a beautiful reception area on the ground floor with a glass water race, the first and second floors are bar and dining areas respectively, while the top floor has two bedrooms and the Race Room which is ideal for an intimate and relaxing wedding function.
Campsites / Caravans:
Northamptonshire welcomes visitors from all over the country and indeed worldwide, which has given rise to growth in campsites and caravan parks all over the county.
Caravan Club Sites
• Top Lodge Caravan Club Site, Fineshade, Corby, Northamptonshire
• Billing Aquadrome Camp Site, Great Billing, Northampton
• Foxholes Field Certificated Site, Main Road, Crick, Daventry, Northamptonshire
• Glebe Meadow Fishery Certificated Site, Ditchford Road, Rushden, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire