Northamptonshire is the county full of days out, places to visit and great events. Lockdown has taught us that we don’t need to go far to find fantastic places to walk, explore and enjoy. Many of our local spots don’t get enough credit so at Northants Life we wanted to highlight the fantastic places to visit in Northamptonshire that deserve a visit this summer.
Lyvden is a National Trust property but holds a lot of history and exploration. Located in East Northamptonshire, just outside of Oundle, this property shows history from the Elizabethan age. This is an ‘incomplete’ property that’s been left since the work stopped back in 1605 and often referred to as the ‘New Bield’. It’s a real slice of history with a tearoom on site and even a moated garden! If you’re already a National Trust member or looking for somewhere different to share local history with the family, add this one to your list!
Over in Towcester we have the amazing Catanger Llamas. If you know someone who likes something a bit different then you don’t need to go far to experience a day out like no other. This is a llama breeding farm with a trekking centre so you can enjoy the animals who happily enjoy the South Northamptonshire countryside. Why does it not get enough credit? Simply because it’s so unique!
Whether it’s for children or adults, it’s a great way to learn more about these fantastic animals whilst taking them on a walk around the woods and land. It’s a low risk activity and all you need to do is be fit enough to walk around the trek. Children must be over 14 years old but this all weather day out is fantastic and deserves a lot of love for being local and just a bit different!
The quiet town of Thrapston which is just off the A14/A45 is a brilliant market town with a fantastic lake to explore. Unlike many of our lakes in Northamptonshire, it’s free to park! It does not house a play area or cafe on site but it does have plenty of miles to explore, picnic benches on route and lots of wildlife to observe. See if you can spot the Red Kites on your walk as they scream across the lake. Why not make a day of it by enjoying a walk around the lakes, stop by the local cafe for a spot of lunch and visit the farmers market on the first Saturday of the month!
The resting place of Princess Diana, Althorp House and Estate has been a popular spot for visitors for generations. Not only due to the connection to Diana but with fantastic year round events and the visiting of the property in the house and grounds. It deserves credit for being a beautiful and well maintained area and we hope when things change, visits to the glorious estate will resume.
Coton Manor Garden
Who doesn’t love a flamingo! Coton Manor Gardens, located between Ravensthorpe and Guilsborough, offers a beautiful place to visit and explore. It’s ideal if you love well maintained gardens and grounds. For the younger visitors, there’s even flamingos to spot and they have a nursery shop available to buy plants to take home too. It’s an impressive estate and offers a great space to keep your distances whilst being outdoors.
Sywell Country Park
If lockdown taught us anything, it was that there’s a lot of joy from the outdoors and walking. When we were restricted to our one-walk-a-day, finding local places to explore was high on the agenda. Sywell Country Park is now open and normal parking in operation, enjoy the huge walkways around the trail, the play areas are now open as well as a takeaway cafe. This is a fantastic spot just outside of Northampton and provides a great place to let off steam, enjoy the countryside and go for picnics.
Stoke Bruerne is a beautiful serene spot in Northamptonshire that offers peace, nature and canals! If you want a walk that can finish with a trip to the pub, then give this village a visit. With a museum all about the canals heritage and plenty of places to eat, drink and explore. This hidden gem is popular throughout the year but especially on a sunny day.
If you love supporting local then Nene Court is a great way to continue to do so. Based in Wellingborough, not far from the train station, Nene Court offers a unique shopping experience with something for all. There’s everything from a deli, bakery, cafes, fashion boutiques, sports clubs and retail outlets. With free parking and easy access, it’s a great place to spend a day mooching about, enjoying a local lunch and picking up something special for you, your home or a friend.
Stanwick Lakes has always been a popular spot in Northamptonshire as it offers great walks, an impressive playground and also refreshments. There’s been a great investment into these lakes to make it a great spot for walkers, families, cyclists and nature enthusiasts.
So next time you’re stuck for ideas for things to do in Northamptonshire, why not give one of these spots a try! Our county definitely deserves more credit for a great day out!