By Kate Williams
There are so many things to do in Northamptonshire, but here are the top 10.
Northamptonshire’s rural heritage is shown off at its best at one of the county’s monthly farmers’ markets. Take your shopping bag and stock up on the finest local produce of the county, whilst sampling some delights on the way round.
Visit a stately home
From grandiose Elizabethan mansions to modest Saxon manors and everything in between – there are more stately homes in Northamptonshire than any other county, and they’re all open to the public. So take your pick and enjoy the splendour of historical architecture, furniture, gardens and art collections.
Imagine taking a supercar for a spin round Britain’s only Formula 1 racetrack. The Silverstone Circuit offers visitors the chance to do just that, either as a driver or a passenger and in a choice of cars. Alternatively you can just take a tour of the venue and learn all about its racing history. Or better still, get yourself a ticket to the British Grand Prix.
Situated in the heart of Northampton’s cultural quarter is the only house in England designed by the esteemed Scottish architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. This stunning building is now a multi award-winning visitor attraction and was Rennie Mackintosh’s final major commission.
Enjoy a countryside walk with a difference. Catanger Farm, out near Towcester, offers the unique experience of llama trekking. Each visitor gets their very own llama to lead out on a guided two-hour trek through idyllic Northamptonshire countryside.
Take a brewery tour
Take a tour in one of Northamptonshire’s many breweries and microbreweries, and sample some of the finest beer and ale in the country. Potbelly microbrewery in Kettering offers up an evening tour complete with samples and fish and chips.
Buy a pair of shoes
Northamptonshire is the home of boots and shoes. So head out to one of the many factory shops dotted around the county and grab yourself a pair of Britain’s finest footwear.
Northampton’s historic gem, Delapré Abbey offers 900 years of exciting and turbulent history for you to explore. The site of the Wars of the Roses Battle of Northampton has an intriguing past – from its origins as a Cluniac nunnery, heyday as a country house, and its time as the Record Office before the recent restoration. Set within 550 acres of parkland, the Abbey offers something for all ages including tours of beautifully restored rooms and an interactive room dedicated to the historic Battle of Northampton. Visitors can also enjoy afternoon tea and bottomless brunch in the Orangery café or award-winning fine-dining overlooking beautiful green spaces at Hibiscus.
Watch a game of rugby
Revel in the atmosphere of a packed stadium whilst watching some top class rugby at the Northampton Saints’ home ground, Franklins Gardens. The championship team has won some of the biggest fixtures in the rugby calendar with many players going on to represent their country.
Stand on the ground where democracy was won and learn all about the most important battlefield in England. The Battle of Naseby was the final battle of the First Civil War and saw the defeat of King Charles I against the Parliamentarians in 1645. Visitors can take one of the guided tours, or explore independently around the site.
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