Northampton is a beautiful town in the East Midlands. Although the settlement is widely unheard of, it was named one of England’s hidden gems, due to a number of interesting cultural hotspots available to the public. The town isn’t a city, but it is the largest town without city status in the UK. and this doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of exciting attractions and opportunities waiting to be visited. Just an hours train journey from the centre of London, Northampton is one of the greatest undiscovered places to travel to in England.
There are several attractions that are worth visiting scattered around the town. Take a trip to the Royal & Derngate Theatre for incredible live performance – there is always something good on! Have a look at the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery full of historical artefacts and beautiful paintings. If you’re visiting during the summer, you can also watch the Northants Steelbacks Cricket team play a Twenty20 game at the County Ground – it’s always a tense match and a great source of entertainment, too!
What Do You Like Best About Your Town?
Personally, I love how unknown the town is, and how despite this, there are a plethora of British celebrities who were born and raised in Northampton. These include ‘Doctor Who’ actor Matt Smith, ‘Game of Thrones’ actress Sophie Turner, Radio DJ Jo Whiley, ‘Mr Bean’ actor Rowan Atkinson and Comedians Hugh Dennis and James Acaster.
Northampton is slap-bang in the middle of the countryside, so there are plenty of scenic walks in and around the county. However, for a walk inside the town, I would recommend Abington Park. It spreads across the Southern part of town, near Weston Favell. Start at the County Cricket Parking area, and follow the walkways through the trees, past the lakes, over the football grounds and then back around towards the bandstand.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a walk around the town, then I would suggest starting at the racecourse, heading towards Northampton Cathedral, and then up the road to Thornton Park, a walk which gives a view of the prettiest streets in the town and some of the best attractions too.
However, if you are feeling a bit more adventurous, then you can head outside the town to one of many parks in the countryside. Irchester Country Park has several walks through the woods and a play area for the kids, Fermyn Woods provides a scenic walk and a small cafe, as does Barnwell Country Park, and Stanwick Lakes not only gives a great walk in between the reservoirs, but also includes a huge water-based play area, assault courses, ziplines and a helpful visitor centre.
Best Music Festival
Northampton puts on several music festivals each year, but there is only one big festival worth attending, usually held in July. The Northampton Town Festival is like a giant funfair, with live music, entertainment, hot air balloons and fireworks to finish the evening. This thriving event is also completely free to attend, making it even more worthwhile, and pets are allowed to come along too. The festival is easily accessible, as it is held right in the centre of town, and promotes new local talent in music to the community.
Although Northampton is not well-known and would not particularly strike you as a place with good nightlife, it was actually named second-best place for a night out outside of the major UK cities. There are tons of clubs, pubs and bars on offer, one of which is the G&Ts cocktail bar. This is one for those looking for a proper clubbing experience. With a thriving dance atmosphere and plenty of reasonably-priced booze, this is the place to be on a night out in Northampton. What makes it so special is the upstairs lounge, giving privacy and quiet to those who want some time alone.
Another great night out would be at Revolution Northampton. This has more of a relaxed atmosphere and is designed as more of a pub and bar than a nightclub. It offers a great selection of quality alcohol, providing a calm but fun evening.
Best Day Trips Out of the Town
Whilst Northampton has loads of attractions worth visiting, there are also some great places to travel to outside the town. Wicksteed Park is Northamptonshire’s biggest theme park, attracting tons of visitors every year. Based in Kettering, the park is perfect for a day trip out with the family and is no more than a 30-minute car drive from the centre of town.
For those car enthusiasts, the Silverstone Racetrack is a great attraction. The track hosts the British Grand Prix every year, as well as loads of other, smaller championships like the Superbike World Championship and the European Formula Two Series. One reason to visit is that you can pay to drive one of the fastest, sportiest cars available around the Silverstone track if you wish.
Finally, for a more historical look at Northamptonshire, you can visit Rockingham Castle, just a 20-minute drive from the town. The Castle is more than 900 years old and contains rooms filled with beautiful interior decor available for public viewing.
Something Not Many Travellers Know About Northampton
Northampton is a lot more culturally important than most people think. In our county, we run 3 of the 4 Weetabix factories in the UK, the only Carlsberg beer factory and we invented and run the only Doc Martens shoe company in the country, all of which are great places to visit.
So, in conclusion, Northampton is a great place to travel to. With plenty of entertainment, nightlife, important tourist attractions and scenic country walks, the county is jam-packed with amazing days out just waiting to be had. Some of the most famous companies in the UK started and still run here, tons of actors, comedians, radio DJs and YouTubers grew up here, and the town is filled with bustling life every day, making it the perfect destination for a family holiday.