Top 10 Things To Do In Northamptonshire

July 9, 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Top 10 Things to Do

The UK’s oldest theme park, fast cars, stately homes (Kirby Hall pictured) and castles, there’s so much to see and do whilst staying at one of the select few holiday cottages in Northamptonshire. Here’s my guide to the Top Ten Things To Do in the county.

When it comes to holiday cottages Northamptonshire has a limited selection. Cottages4You have eight holiday homes in the county, four of the best featured on the English Country Cottages website.

1. Visit the last resting place of a princess

Althorp House has been the ancestral home of the Spencer family since the 16th century, and today many come to pay their respects to Princess Diana, who was laid to rest on an island in the middle of a lake in the grounds. Visitors can walk to the lake to view the island, and also see the Diana memorial at the water’s edge. A stable block has been converted into an exhibition devoted to her memory. It covers six aspects of Diana’s life: childhood, royal wedding, work, tribute, style and fashion and the work continues (about the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund).

2. Stand on the Grand Prix podium

Silverstone is the home of British motor racing. The British Grand Prix – one of the country’s biggest sporting events – is held here each summer. A guided tour is a must for every motorsport fan, with unique behind the scenes views of the circuit, a closer look at legendary sites around the track and chance to stand on the top step of the podium.

3. Follow in the footsteps of kings

William the Conqueror ordered the magnificent Rockingham Castle to be built. In medieval times, Richard the Lion Heart used the castle. King John left his treasure chest in the Great Hall (and it is still there). Set in a panoramic location overlooking the Welland Valley it has magnificently furnished rooms and is surrounded by wonderfully ornate gardens.

4. Cycle the Brampton Valley Way

The Brampton Valley Way is a disused railway offering 15 miles of excellent traffic-free cycling through the north of the county.  This off-road trail features two spooky old tunnels, which the kids will love, provided everybody’s lights are working!

5. Explore England’s old transport arteries

Situated on the most important canal in southern England linking London and Birmingham and housed in a restored corn mill, the Stoke Bruerne National Waterways Museum collection vividly portrays the heritage of 200 years of inland waterways. This fascinating and colourful insight into a transport system, fundamental to the Industrial Revolution in Britain, is complemented by the ‘living canal’ outside with its flight of locks, boats and tunnels which can be explored on a boat trip or on a walk along the towpath.

6. Watch the fastest and loudest motorsport on earth

Santa Pod Raceway is the home of European drag racing – the fastest and loudest motorsport on earth. There is action most weekends with a huge variety of motorsport events to suit all interest groups, from massive VW festivals and drag racing through to classic car shows and motorcycle events.

7. Be intrigued by the three-sided house

Rushton Triangular Lodge is an extraordinary piece of symbolic architecture. It is the work of a 16th century Catholic and a covert declaration of his faith. The symbolism is apparent throughout this small, colourful folly, where all features relate back to the Holy Trinity and the Mass. On the three walls, there are three windows on each of the three floors, three roof gables, and even a triangular chimney.

8. Wander around gardens full of wildlife

The stunning Coton Manor Gardens flow down a peaceful hillside from a 17th-century manor house. It is landscaped on different levels, with distinctive smaller gardens, that provide variety and interest throughout the season. Unusually for formal gardens, they are full of wildlife.

9. Chill out on a llama trek

What better way to get away from it all than by leading a gentle llama along bridleways, farm tracks and country lanes in Northamptonshire – a perfect way to de-stress. Although you cannot ride them, these lovely pack animals will willingly carry your rucksack whilst you enjoy the beautiful scenery. You can even buy a llama to take home!

10. Enjoy the rides at the UK’s oldest theme park

Kettering’s Wicksteed Park opened in 1921 bringing swings and slides to the masses. At Wicksteed old-fashioned play will always be a part of growing up and today the park, still run by the same family, has a nostalgic feel to it. There are plans to restore many of the park’s traditional attractions – encouraging people to enjoy the boating lake, paddling pools and some of the things that generations of families enjoyed before them.

By selecting one of my selected holiday cottages Northamptonshire and its many attractions can be discovered.

My pick of holiday cottages in Northamptonshire

Holiday cottages Northamptonshire choice

Among the holiday cottages Northamptonshire can offer is this detached barn conversion is situated in rolling countryside, in a village regarded as one of Northamptonshire’s best kept secrets. Adjacent to the owner’s home, in an area excellent for walking, it lies 100 yards from the Warwickshire border and 12 miles from the Cotswolds. There is a cosy living/dining room with multi-fuel burner, compact beamed kitchen with granite and double bedroom with separate sitting area. Click here for more details.