Looking for things to do in Northampton? If Northampton cycle routes and walking tours aren’t enough to keep you entertained, an impressive range of indoor activities have got you covered whatever the weather.
Activities in Northampton
If you’re looking for some white-knuckle action, prepare to buckle up on the River Nene. The Nene Whitewater Centre, just an eight-minute walk from our Bedford Road hotel, will get pulses racing as you navigate the manmade 300-metre course. Choose from either six-person rafts, tubes, canoes or kayaks and take to the water with a knowledgeable guide. Perfect for everyone – from beginners to those looking to improve their technical competencies – you’ll be given a wetsuit, lifejacket and helmet, and showers are on hand to warm up afterwards.
Nestled in the Northamptonshire countryside, Lamport Hall is an impressive Tudor estate with over 10 acres of beautifully tended gardens. Reputed to be the original ‘home of the gnome’ – thanks to one of Lamport’s residents introducing the small figurines into his rockery – a tour of the house will unravel a fascinating history reaching back to Domesday through to the present, meandering through plagues, World Wars and economic unrest. The hall and gardens are open from April to October.
A marina might be a surprise activity for a landlocked town, but the Northampton Marina is a charming addition to the town centre. Hugging the edge of Becket’s Park and just a 10-minute drive from our South Wootton hotel, the marina houses narrowboats stopping off for the night as they travel along the River Nene. While the marina is private and off-limits to the public, there is a viewing area to see the marina awash with colour from the quaint barges.
Between March and October, Rookery Open Farm welcomes the public to experience life on a commercial sheep and cattle farm. A fun and educational trip for younger children to learn about farming methods, Rookery Open Farm is a must-visit during lambing and calving season, when you can watch the baby animals being born, reared and taking their first steps. Away from the animals, there’s plenty to keep the kids occupied, including an outdoor play area, sandpit, bouncy castles and miniature tractors.
Rookery Open Farm Flamingo
If you’re wanting to see the latest releases on the big screen, you’ve got three options to choose from. Right in the heart of the town, you’ll find Vue’s 10-screen cinema on the second floor of the Sol Central complex, while just a mile away from the town centre and close to the Sixfields Stadium is Cineworld. As two of the biggest cinema chains in the UK, you’ll have no problem catching the latest blockbusters, while at the town centre Errol Flynn Filmhouse, you can watch more independent flicks in its intimate 90-seater screen.
If you’re feeling lucky, you can roll the dice at Aspers Casino. Right on the doorstep of our town centre hotel, you’ll find a host of table games and slots to keep you occupied until the sun goes down… or comes up. A luxe menu and the plush surroundings of the casino’s restaurant and bar make for a perfect place to relax between games.
Architecture and interior design lovers should head to 78 Derngate. This Grade II listed building dates back to the 19th century and is a beautiful example of the architectural and design work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. An adjoining house – 82 Derngate – complete with a restaurant and gallery space makes the complex an enduring homage to the Scotsman’s legacy.
Spring into action at Northampton’s Boost Trampoline Park, just a seven-minute drive from our Great Billing hotel. A sprawling complex with over 50 interconnected trampolines, two dodgeball courts, wipe-out zones, Battle Beams (think Gladiators), a foam pit – including a diving board – and basketball hoops, the one-hour session will, like your surroundings, fly by. Find out more on our full guide to indoor activities in Northampton.
If you want to explore the town on a bike, Cycle CoNNEct makes it a cheap, easy and fun experience. A self-service bike hire scheme, Cycle CoNNect has nine docking stations spread across the town where you can hire and return bikes, including one just steps away from our town centre hotel at Becket’s Park. Rental is free up to 30 minutes or £1 per hour thereafter. Simply register online as a Cycle CoNNect member and get on your bike!
A 45-minute drive away from the town centre, Fineshade Wood is a delight to discover on your bike. With trails for every level of cyclist, the wood’s leafy canopy and natural paths provide a wonderful setting to get out into nature. The most popular route is a five-mile loop, starting and finishing at the top of the car park. Featuring some gentle hilly sections, it’s the ideal trail for those looking for a leisurely cycle in beautifully wild surroundings.
If you’re in search of some wide open spaces, head to Pitsford Reservoir. Looping around the tranquil body of water, many visitors opt for the well-trodden seven-mile route. A true walk in the park, the trail hugs the shore of the reservoir, serving up exquisite views of the rolling Northamptonshire countryside from all angles. Cyclists are welcome to share the path, and you might spot some sailors out on the water, as well as the various birds that call the reservoir home. Picnic spots for summer and a café providing welcome shelter in the winter offer encouragement mid-walk or the perfect treat at the end.
A visit to Castle Ashby will transport you to another place and time, and provide ample opportunity to stretch your legs in a beautiful setting. Nestled within the sprawling 10,000-acre estate, the gardens stretch for over 35 acres, combining the pruned-to-perfection Italian gardens, 19th century orangery, a vibrant splash of colour of the Rainbow Border gardens and the more rustic arboretum, set among wildflowers and lily ponds. The dog-friendly gardens are open year-round, with each new season promising a different experience from the last.
If you want a shot of the countryside, while keeping the town in your view, Brackmills Woods Country Park is just five minutes’ drive from our Bedford Road hotel. A paved path weaves around the park, making for an easy wander around the grounds. Largely free from the crowds you’d expect from a park so close to a busy town, Brackmills rewards visitors with a green sanctuary and striking views, easily accessible with a car and a small, free car park on site.