Whether you’re taking a walk through Northampton’s town centre, the Cultural Quarter or visiting one of the beautiful stately homes that are just a quick drive from the town, there’s plenty to see and do.
Tucked away in the town’s southwest corner, the Cultural Quarter has kicked Northampton’s art scene up a few gears in recent years. Home to the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, Royal & Derngate theatre complex, independent cinema, the Errol Flynn Filmhouse and 78 Derngate, the red-bricked quarter also delivers a varied selection of food and drink options.
Famed for his colourful stained glass pieces, Scottish artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh has left his indelible mark on Northampton with the stunning 78 Derngate House. Originally built in 1815, the house underwent considerable remodelling by Mackintosh – the architect’s final commission – and his creative influence is seen throughout the property. As well as offering tours, the house and its neighbouring 82 Derngate property host art exhibitions.
A quick 15-minute drive from our Northampton West (Harpole) hotel is Althorp Estate. Open to the public on various dates between July and September, Althorp is the familial home of the Spencer family and the resting place of their most famous member, Princess Diana. The estate boasts stunning Georgian architecture and vast, manicured lawns, and hosts a number of exhibitions and cultural festivals throughout the year. Guides are on-hand throughout to give you more information on the estate and the family, and entry to the grounds are included in your ticket price.
Closer still to the town centre is Delapre Abbey, in London Road just south of the River Nene, a mile from our South Wootton hotel. Currently undergoing an extensive restoration project, the Abbey is still a sight to behold. Visitors can continue enjoying its sprawling grounds while the Grade II listed building is getting a facelift, and its modern café serves up locally sourced sandwiches and cakes throughout the day, seven days a week.
Right in the heart of the town is All Saint’s Church, in George Row. Rebuilt after a fire that destroyed most of the previous building, architecture buffs will note a similarity between All Saint’s Church and Sir Christopher Wren’s London churches built after the capital’s great fire. Open 365 days a year, the Church of England church is a serene sanctuary amid the busy streets. It offers as warm a welcome to visitors interested in viewing the stunning architecture and dropping into its popular café as those coming for services and regular choir recitals.
Sywell Country Park offers 4km of waterside paths around a former reservoir, with beautiful views of the lake and softly rolling meadows beyond. Around half the paths are surfaced, and the others are well-maintained with short grass, so you can leave the walking boots at home. An abundance of wildlife has made Sywell Park their home. Look out for feathered friends around the lake, a flurry of colour in the butterfly gardens and cast out your line on the lake to hook a tench or pike. If that’s not enough to keep the kids entertained, two play areas might just do the trick, as well as an on-site café.
Abington Park is Northampton’s oldest and most popular park, just an eight-minute drive from our Northampton Town Centre and Great Billing hotels. On the site of an old medieval village, the park is now flushed with flowers, two lakes, sporting facilities – including a tennis court, bowling green, a museum and café. A true year-round destination, the park springs to life in the summer months, as the lighter nights draw in people making use of the outdoor fitness equipment. The park also plays host to bands each Sunday on its bandstand. Tennis courts and football pitches are available to hire, while the café serves up tasty salads, sandwiches, jacket potatoes and cakes.
Hugging the edge of the town, Becket’s Park is just across the road from Rennie Mackintosh’s 78 Derngate House and a five-minute walk from our Town Centre hotel. A lovely stretch of greenery with the River Nene winding through, the park is a welcome refuge from the busy town centre and houses Northampton’s bustling marina.
Boasting a rich sporting history spanning rugby, horse racing, football and – thanks to nearby F1 race track Silverstone – motor racing, Northampton is blessed with several stadiums able to host thousands of spectators and fans on match day.
Head to our dedicated Northampton stadiums guide to discover more about the homes of Northampton FC, Northampton Rugby Club, the town’s racecourse and the home of British motor racing.
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