The largest town for over 20 miles in each direction, Northampton is the local shopping hub and has a strong history as a market town, stretching back nearly a thousand years. Factor in a host of independent outlets and several town centre shopping centres, and you have an impressive commercial hub.
Not many market towns can boast that they were put on the map by Henry III in 1235, but that’s Northampton Market’s impressive claim to fame.
Held every day from Monday to Saturday, Northampton Market remains the shopping hub of the town, with market stalls doing a bustling trade all day long. Monday is dedicated to fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers and plants, with an anything goes policy on Tuesday to Saturday – and with several exotic traders, that’s taken quite literally. Everything from bikes to records, perfume to noodles and laptops to fabrics are on offer. Located in a stunning square dating back to Medieval times, the market is surrounded by several beautiful century-old buildings, including the Welsh, Victoria and Beethoven Houses.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for at the market, the Most Marvellous Emporium in Kettering Road is well worth a rummage, if only for its most excellent name. Specialising in retro and vintage wares, you can sift through clothes, jewellery, kitchenware, furniture and everything in between. And once you’ve shopped until you’ve dropped, recharge your batteries in the café with a cuppa and slice of homemade cake.
Home to some excellent town centre shops, Northampton also has an impressive array of shopping centres – from high street stockists to out-of-town retail centres, you’re not far from your preferred shopping experience.
Open seven days a week and boasting high street staples like Boots, HMV and New Look, The Grosvenor Centre – only 10 minutes’ walk from our Town Centre hotel – is perfectly located in the middle of Northampton and offers free parking every weekend and on Thursday and Friday from 5pm onwards, with parking up to two hours free at all other times. There are eight cafés and food and drink outlets on site to boost energy levels, while they’ve recently added a soft play area that’s free for kids four and under.
Billed as where the high street meets the catwalk, Market Walk caters to the higher-end of the fashion market and has a diverse range of outlets, including a barber shop, tailor and the vintage clothing store Bohemian Finds. It’s also handily located just off Market Square.
As one of the main shopping streets in Northampton, Abington Street runs through the middle of town, hosting everything from H&M to travel agents, as well as unusual stores like Vinyl Underground, several cool clothing stores and a couple of the bigger coffee chains.
Venture out of town and you’ll head to the first of two larger retail centres. Nene Valley Retail Park, 15 minutes’ drive from Premier Inn Northampton South Wootton, is a spacious affair with plenty of parking, offering large-scale stores like Dreams, Currys/PC World and Pets at Home, as well as an enormous B&Q Warehouse. And on the other end of town, you have St. James Retail Park; another sprawling retail utopia, this time featuring Mothercare and DFS, with hundreds of free parking spaces located in front of the stores.
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