Northamptonshire is well-known for its beautiful countryside and scenic walks. Whether you’re into rolling fields, ancient forests, or calm reservoirs, there are miles upon miles of gorgeous countryside in Northamptonshire just waiting to be explored. There’s a reason why Northamptonshire is often referred to as ‘The Rose of the Shires’.
If you are new to Northampton or don’t know the area particularly well, it can be difficult to know where to go. If you’re in the mood for a weekend walk but are unsure of where to start, look no further than this article.
Many members of the team here at Jackson Grundy are enthusiastic walkers, so we are well equipped to offer you some advice on where you can go to enjoy the outdoors. So, in no particular order, here are the 5 best places to go walking in Northamptonshire.
Owned by Anglian Water, Pitsford Water is a large reservoir located about six miles north of the town. The perimeter of the reservoir is approximately 7 miles, and will take an average walker around 3 hours to complete. There is plenty of parking available, with large car parks at the Causeway and Brixworth country park entrance.
The water itself is vast and beautiful, especially on cloudless days when the rays of the sun cause its surface to shimmer. There’s also bike hire and fishing available, although you’ll need a permit from the fishing lodge if you wish to do the latter.
We recommend starting your walk at the Causeway because then you’ll reach the café at about the half-way point, when you’ll likely be ready for a coffee or an ice-cream, depending on the time of year!
Summer Leys Nature Reserve
When walking through the Summer Leys Nature Trail, you really get a sense of what it was like to walk through nature before the times of civilisation. Practically untouched by human hands, Summer Leys is a feast for the senses, and offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the town.
You’re likely to see plenty of wildlife throughout the three or so miles of country walking, and there are strategically placed bird hides around the body of water in the centre of the reserve. If you’re lucky, you might even spot an inquisitive otter or two swimming through the water.
Irchester Country Park
If you stumbled across Irchester Country Park 100 years ago, you would have found dozens of miners hard at work, mining the ironstone from a large quarry. Now, the land has been reclaimed by trees, but there are still remnants of the old quarry left to be discovered.
If history doesn’t interest you very much, Irchester Country Park is still a fantastic place to walk in its own right. With several different trails to choose from, you’ll find yourself weaving in and out of dense woodlands. If you are an adventurer at heart, there’s plenty to see off the beaten path in the deepest sections of the forest, and the kids will surely love the zip wire and other play areas located throughout the park.
Irchester Country Park is especially beautiful in early autumn when the leaves begin to fall and take on a magnificent golden hue. During the summer,you will benefit from the shade the trees have to offer!
Sywell Country Park
Like Pitsford Water, Sywell Country Park is home to a large reservoir. While nowhere near the size of the water at Pitsford, Sywell’s own reservoir is still worth experiencing, especially for those who don’t want to spend the whole day walking. There’s also a little tea room that serves hot and cold drinks, as well as fresh, hot food.
Sywell itself is beautiful to behold, and there’s plenty worth seeing in and around the village itself, such as Beckworth Emporium and the Aerodrome. Those interested in aviation certainly want to visit the latter, which offers a viewing area as well as a museum.
Stanwick Lakes offers ample parking, fun for all the family, as well as picturesque scenes for those who want to enjoy some peace and quiet. The lakes themselves have plenty of attractions for the little ones to enjoy, whether that be in the visitors centre or the gems hidden all around the park.
For those who fancy a longer walk, it’s possible to walk all the way to Rushden Lakes from Stanwick site, with plenty to see along the way. The trial is straight and flat, providing easy access for prams or wheelchairs.
If you’re looking for a bit of retail therapy alongside your walk, then this trail might be the one for you. If you’re planning to do this walk, we actually recommend you take advantage of the five hour free parking at Rushden Lakes, and completing the walk in reverse!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our little walking tour of Northamptonshire and perhaps have even found a new place to visit. Our team here at Jackson Grundy are experts in the local area, and are the best choice for those looking to rent, let, buy, or sell a property.
If you have any questions about the local area, or are interested in the services we offer, please get in touch with your local branch today.