9 Interesting Things To Do In Charming Northampton, England

best things to do in northampton uk

Located in the center of the UK, Northampton is home to troves of history. Visit various historical homes, with unique architecture, or take your time and wander around the various parks and gardens, taking in the flora and fauna. Check out these 10 popular spots to visit, as you stay in this charming and quaint town!

1. 1. Take a stroll through Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens

Kelmarsh Hall (2)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Portable Antiquit... used under CC BY 2.0

A popular location for weddings and celebrations, Kelmarsh Hall is a wonderfully kept location for any event or just a calm, afternoon trip. This historic house features beautiful architecture, representing a classic English country home in the Palladian style, as well as vast gardens with large varieties of flowers and plants. Often hosting events such as the British Food Festival and other fun or musical events, it’s definitely a stop worth checking out!

Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens

Address: Main Rd, Kelmarsh, Northampton NN6 9LY, UK

Hours: Gardens: 2nd April to 31st October on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays, 11 am to 5 pm. Hall: open on select days of the week, throughout the season. Visit their website for the latest opening times.

Phone: +44 1604 686543

Website: Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens

2. 2. Bike a Trail at Brixworth Country Park

Source: Photo by Flickr user photojojo3 used under CC BY 2.0

Brixworth Country Park is a large area, catering to a wide variety of ages, interests, and moods. Cycle and walk around the trails overlooking the lake, have a picnic with the family, while the kids play on the playground, or dine at the nearby cafe. It’s perfect for large gatherings and expands upon your neighborhood park, with large expanses of walking and biking trails.

Brixworth Country Park

Address: Northampton Road, Brixworth, Northampton NN6 9DG, England

Phone: +44 300 126 5932

Website: Brixworth Country Hall

3. 3. Shop your heart out at Grosvenor Centre

Grosvenor Centre
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Peter I. Vardy used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located right in the center of Northampton, the Grosvenor Shopping Centre is a great place to walk around and take in the architecture. With a multitude of shops to peruse and food and desserts to indulge in, an afternoon in Grosvenor can be a great date, or simply a break from wandering the streets of Northampton.

Grosvenor Centre

Address: 2 Union Street, Northampton NN1 2EW, UK

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 am to 6 pm. Sunday, 10:30 am - 4:30 pm.

Phone: +44 1604 637268

Website: Grosvenor Centre

4. 4. Explore spectacular architecture at 78 Derngate: The Charles Rennie Mackintosh House

78 Derngate Charles Rennie Mackintosh house
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Alan Murray-Rust used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Built in 1815, this house is now a museum of sorts. It’s the only house in England designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a renowned modernist architect. So if you find yourself marveled by architecture, or wish to explore some history, through art, 78 Derngate is a must-stop attraction.

The restored house features multiple rooms, a restaurant, and art galleries, with unique interior design choices. Stop by to learn about the history behind Mackintosh, or sit for a cup of afternoon tea, with a stylish vibe.

78 Derngate: Charles Rennie Mackintosh House

Address: 78 Derngate, Northampton NN1 1UH, United Kingdom

Hours: 10 am - 5 pm. Closed Monday.

Phone: +44 1604 603407

Website: Charles Rennie Mackintosh House

5. 5. Spend a day relaxing in Abington Park

Pigeonry, Abington Park (7004228211)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Peter Broster used under CC BY 2.0

Lakes, aviaries, and a museum, oh my! Northampton’s oldest park, Abington Park is definitely more than just a park. Situated around two lakes, there are multiple fitness trails, sports facilities, a large expanse to hold events or have picnics, and even a museum. The park also contains the ruins of the former village of Abington, which was the site of a medieval manor house. Explore the site mentioned in the Domesday Book, all the way back in 1086, or stick to watching the swans in the lake, Abington Park has it all.

Abington Park

Address: Park Ave S, Northampton NN1 5LW, UK

Hours: Museum Hours: Thursday through Sunday, 1 pm - 5 pm

Phone: +44 1604 838110

Website: Abington Park

6. 6. Stop and smell the flowers at Delapré Abbey

Delapré Abbey, Northants
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Brookie used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Delapré Abbey is a beautiful English country house and former monastery. Dating back to the 12th century, Delapré Abbey is a historic building, that has been witness to centuries of notable events. So, stop at the cute cafe for some coffee and pastries, or wander around the gardens and explore the artwork around the grounds, as well as the various old trees and plants situated around the area.

Delapré Abbey

Address: Delapré Abbey, London Rd, Northampton NN4 8AW, UK

Phone: +44 1604 760817

Website: Delapré Abbey

7. 7. Step out of your comfort zone and raft at Nene Whitewater Centre

One of the drops at the Nene Whitewater Centre - geograph.org.uk - 225563
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Iain Robinson used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Make a splash at Nene Whitewater Centre, UK’s first artificial white water rafting course. Nene Whitewater Centre offers whitewater rafting and tubing experiences, with trained professionals and for those looking to try something new. Those with a bit more experience can attempt to best the course on their own, as well. So, when looking for a bit more of an adventure, Nene is certainly a good option.

Nene Whitewater Centre

Address: Bedford Rd, Northampton NN4 7AA, UK

Hours: 9 am to 5 pm

Phone: +44 1604 634040

Website: Nene Whitewater Centre

8. 8. Go fishing in Sywell Country Park

Sywell reservoir - geograph.org.uk - 520543
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user John Jenkins used under CC BY-SA 2.0

A bit out of the city, Sywell Country Park is a beautiful park, located near a former reservoir. It has all of what one would expect at a park - trails, bird watching spots, fishing, as well as the old towers and water pumps. It’s a distinctive view and a great stop on the way out of the city, or simply as a quiet retreat.

Sywell Country Park

Address: Washbrook Ln, Ecton, Northampton NN6 0QX, UK

Phone: +44 300 126 5935

Website: Sywell Country Park

9. 9. Have tea with the meerkats at Castle Ashby Gardens

Castle Ashby Gardens (35508074035)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Airwolfhound used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This 10,000 acre (4046.9 hectare) estate is the historic house of the 7th Marquees of Northampton. The stunning home features an expanse of spectacular gardens, a lake, and an arboretum to stroll through. And for the kids, the menagerie is home to various small animals. If an afternoon tea and snacks is a favorite, there is also a tea room to hide away and relax in. The massive grounds are surely a place that one can’t get bored with.

Castle Ashby Gardens

Address: Castle Ashby, Northampton, NN7 1LQ, UK

Hours: Gardens: 1st April to 30th September: 10 am – 5.30 pm, 1st October to 31st March: 10 am – 4.30 pm Tea Room: 1st April to 31st October: 10.30 am – 4.30 pm (last orders 4 pm) Menagerie: 1st April to 31st October: 10 am – 4 pm

Phone: +44 7887 532578

Website: Castle Ashby Gardens

A fine dose of history in charming Northampton!

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user StJaBe used under CC BY 3.0

With the vast amount of history and beauty contained in these areas, there’s surely more than enough to explore and learn for any length of stay. Any combination of these options will construct a great, relaxing vacation!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Elena Aguirre is a travel writer with Trip101 and a student at UC Berkeley. In the past she has worked on technical, marketing, and creative writing. Favorite pastimes include traveling (of...Read more

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