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  • The Shy Stars of Spring. Snowdrops in Northamptonshire 2024

    11th January 2024

    The Shy Stars of Spring. Snowdrops in Northamptonshire 2024   The last two Sundays in February offer the best chance for a snowdrop visit. With their delicate heads poking through the hard ground and nodding in the winter winds, snowdrops send an optimistic message that spring is on the way, and that all is well.  February is the perfect time to wrap up warm and enjoy their blooms in one of Northamptonshire’s beautiful historic gardens. We are fortunate to have an abundance of places in Northamptonshire where we can enjoy these handsome harbingers of spring. Here are just a few of our favourite places, although there are many more.  Please check websites to ensure gardens are open before you set off, as opening times and dates will vary. Some also require pre-booking. And as snowdrops can’t read a calendar they may decide to bloom earlier or later than expected. However, the last two Sundays in February... Read More »


    15th November 2023

    NORTHAMPTONSHIRE’S TOURISM TREASURES HIGHLIGHTED IN £10 DAYS OUT WINTER CAMPAIGN A campaign has been launched to showcase Northamptonshire as a brilliant destination for experiencing great value days out in November and December.  Focusing on all the county offers to winter visitors, ranging from well-known experiences like Winter Tours at Silverstone and a Victorian Christmas at Rockingham Castle, to a whole host of hidden gems visitors can discover for the first time, with 20 suggestions for experiences for under £10. Encouraging families to enjoy great experiences at great value, and promoting Northamptonshire’s accessible location, the campaign highlights family-friendly places to visit, stay and eat, with special offers and days out for £10, all available during November and December. This winter campaign has been funded by both North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire Councils as part... Read More »

  • Wicksteed Park is a drop-off point for Mother Christmas donations this year

    9th November 2023

    Wicksteed Park is a drop-off point for Mother Christmas donations this year   The team at Wicksteed Park are helping spread the joy of Christmas this year by helping Mother Christmas ensure Northamptonshire’s most disadvantaged children have a gift to open.  The Northamptonshire Children’s Trust is currently working with over 5,000 families and Mother Christmas supports lots of these families throughout the year, with the backing of partners including Wicksteed Park.  Wicksteed will be a drop-off point for donations which can be delivered to reception from now until the second week of December. More about Mother Christmas here:  Read More »

  • Awards Night Culminates the 15th Year of the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food...

    2nd November 2023

    Awards Night Culminates the 15th Year of the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards 2023/24   With Northamptonshire’s growing success in the Food & Drink sector this year, there has been probably the toughest competition yet when it comes to finding winners across all 19 categories at the Weetabix sponsored awards.   With 101 finalists and over 500 hours of volunteer judging taken place, this has to be one of the most supported events in the 15 years of having the awards. The menu served by Portfolio Events included some wonderful examples of Northamptonshire food and drink including Dovely Bakery Rose Cottage multi seed loaf, Hamm Tun Fine Foods’ Northamptonshire blue cheese, Urban Microgreen mixed salad, New Lodge Vineyard Chilli Honey dressing, Three Hills Brewery Heidrun Session NEIPA, Eat Curious vegan Wellington, and Boughton House honey. The results are as follows: Artisan Local Drink... Read More »

  • Fangtastic free interactive trail to be Halloween highlight in Northampton...

    5th October 2023

    ‘Fangtastic’ free interactive trail to be Halloween highlight in Northampton town centre   Families looking for some half-term Halloween fun can take part in a ‘spooktacular’ new augmented reality trail coming to Northampton town centre. The free interactive trail, delivered by Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District via the LoyalFree smartphone app, tells the story of the forgetful witch Wanda and her beloved cat Wicca. Wicca is missing and to find her, Wanda must create a potion - but Wanda’s potion cupboard is bare.   The digital app invites participants to move around the trail, checking in at each location to reveal and collect the potion ingredients. As participants follow the trail, scanning the QR codes at each spooky location, they will be entered into a prize draw to win a prize. The more QR codes scanned, the more chance you have of winning.   The trail is available... Read More »

  • A Bewitching October at Delapré Abbey

    2nd October 2023

    A Bewitching October at Delapré Abbey   Visitors of all ages are set to be captivated with a spellbinding month of witch-themed events and activities at one of Northampton’s oldest and spookiest buildings.   The activities commence on Sunday 1 October with an enchanting hat hunt every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday throughout the month.  Children can pick up a trail sheet and embark on a quest to uncover the hidden witches’ hats scattered throughout the nooks and crannies of the historic Abbey. On Tuesday 17 and Saturday 21 October at 10am and 2pm, visitors can take part in a creative, Halloween Table Decorations workshop. Participants can create their own decorations using natural materials and locally sourced foliage, adding a touch of enchantment to their homes.Delve deeper into history and mystery as you explore the supernatural past of Delapré Abbey during a talk on historic witches... Read More »

  • More Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards Finalists Revealed

    20th September 2023

    More Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards Finalists Revealed The Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards are on the final countdown to the Awards Dinner and revealing more category finalists.  This time it’s the turn of Healthy Food and Wellbeing, One to Watch, F&B Achiever, and Food & Drink College Student of the Year. The Food & Drink College Student of the Year Award is aimed at students aged between 16 and 21 currently undertaking a full or part-time food/drink-related course at a Northamptonshire college (Moulton, Northampton or Bedford). It is designed to recognise students showing drive, commitment and passion for the sector, those demonstrating exceptional progress in skills development who are keen to learn and who are young ambassadors for learning about food and drink. We are delighted to have the University of Northampton as a new sponsor for this category who will kindly offer our Gold Award... Read More »

  • Boughton Gardens to open with National Garden Scheme on Sunday 1st October

    20th September 2023

    Boughton Gardens to open with National Garden Scheme on Sunday 1st October For one day only this autumn, the gardens and parkland of Boughton House will open to the public in aid of the National Garden Scheme. The gardens will open on Sunday 1 October, 1pm-5pm, allowing visitors to explore the stunning landscape and gardens in glorious early autumn colours, with a proportion of the proceeds going to the charity. The gardens have a long, interesting history. Ralph, the first Duke of Montagu (1638-1709), was influential in the early stages of the creation of the gardens and landscape at Boughton based on his association with Versailles.  John, 2nd Duke of Montagu (1690-1749) then picked up the baton and evolved the landscape into what can be seen today. At that time the landscape covered 100 acres, with water features, splendid vistas and tree lined avenues. Much of this has been restored and the estate is currently renovating the... Read More »

  • New farm shop championing Northamptonshire produce now open in Woodford

    12th September 2023

    New farm shop championing Northamptonshire produce now open in Woodford A new farm shop an excellent range of Northamptonshire produce has opened in Woodford, near Thrapston. GG Express Farm Shop has been opened by the Greedy Gordons Group who also operate The Buttery Café at this stunning countryside location. Greedy Gordons Group also run award-winning pubs The Red Lion at Cranford, The Pig & Waffle in Grafton Underwood and The Snooty Fox in Lowick. The shop’s name is taken from the home delivery business set up by the company during the pandemic. The service won a Local Food Hero Award in the Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards for its support of local people and suppliers. Among key features of the shop, which is open daily and based in a converted barn at Manor House Farm, are its in-house butchery range, wonderful charcuterie, great cheese, including many from the county... Read More »

  • New Virtual trail gives glimpse of Northampton's past

    12th September 2023

    New Virtual trail gives glimpse of Northampton's past Visitors can step back in time and see how some of Northampton’s most prominent buildings once appeared, thanks to the launch of a virtual trail which is now available on the Explore Northampton app.  The ‘Snapshots in Time’ trail, developed by Northampton Town Council and AR Media, highlights how 10 historic places in some of Northampton’s major streets have evolved over the years and features historic photos togther with interesting facts and information.  The trail includes long lost civic buildings, such as the Notre Dame Convent School which once stood on Abington Street and although demolished in 1979, remnants of the school can still be found.  Councillor Jane Birch, Chair of the Community Services Committee at Northampton Town Council, said: “The town centre has a rich and varied built heritage and those following this virtual... Read More »

  • Festival NN ready to rock at Delapré Abbey

    8th September 2023

    Festival NN ready to rock at Delapré Abbey This September sees the return of Northampton’s very own Festival NN being held in the beautiful grounds of Delapre Abbey. This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever, offering a diverse line up of performances and something for all the family on Saturday 16 September. Twelve hours of back-to-back live music will be delivered by 15 bands who will be performing on two stages from 11am – 11pm.  Festival goers can look forward to a captivating programme featuring a wide genre of music from many well-known names. The line-up will encompass a vast range of genres catering to various musical tastes which promises memorable performances from celebrated bands, solo artists, duets and rising stars, that will create an electrifying atmosphere that will leave them wanting more.  Performances on Stage One include: Pure Genius, The Unusual Suspects, Lucien... Read More »

  • Hometown hero Billy Lockett to headline Northampton Music Festival

    29th August 2023

    Hometown hero Billy Lockett to headline Northampton Music Festival Acclaimed singer-songwriter, and born and bred Northamptonian, Billy Lockett is set to headline the main stage at Northampton Music Festival on Sunday 10 September. The festival will be a rare opportunity to catch Billy live in Northampton for free. Billy will headline the main stage, which this year will be in Abington Street due to the works being carried out on Market Square.  The 32-year-old, whose current album Abington Grove reached number 15 in the UK albums chart, will play an hour-long set starting at 8pm. A long-time supporter of the festival, Billy said: “I honestly cannot wait to headline my hometown festival. I’m proud to be from Northampton and I have a feeling this show is going to be very special.” Tommy Gardner, Festival Co-ordinator, said: “We’re so excited to have Billy headline NMF23 – we’re honoured... Read More »

  • Finalists for Best in Class Dining categories announced in the Northamptonshire...

    29th August 2023

    Finalists for Best in Class Dining categories announced in the Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards With four dining categories this year in the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drinks Awards, judges have been busy short-listing food and drink businesses from all around the county. After final Mystery Shopping visits the winners will be announced in the annual Awards ceremony held in November.  Founder Rachel Mallows MBE DL said “We are delighted to have new and existing sponsors to help us to recognise so many of the varied eateries in our county. It’s still tough out there, so it is only right that we can show them some support by giving them the recognition they deserve and encouraging more people to visit them.” Community Café of the Year which is supported by The Good Loaf is delighted to have a new sponsor in Public Health, West Northants Council. The Community Café category is all about... Read More »

  • Classic car show returns to Delapré Abbey this September

    29th August 2023

    Classic car show returns to Delapré Abbey this September Enjoy a day out for all the family with over a hundred vintage, classic, and specialist cars in the grounds of Northampton’s historic Abbey.  Delapré’s popular car show, Classics on the Lawn, returns on Sunday 10th September from 11am until 4pm. On display will be a variety of vehicles spanning the past 80 years including a 1961 VW camper van, a Jaguar E-Type V12 Roadster, Fiat 500s and lots more, plus food and drink stalls. In celebration of Heritage Open Days, visitors to the 12th century Abbey can also take part in free behind-the-scenes tours and listen to a presentation by leading architects, Buttress, on plans to transform the site’s dilapidated 19th century stables into a hub for wellbeing and leisure.  Delapré Abbey first opened its doors to the public in 2018 to showcase its rich past to visitors of all ages. The Urban... Read More »

  • Artisan Producer Category Award Winners Announced in the Weetabix Northamptonshire...

    4th August 2023

    Artisan Producer Category Award Winners Announced in the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards 2023/24   Category sponsor Daily Bread in Northampton hosted the announcement of this year’s Artisan Producer category awards today. The gathering was an opportunity to spread the word that buying local is good for the economy and tastes good too!  Morcea Walker MBE, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire and Kristina Rhianoff (former Strictly dancer and co-owner of Soo Yoga in the town) joined the celebrations to add their support to the finalists.   Bronze, Silver and Gold winners were presented with their certificates, gold winners will be able to enter the Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Awards in 2024. The early announcements of these three categories was instigated during Covid to ensure that Bronze, Silver and Gold winners can promote their accolade during the summer food and drink festivals. The... Read More »

  • Historic sword goes on display at Delapré Abbey following successful fundraiser...

    4th August 2023

    Historic sword goes on display at Delapré Abbey following successful fundraiser Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust is pleased to announce that the historic sword belonging to Everard Bouverie, former owner of Delapré Abbey, is now on display to the public. The sword, which was acquired through a successful fundraiser launched by the Trust in April, is a significant addition to the Trust's collection and will help to develop its interpretation and the stories that it tells about the Abbey and Northampton's rich history. The sword, which was won at auction with the help of the community, has a unique link to the Battle of Waterloo.  Visitors will now have the opportunity to see the sword up close and learn about its fascinating history. Everyone can experience a piece of history first-hand and learn more about the rich heritage of Northampton.  “We're excited to share the sword with the public and to... Read More »

  • A Bumper Summer

    3rd August 2023

    A Bumper Summer   Royal & Derngate Gala Dinner, September 24 Join friends and colleagues in the Derngate auditorium for an exclusive evening to enjoy a three course meal, wine, entertainment and good company, on Sunday 24 September.  This celebratory event to mark 40 years of the Derngate will raise funds to repair the seating in the Derngate and to fund the team’s wonderful outreach work with local children and young people.  Individual ticket £120, Full table £1,000. Get your tickets!   Celebrating the official opening of the extension at 78 Derngate  In July, the 78 Derngate Trust were joined by visitors, friends and colleagues, to celebrate the official opening of the expanded 78 Derngate which now offers a larger visitor centre, rejuvenated secluded garden, and totally revamped shop following the completion of the extensive £950,000 refurbishment in June this year. The... Read More »

  • Northamptonshire's Tourism Treasures Highlighted in £10 Days Out Summer Campaign...

    28th June 2023

    NORTHAMPTONSHIRE’S TOURISM TREASURES HIGHLIGHTED IN £10 DAYS OUT SUMMER CAMPAIGN A campaign has been launched to showcase Northamptonshire as a brilliant destination for experiencing great value days out this summer.  Focusing on all the county offers to summer visitors, ranging from well-known festivals and attractions like Shambala, Greenbelt, Silverstone, Wicksteed Park and Adrenaline Alley, to a whole host of hidden gems visitors can discover for the first time, the campaign includes 25 suggestions for days out for under £10. Encouraging families to enjoy great experiences at great value, and promoting Northamptonshire’s accessible location, the campaign highlights family-friendly places to visit, stay and eat, with many offering special offers and days out for £10, all available throughout July and August. Funded by West and North Northamptonshire Councils as part of their shared commitment to... Read More »

  • Step back in time this summer at Delapré Abbey's Not So Civil War event

    16th June 2023

    Step back in time this summer at Delapré Abbey's Not So Civil War event This summer, history buffs and families alike are invited to step back in time and experience the anarchy of the Civil War at Delapré Abbey's Not So Civil War event on the 1st and 2nd of July, 10am-5pm.Led by renowned reenactment group, The Devereux's Regiment, the event promises a weekend of exciting displays, demonstrations, and hands-on history that will transport visitors to 1640s Northampton. Visitors will witness a full historic drill display with cavalry and cannons, learn all about military tactics of the 17th century, and see what civilian life was like through interactive living history encampments. From surgeons and cooks to gravediggers and midwives, historical reenactors will bring the Abbey and its grounds to life with Northampton's turbulent past. In addition to interactive experiences, the event will feature a real ale beer tent and... Read More »

  • Northamptonshire is back! Contenders for the county's Food Awards are revealed...

    16th June 2023

    Northamptonshire is back! Contenders for the county's Food Awards are revealed. The Fifteenth Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards, launched on the first day of spring at Silverstone Circuit, have now begun the shortlisting process. 21 of the county's best artisan food and drink products have been announced as finalists, they will now compete for Gold, Silver, and Bronze in their respective categories.  Park Inn by Radisson Northampton, new Associate sponsors were kind to host Artisan Local Drink. The judges were amazed by the range of drinks available in our county, when asked to shortlist to between three to five products could not reduce the number of finalists to less than seven! Eat Curious, last year’s winner of Artisan Local Vegetarian/Vegan Product proved a scenic venue at Horton for judging this year’s entries. Category sponsor Daily Bread commented that since COVID Northamptonshire is now &ldquo... Read More »

  • Save the date for the biggest ever Northants Open Studios art event this September...

    14th June 2023

    Save the date for the biggest ever Northants Open Studios art event this September Artists across the whole of Northamptonshire are dusting off their drawings, firing up their kilns, preparing their printing presses and sorting their studios ready to welcome visitors to this year’s Northants Open Studios, which will see over 200 artists welcome you to their creative spaces to see where the magic happens! The Northants Open Studios programme, which runs for the month of September, brings together hundreds of local artists who not only will be opening their studios for visitors but will also be running workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions at some of the county’s biggest art spaces including Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, 78 Derngate, Chester House, and Boughton House. The Central Exhibition will also be held again at Lamport Hall, which brings together one or two pieces from each artist taking part and is a great... Read More »

  • Summer Fest at Delapre Abbey June 17

    9th June 2023

    Summer Fest at Delapre Abbey June  17 Summer Fest is happening at Delapre on Saturday 17 June from midday until 9pm. Enjoy a full day of live music, games, wellbeing, shopping, and more. The Summer Fest will be accompanied by live music performances by talented local artists including Hannah Faulkner, Hollie Marie, The Usual Suspects and Dan Hughes. Over in the kid’s zone, little ones and their grown ups can take part in an assortment of lawn games such as giant chess, hoopla, and archery. There will also be a sandpit for those looking to make the most of the summer vibes. Talks on meditation, spoken word and poetry, and comedy will inspire and entertain guests throughout the afternoon. Excitement awaits visitors of all ages with a variety of activities available at the event. Children and adults alike can take part in glitter face painting, pottery making, and henna tattoos. For those seeking adventure, there will... Read More »

  • What's New in June

    6th June 2023

    WHATS NEW IN JUNE    GUIDED WELLNESS WALKS AT EVENLEY WOOD GARDEN  Evenley Wood Garden have set up adult only mindful walks, now running every Wedesday during term time and on the last Sunday of the month. Walks begin before the garden is open for its usual day. Further details available here:    NEW EXHIBITION AT SILVERSTONE MUSEUM - 100 YEARS OF LE MANS  Visitors to the museum during Half Term will have enjoyed a preview of the museum’s newest exhibition, celebrating 100 years of Le Mans. For more information please visit:   NEW RIDE AT WICKSTEED PARK - THE GARDEN WHEEL Wicksteed Park opened a new ride in May - The Garden Wheel - with elegant gondolas offering panoramic views over the landscaped parkland down to the lakes and beyond. Reach new heights and see Kettering from a whole... Read More »

  • Delapré Abbey hosts events in celebration of new Battle of Northampton information...

    31st May 2023

    Delapré Abbey hosts events in celebration of new Battle of Northampton information boards   Delapré Abbey is hosting a day of activities to celebrate the launch of new information boards marking the site of the 1460 Battle of Northampton, presented in partnership with the Northamptonshire Battlefield Society.    Taking place on Saturday 3 June, these events offer an illuminating experience that will transport visitors back to the historic battle.    Kicking off the day at 11am in the Drawing Room, Dr. Dan Spencer, a historian specialising in late medieval and early modern warfare, will delve into the role of artillery during the Wars of the Roses through a fascinating talk. This will be a unique chance to hear Dan talk about medieval artillery at the place where the oldest battlefield cannonball in England was found.Northamptonshire Battlefield Society will provide games and information... Read More »

  • Museum of the Moon at Delapre Abbey

    16th May 2023

    Museum of the Moon at Delapre Abbey   Museum of the Moon, a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram, is coming to Delapré Abbey from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th May. This spectacular lunar installation will offer visitors the chance to experience an awe-inspiring seven-metre diameter moon sculpture in the outer gardens.   In addition to the artwork itself, there will be a programme of lunar-inspired events taking place beneath the moon. Visitors can enjoy performances by Northampton College Performing Arts students, a silent disco under the moon, a mat Pilates class, and more. Members of the Northampton Natural History Society will also be on hand to provide a 20-minute introduction to the Moon and a moon-gazing experience on the South Lawn.   Entry to the outer gardens is free of charge, with pre-booking required for some events. Further information here:   Image credit: Museum of the... Read More »

  • All Things Seem Possible in May

    All Things Seem Possible in May Here’s our round up of some wonderful Northamptonshire events and days out this month.   GO WILD IN THE WOOD AT EVENLEY WOOD GARDEN. May 20, £80 per pitch.  On Saturday May 20, the Evenley Wood Garden team are offering the wonderful opportunity to camp among the trees and to join in with:  Building phase 3 of the adventure playground with Woodland Tribe  Forest activities with Muddy Feet Forest School  Nature walks and stargazing  Evening bat walk  Dawn chorus walks with Annabel Barnett The cafe will be open throughout the weekend with bar on Saturday evening and early morning breakfast on Sunday.  Book your pitch on the Evenley Wood Garden website here:    SILVERSTONE MUSEUM LAUNCHES NEW MONTHLY CLASSIC CAR AND BIKE MEET. May 10, 5-9pm. Iconic cars and bikes will now be on... Read More »

  • What's On This Easter

    29th March 2023

    WHAT’S ON THIS EASTER Our Top 20  Plus a forward look to the King’s Coronation   THE SILVERSTONE MUSEUM #ONTRACK!  1-16 APRIL Silverstone Museum is bringing two iconic British brands together this Easter with the launch of the brilliant new Scalextric On Track! exhibit, which opens April 1 and runs until April 16.  As well as recreating the track, the special Scalextric set features architectural elements including grandstands and the Silverstone Wing, pit garages and the pit lane.  The Scalextric set will be a highlight of the exhibit and, throughout the Easter period, the museum will also feature a range of full size cars on display alongside their Scalextric versions. Some of these cars have never been seen at the museum before, including Damon Hill’s Williams FW16B-07, a Ford Lotus Cortina, Honda Civic Type R and a Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth. More information here: https://www.... Read More »

  • Back for their 15th Year, 2023/24 Food Awards Unveiled in English Tourism Week...

    24th March 2023

    The Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards are back with another sensational set of categories and sponsors. The Awards are a celebration and recognition of excellence within the Northamptonshire food and drink sector. They are a toast to all that is great about local produce and drink and reward all those who work so hard to achieve the best within the culinary sector locally.     The team behind the Awards have announced eighteen categories including the introduction of a debut category: Event Venue of the Year and with that, a fresh sponsor, the Hilton Garden Inn, Silverstone. New sponsors also joining the competition this year are, Greedy Gordons (Restaurant of the Year), University of Northampton (Food and Drink College Student of the year) and new Associate sponsor, Bedford College.    The full details of the latest competition were revealed by Rachel Mallows MBE at Silverstone Circuit, Silver Award... Read More »

  • The Shy Stars of Spring. Snowdrops in Northamptonshire 2023

    12th January 2023

    The Shy Stars of Spring. Snowdrops in Northamptonshire 2023 The last two Sundays in February offer the best chance for a snowdrop visit. With their delicate heads poking through the hard ground and nodding in the winter winds, snowdrops send an optimistic message that spring is on the way, and that all is well.  February is the perfect time to wrap up warm and enjoy their blooms in one of Northamptonshire’s beautiful historic gardens.  We are fortunate to have an abundance of places in Northamptonshire where we can enjoy these handsome harbingers of spring. Here are just a few of our favourite places, although there are many more.  Please check websites to ensure gardens are open before you set off, as opening times and dates will vary. Some also require pre-booking. And as snowdrops can’t read a calendar they may decide to bloom earlier or later than expected. However, the last two Sundays in February offer... Read More »

  • Festive fun in the lead up to Christmas

    2nd December 2022

    Our Top 10 Christmas Country House Experiences Home to the best collection of stately homes in the country, Northamptonshire’s winter lights, grottos, storytelling and wreath making workshops take some beating at this time of year.    Winter Light Trail at Delapre Winter Lights until 2nd January Discover enchanted light installations with a brand new trail experience that spans over one mile throughout the stunning woodland, walled garden and grounds of Delapré Abbey. Plus, a great selection of local, independent food vendors, Après Ski bar and kid’s funfair attractions.   Christmas at the Chester House Estate  Magical Winter Wonderland until 24th December Meet Father Christmas and his elves in his magical winter wonderland grotto at Chester House.   Victorian Christmas at Rockingham Castle... Read More »

  • 10 Quality Northamptonshire experiences (for free) this Winter

    23rd November 2022

    10 Quality Northamptonshire experiences (for free) this Winter We know times are tough at the moment, and getting out and about and immersed in local days out and experiences is a real tonic. Here’s a round-up of our top ten quality experiences for the winter weeks where entrance or participation is free. Northampton Bike Park A former golf course in Northampton has been brilliantly transformed into a new award-winning 40-acre specialist mountain bike park, welcoming cyclists from Northamptonshire and beyond. The park has a range of trails and tracks for everyone; whether families beginning cycling adventures on balance bikes, or skilled mountain bikers, and everything in between. Treewilder at Barnwell Country Park. An exhibition of sculptures and video work set in Barnwell Country Park aims to encourage visitors to explore the woodland space throughout autumn and winter. Brought to you... Read More »

  • Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards Winners 2022

    14th October 2022

    After much anticipation, the winners in the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2022/23 are today celebrating being named the best of the best in the county. The competition, now in its fourteenth year, received hundreds of nominations and applications across 15 categories, aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and producers, and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector. The results are as follows: Artisan Local Drink of the Year GOLD - Blue Aurora, English Blueberry Ice Wine  GOLD - Stonyfield English Quality Sparkling Wine, Rosé  GOLD - Lactodorum Towcester Gin, Wharf Distillery SILVER - Heidrun Session NEIPA, Three Hills Brewing SILVER - Fresh Oat Drink, Wild and Furrow BRONZE - Solstice Malt Whisky, Wharf Distillery    Artisan Local Product of the Year (sponsored by Heygates... Read More »

  • Northamptonshire’s tastiest tipples and treats announced

    18th August 2022

    Northamptonshire’s tastiest tipples and treats announced   Daily Bread in Northampton was the host for the announcement of this year’s Artisan Local Product, Artisan Local Vegetarian/Vegan and Artisan Local Drink winners today. The winners will be celebrated at the annual Awards Dinner in the autumn, but these accolades can be promoted in the forthcoming Food and Drink Festivals across the county and country. Gold winners, as well as receiving mentoring support, will be entered into the Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Awards for 2023. The winners are: Artisan Local Vegetarian/Vegan Product of the Year 2022/23, sponsored by Daily Bread:   Bronze:   Almond & Coconut Granola by Salma Shah Cucumber & Dill Sauerkraut from Millie Pickles Vegan Fizzy Blue Raspberry Bottles from The Sweet Lounge   Silver:   Spiced Rhubarb Chutney from The Food Library Tongue Taster from Northampton Cheese... Read More »

  • Summer Days Out

    2nd August 2022

    Summer Days Out   Short on inspiration for the school summer holidays? We’ve rounded up some Northamptonshire favourites, old and new, to get the ‘days out’ creative juices flowing. Tag us on the socials if you have a great visit!   Summer Family Fun Silverstone Interactive MuseumVarious dates, August Monster Energy British Grand Prix MotoGP Silverstone5-7 August Kids Summer Festival Chester House Estate6-7 August Romans, Daisies, Ones and Twos Northampton Museum and Art GalleryUntil 14 August The Classic Silverstone 26 - 28 August Green Belt Boughton House26-29 August  Made in Northampton Season Opening Playtime... Read More »

  • Boughton House House & Garden Tours

    28th July 2022

    August Opening Boughton House   Following a busy Spring Boughton House is looking forward to welcoming more visitors this summer with the opening of both the House and Gardens in August as follows:    Monday 1st to Tuesday 2nd August, 1pm – 5pm Saturdays to Tuesdays in August, 1pm – 5pm 6th-9th 13th –  16th 20th – 23rd 27th – 30th Wednesday 31st August, 1pm – 5pm   There are three fascinating tours to choose from; The Great Tour The Kings Tour The Books, Beds & Beyond Tour   Owned by the Duke of Buccleuch, Boughton is home to part of the world-renowned Buccleuch Art Collection with works by El Greco, Van Dyke and Gainsborough. The House and its contents are magnificently preserved.    Tickets for all tours should be purchased online at  with garden only tickets costing just £6 for adults... Read More »

  • New Boughton House Spectacle of Light event announced

    27th June 2022

    Boughton House in Northamptonshire is the latest stunning venue to be added to Spectacle of Light’s impressive list of locations for their after dark light experience. Following on from successful designs at venues stretching the length of the UK, from Sudeley Castle and Gardens to Boughton’s sister estate, Dalkeith Country Park, the Spectacle of Light at Boughton will take place in its beautiful landscaped gardens against the backdrop of the historic House. Running from 13 October to 6 November 2022, the event will take place on evenings from Thursday through to Sunday. Light-Inspiring ArtThe historic gardens at Boughton were designed to impress the eye in the seventeenth century. Recently restored over a period of fifteen years, they will now be the focus of Spectacle’s illuminated trail through the pretty walled garden, around breathtaking water features and along tree-lined avenues, all in front of the majestic House... Read More »

  • Nene Valley Heritage Festival

    21st June 2022

    A summer festival showcasing the history, archaeology and heritage of the Nene Valley will launch at the Chester House Estate on Saturday 25 June and at Stanwick Lakes on Sunday 26 June. The Chester House Estate, Stanwick Lakes and the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester, with support from Rushden Lakes, are running the month long festival. At the Chester House Estate, the launch will be Roman themed with fun for all the family, including Roman reenactments. Find out about everyday life as a Roman solider, with the University of Leicester on hand to answer questions. On the Sunday at Stanwick Lakes the theme will be ‘Traditional Crafts Past and Present’ and activities will include an exciting ‘Travel through Time’ trail and demonstrations of traditional crafts, including blacksmithing, jewellery making and chainsaw carving. The month long festival also includes a day of activities... Read More »

  • Northamptonshire Gardens Opening for the Red Cross

    11th May 2022

    At least half the monies will go to the ongoing red cross Ukraine appeal SATURDAY 14 MAY. 1 - 3.30 pm. CHARLOCK FARM, Abthorpe, NN12 8TW. Contact: Caroline Brocklehurst, 07770 930482 Entry: £5 joint ticket with Boxes Farm Created over the last 25 years this garden has a beautiful herbaceous border to the south and wildflower orchard to the east of the house. A ha-ha at the bottom of the garden gives uninterrupted views of fields with mares and foals.  Visit in conjunction with:  SATURDAY 14 MAY. 1 - 3.30 pm. BOXES FARM, Slapton, Towcester, NN12 8PE. By kind permission of Mary and James Miller,  07871 197 258. Garden created over the last 30 years, originally with help from Roddy Llewellyn, from a wild overgrown space full of weeds, concrete paths and debris. A series of small hedged rooms with different plantings, peony garden, herbaceous border, Wild Edric rose border, grasses garden and verandah garden. Wheelchair... Read More »

  • Screen Northants launch the first Northants Film & Television Expo

    5th May 2022

    As part of Screen Northants’ Northampton Film Festival 2022: Know Your Place the social enterprise film company is running their first ever Expo aimed at the Film Industry regionally, and with a Careers Fair element for new entrants. On Saturday May 21st Screen Northants are taking over the Learning Hub at Waterside Campus 11am – 5pm for a free event which aims to galvanise the established industry locally, raise awareness of current opportunities in film, television and associated industries, and demystify careers in the industry for those who are newer to it. The event is made up of a Talk to Industry ‘people library’ of local professionals and friends of Screen Northants where attendees can discuss job roles, careers, skills and opportunities with people working in the industry. Currently this covers SFX Supervisors, local Emmy award winners, writers, directors, producers, head of legal and business affairs,... Read More »

  • Northampton Music Festival puts Shoe Town on the music map

    3rd May 2022

    Northampton Music Festival (NMF) is set to put Shoe Town on the music map as it returns to the town centre on Sunday 19 June. Founded by local musician and businessman John Richardson, NMF is now in its 15th year and attracts around 10,000 music lovers to the town annually. The town’s architectural heritage will be celebrated through music of all genres across five stages throughout the town centre, culminating in a homecoming headline set on the main stage in Market Square from Northampton-based band Sarpa Salpa. The band release their new single ‘Dreaming’ on Friday 6 May and their two previous releases saw huge support from BBC Radio One and BBC Introducing. More than 500 artists will take to the five stages, including a world music stage hosted in the courtyard of The Guildhall. Northampton Museum & Art Gallery will play host to the classical and choral stage. Students from the University of Northampton and Northampton... Read More »

  • Bumper Easter for Northamptonshire

    29th April 2022

    Visitors to the county’s attractions were up significantly over the recent Easter period, with higher than expected visitor numbers - and revenues - at attractions large and small, including Chester House Estate, Delapre Abbey, Holdenby House, Kelmarsh Hall, Wicksteed Park, Lyveden and Canons Ashby. Nearby pubs and restaurants were also busy. And with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee now only weeks away, the sector is busy preparing to host communities who are coming together over the long May Bank Holiday Weekend to celebrate this historic milestone. A list of Queen’s Platinum Jubilee events in Northamptonshire can be found here:  Rachel Mallows, Chair, Northamptonshire Surprise commented: "Working closely with our two Unitary Authorities and our tourism, hospitality and media partners we continue to champion the many wonderful places and spaces we have on our doorstep, and are looking... Read More »

  • Queen’s Jubilee Bank Holiday Days Out in Northamptonshire

    22nd April 2022

    We’re counting down to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Lots of lovely days out all around the county, keep checking this page for new additions.   Rushden Historical Transport Society & Goods Shed Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea29 May  Lamport Hall Platinum Jubilee Fiori Musicali Musical Spectacular 2 June Holdenby House A Right Royal Celebration House, gardens & falconry open 2-3 June Jeyes of Earls Barton Royal Garden Party 2-3 June Chester House Estate Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations 2-5 June https://... Read More »

  • Corby Pole Fair – A celebration of living history!

    19th April 2022

    What’s going on? It’s barely dawn, the birds are just waking up, and suddenly the bells of the Parish Church of St John, start to ring out. A crowd of folks dressed in a variety of costumes gather around to listen to the proclamation of a three hundred- and forty-year-old document, signed by King Charles II. Wait! This can only be the Corby Pole Fair! You are forgiven if you have never heard of this event. It only happens once every twenty years after all. And it’s going to happen this year, over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday, on Friday 3rd June. The origins of the Corby Pole Fair may go back nearly nine hundred years. The earliest known settlement is thought to be even earlier, some thirteen hundred years ago. A Danish Viking, Kori gave his name to the village, and it may have been the early Viking settlers who introduced the idea of the ‘pole’, giving its name to the fair. A typical Viking... Read More »

  • Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2022

    7th April 2022

    The Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards is back for its fourteenth year with another sensational set of categories and sponsors. Celebrating excellence within the local food and drink sector, the awards recognise all that is great about local produce and drink, and reward those who work so hard to achieve their best. Two debut categories have been announced: the Healthy Food and Wellbeing Award which welcomes a fresh sponsor, Delapré Abbey; and the Farming Environmental Award sponsored by Weetabix for the Weetabix Growers Group. Rachel Mallows emphasised at the launch that partners and supporters are asking foodies of the county to buy local, shop local and eat locally and help the sector not just recover, but thrive after the past two years. The free-to-enter categories in this year’s Awards (with their respective sponsors) are: Artisan Local Drink of the Year Artisan Local Product of the Year (Heygates Flour... Read More »

  • Northamptonshire’s Top 20 Easter Days (and Nights!) Out

    28th March 2022

    With spring in full swing, now's the time to get out and about  1. Easter Adventures in Nature, Canons Ashby (15-18 April) Discover a family-friendly trail in Canons Ashby parkland with fun activities for you to do along the way. Pick up your activity pack to find the bespoke trail you’re going to follow. Find and complete the ten nature inspired activities that are hiding along the way. 'Spot the signs of spring', 'Wibble and wobble' and 'Wake the wild things' are just some of the activities you can experience. Complete the trail and earn your Rainforest Alliance chocolate egg at the end. Easter trail runs from Friday 15 - Monday 18 April from 10am with last entry at 4pm and costs £3 per trail. 2. All Clucking Nighter, Adrenaline Alley (8 April) Ride/skate through the night at Adrenaline Alley’s Easter special all clucking nighter. Win prizes for doing tricks... Read More »

  • Go Northamptonshire! Family friendly events & days out: February half...

    8th February 2022

    Go Northamptonshire! Family friendly events & days out: February half term 2022 1. Chester House Estate a nationally significant heritage attraction, Chester House Estate is one of the few places in England which can demonstrate over 10,000 years of human activity. Admission is free, Ranger Stu Shows £5 per person and Forest School £10 per person this half term. 2. Evenley Wood Garden a beautiful, 60-acre privately owned woodland set in the heart of Northamptonshire countryside near Brackley. Adults - £7.50, children aged 4 to 16 - £1. 3. Northampton Museum & Art Gallery home to the world's largest shoe collection and Northamptonshire's flagship museum, reopened last July after an extensive £6.7 million expansion. Free to enter although donations are welcome. Valhalla ‘Life and Death in Viking Britain’ open during the holidays. 4. Stanwick Lakes a 750-acre countryside attraction... Read More »

  • Snowdrops in Northamptonshire

    24th January 2022

    The shy stars of spring If ever there was a sight to warm the heart on a cold day, it is a carpet of snowdrops on a woodland floor. With their delicate heads poking through the hard ground and nodding in the winter winds, they send an optimistic message that spring is on the way, and that all is well. This month is the perfect time to wrap up warm and enjoy their blooms in one of our beautiful Northamptonshire historic gardens. Luckily, we have an abundance of places in Northamptonshire where we can enjoy these beautiful harbingers of spring. Here are just a few of my favourite places, although there are many more. Please note that you must check the relevant websites to ensure that the gardens are open before you set off, and opening times and dates will vary. Some also require pre-booking. And as snowdrops can’t read a calendar they may decide to bloom earlier or later than expected. However, the last two Sundays in February offer... Read More »

  • A Tribute to Mike Ingram M.A.

    6th January 2022

    Mike Ingram and I were great friends, fellow Naseby Battlefield Project Trustees, and it could be said that we both have ‘Naseby’ blood flowing through our veins. I can only speak with any authority in the context of Naseby, as we were co-Trustees from 2014 until earlier this year. I know that Mike loved Naseby, and we liked nothing better than to lean on a fence or a gateway on the battlefield and to talk about the battle, the events of 1645, and how the outcome of that battle had changed this nation’s history. Mike Ingram the professional, held an MA in History from Birmingham University and was a Mediaeval Historian, a teacher, an acclaimed award winning author, a consummate battlefield tour guide, the sitting Chairman of the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society at the time of his sudden passing and, until earlier this year, Acting Chairman and Trustee of the Naseby Battlefield Project. It is of course well known... Read More »

  • Chefs Cook Off for Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2021

    7th September 2021

    Two exciting cook offs took place recently in the county’s prestigious catering colleges, highlighting just how important chef skills are to our hospitality businesses. The Booker Young Chef of the Year final in the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards competition took place on July 29th at Northampton College. The four finalists, all aged under 24, were asked to prepare, cook and present the judges with a chicken and ham pie using Northamptonshire produce, including chicken from Pastures Poultry, ham from Sauls of Spratton, and Jeyes’ Northamptonshire Sauce from Jeyes of Earls Barton. The young chefs had two hours to complete the challenge in front of the Award judges which included Chris Jackson (Catering Development Manager of Booker, Northampton), Phil Martin (Curriculum Manager for Culinary, Hospitality and Tourism at Northampton College), Mary Laing (Awards Patron) and Charles Banks (Director and Co-Founder... Read More »

  • Proud to Support Love Lamb Week

    6th September 2021

    The Love Lamb Week campaign runs from 1st– 7th September each year and this time around the campaign has had a focus on the sustainability benefits of sheep farming in the UK, as well as promoting the nutritional value of the meat. The campaign was originally founded by Cumbrian sheep farmer Rachel Lumbley, who wanted to raise awareness of the low market value prices farmers were receiving for their lambs across the country, whilst raising high quality stock for the meat. Sadly, prices are still low and there are increasing pressures on many lamb producers with the shortage in labour, fall out from the pandemic and low domestic consumption of lamb. In Northamptonshire we have an abundance of lamb producers. According to the National Farmers Union, there are approximately 292,000 sheep in the county. Meanwhile farmers farm 77% of the county’s land area and 69% of which is involved in some form of countryside stewardship or... Read More »

  • Stilettos and Space Hoppers – Northampton’s Heritage Renaissance

    19th July 2021

    I have been waiting with anticipation to write this particular article, and the day is here! Our Northamptonshire flagship museum, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, NMAG, reopened on 10th July after a long closure for refurbishment. I was invited for a sneak peek preview, and it’s a wow from me! I’m most interested in museums that have a relevance to their audience, those that display object and stories that we can all identify with. Shoes are a great example of something we can all relate to. We all wear them, buy them or need them, they reflect our jobs, fantasies or hobbies, and we might love some and hate others. We all have opinions and stories about our shoes. And of course, Northamptonshire is the ‘boot and shoe county’. If you grew up locally, there’s a fair chance that you once experienced a school trip to the ‘Shoe Museum’. It’s recognised as the largest collection of historic... Read More »

  • Northamptonshire Winemakers Pick Up National Award!

    25th June 2021

    Northamptonshire Winemakers Pick Up National Award! A small, Northamptonshire family vineyard is marking its tenth anniversary in the best possible way this week, by raising a glass of its own award-winning fizz to celebrate picking up a top national accolade. Stonyfield Wine, based at Blisworth, has won a gold medal and the Dudley Quirk Trophy for Best Sparkling Blend 2021 from WineGB, the UK body for grape growers and winemakers – an honour usually bestowed upon the country’s larger, southern vineyards. After planting the first vines in 2011 on the south-facing slope of spoil left behind after the digging of the Grand Union canal and Blisworth tunnel in the late 18th Century, Stonyfield partner John Folliott Vaughan says they’re delighted to be recognised in this way just a decade later: “We’re flattered and frankly amazed to be both the first small and only Midlands-based vineyard to receive this national... Read More »

  • Most Awarded Education Programme in England

    26th May 2021

    Most Awarded Education Programme in England The Sandford Award for Heritage Education was awarded last week for the eighth time to Holdenby House, Northamptonshire, making Holdenby the most awarded Heritage Education Programme in the UK. Chris Green from the Heritage Education Trust was at Holdenby to give the award on behalf of the Directors of the Heritage Education Trust. Speaking about Holdenby, Mr Green said, “Such sustained success is a brilliant accomplishment reflecting the outstanding work of sharing this unique and significant house with the community and its schools. The first-hand experiences provided are quite splendid, engineered by remarkable staff and volunteers.” Over a quarter of a million children have now participated in the nationally recognised living history programmes. They include being a servant in a Victorian household, an evacuee in the second World War, meeting King Charles I or Queen Elizabeth... Read More »

  • Northamptonshire’s Top 20 Hotels

    11th May 2021

    Northamptonshire’s Top 20 Hotels, Bed & Breakfasts & Self-Catering 1. Bragborough Hall The Bragborough Hall Estate comprises three period holiday lets renovated to the highest standard and owned and run by the Phipps Family. Take in magnificent countryside views, enjoy walks over the working farm with beef cattle and arable crops, and wake up to the serene surroundings of the surrounding landscape and fresh country air. The day belongs to you so, relax in front of the log burner, play table football in the Tack Room, or use the tennis court within the beautiful walled garden. Bragborough is within walking distance of some great pubs so round off your day at the nearby canal-side Admiral Nelson, Braunston. Traditional countryside luxuries sit alongside modern facilities here, so your stay will be comfortable, spacious, and private. A complimentary hamper will be waiting for you on arrival. Bragborough Hall itself has... Read More »

  • Going back to Boughton

    10th May 2021

    May is with us! That most delightful of months when the natural world seems to explode into life in full technicolour could not be more welcome after being cooped up for so long. I was delighted to learn that Boughton is opening its gardens for both the bank holidays this month, and I can’t wait to revisit. One of the reasons I love the outside at Boughton is that it blends together of some of the best ancient and modern garden styles. Seemingly simple green and graphic lines created several hundred years apart work incredibly well together. Vast lawns, expanses of water, ancient trees, and glorious formal and informal bedding make Boughton something truly special. These gardens owe everything to the vision of two father and son teams. The ‘ancient’ elements of the gardens at Boughton were developed by the 1st and 2nd Duke of Montagu over 55 years, beginning in 1684. The ‘modern’ restoration and innovation... Read More »

  • Celebrate Springtime at Castle Ashby

    23rd April 2021

    The world is starting to reopen, and Spring is on the way! We can all now safely enjoy some of the most spectacular historic gardens in Northamptonshire. One of my absolute favourites belongs to Castle Ashby, the ancestral home of the seventh Marquess of Northampton, Spencer David Douglas Compton. It has a great story.  The history of Castle Ashby reaches back to Saxon times at least, but the building of today’s Castle Ashby was begun in 1574 by Baron Henry Compton. He was a royal courtier, and one of the peers who attended the death of Mary Queen of Scots at Fotheringhay. The house was shaped like an ‘E’ to flatter the queen, and it was built as a showpiece, a ‘prodigy house’ designed to show the taste and wealth of the family, and large enough to host the Queen and her courtiers on the summer progress. The building was continued by Henry’s son William, and the flattery worked. The Queen visited... Read More »

  • Northamptonshire in Lonely Planet Guide’s UK Top 10

    15th April 2021

    Oundle in Northamptonshire has been recommended by the Lonely Planet Guide as one of the UK’s best places to visit post- lockdown. Tom Hall, Vice President of Experience at Lonely Planet, said: "London has always dominated tourism in the UK, and for good reason, but the entire country is overflowing with historic sites and natural wonders. The pandemic caused us all to pause and re-evaluate how we travel, and I think now is the perfect time to update that bucket list with some of these under-the-radar places you might have overlooked in the past.” The full list is available here: Read More »

  • Northamptonshire’s Top Spots for Camping & Glamping

    9th April 2021

    Northamptonshire’s Top Spots for Camping & Glamping Where to Stay Locally. 1. Castle Farm, Fotheringhay This idyllic small site on the Nene is surrounded by quiet farmland. The field sweeps down to a peaceful bend in the river which is a wonderful spot for wild swimming, canoeing, wildlife spotting, or simply sitting end enjoying nature.  There are just 10 pitches here, so the site never feels crowded, the perfect place for ‘wild’ camping as the site has been left relatively untouched; a freshwater tap and portaloo are the only facilities. An extensive network of public footpaths lead to surrounding Nene Valley villages, a welcoming pub at the Falcon (reopening April 12) and Oundle is a 5-minute drive away; rated by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 under the radar places to visit in the UK this summer. 2. Catanger Llamas, near... Read More »

  • Top 20 Outdoors Attractions

    25th March 2021

    Northamptonshire’s Top 20 Outdoors Attractions for April. Where to Visit Locally When Stay at Home Restrictions are Lifted March 29. Prior to visiting, we recommend checking websites and social media for any possible adjustments to opening times and additional details of open days and special events. 1. Brampton Valley Way This much-loved family friendly 14-mile walking and cycling route is built on the former Northampton to Market Harborough Railway. Home to Northampton & Lamport Railway, which reopens May 23rd with a Teddy Bear Weekend, much of the route is suited to off-road and hybrid cycling. When pubs and restaurants reopen, combine your visit to the Brampton Valley Way with lunch at the Hopping Hare or Brampton Halt. Walk 20 on the Northamptonshire Walks website takes in the Bramptons and Brampton Valley Way: Read More »

  • Toasting More Stars of County’s Food & Drink Sector

    24th March 2021

    While 2021 still offers the county’s culinary sector little for which to be thankful, more of its finest are enjoying a well-earned reason to celebrate after picking up top accolades in this year’s Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards. The competition, now in its twelfth year, is run by the sector for the sector and is aimed at publicly applauding all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard to ensure the sector’s continuing success. The Awards year usually culminates in a glittering celebration staged at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate but, owing to social distancing rules, the results in six of the categories were announced online back in November, while a further three category results were revealed in February during another specially-recorded virtual ‘second course’ celebration,... Read More »

  • The Gretton Charity Sportive

    19th February 2021

    Now a firm fixture for cyclists, The Gretton Charity Sportive is back on 12th June 2021 and promises to be bigger than ever. Recognising the increased number of people who have discovered cycling in the past year, organisers Wild Dog Events have added a third distance to open up the popular event to more riders who want to enjoy the beautiful countryside and fantastic views of the Welland Valley. As always, cyclists will be very well catered for whether they choose to ride the 20km, 50km or 100km route – there will be well-stocked feed stations including one at the popular cycling café Spokes, a sweeper van, finishers medals and barbecue and bar at the finish line. As in previous years, all profits from The Gretton Charity Sportive will go to The Travers Foundation.Book before the 5 April 2021 at to benefit from the early bird discount. About the Travers FoundationThe Travers Foundation is a volunteer-... Read More »

  • Armchair Northamptonshire

    18th February 2021

    Northamptonshire's naughty nuns, and other stories. Our beautiful county is filled with hidden histories and untold stores, and there is still lots to discover without leaving home. Right now, in February 2021, the weather, and COVID precautions make staying indoors and exploring the county through video, websites, social media and good old-fashioned books very appealing. I'm taking the opportunity to draw up a hit-list of places to visit later this year, and to top up my understanding of Northamptonshire's place in our great English story. One of my favourite-ever telly programmes was Time Team, a Channel 4 production hosted by Tony Robinson. The likeable archaeological crew descended upon a potential site of interest and gave themselves three days to explore, investigate, dig, and recreate their idea of what the past looked like. There was drama, disappointment, thrills and amazement, and genuine discoveries that increased knowledge... Read More »

  • Snowdrop Days at Evenley Wood Garden

    11th February 2021

    Evenley Wood Garden have reopened for Snowdrop Days From Monday 1st February to Monday 1st March, giving those communities that are local to this wonderful 60 acre private woodland the opportunity to take daily exercise and enjoy the different Galanthus species. For those who regularly visit during the snowdrop season there have been new areas planted, along the avenue and down by the stream garden. Look out for the beautiful snowdrop showcase by the pavilion where you can note your favourite species or see if you can find them all in the garden. Uncle Geordie's Shed will be open every week from Tuesday - Sunday serving takeaway hot drinks and cake to keep the cold at bay. Read More »

  • Update from Fermynwoods

    9th February 2021

    BEST GALLERY IN NORTHAMPTONSHIRE Citing the organisation’s “ingenuity and hard work” SME News has named Fermynwoods Contemporary Art as Northamptonshire’s Best Contemporary Art Gallery as part of the 2020 Midlands Enterprise Awards. Fermynwoods finds innovative ways in which the arts can reach non-traditional arts audiences, in particular rural or disadvantaged communities. They regularly work with members of the public, schools and young people not currently in mainstream education to ignite an enthusiasm for learning through the arts. This experience served them well in 2020, enabling positive response to new challenges, whilst navigating the trickiest periods thanks to the adaptability and innovation of artists who continue to be devoted to supporting life through art. THE PHONE BOX GALLERY The latest lockdown has forced the closing of art galleries across the nation, including a recent Fermynwoods exhibition... Read More »

  • BB, a Northamptonshire Countryman

    28th January 2021

    When I was a bookish little girl, I found a tatty old cloth-bound book in a library. The outside was unappealing, but the inside was filled with beautiful jewel-coloured illustrations, and black and white images of the natural world. The stories were quite magical, about little men, gnomes, who lived in the countryside, living their lives alongside us bigger humans. Their survival relied on their knowledge of the natural world, and their fellowship with each other. The book was called The Little Grey Men written by the mysterious sounding ‘BB’, and I never forgot it. Now nearly sixty years later, I was thrilled to discover who ‘BB’ was, and to learn that he was a Northamptonshire man, from Lamport. ‘BB’ was the pen name for Denys Watkins-Pitchford. He was born the elder of twin sons to the Rector of Lamport and his wife in 1905. Their home was the gracious Queen Anne rectory, set on the edge of the village... Read More »

  • Future Olympians continue training at Adrenaline Alley

    25th January 2021

    As we persevere through yet another national lockdown, sport and leisure facilities throughout the county remain closed for public use. This leaves us facing the disheartening reality that coronavirus is preventing us from participating in so many of the sports that we love. However, at Adrenaline Alley in Corby (Europe's largest urban sports venue), the wheels of BMX bikes continue to spin. Although restrictions prohibit this world-class facility from opening to the thousands of urban sport enthusiasts that would usually be visiting from all around the UK (and beyond), elite athletes are legally exempt. This means that behind closed doors and with stringent coronavirus measures in place, the Olympic hopefuls of the British Cycling BMX freestyle team can use Adrenaline Alley as their main training centre. Team GB member, Charlotte Worthington, left her home in Manchester to live in Corby so she could train at the facility daily. She comments... Read More »

  • Lockdown Life - Pocket Parks

    25th January 2021

    Under the new lockdown rules announced in January we still have access to outdoor exercise with members of our own household or one other person. The guidelines don't give a time limit for how long we can exercise for, but it should be kept to once a day, and undertaken locally e.g. in our local neighbourhood, village, town. Neighbourhood streets, parks and the countryside, public gardens and grounds (whether or not you pay to enter them) and outdoor playgrounds are accessible to us all, as are the county’s lesser known pocket parks. For inspiration we have included a link to the Northamptonshire Pocket Parks. All of these Northamptonshire Pocket Parks are looked after and cherished by their local communities, for peaceful enjoyment and the protection of wildlife. Stay safe everyone. Read More »

  • The Fall and Rise of Fawsley Hall

    23rd December 2020

    Travelling to Fawsley Hall is like journeying back in time. Leaving modern roads, one encounters a timeless rural landscape, with farm buildings and fields full of stock animals. The single-track lanes lead past large pools edged with ancient trees. One is more likely to encounter an equestrian than another vehicle. And then silhouetted against the rolling sky, lies Fawsley Hall, a remarkable survivor of changing fortune over the last millennium.   The settlement of Fawsley is known to predate the building of the hall by at least 1000 years. Burials dating back to the 6th Century suggest an established settlement in the locality. The area was recorded as being an Anglo-Saxon Royal Manor, used as an administrative centre, and favoured for hunting. By the time of the Domesday book in 1086 the population was numbered at 50, and the village seems to have grown rapidly until the arrival of the Black Death which claimed the lives of nearly... Read More »

  • Support Local: County's Tastiest Treats under one Roof

    14th December 2020

    From pies to pickles, bread to beer, some of the county's favourite treats and tipples are now on sale under one roof at Rushden Lakes, thanks to an exciting new 'Support Local' partnership launching this week. Made In Northamptonshire has teamed up with East Northamptonshire Council to offer visitors the opportunity to take home amazing produce that's all been lovingly created in the county. The opportunity to showcase some of the county's artisan producers in one place is a dream come true: "When we launched MIN in January 2011, the aim was to lend our backing to our fabulous producers, helping raise their profile, finding stockists and promoting their wonderful wares to more people" explained Rachel Mallows, Director. "Now, thanks to both The Crown Estate and East Northamptonshire District Council, we've found the perfect way to celebrate our ten-year anniversary with our very own shop, where buyers can come in, try some of the treats... Read More »

  • Phone or Click & Collect – shop local during lockdown

    13th November 2020

    Northampton's Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) is offering shoppers and town centre businesses a ‘Phone or Click & Collect’ service during this month's lockdown.  The collection point will be at number 64 St Giles Street, Northampton. This Phone or Click & Collect service enables people to continue to shop locally and safely in Northampton town centre, despite the closure of businesses during lockdown. It also enables businesses to continue trading – despite most having to close to customers. Customers should contact businesses directly to shop, order and pay. Once they have placed their orders customers collect their orders within 48 hours from the BID’s ‘Phone or Click & Collect’ collection point. More info here: Read More »

  • Wellies Optional

    14th October 2020

    Autumn is now well and truly upon us and, as we change our walking routes with the seasons, this week we have been thinking about opportunities to explore our wonderful county without carrying lots of mud around on your footwear. Visit the ‘Northamptonshire Town & Villages Walks’ tab on the county’s walking website Here you’ll find 22 walks on hard surfaces, lots of town history and fun facts. You might think you know a village.. but have a read and go explore. Did you know Rushden has its own ‘Blue Plaque’ Walk? Walk 96 is a great 3.5 mile stroll, taking roughly one hour, and includes the stunning hamlet of Brockhall, the abandoned village of Muscott, the canal and a chance for a tea room stop. All of that in one hour. Did you know that in World War II Brockhall Hall was used by the American Office of Strategic Studies, an early predecessor of the CIA?  It... Read More »

  • New Hotel Opening – The Falcon, Castle Ashby

    2nd October 2020

    The Falcon - a Grade II listed Coaching Inn built in 1594 - has been lovingly transformed and completely reimagined by Lord and Lady Northampton.  Now a country retreat with 22 bedrooms and a destination restaurant, the Falcon opened this week (Monday September 28th) creating a haven for those in need of rest and renewal. Drawing upon Lady Northampton’s professional experience as a psychotherapist, counsellor and yoga teacher; as well as their joint personal lifestyle centred around physical and mental wellbeing, they have created a space that marries mindfulness with activity and close links with nature. Guests can unwind in peace whilst benefiting from special access to the nearby Castle Ashby Gardens (designed by Capability Brown) as well as wild swimming, yoga, cycling and designated private nature walks.  Under the direction of Chef Mark Lawton, the hotel’s new Restaurant ‘Eyas’ (meaning a young... Read More »

  • Walking Whatever the Weather

    26th August 2020

    As I sit here writing this recommendation it’s 8pm, the light is fading and autumn is fast approaching. Autumn is my favourite season, as the trees put on their magnificent show of colour, the hedgerows prepare their winter berry offerings for the birds, and the light grows softer from the lowering sun. So, with another storm forecast this week, thoughts start to turn away from walking across muddy ploughed fields towards where I can still go for a walk whatever the weather? Last week one of my followers told me about a change to my Walk 59, a 3.75 mile circular walk from beautiful Kislingbury. Until now part of this walk followed the brilliant Nene Way long distance footpath, but the massive housing development that’s underway in Upton means that this is no longer possible. What’s great news though is the path now follows the newly updated hard surfaces of the redesigned Upton Country Park. This means it’s always... Read More »

  • Reflections on a Northamptonshire Lockdown Part 3

    30th July 2020

    So that’s our third section of the Jurassic Way completed – 14 or so miles yesterday, including one of the great viewpoints of the Northamptonshire Uplands, Honey Hill near Cold Ashby.  For those who have yet to discover it, the Jurassic Way is an 88-mile trail almost entirely within the county’s northern and western boundaries, but starting from Banbury in Oxfordshire and ending at Stamford in Lincolnshire.  It follows the line of Jurassic rock strata where they reach the surface and its warm, often iron-stained, limestones and sandstones are the vernacular building materials for many of the local villages.  Stones found in the ploughed fields – and even the building stone used in the villages – can contain the visible remains of shellfish, laid down in sea beds perhaps 100 million years ago.  Over the last couple of weeks we had completed the two previous sections, also both around 14... Read More »

  • Harlestone and The Firs

    30th July 2020

    Lockdown has motivated us to explore more locally and discover what this beautiful county Northamptonshire has to offer. So much so, the wonderful ‘Northamptonshire Walks’ blog (link at the bottom) has had more than 130,000 views in recent weeks. This week’s stunning 4.5-mile walk starts off in beautiful Upper Harlestone. In fact, some walkers simply want to stop there as it’s so pretty. From here we cross to Lower Harlestone. Both villages are thought to date back to Saxon times. Harlestone is known for playing a minor part in history. In 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie was marching south through England, intending to fight his way to London and claim the throne. When he learned that the Northamptonshire regiment was amassing at Harlestone, he turned around and marched back to Scotland. The result was the Battle of Culloden and the end of the Stuart dream of gaining the throne. Harlestone House was once... Read More »

  • 10 of the best pub gardens in Northants to enjoy this summer

    30th July 2020

    We're finally going out out and it's going to be an absolute corker. Bring on the sunshine so we can soak it up with our fave tipple in one of these gorgeous Northants pub gardens. The Tollemache Arms, Harrington It’s just around the corner from the Warner’s gin distillery, so we know what we’ll be guzzling at the Tolly this summer with our fave tonic. There’s an extensive menu here, from sharing platters to handmade pizzas, salad bowls and pub classics, so something for everyone. Plus, the spacious garden is perfect for watching the sun go down across the picturesque Northamptonshire countryside.   The Kings Arms, Farthingstone Everything about the King’s Arms is a bit bonkers, from the chintz sofas to the Northamptonshire skittles room. Nothing about this place fits a slick, modern mould, but spit and sawdust it ain’t, you’ll get outstanding food including fresh fish straight from... Read More »

  • Daventry Market

    29th July 2020

    As a historic market town, with a rich history, Daventry is proud to hold a chartered market every Tuesday and Friday. Along the high street, bedecked with flowers, the market stalls have been rearranged to allow plenty of space for customers to social distance. The road is closed to traffic so the whole street provides space to shop in comfort and safety.  Although this is not a large market there are a number of stalls predominantly selling local produce. Highlights include baked goods and bread, meats, an excellent green grocer with a very wide selection, and a fantastic plant stall.  There is ample free parking in Daventry providing easy access to the market. A number of cafes are open to provide refreshments for thirsty shoppers.  The market trades between 8.00 and 14.00.   Read More »

  • The New Garden Menu at Old Rectory Gardens

    28th July 2020

    In early August, the glorious Old Rectory Gardens at Sudborough will be transformed for the third year running into a pop-up restaurant by Nest for a week. The team from the award-winning London based Nest and Harlequin restaurants will be relocating to Northamptonshire creating their unique and delicious seasonal food, using produce gathered from the Rectory’s Potager. Diners are greeted on the lawn with aperitifs, before strolling the gardens at their leisure, then taking their seats in the tranquil surroundings of The Yellow Garden. DATES: Dinner at 6.30pm from Wednesday 5 to Saturday 8 August 2020 with one sitting per evening and lunches at 12.30pm on Thursday 6 to Saturday 8 August. Early booking is recommended for this increasingly popular annual event. For more information contact Toby at the Nest: [email protected] or Sue at: bookings@the To book a table please follow this link: https://... Read More »

  • Unframed arts trail brings out the best colours in Daventry

    22nd July 2020

    The first ever Daventry Unframed arts festival is set to show Daventry in its true colours this week, by showcasing work from the town's community artists. Eight local creatives whose talents range from illustration, painting, photography and print, to digital art, will be exhibiting their collections in gallery spaces within the shops and cafes. They will be connected by an art trail to encourage visitors to discover Daventry and enjoy the historic town centre. The month-long festival starts this week aligning with the school summer holiday period, and will see each artist staging an exhibition of their work in a local shop for the minimum of a two-week period. Details of each artist can be found in a catalogue available in every venue where the art is being displayed. The art trail is part of the forum's & 'Keep Daventry Weird' mission, to expand the range of specialist and independent retailers in the town, and to build on the... Read More »

  • The Arches at Fineshade Wood Reopening & Good to Go

    22nd July 2020

    Fermynwoods Contemporary Art's gallery space at The Arches at Fineshade Wood is reopening after lockdown with a brand new exhibition of beautiful artwork by six artists, exploring the push and pull between nature and human presence and the effect that extracting resources from the landscape has upon those living within it. The In Steps of Sundew exhibition takes its name from Sundew, once the largest walking dragline excavator in the world, used in mining operations in Rutland and Northamptonshire between 1957 and 1980. Sundews are also species of carnivorous plants, which digest insects through the glands on their leaves in order to supplement the poor mineral nutrition of the soil in which they grow. In Steps of Sundew retraces the movement of people and resources from the landscape, posing questions about the relationship between the natural and the industrial and how these might coexist whilst avoiding climate breakdown. The exhibition... Read More »

  • Holdenby's Historic Gardens to Reopen

    20th July 2020

    Like all stately homes, Holdenby House had to close to the public when the lock-down started inMarch. Now, the historic gardens are reopening again every Sunday from August 2 to September 27 and tickets go on sale today (July 20) on For the first time since last September, visitors will be able to take in Holdenby's beautiful Grade I gardens including the working Kitchen Garden, Silver & Fragrant borders, King Charles' Walk as well as the original Base Court Arches from where Charles was taken away in 1647. There will be a simple one way system around the gardens and tickets will only be available in advance, online through the Holdenby website. Hand sanitisers, screens and all other necessary precautions have been taken and Icarus Falconry Centre will also be open, allowing visitors to view their majestic collection of birds of prey. Connie's Vintage Tea caravan will be providing refreshments to enjoy after the... Read More »

  • Oundle Farmers Market

    20th July 2020

    Oundle Farmers Market takes place on the second Saturday of every month in Oundle’s beautiful and historic market place. The stall holders sell a delicious range of fresh food from local producers including fruit and veg, flowers, eggs, cheese and not so local fresh fish which is always popular in a town a long way from the sea. Farmer Simon Singlehurst usually has a hog roast on the go and Ganders Goat sells delicious ice cream flavours made with goats milk to name a few. Do not forget to visit all the local shops and enjoy a coffee and cake in one of the cafes on the streets around the market place. After a pause during lockdown, the market is up and running again with sensible social distancing restrictions in place. There is plenty of free parking nearby. Read More »

  • Going Out is Fun

    16th July 2020

    The pubs and restaurants are now open again. Mary and I thought we should dip our toes into the water so last Friday night booked supper at the Plough at Shutlanger near Towcester. On purpose we took a friend who we had been seeing on and off the last fortnight and another friend who had not ventured out for two and a half months. We all agreed that if we did not think it was safe we would leave. What an unnecessary precaution. Arriving in the car park we were slightly worried that it was so full but we walked on down to the entrance where we were met as if VIPs by a charming girl who offered us spray, asked us to sign and then wished to know where we would like to sit. Even in this relatively small establishment there were four options - the bar, the internal dining room, the newly erected communal garden tent, and even individual tents. We opted for the communal garden tent where we sat at a very pleasant table some meters away from... Read More »

  • Evenley Wood Garden

    15th July 2020

    The weeks leading up to lockdown were some of the most creative and dynamic periods of our business. Guidance was changing at a rate of noughts, Mother’s Day was looming, one of our busiest days of the year and the sun was shining. Could we just hold on long enough to get through Mother’s Day weekend? Tables were moved out of the café, menus were simplified, takeaway cartons and sanitiser purchased, and staff retrained all in an evening just to get through the weekend safely but remain open. It was exhausting and exhilarating…and then lockdown was announced. We began Monday morning with our regular team meeting. What to do, how would we keep going? Should we keep going! And that is when we decided to do nothing. We opened the gates at 10am as we do everyday but no announcement, no official line, no advertising. The garden continued to embrace spring and we had work to do. Most of our volunteer team insisted... Read More »

  • Where shall we go?

    14th July 2020

    You never realise how much you love something until there’s a risk it might be lost to you. I felt keenly the lack of visits to bluebell woods and to Northamptonshire’s wonderful formal gardens in May and early June. Wide open spaces where you can wander and wonder without getting too close to other visitors are my absolute favourites. I missed that freedom so much, especially as our county has such a rich choice of places to go, either as a paying visitor, or gloriously for free. Since the cautious and gradual reopening in July I’ve been visiting as many places as I can whilst staying safe. The great news is that outside seems to be the safest place to have some fun, either with those in your ‘bubble’, or distantly meeting up with friends whilst a couple of metres apart. And I am rediscovering the joys of eating outside (no calories obvs!) either a picnic, or something from a takeaway café. I&rsquo... Read More »

  • Yelvertoft to Crick Walk

    10th July 2020

    It's July already. Where did the first six months of 2020 go? What a different place the world seems today, to what it did back then. Whilst restrictions are now starting to be lifted, one thing has gratefully remained constant; our ability to exercise and enjoy our wonderful, local, Northamptonshire countryside. This week’s 5.9 mile ‘easy’ walk is a fantastic example of what a beautiful county we live in. It starts in the quiet village of Yelvertoft, which has connections back to Saxon times. From here we follow a straight line along an old cart track as it rises steadily to give magnificent view across rolling countryside. You’ll also cross the Grand Union Canal twice on the way to Crick. If you fancy a short diversion, Crack’s Hill was created during the last ice age, when melted water deposited material underneath the ice. Once the ice sheet retreated it left a pile of silt and rock behind. The hill... Read More »

  • Filmhouse at Delapre

    9th July 2020

    Northampton Filmhouse and Delapré Abbey have announced a new Drive-In Cinema for Northampton, running from Thursday 23 July to Sunday 9 August. Filmhouse@Delapré will feature a bumper season of films, curated by Northampton Filmhouse enjoyed on a gigantic screen against the beautiful and historic backdrop of Delapré Abbey. This fully-socially distanced experience allows film fans to see all their favourite movies as they’ve never done before. With more than 20 films to choose from spanning eight decades, Filmhouse@Delapré offers a Covid-safe summer of entertainment for all the family. Titles include recent blockbuster hits, film classics ,family friendly titles and the best from Northampton Filmhouse’s recent programme, with highlights such as Back to the Future, Grease, Mary Poppins, Downtown Abbey, Romeo & Juliet, Kinky Boots, Fargo and Parasite. Hot food and a selection of snacks and treats... Read More »

  • Oundle International Festival

    9th July 2020

    While we may not be able to meet together this year in real space and time, that will not stop us being in virtual space and time to enjoy the 2020 Oundle International Virtual Festival! This five-day long online event will feature recorded and live material showcasing the range of work we normally present. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous supporter, I have been able to commission some of our performers to record videos especially for the Virtual Festival, while others have generously provided new or existing recordings for us all to enjoy. Every day during the Virtual Festival, we will post new material. The videos are all around 5-10 minutes. After their initial posting they will remain on our website for you to enjoy again and again! We will also be presenting The Price of a Bed for the Night, a speciallycommissioned mini-series. Accessed via our website, at 4.30pm every day during the Virtual Festival, storyteller Jo Blake... Read More »

  • Silverstone's new museum to reopen on 20 July

    2nd July 2020

    The Silverstone Experience, located at the Home of British Motor Racing, will reopen on 20 July, giving motorsport fans the chance to get their racing fix after months of lockdown. Visitors will be able to get close to cars and bikes from seven decades of motorsport history and experience the Ultimate Lap – an immersive cinema show.  The museum team has prepared for a safe and fun experience for all visitors, and has achieved the Visit England consumer mark ‘We’re Good to Go’. Built in a restored WW2 RAF hangar, The Silverstone Experience is a huge indoor space naturally allowing for social distancing. Timed entry tickets will be limited each day.  This family-friendly interactive museum is perfect for a family day out, and is located in rural Northamptonshire with ample free parking.    From 20 July, the museum will be open daily from 10:00 – 18:00, with timed tickets available... Read More »

  • Made at Home & Beyond

    30th June 2020

    On March 14th we took the heart-breaking decision to cancel an event we had been working towards for over 18 months. Back then, as UK cases of COVID-19 were beginning to rise, we sensed that change was coming but had no comprehension of the devastating effect it would have on the cultural sector. Like so many other businesses and charities, over the last few months our entire delivery model has changed. We started with Made at Home, a 6-week programme of artist-led online video tutorials for people to follow at home. Local households joined us in a photo scavenger hunt, making story cubes and dancing around their living rooms. These resources are all still online. Some activities have flourished during lockdown – the residents of Kingswood and Hazel Leys in Corby have been busy writing poetry for a book to be published in the autumn, Corby Community Arts have delivered creativity packs directly to the doors of local families,... Read More »

  • Reflections on a Northamptonshire Lockdown part 2

    23rd June 2020

     …A green of all colours, yellow brown and dark grey While the footpath all darkly goes winding away… John Clare   Thanks for all the positive feedback for my previous post.  I have succumbed to the walking bug several times since then and my enthusiasm for the county’s many surprises continues to grow! Our canal paths offer the walker a whole new side of life, not only things not seen before but also completely different angles on landscapes and places otherwise familiar.  Lockdown has pretty well paralysed the leisure industry and apart from the small band of permanent boat-dwellers, users of canal amenities have been few.  Busy locks, normally accompanied by the sound of rushing water, are silent and the system has been calm and still, left to the natural world. One expedition, tracking up the Leicester arm of the Grand Union brought me to the flight of seven locks at Watford.&nbsp... Read More »

  • Local is for life, not just for lockdown

    19th June 2020

    Fast forward to Christmas and the conversation over the turkey is unlikely to be stuffed with many good things to have come out of the current crisis. However, if there’s one positive to have emerged, it is surely the surge in demand for buying local, as customers have switched crowded supermarkets for smaller independent shops and producers. Now, as the lockdown rules are relaxed further, the team behind the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards, the annual competition run by the sector, for the sector, is urging consumers to remember those county bakers and brewers, pie and pickle-makers  – and the local venues that stock them - who have stepped up to the plate to best serve their communities when they were most needed. Among those to have gone above and beyond, ensuring that their virtual shelves have been packed with some of the county’s fabulous food and drink, is The Good Loaf in Northampton,... Read More »

  • Nassington Circular walk

    19th June 2020

    This week’s walk (7.7 miles) is in the far eastern part of the county and includes a visit to a rather special monument. It takes in some of Northamptonshire’s most beautiful woodland and countryside so listen out for some great birdsong. We heard a fabulous cuckoo… We start at the church in the lovely village of Nassington, which has existed since Anglo Saxon times, before passing into open meadow with wild flowers and butterflies.  The route then enters Old Sulehay Forest, part of the ancient Rockingham Forest, a former royal hunting forest. From here we move into Croker Wood to finally emerge on a bridleway through Kings Cliffe Industrial Estate that will take us to the monument. Hidden away in a corner of the forest is the concrete floor of a former World War II aircraft hanger and at one end is a plinth marking the exact spot where American Big Band Leader, Glenn Miller conducted his orchestra in their... Read More »

  • Farm Shops & Delis Now Open

    18th June 2020

    We are liaising with Made in Northamptonshire to bring you up to date news of the county’s wonderful farm shops and delis, now open and at the centre of our 'shop local’ revolution. If you have details to add or update please email: [email protected] Business Town Ashley Farm Shop Ashley Beckworth Emporium Mears Ashby Bell Plantation Towcester Bliss Lane Nursery & Farm Shop Flore Bosworth Garden Centre Burton Latimer Canal Turn Farm Shop Whilton Creaton Village Shop Creaton Daily Bread Co-operative Ltd Northampton Dovecote Buttery and Farm Shop Newton Glebe Farm Kettering Hamm Tun Fine Foods Long Buckby Limes Farm Farthinghoe MIN Onlyne Local produce online New Creation Farm Nether Heyford New... Read More »

  • Appeal launched to save Wicksteed Park as company calls in administrators

    18th June 2020

    Appeal launched to save Wicksteed Park as company calls in administrators and is left “devastated” by job losses The Wicksteed Charitable Trust, which owns Wicksteed Park, has launched a fundraising appeal in a bid to save the park in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Wicksteed Park is the oldest theme park on the UK mainland and one of the oldest in the world. It is owned by Wicksteed Charitable Trust but has been run by a wholly-owned subsidiary company, Wicksteed Park Ltd. Wicksteed Park Ltd has been unable to avoid going into administration, with the loss of 48 permanent staff and 67 part-time and other jobs, due to the huge financial strain caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Backed by the Wicksteed Charitable Trust a small group of employees has formed a new company, much reduced in size, to try and safeguard the future of the park. The decision to call in administrators comes after the government announced... Read More »

  • Farmers Markets

    12th June 2020

    We are liaising with friends all around the county to bring you up to date details of the county’s brilliant, open air weekly and monthly markets. If you have a market to add please email: [email protected] Town When Timings Brackley Weekly, Friday 8am to 2pm. Higham Ferrers Monthly, last Saurday of the month. 9am to 1pm. Oundle Monthly, second Saturday of the month. 8am to 2pm. Thrapston First Saturday of each month (not in January). 9am to 1pm. Towcester Monthly, second Friday of the month. 9am to 1.30pm. Read More »

  • Althorp and the Bringtons

    12th June 2020

    This week’s walk is a 4.5 mile stroll across glorious countryside and takes in two of Northamptonshire’s most beautiful villages, together with the opportunity of a great view of one of our most well-known stately homes, Althorp. We start outside the church in Great Brington which, once it’s open to visitors again, welcomes visitors with open arms, and contains the Spencer family chapel, where nineteen generations of the family are interred. From here we enter the centre of the village by one of two excellent hostelries on this walk…The Althorp Coaching Inn (well worth a visit for refreshments – again when open). The walk now leaves the village across undulating farmland as it heads towards Little Brington. There’s an opportunity to see lots of flora and fauna and, if you encounter another soul, you’ll be unlucky! Little Brington is another lovely village and, when it’s open, you&rsquo... Read More »

  • Open Air Market in Brackley 

    9th June 2020

    It was last Friday, around midday, when I walked slowly along with heaps of fruit and vegetables piled up on either side. Basket in hand I dropped into it a fat, mat-green spring cabbage, a bundle of tort asparagus and another of astringent rocket, then my eye was caught by early peaches on the other side and the piled up early cherries with the anticipation of that sweet-sour taste. No not a meander in a Provencal market but at our very own one in Brackley. Here were also bunches of new carrots, baubles of radishes, lozenge shaped shallots and this year's garlic with tidily gathered herbs lying near the till. The assistant was help itself finding a cardboard box to put everything in which was not already wrapped in a brown paper bag; no plastic here. Whilst paying I noticed some raspberries and thought to buy some as well. I quickly added them to the pile of shopping only... Read More »

  • Reflections on a Northamptonshire Lockdown

    8th June 2020

    The one delicious green that now pervades The woods and fields in endless lights and shades… How clever of John Clare, ‘the Northamptonshire poet’, to capture such images of the county’s countryside exactly 200 years ago.  And for those of us lucky enough to have remained healthy during Corona Virus lockdown, what a revelation our daily local excursions into that countryside have been. The restrictions we have lived with have brought opportunities as well, especially for those in rural locations.  Since February some sparkling weather has prompted many people to get out for their fresh air around the ample network of footpaths and byways offered by Northamptonshire.  Rights of way are generally well marked and a variety of stiles and kissing gates help keep you on your route.  They can lead you to stunning views across picturesque farmland, unexpected quiet nooks and woodland teeming with... Read More »

  • Another helping of superheroes!

    6th June 2020

    ‘Not all superheroes wear capes’ – so the saying goes – and you certainly need look no further than the county’s food and drink sector to see a wealth of community champions helping in the fight against COVID-19 who would give any Marvel comic strip character a run for their money. So it is that, while the coronavirus outbreak has put paid to their usual competitive format, the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards are not only continuing to act as a business support hub for the sector, but are also celebrating those who are responding to the ongoing challenges by becoming vital, if impromptu, local food heroes.  Among them is James Peck of Burnt Lemon Chefs in Northampton, runner-up in the ‘Chef of the Year’ category in last year’s Awards, who, with fellow ‘New Local Drink’ finalist Benjamin Jelley of Jelley Distilleries at Brixworth, has created a social isolation... Read More »

  • Supporting our local food heroes

    5th June 2020

    Over the last six years, local breakfast giant Weetabix has supported the celebration of some of our most passionate foodies through its sponsorship of the ‘Local Food Hero’ category in the county’s prestigious annual sector competition. Now, as headline sponsor of the ‘Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards’, that role has become all the more crucial as the company not only helps to support sector businesses facing the toughest of challenges, but also honours those which, through their impressive responses to the crisis, have become stalwarts of their communities.  Weetabix Food Company Marketing Director, Francesca Theokli, says recognition of our heroes is vital and indeed, while the awards may currently be operating very differently from their usual format, the company’s commitment to the competition is unwavering: “The Awards were launched twelve years ago to help support... Read More »

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