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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 a large country residence on the site of the golf club, thought to be the inspiration for Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and demolished in 1940. The impressive stables remain, and were developed for housing in the late 1990s.

From here the walk passes through wonderful Harlestone Firs, one of Northamptonshire’s most beautiful woodlands and somewhere you could easily spend half a day exploring.

Coming out of the woods, we cross the fields and an old sandstone quarry from where small blocks were used as ‘donkey stone’, which was used to clean doorsteps in the industrial north.

Finally, we walk down the hill back to Upper Harlestone once more.

It’s a fabulous walk that’s suitable for the whole family so just click on the following link to get the full details:

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