Are you visiting Northamptonshire and looking for natural places to see during your stay? Or are you wondering where to take the kids out to have a family fun day together at the weekend? Without a doubt, getting close to nature is a wonderful thing to do. It can help us unwind, as well as appreciate the natural world around us.
Nature and country parks are a great way to do this, there are many beautiful and relaxing nature spots in Northamptonshire. Here we focus on 7 of the best.
1- Coton Manor Gardens
This garden dates back to the 1920s and was laid out by the grandparents of the current owner. Since then the garden has been maintained and further developed by successive generations.
If you were to explore Coton Manor Gardens, you’ll discover the 17th-century manor house which is one of the central focuses of the garden. Its walls are surrounded by many roses and shrubs as well as many colourful pots and containers that surround the terraces.
What’s more, you can also see some Flamingos there, this is a nice surprise for you if you are into wildlife. Click the link below to find out more about the Coton Manor Gardens.
2- Stanwick Lakes
This 750-acre countryside attraction and nature reserve is located right in the heart of Northamptonshire’s Nene Valley. You will find plenty of open spaces that both walkers and cyclists can enjoy. There are also some creative play areas set out within the trail. On top of this, you have a cafe, shop, and a function space that hosts events.
This is one of our favourite places to go with the kids, there are many things you can do at the Stanwick lakes, such as Adventure Trail, Arts and Crafts (check before you go), Bird Watching, Fishing, Cycling and more. Pack yourself a picnic as You really can spend the whole day here, kids will love the adventure playground.
It’s worth checking the opening time and parking fees before you travel there, make sure to get there early during the peak time on school holidays, as it gets very busy and you may not be able to drive in the lake. See links below for more info on Stanwick lake.
3- Abington Park
This is Northampton’s oldest park, and likely the most popular. You will find the famous Abington Park Museum, a massive children’s playground, a cafe, lakes, and wonderful flower displays.
Don’t miss the Abington Park Museum If you are a history fan, the museum is situated inside the historical 500-year-old Manor House, there are many wonderful collections to browse, from military photographs and badges to old items in domestic life. However, do check the opening time before you go as the museum only open from March to October. Find out more on the links below.
4-Castle Ashby Gardens
Now here are some gardens that are steeped in history. Castle Ashby is the ancestral home of the 7th Marquess of Northampton. In the heart of a 10,000-acre estate, there are 35 acres of extensive gardens that highlight multiple styles such as the Italian Gardens area or the breath-taking Arboretum.
This beautiful, and fascinating attraction also offers a plant centre, tearoom, gift shop, children’s play area, and a menagerie. Castle Ashby Gardens open all year round, but it’s worth checking out the opening time and the entrance tickets before travelling. See the links below for more info.
5- Sywell Country Park
Sywell Country Park is situated in the village of Sywell and on the site of a former drinking water reservoir in East Northamptonshire. It was a working reservoir between 1906 and 1979 to supply water to Higham Ferrers and Rushden areas, but now is a Country Park open to the public.
If you love walking, Sywell Country Park is a great place to go. It’s about two and a half miles long of the walk around the reservoir, takes approximately an hour and a half to finish the walk which is excellent for some exercise. More to this, walkers will love walking around the Pinetum and reservoir where they can also see bird hides and explore lengthy trails and nature patches. It’s also good for dog walking.
This country park also includes a butterfly garden. If you get close to the bushes you will soon see a lovely collection of pretty bugs as you take in the aromatic smells of the herbs growing nearby. As well as a cafe that serves a range of food types, this park also has a fishing area and some themed play areas for children.
For more info on the opening times and parking, click the links below to find out more.
6-Brixworth Country Park
Not only does the Brixworth Country Park give you access to walk around the Pitsford Reservoir, but you can also take a walk along what is known as ‘the little grey men trail.’ Next, you can explore the woods and meadows making for a lovely fresh and calming walk. Look out for wildlife-themed brass rubbing posts that are scattered about whilst on your travels.
There are a toddler’s playground and an adventure play area for children to run off some steam. Cycling is welcome here; if you can’t bring your bike, you can also visit the Rutland Cycling for bike hiring and go round the circuit around Pitsford water. Check out the links below for more info.
7-Pitsford Reservoir & Pitsford Water Park
The final entry on our list is a water park. Pitsford Reservoir not only brings water resources for the region and is also a great place for a family day out.
This water park allows for the usual lovely rambling spots as well as areas to fish. But you also get parts of the park devoted to sailing, and the opportunity to participate in various water sports. There is a marked out hard-surfaced seven-mile waterside track to follow, which you can tackle at your own pace and ability.
Check out this little Map from the Anglian Water park website here: https://anglianwaterparks.co.uk/sites/default/files/maps/pitsford.pdf
Click the links below for more information about Pitford Reservoir.
And that concludes our look at 7 of the best nature and country parks in Northamptonshire. Some of these you may have already visited and some of them will be discoveries to you. Either way, these are trails that definitely warrant multiple visits, so we are sure you look forward to attending one of Northamptonshire’s great parks in the near future.
There are much more other fun and interesting places to see within Northamptonshire, we have included a link to the TripAdvisor website here so you can have a look, and maybe check out the reviews and decide where is the best choice for your next family day out.