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Things to do in Northampton

Published on: 01/02/2024

Fun Activities for the Whole Family

Northampton is a lively town situated in the heart of England. Packed full of thrilling activities and rich cultural experiences, Northampton is a fantastic destination for families, young people, and adults. From adventure-packed activities, historical and cultural explorations to delectable food and drink establishments, Northampton has something for everyone.

Fresh Family adventures

Go Ape Salcey

Boy in red on go ape treetiop adventure zip line

 

Get ready to swing through the trees and zip through the sky at Go Ape Salcey, our newest high ropes adventure course!

Located just 7 miles from Northampton's centre, there are two exciting high ropes experiences in store for kids.

Treetop Adventure is an hour of exhilarating tree top fun, with three loops of increasingly daring obstacles! The initial low loop empowers participants to bolster their confidence. Loops two and three, suspended high in the canopy, feature tree-to-tree crossings and obstacles, finishing with the super-fast, super-exciting zip wire.

Treetop Adventure Plus isn't just an experience, it's a thrilling step up from Treetop Adventure. Meticulously designed for young adventurers standing tall at 1.2m and above, aged over 6 years. This is also one of the first standalone Treetop Adventure Plus course, completely separate from our Treetop Adventure course.

Book now, Go Ape Salcey Forest is set to be the hottest ticket in town!

Four person family in Salcey Forest, Northampton

 

Photo credit: Forestry England 

Salcey Forest

Make a day of it at Salcey Forest, after completing your Go Ape adventure! Managed by Forestry England, Salcey Forest offers miles of trails for walking, cycling, and horseback riding, amidst a tapestry of ancient woodland and wildlife habitats.

Explore waymarked trails, ranging from gentle paths suitable for all ages to more challenging hikes for experienced walkers. Plus, little ones can scramble and slide to their hearts content in the children’s play area. Bring along a picnic or treat yourself at the Grounds Café & Roastery.

So, lace up your walking shoes, pack your sense of adventure, and step into this timeless wonderland.

Abington Park

Abington Park is one of Northampton's oldest and most beloved green spaces, offering a natural escape for anyone seeking relaxation, recreation, or a glimpse into the past.

Unwind with a picnic beneath the shade of ancient trees, wander along lake-side peaceful pathways, or challenge yourself on the tennis courts.

History enthusiasts will appreciate the Abington Park Museum, which is housed in a 500-year-old manor house and details the town's fascinating past.

Rookery Open Farm

A whole barnyard of fun awaits at Rookery Open Farm! A charming blend of rural play and farmyard encounters, this is an entertaining and educational family day out.

Introduce your little ones to birds, donkeys, alpacas, chickens, turtles and much more on this commercial sheep farm. Or let them loose on purpose-built indoor and outdoor play areas, featuring everything from a three-storey soft play frame to swings, slides, and go-karts.

With its focus on animal interaction and imaginative play, Rookery Open Farm promises a delightful day out for the whole family.

Pitsford Water

Nestled amidst the rolling hills of Northamptonshire, Pitsford Water, has something for everyone from outdoor lovers to wildlife enthusiasts.

This picturesque nature reserve is a bird-watchers paradise and is teeming with life, from a wide range of wildfowl to elusive otters.

Anglers can cast their lines and try their luck while adrenaline seekers can take to the water on paddleboards or kayaks. For those keen to hit the water, the Pitsford Water Fishing Lodge is your starting point for boats, permits, tackle and tuition.

After a day of exploration, relax at the Pitsford Waterside Cafe, enjoy a delicious meal with lake views, or unwind with a picnic on the grassy banks.

 

Photo credit: WTBCN 

Historical Places to visit in Northampton

Castle Ashby Gardens

The ancestral home of the 7th Marquess of Northampton, Castle Ashby Gardens, offers a captivating journey through time and nature.

Explore the elegant Italian Gardens and orangery or wander beneath the towering trees of the Arboretum. Uncover hidden gems like the Secret Gardens, bursting with colourful blooms, or visit the charming Menagerie, home to meerkats, marmosets, and other exotic creatures.

Delapré Abbey

Front of Delapré Abbey in Northampton

 

Credit: Chalk Original

Uncover 900-years of turbulent history at Delapré Abbey as you explore the ruins of the Cluniac nunnery, the elegant neo-classical mansion and wander through the thriving gardens.

Hike across the 500-acre parkland, a nationally protected Wars of the Roses battlefield, and imagine the clash of steel.

Relax in the tranquil Walled Garden, brimming with colourful blooms and fragrant herbs, or savour a delicious meal at the award-winning Hibiscus fine dining restaurant.

Cultural Discoveries in Northampton

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery

The Northampton Museum and Art Gallery is a fascinating day trip, home to a wide range of collections, including art, history and the largest collections of shoes and shoe heritage in the world!

The art collection includes works by British and international artists and the history collection tells the story of Northampton from its Roman origins to the present day.

 

Photo credit: Frasershot Studios

Royal and Derngate

Royal & Derngate is one the main venues for arts and entertainment in Northamptonshire, presenting a wide range of musicals, drama, dance, comedy and music. It also produces its own acclaimed theatre productions which tour nationally.

Its two-screen cinema, Northampton Filmhouse, presents the best in world, independent, British and mainstream film.

The Old Savoy

The Old Savoy in Northampton is a cultural hub, historical landmark, and vibrant venue. Originally built in 1930 as the Savoy Cinema, it’s had multiple identities as a cinema, bingo hall, and now is a restored Art Deco gem. Today, it hosts diverse performances, from large-scale productions to comedy nights, and serves as a community hub offering educational programs, workshops, and activities.

Unique Food and Drink Experiences in Northampton

Northamptonshire is known for its diverse culinary scene, featuring traditional British dishes and local specialities.

There are an array of dining experiences, from quirky themed eateries to fine dining establishments. Enjoy a meal in a historic building or dine with panoramic views of the town.

Northampton food market at night

Northampton Market

The bustling Northampton Market offers a vibrant slice of history and local charm. Step into a world of colourful stalls brimming with fresh produce, regional specialities and handcrafted treasures.

Chat with passionate traders, savour global flavours from street food vendors, and unearth unique gifts.

Start your forest adventure at Go Ape Salcey

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Young boy in red on Go Ape Treetop Adventure