48 hours in Northamptonshire - What to do on a weekend in Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire is a county often over shadowed by its more well known neighbours but it is a real hidden gem. A brilliant combination of town life and country living. The town itself dates back to the Bronze Age, with a rich, more modern history as the shoe capital of the world. Clues of which can be seen all over the county town of Northampton.
A weekend in Northamptonshire is easily filled, and importantly, is easy to get to! Being in the middle of the country, Northamptonshire (or Northants as it is often known) is easily accessible by train with great links to Birmingham. It also has great links to the capital with London Euston around an hours train ride away. Northamptonshire is also easy to get to for drivers on the M1, so no matter where you are, a 48 hours in Northamptonshire is easily accessible.
You really are really spoilt for choice in Northamptonshire as it is such a diverse county. Whether you enjoy spa retreats, trendy bars or the muddy British outdoors, 48 hours in Northamptonshire will have something to offer you.
Friday afternoon at Rushden Lakes
I would recommend beginning your 48 hours in Northamptonshire by visiting Rushden Lakes. This is an amazing complex where you can eat, shop, explore and play. It is also AccessAble audited with 47 accessible bays and step-free access to all stores.
Rushden Lakes is set within the Nene Wetlands Nature Reserve which is a beautiful place to explore on foot or by bike with their cycle tracks, plus our four legged friends are welcome, as long as they are on a lead.
Rock Up is also available at Rushden Lakes. From toddler rock climbing to the 8m climbing wall for adults, the whole family can have fun here. There are also child and adult Autism and SEN sessions available, where the music is turned off and fewer climbers allowed to create a calmer atmosphere.
If outdoor pursuits are more your thing, then from April to September Canoe2 offers canoe hire from 2 hours to full days.
If that all sounds a bit exhausting there are many coffee shops and restaurants to stop off at and The Terrace offers cocktails overlooking the beautiful lake.
Friday evening at Rushton Hall Hotel and Spa
Having had a fun packed afternoon at Rushden Lakes head over to your hotel for the night. The completely luxurious Rushton Hall Hotel and Spa. Northamptonshire has more stately homes than any other county so why not really enjoy this by staying at Rushton Hall which is a grade one listed building set in 16th Century surroundings.
With a dinner, bed and breakfast offer, The 1593 Brasserie is an incredible place to dine. With a huge fire, dark wood interior and grilled pork chop on the menu you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the medieval age but with all the modern and decadent luxuries.
After filling your belly, head up to your beautiful room for the night each individually styled. Rushton Hotel and Spa also have accessible bedrooms on the ground floor with a walk-in shower that is suitable for wheelchair access, secure handrails and a safety alarm.
Saturday morning at Harlestone Firs
Depending on how much you indulged the night before you might want to spend the morning enjoying the wonderful spa facilities on offer at Rushton Hall. However, if you’re well rested from your luxurious stay, get up early and head to Harlestone Firs.
You wouldn’t think this amazing woodland was only 10 minutes from the centre of Northampton. The best place to park is on the road outside the garden centre, opposite to the woods. From here you’ll be able to see the entrance. However, do be careful here, especially if you have little ones or excited dogs as the road is very fast!
Harlestone Firs covers 300 acres so you can spend as long or as little time here as you like. You can also stick to the purpose built pathways or go a little more off the beaten track.
Exploring this beautiful area is a haven for families, four legged friends, cyclists and even horse lovers as there is a bridle path.
Saturday lunchtime in Beckworth Emporium
After working up an appetite exploring the great outdoors, head over the gorgeous Beckworth Emporium for lunch.
Beckworth Emporium have a wonderful new restaurant called In The Glasshouse which is a light, airy and beautifully botanical space. Their light lunches are served from 11.30 to 4.30 and have such a brilliant range of vegan, gluten free, dairy free food with options for the meat eaters too!
After a light lunch you can look round the beautiful garden centre and if you have specific questions, the team is on hand to help, led by Horticulture Nursery Manager Jon who has over 25 years experience and amazing horticultural knowledge. Also at their Food Emporium you can find many local suppliers and help support small businesses.
Saturday afternoon at The Eccentric Englishman
The Eccentric Englishman is the new quirky place on St. Giles Street run by Lord and Lady Muck! With a Mad Hatter’s tea party theme and Phileas Fogg vibes this is a truly unique place.
They offer Tiddley Teas, a cocktail menu with drinks named after celebrities linked to Northamptonshire including The Alan Carr!
Here you can have a wonderful afternoon tea or a Squiffy Scoundrels Picnic which includes a sandwich, pork pie, scotch egg and beverage. All served in a picnic basket!
All this is made even better by gaining 20% discount if you’re going to the theatre (or work there) just show your ticket for your money off!
Saturday evening at The Royal and Derngate
After having an early dinner at The Eccentric Englishman just walk down the street to The Royal and Derngate for an evening of theatre, music or comedy. A renowned regional theatre with many plays starting here and transferring to the West End.
You are always in for a great night here or at their sister venue The Core at Corby Cube is also a great, lesser known performance space. After a great evening head back to Rushton Hotel and Spa for another restful night’s sleep.
Sunday morning at York Cottage Spa
After a busy 48 hours in Northamptonshire have a lazy morning and scrumptious breakfast at Rushton Hotel and Spa, check out and head over to Bozeat and a real hidden gem – York Cottage Spa.
You can hire this incredible place to yourself and your group. York Cottage Spa exclusive day hire includes: 6 person hot tub, sauna, lounge areas, plus refreshments all day and 30 minute AromaTouch Treatment each!
A real haven in the Northamptonshire countryside and a beautiful way to end your 48 hours in Northamptonshire.