As much as we try to get away to different parts of our beautiful country, the truth is that the places we visit over and over again are a little closer to home. This is especially true since becoming parents earlier this year. As much as I love the Lakes and the Peak District, not to mention some of the coastal trips we’ve done, the places that I truly love are in my home county of Northamptonshire.
Here are a few of my favourites.
1. Summer Leys Nature Reserve
I love Summer Leys, it’s a little gem just on the outskirts of Wellingborough. It’s mostly hard standing paths (there is just one patch that gets muddy in the winter) around flooded gravel pits that provide an oasis for a variety of wildlife. We went a couple of weeks ago and loved sitting in a hide watching a variety of birds feeding. It’s usually quiet and parking is free.
Top Tip: For a longer walk from Summer Leys, follow the Nene Way footpath for a couple of miles or so to Irchester Country Park
Harlestone is another favourite, it’s so close to Northampton, yet it’s a great place to escape to and enjoy a few minutes peace. It can be busy as walkers, runners, mountain bikers and horse riders all share the same space, yet I love going there and getting away from it all.
Top Tip: It’s a great place to go to enjoy the Autumn colours, as shown by the above photo taken a couple of weeks ago.
3. Badby Woods
Top Tip: Why not carry on through Fawsley Park and enjoy views across the countryside. The hamlet of Fawsley, with it’s church and hall (now a country hotel) is also worth stopping by.
4. Everdon Stubbs
Ok, so it’s another woodland walk, and it’s another childhood favourite of mine, but I make no apologies for that. The Stubbs are a beautiful backdrop for a walk. The villages of Everdon, Little Everdon and the hamlet of Snorscombe are also worth a look if you’ve got time.
Top Tip: Head here in the spring for a truly stunning display of bluebells
5. Stanwick Lakes
Stanwick is another favourite. There is an impressive visitor centre, outdoor activities for all the family, not to mention a fantastic adventure playground and cafe.
Top Tip: Stanwick is a great place to go in the winter. The paths are pushchair/wheelchair accessible all year round, plus parking is cheaper Nov-Feb!
Do you have a favourite local walk or place you visit time and time again?