Unveiling Northamptonshire: Britain’s Best Surprise – A Hidden Gem of History, Culture, and Countryside Charm


Experience the enchanting allure of Northamptonshire, where Elizabethan mansions majestically grace romantic deer parks, and earls’ residences nestle amidst English farmland. Discover the essence of true countryside living, where Barbour and Dubarrys are the essential uniform for witnessing the thundering horses across cross-country courses and the adrenaline rush of Grand Prix cars whizzing through village circuits. If you seek a more relaxed escape, explore the serene long-distance walkways, leading you past royal hunting lodges and over scenic viaducts. Along the way, stumble upon understated towns with hidden farmers’ markets and classical cathedrals, or embark on a tranquil canal trip through this water-filled county, adorned with boating lakes and country park reservoirs.

Northamptonshire’s roots in history run deep, earning its reputation for impressive country houses and churches since the Norman period. It’s a place of spires and squires, boasting more stately homes than any other county and a treasure trove of beautiful historic churches. The 18th century witnessed a resurgence after the Great Fire of 1675, transforming Northampton into England’s shoemaking and leather capital. A testament to this prosperity is the Neo-Gothic Guildhall, a masterpiece from 1861-64.

Dive into the rich historical tapestry of Northampton, where the echoes of the past reverberate in the remnants of one of England’s largest Norman castles. The town was once the stage for Medieval Parliament sessions and royal residences. The countryside, adorned with plush manor houses and estates, offers a glimpse into the lavish past. Althorp, the residence of the Spencers since the 16th century and the final resting place of Diana, Princess of Wales, stands as a testament to timeless grandeur. Castle Ashby and Cottesbrooke Hall, still owned by ancient families, graciously open their magnificent gardens to visitors.

In Northampton, history intertwines with culture. Explore the captivating theatre scenes, music venues, and sports events in stunning cultural quarters. Discover the newly refurbished and extended Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, boasting the world’s largest collection of shoe heritage, a journey through time from Egyptian footwear to contemporary British design. Northampton is celebrated as the shoe-making capital of the world, producing footwear for James Bond and Prince Charles. Immerse yourself in vibrant shopping experiences, where independent shops coexist harmoniously with high street names, boutiques, cafes, and bars, all showcased in the market square with traditional local produce.

Nature enthusiasts will be delighted with Northamptonshire’s abundance of outdoor spaces, including award-winning parks and majestic country houses like Althorpe and Delapré Abbey, which open their doors to the public for a mesmerising experience. Sports enthusiasts can indulge in the town’s passion for sports, cheering for the Premiership rugby club Northampton Saints, Northampton Town Football Club, and Northamptonshire County Cricket Club. A visit to Silverstone circuit and Towcester Racecourse Greyhound track adds to the thrill.

Support the heart of Northampton by embracing its independent businesses. From restaurants to vintage stores, each one adds character and charm to the town’s vibrant atmosphere.

Uncover the best-kept secret of Britain, where history blends with modernity, creating a county unlike any other. Northamptonshire’s allure lies in its stunning countryside, historic houses, artisan craftsmanship, and rich cultural experiences. Explore this hidden gem, just one hour away from major cities like London, Birmingham, Oxford, and Cambridge. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, culture addict, or nature lover, Northamptonshire welcomes you with open arms and a delightful surprise at every turn. Plan your visit now and be captivated by Northamptonshire, Britain’s Best Surprise.

We look forward to welcoming many visitors to the 11th Global Healthy Workplace Awards & Summit taking place at the University of Northampton from 30th August – 1st September.

View our Quick Guide to Northamptonshire for information on accommodation and how to get here. 


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