GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Harlestone Firs Forest Walk

2 miles (3.3 km)

This circular walk visits the popular Harlestone Firsin Northamptonshire. The woods are located just a few miles north west of Northampton, near Dallington.
There's 300 acres to explore on a network of footpaths and bridleways. You can start the walk from the parking area near the Harlestone Heath Garden Centre on Harlestone Road. From here you can pick up footpaths heading east into the woods. The circular trail will take you across Harlestone Heath and Dallington Heath before returning to the car park. On the way you'll pass mainly fir trees and an old sawmill. There's also lots of wildlife with squirrels and woodland birds to look out for on the way. The route is designed for walkers but the area is also good for cycling with several mountain bike trails to try.

Postcode

NN7 4EW - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Harlestone Firs Forest Walk OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Harlestone Firs Forest Walk Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Pubs/Cafes

Just opposite the woods there's the Dobbies Garden Centre. In here you'll find a nice cafe serving a good range of meals and snacks. If you fancy a pub lunch then head into Lower Harlestone to visit the Fox and Hounds. The main draw here is a lovely country pub garden where you can sit outside on warmer days. Inside there's a warm and spacious interior serving great gastro pub food. You can find them just up the road from the woods at a postcode of NN7 4EW for your sat navs.

Dog Walking

As you'd imagine the woodland paths are ideal for dog walking so you'll probably bump into other owners on your visit. The Fox and Hounds pub mentioned above is also dog friendly.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

The area is owned by Lord Spencer's Althorp Estate.Near the woods you can visit Althorp House, the childhood home ofPrincess Diana. Here you can learn about 500 years of history and explore the beautiful grounds and gardens.
The epic Midshires Way passes through the woods, providing an opportunity to extend your walk. You could follow the trail east into Harleston village or north through the countryside to Church Brampton and Chapel Brampton. Here you could pick up the Brampton Valley Way and follow the rail trail along the Northampton and Lamport Railway. The expansive Pitsford Reservoir can also be reached just to the east of the trail.
Head a few miles south into Northampton and there's good waterside walking opportunities along the Grand Union Canal and the Nene Way.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Northamptonshire Walks page.

Photos

Footpath through Harlestone Firs - geograph.org.uk - 261648

Footpath through Harlestone Firs

Harlestone Firs - geograph.org.uk - 208433

Trail through the Woodlands owned and managed by the estate of Lord Spencer (the current Earl being the younger brother of the late Princess Diana).

The Midshires Way - geograph.org.uk - 208443

The Midshires Way. This section of the path is through Harlestone Heath.

Princess Diana's Island, Althorp - geograph.org.uk - 50660

Princess Diana's Island, Althorp. The house and park are just to the north west of the woods and make a nice extension to your outing.

Harlestone Heath Garden Centre - geograph.org.uk - 1515063

Harlestone Heath Garden Centre

Video

GPS Files

GPX File

Harlestone Firs Forest Walk.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Harlestone Firs Forest Walk.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)