Walking Routes in Northamptonshire

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Grand Union Canal

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 Northamptonshire Walks
Route NamePicDistanceDescription
Around Corby31 miles (50 km)This is a delightful circualar walk which visits a number of pretty villages and parks around the town of Corby in Northamptonshire.
You start off at East Carlton Country Park on the edge of the Welland Valley and follow the path through a series of pretty villages including Wilbarston, Geddington, Great Oakley, Gretton, Rockingham, Stanion and Brigstock.
Walk highlights include a visit to the 17th century Elizabethan House at Kirby Hall. The Great Hall and state rooms are impressive as are the surrounding grounds of the estate.
Rockingham Castle is another major attraction on route. Built on the instruction of William the Conqueror, the castle's Great Hall and Long Gallery are particularly noteworthy, while the 18 acre gardens are also well worth exploring.
Battlefields Trail20 miles (32 km)This interesting walking trail links three of England's most significant Battlefields:
Edgcote (1469) in Northamptonshire
Cropredy Bridge (1644) in Oxfordshire
Edgehill (1642) in Warwickshire
It runs from Chipping Warden, Northamptonshire and ends in Kineton, Warwickshire, passing through some beautiful countryside along the way.
The first section of the walk takes you from Chipping Warden to Upper Wardington. On the way you will pass the site of the Battle of Edgecote Moor which was fought during the Wars of the Roses in July 1469. The battle pitted the forces of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, against those of King Edward IV.
From Upper Wardington you continue west to Warmington, passing Cropedy where the Battle of Cropredy Bridge was fought on 29th June 1644 between a Parliamentarian army under Sir William Waller and the Royalist army of King Charles. This section also includes views of the Oxford Canal and the River Cherwell.
The final section then runs from Warmington to Kineton, passing through the beautiful Edghill Country Park. The park is set in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and includes sixteen acres of mixed grass and primary Bluebell woodland. After passing through Ratley you soon come to the site of Battle of Edgehill. The battle was fought on Sunday, 23rd October 1642 and was the first pitched battle of the First English Civil War. Shortly after the walk then comes to at an end at the village of Kineton in Warwickshire.
The Battlefields Trust Website has a wealth of information on this route and the history of the Battlefields of Britain.
Brampton Valley Way14 miles (23 km)This walk and cycle trail runs from the outskirts of Northampton to Market Harborough along the trackbed of a disused railway line and NCN route 6. The route passes Brixworth, Maidwell and Great Oxendon with Brixworth Country Park just off the route. This is well worth a small detour as you will find the lovely Pitsford Water and cycle hire if needed.
As well as the beautiful rural scenery you will also pass Northampton & Lamport Railway with its old steam railway on this pleasant trail.
Brixworth Country Park11 miles (18 km)A circular cycle or walk around the expansive Brixworth Country Park in Northamptonshire. Pitsford Water Reservoir is the main feature of the park. It is the third largest reservoir in the UK and has a fabulous cycle and walking path running around the perimeter and a Nature Reserve at the northern end. There is also a sensory garden and a sculpture trail.
The route below visits the pretty villages surrounding the reservoir including Brixworth, Walgrave and Scaldwell. Cycle hire is available at the western end of the park and there is also a cafe for refreshments.
Daventry Country Park2 miles (3.5 km)Enjoy woodland, meadows and the lovely Daventry Reservoir on this waterside route in Northamptonshire. The southern part of the reservoir is a designated nature reserve with bird hides. There is also a delightful nature trail through the sensory garden to the pond, with useful information boards along the way.
The park has a Visitor Centre, fitness equipment and a cafe. It is located just north of Daventry town centre. The Grand Union Canal is only about 1/2 a mile from the park so you could continue the route along the towpath if you have time.
Grafton Way13 miles (21 km)Follow the Grafton Way from Wolverton , Milton Keynes to Greens Norton in Northamptonshire. The walk starts following the Grand Union Canal to Cosgrove before heading into the countryside and passing the villages of Yardley Gobion, Paulerspury and Towcester.
Grand Union Canal Walk145 miles (234 km)Follow the towpath of Britain's longest canal from London to Birmingham on this fabulous waterside walk. You start in West London in a lively and attractive area with canalside bars and restaurants, before heading towards the Chiltern Hills, on through rural Northamptonshire and Warwickshire and into the Birmingham suburbs. Highlights include
  • Little Venice - the start of the walk in West London with trendy bars/cafes and historical old factories and warehouses
  • Iron Trunk Aqueduct - a magnificent Georgian structure, which carries the Grand Union Canal over the River Ouse, connecting the villages of Cosgrove and Wolverton
  • Hatton Locks - located near Warwick, this flight delivers 21 locks in less than two miles
  • The Canal Museum - located at the lovely village of Stoke Bruerne the museum houses stories, films, collections and displays all about our waterways.
Harrold Odell Country Park3 miles (5 km)This park has two pretty lakes set in 144 acres of country park. It is located between Bedford and Northampton on the River Great Ouse near the villages of Harrold and Odell in Bedfordshire. You will find river meadows, a nature reserve, two picturesque lakes and a range of managed habitats. There is also free parking and refreshments in the Tea-Zels Cafe.
There are a number of well maintained walking paths around the lakes and through the nature reserve while cycling is permitted along the lakeside bridleway. The North Bedfordshire Heritage Trail also runs through the park so there is scope for continuing your walk if you have time.
Hereward Way110 miles (177 km)Starting in Oakham, in Rutland, follow the Herward Way through Stamford, Peterborough, Ely, and the Breckland forests to Thetford, in Norfolk.
Highlights on the walk include
  • Following the path around Rutland Water at the start of the route
  • The River Welland and Burghley Deer Park at Stamford
  • The section along the River Nene and through Ferry Meadows Country Park in Peterborough
  • Following the River Nene through March in Cambridgeshire
  • The magnificent Ely Cathedral and gardens
  • Following the Little Ouse River into Brandon
  • The final section through the Breckland Heaths and Forests

The walk is well waymarked with a yellow arrow featuring two swords.
Irchester Country Park2 miles (3.5 km)Enjoy numerous walking and cycling trails in this splendid country park in Wellingborough. The park has peaceuful woodland paths, open meadows and the interesting Irchester Narrow Gauge Railway Museum. There is also plenty of wildlife with Muntjac Deer, hedgehogs, stoats and squirrels.
The Nene Way walking trail also runs through the park so you can continue your walk to the River Nene if you have time.
Jurassic Way88 miles (141 km)This walk follows the Jurassic limestone ridge from Banbury to Stamford passing through Northamptonshire,Oxfordshire and Lincolnshire.
The walk includes a stretch along the Oxford Canal from Banbury and another waterside stretch along the Grand Union Canal near Braunston. You will also enjoy fine views of the River Welland as you approach Stamford.
The route passes through a series of picturesque towns and villages including Wardington, Catesby, Braunston, Ashby St Ledgers (with its impressive Manor House),West Haddon and Middleton.
Please use the links below for handy pdf guides to the walk.
Jurassic Way section 1
Jurassic Way section 2
Jurassic Way section 3
Knightley Way12 miles (19 km)Follow the Knightley Way from Badby to Greens Norton on this pleasant walk through Northamptonshire.
The walk begins in Badby and heads through Badby wood towards Fawsley Park and Fawsley Hall. This 15th century Hall and Landscape Park was created by the Knightley family and is now a hotel and restaurant. The path then continues through the countryside through Preston Capes and Farthingstone to Greens Norton.
Macmillan Way290 miles (467 km)This long distance path links Boston in Lincolnshire to Abbotsbury in Dorset. It is promoted to raise money for the charity Macmillan Cancer Relief.
The route starts from Boston and then runs across the Fens to Bourne before joining the limestone belt. You then head to Stamford and then along the shoreline of Rutland Water to Oakham. The trail then heads south and west via Warmington to Stow-on-the-Wold, then into the Cotswolds via Cirencester and Tetbury to Bradford-on-Avon. After leaving the Cotswolds you follow the path through Somerset passing Castle Cary before entering Dorset and the final section to Abbotsbury via Sherborne.
The route joins with other popular trails including the Viking Way at Oakham, the Thames Path National Trail near Thames Head and with the South West Coast Path towards the end of the route.
The Macmillan Way is well waymarked with a green and white disc.
Milton Keynes Boundary Walk63 miles (101 km)Enjoy rivers, canals, woodland and beautiful countryside on this walk around the boundary of Milton Keynes.
Nene Way109 miles (176 km)Follow the River Nene through the beautiful Nene Valley on this fabulous walk through Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.
Ouse Valley Way142 miles (229 km)Follow the River Great Ouse from the source at Brackley, Northamptonshire, to the mouth at The Wash at King's Lynn. You begin at Brackley and head to Buckingham, Milton Keynes, Olney, Bedford, St Neots, Huntingdon, St Ives, Ely, Downham Market before finishing at King's Lynn.
Oxford Canal Walk77 miles (124 km)Follow the Oxford Canal from Oxford to Coventry on this splendid waterside walk. You follow the towpath of the canal for the duration of the route meaning this is a fairly easy walk (providing you don't do at all at once!)
You will pass through Thrupp, Lower Heyford, Banbury, Cropredy, Braunston Turn and Rugby before finishing at Hawkesbury Junction in Coventry.
The peaceful south Midlands countryside, a series of pretty locks and several excellent canal side pubs make this walk a fantastic experience.
Shakespeare's Avon Way92 miles (148 km)This terrific waterside walk follows the River Avon from its source near Naseby to its confluence with the Severn at Tewkesbury.
Starting at Naseby in Northamptonshire the walk heads to Rugby, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Stratford upon Avon and Evesham before finishing at Tewkesbury. There are frequent waterside sections alongside the River Avon and also a section along the Grand Union Canal at Warwick.
The walk is well waymarked with a green and white disc featuring the head of Shakespeare.
Sywell Country Park3 miles (4.5 km)Follow the waterside path around the delightful Sywell Reservoir on this easy walk in Northamptonshire. The reservoir gets a variety of winged visitors and there are two bird hides to use. Look out for terns, swallows, and many different ducks and geese.
In the park you will find a small arboretum of exotic trees and a number of interesting Edwardian buildings. There is also an amphibian pond with a viewing boardwalk and a pretty butterfly garden.
The Swan's Way65 miles (105 km)The Swan's Way long distance bridleroute runs from Salcey Forest in the north to Goring on Thames in the south, a distance of 65 miles (105km). From the Northants border, the route crosses the Vale of Aylesbury to meet the Ridgeway near Princes Risborough and then follows the chalk slopes of the Chilterns to the Thames at Goring. It passes through varied countryside from beech woods on chalk scarp to low vales and ancient woodlands.
Please click here for more information on this route
The Three Shires Way37 miles (60 km)The Three Shires Way is a long distance bridleway which runs between Tathall End in north-east Buckinghamshire and Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire. The route traces the outline of ancient trackways and passes through a beautiful rural landscape. Along the way it skirts several small, historic villages, meanders through remnants of ancient woodland, and has many spectacular views.
The route is (sometimes) signposted with the Three Shires Way logo and officially runs for 37 miles, though it's nearer 39 miles long if starting/finishing at the Grafham Water Car Park. I'd recommend cycling north to south (unless faced by a strong south or south-west wind), hence : Start at Grafham Water Car Park, Cambs : TL166680 Finish at Tathall End, Milton Keynes : SP820468 A circular route around Grafham Water is also available, which extends the total distance to almost 47 miles. It passes through Easton, Spaldwick, Covington, Shelton, Yielden, Knotting, Lavendon and Emberton before arriving at Tathall End. It is generally a quiet rural route, much of it on clay and very muddy at certain times of the year. Some parts are classified as a 'Byway Open to All Traffic' or a 'Road Used as a Public Path' (generally open April to October), and are therefore legally accessible by motor vehicles. These tracks can be very rutted indeed; a notable example is Forty Foot Lane. Beware! See http://www.ldwa.org.uk/ldp/members/show_path.php?path_id=478
Note : Mapped on the 1:25,000 series Mark Worthington November 2008
Warwickshire Millennium Way100 miles (161 km)Follow the Millennium Way through the Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire countryside from Pershore to Middleton Cheney. The walk visits Stoulton, Inkberrow, Henley in Arden, Meriden, Kenilworth, Leamington Spa, Long Itchington, Chipping Warden before finishing at Middleton Cheney. The walk includes waterside stretches along the River Avon, the Grand Union Canal and the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal.
Walk Highlights include the National Trust owned Coughton Court. This Tudor house is situated on the River Avon and set in beautiful gardens with a collection of Catholic treasures.
At Lapworth you will find another splendid National Trust owned property in Packwood House. This 16th century Tudor house includes a delightful park and garden with notable topiary.
Also of interest is the magnificent ruined castle at Kenilworth (video below). The attraction includes a beautiful Elizabethan garden and a Strongtower with fantastic views over the surrounding countryside.
Westbury Circular Ride12 miles (19 km)This is a circular walk or cycle ride around Westbury in Buckinghamshire. Route highlights include Turweston Airfield and Biddlesden House and Park. The house occupies the site of a Cistercian Abbey, founded in 1147 and sits behind a small lake.
There's also some lovely countryside and views of the River Great Ouse to enjoy. The route mainly follows country lanes and bridleways so for cyclists a mountain bike or hybrid is required.





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