GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Rushden Lakes

5 miles (8 km)

This walk visits Rushden Lakes in the Nene Valley area of Northamptonshire. The area includes a series of pretty lakes, wetland nature reserves, nature trails and nice footpaths along the River Nene. It's an excellent area for birdwatchers with the Nene Valley now one of the most important wetlands in England gaining international recognition for its significance as a stop-over for thousands of wildfowl and waders that visit during the winter.
Start the walk at the entrance point at the eastern end of the lakes between Irthlingborough and Higham Ferrers. You can then follow the trails south west along the river to the lakes. The first section takes you through the Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows Nature Reserve where you can look out for Golden Plover and Gadwall.
At the western end you'll pass the Wildlife Discovery Centre where you can find out all about the variety of wildlife which visits the area. You'll also pass Higham Ferrers Riverside Park and Ditchford Lakes Nature Reserve where there's a water skiing lake. This reserve also has lakes in old gravel pits which are used by otters and wintering and breeding birds such asCetti's warblers,coots,oystercatchers andgrey herons. There are also areas of grassland and willow scrub to explore.
To continue your walking in the area simply head east and visit the adjacent Stanwick Lakes where there's more nice waterside trails. Part of this walk uses a section of the Nene Way. The waymarked long distance trail runs through the Nene Valley for over 100 miles. You could follow the trail west and visit Irchester Country Park near Wellinborough.

Rushden Lakes OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Rushden Lakes Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


There's lots of good options for refreshments on the walk. Bill's Rushden Lakes has a splendid outdoor seating area overlooking the water. They have a great menu and the views are superb.

Dog Walking

The lakes are dog friendly but please keep them on leads at all times. You may see dog bowls dotted around the complex as well.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

Head a few miles to the south west and you can visit the lovely Summer Leys Nature Reserve and the village of Great Doddington. There's some pretty lakes and lots of birds to see in this wildlife rich reserve.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby


The River Nene at Ditchford Lakes - June 2009 - panoramio

The River Nene at Ditchford Lakes

At Ditchford Lakes Nature Reserve - June 2009 - panoramio

At Ditchford Lakes Nature Reserve

Close-up of a Practice Ski Slope - - 268213

Close-up of a Practice Ski Slope. A feature of a Ski Club which provides facilities for water skiing on one of the Ditchford lakes.

Crossing the Meadows at Ditchford Lakes Nature Reserve - June 2009 - panoramio

Crossing the Meadows at Ditchford Lakes Nature Reserve

Lake Higham Ferrers - - 1577230

Lake Higham Ferrers

Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows - Corner Lake in Winter

View looking North across Corner Lake in December 2015. The top of the lantern tower of St. Peter's Church can be seen behind the trees.

Irthlingborough Lakes 7 - panoramio

Irthlingborough Lakes and bridge in the background

Irthlingborough Lakes 1 - panoramio

View of the nice surfaced footpath at Irthlingborough Lakes

GPS Files

GPX File

Rushden Lakes.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)