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Northampton Mini Guide
Tell me About Northampton
Northampton is a market town in the East Midlands, England. It is 108km north of London
and 80km south east of Birmingham
. The rail link and motorway to London have made it popular for commuters. The town used to be well known for the manufacture of boots and shoes, until engineering took over as the main industry. Today, only two specialist shoemakers remain in the town.
How can I get There?
The town is easily accessible by car, using the M1 from London or the M6 from Birmingham. Rail services are also available from these cities. National Express provides long distance coach services to most towns in England. From further afield, you can also fly into Birmingham or Luton Airport
. You can use the local bus service to get around the town from Greyfriars Bus Station.
What is There to see?
Northampton has a number of listed buildings you can see. 78 Derngate is a Georgian townhouse, with the interior designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, his only commission outside of Scotland
. For something completely different see the National Lift Tower, nicknamed Northampton Lighthouse as it is a dominant feature in the town and a long way from the sea!
What Else can I do?
Take a trip to Abington Park, walk through the gardens and see how the locals used to live, at the museum. There is also a costume collection on display there. If you are interested in the town’s history you can visit the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, there is a shoe collection with footwear from around the world and you can find out about the history of shoes. Want to shop? In the centre of town you will find the Market Square where there is a traditional market held most days, some days specialising in antiques or art, find all your bargains there.
What About Night Time?
You can go and see the latest production at the Derngate or Royal Theatre on Guildhall Road or if you like world cinema and art-house films, go to the Forum. Alternatively if you want to see live music, head for The Roadmender, a local music venue for touring bands.
Does the Town Have any Special Events?
The Riverside Festival is held in August celebrating the River Nene that runs through the town. At Becket’s Park you can take a boat trip or try water zorbing and watch the battle re-enactments or join in a craft workshop. Also in August look to the skies as the Northampton Balloon Festival is a spectacular sight.
- From the 13th to the 15th June you can enjoy a bit of culture at Althorp's Literary Festival. Tickets are £15 an event or £40 for the four daily events and you'll find yourself inspired, uplifted and better informed after you leave.