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Northampton destination guide

Why go to Northampton?

Archaeological evidence suggests there have been settlements here since the Bronze Age, and today Northampton is proud of its colourful past. Admire Gothic buildings in the town centre, or go further afield to visit the county’s 22 stately homes. Grand historical sites include Lady Diana Spencer’s former abode Althorp, and Rockingham Castle, commissioned by William the Conqueror. There is a 900-year history of shoe-making here and, today, classic brands like Dr Marten and Crockett & Jones offer excellent discounts in their local shoe factories.  

  • the city’s most photogenic sight is the 19th century Guildhall on St Giles Square
  • look out for carvings of characters from Aesop’s fables. a country retreat in the centre of town, the 900-year-old Delapre Abbey opens to the public for the first time in 2017
  • home to the Silverstone race track, this is the UK hub for motor sports. A whopping 80% of the world’s Formula One cars are made here
  • brush up on your knowledge of brogues at the shoe museum. originally designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the restored house at 78 Derngate is an award-winning attraction.
  • from Tuesday to Saturday, one of the UK’s longest running markets is held in the Market Square.  

Places to eat, drink and shop

Foodies Rocks

Where to eat

Foodies Rocks, 19-21 Derngate

Delve into street food dishes from around the globe at this trendy, vegan-friendly restaurant. Go downstairs to visit the art gallery, or pick up a book to read with your meal.  

Hot tip: Stay late (until 11pm) for cocktails and table football matches.  

Cost of food: Dishes £5 (order 2-3 per person)

Cost of drink: Beers £3.50.

 

Wheatsheaf

Where to drink

The Wheatsheaf, 126 Dallington Road

Sink into large leather Chesterfields scattered with Union Jack cushions in this proudly patriotic gastro pub. Spirits, beers and even soft drinks are largely from local suppliers.  

Hot tip: Stay for a superb dinner in the smart dining room.  

Cost of drink: Beers from £3.40

Cost of food: Mains from £10.50

Giles Cheese shop

Where to shop

St Giles Cheese

A runner-up in the UK British cheese awards, this shop was set up by a local couple keen to showcase Northampton’s great array of cheeses.  

Hot tip: Ask to sample a piece of the Cobblers Nibble.