About Northamptonshire


“There’s a county near forgotten in the centre of this land…

A county that is often dismissed in a manner so off hand. It has no famous gorges, or massive scenic mound

Just quiet green fields & woodland with a beauty so profound. A green & rolling landscape with gentle hills is all we share, but the leafy tree-lined country lanes have a quality so rare

“A reservoir to visit on a Sunday after tea…while the river Nene drifts slowly through on its journey to the sea. The villages the Nene flows past so picturesque & clean…their beauty’s such to be believed, they really must be seen

Thorpe Waterville, Pilton, Wadenhoe to name but just a few. All villages steeped in history, if all their past we only knew

They talk of Kent’s pure gardens and of cathedral’s ornate spires. But in my heart none can compare with Northamptonshire…Rose of all the Shires”

(David Garrett, Kettering)

Northamptonshire begins less than 60 miles north of our capital, London, its eastern edge laying 15 miles from Cambridge & it’s south western 16 miles from Oxford

Looking at the shape of the County on a map, most people seem to think it looks like a ‘diving seal’, plunging into the Cotswolds in the south west, its tail flapping in the Fens in the North East & one flipper sticking into Buckinghamshire

It’s whole length follows a belt of limestone stretching from Dorset, up through the Cotswolds to Lincolnshire & the Wash. Much quarrying has therefore taken place in the County over the years & many of the villages were built from stone harvested near them. Much of the limestone also contains ironstone, hence the golden appearance of the cottages

The County is also famous for its boot & shoe industry &, although many of the smaller factories no longer exist, Northamptonshire’s hand-made shoes are famed all over the world. Indeed we are the home of “Kinky Boots”!!

We that live here like to keep Northamptonshire secret….most people just pass through one of the most beautiful counties in England on the M1 without bothering to stay for a while…you don’t know what you’re missing &, whilst this site is chiefly about walking, it  would be wrong not to share what you can find.

Known as the county of ‘spires, squires & mires’ it’s said that Northamptonshire has more stately homes that any other county & we’ve referenced several on the ‘Spires & Squires’ tab

Northamptonshire is also a county for sporting enthusiast, whether it be Northampton Saints; Grand Prix racing; Northamptonshire County Cricket; Northampton Town FC; Towcester Racecourse

The County is home to some of the most beautiful countryside in England with miles of walks across fields, country parks, canals & acres of ancient woodland – no wonder dogs love our county

For more information on visiting Northamptonshire – things to do, places to stay, what’s here and what’s on- visit www.northamptonshiresurprise.com

Please enjoy our little blog, which has grown out of all proportion since we started it many years ago. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & twitter by clicking on the links on the home page

The blog also contains walks that we have done outside of Northamptonshire, including all over the world! If you have any walks you’d like us to include please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Go Walk!


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