Stoke Bruerne

We had to include Stoke Bruerne in this section as one of our favourite places in Northamptonshire – you just can’t leave it out

Stoke Bruerne is mentioned in the Domesday Book as “Stoche” meaning “an outlying farmstead or hamlet”. The form “Stokbruer” is used in 1254 being a suffix by the “Briwere” family of the Manor House. The village is fairly typical of this area of south Northamptonshire containing many traditional stone & thatched cottages. The village’s main claim to fame is its situation on the Grand Union Canal making it a favourite destination for tourists

Many people visit Stoke Bruerne & head towards the Blisworth Tunnel (nothing wrong with that), but today…forget it & head down the opposite side of the canal that very few people walk into the village’s country park. The map’s below…

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The signs say the car park of The Navigation Pub are for patrons only, but hey, you can have a shandy at the end so pop the car in here & head up to the canal itself

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Jump out of the car & head up to the canal side turning right past the pub…

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The view from the bridge is great…

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And that’s why painters can often be seen here…

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Like we said, this isn’t an official walk…just a stroll, but the cottages on the right including the Canal Museum are gorgeous…

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Over the road’s the magnificent The Boat Inn

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Will he get it through the lock Edna? Well I really don't know Elsie...

Will he get it through the lock Edna? Well I really don’t know Elsie…

If you want to visit the Blisworth Tunnel carry on up this path, but today we don’t. So…cross the canal bridge & head down the opposite side of the canal to The Navigation

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This side of the canal’s the one that most people ignore but it’s where you can get get your best photos from

We were slightly nervous passing the swan family…

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…before snapping this boat having passed through some of the locks

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So a little way on is the place that no-one knows about…Stoke Bruerne Pits Nature Reserve, the entrance to which is on the right…

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This is a cracking little Country Park, but do watch out for the cows…today they were hiding in deep undergrowth

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This reserve is an old brick works started after 1792 by the Grand Junction Canal Company to provide material for the canal locks, walls & the Blisworth Tunnel. The demise of the brickworks has left a site of considerable variety, with a reed bed, rough & damp grassland, a number of ponds & the redundant side arm of the canal. As well as a variety of plant life, the ponds provide an important habitat for invertebrates& a number of dragonflies. White-legged damselflies have been recorded here, a species which has a very limited distribution in Northamptonshire

So…no formal path just have a wander around

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Why not sit & pause a while…

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There’s a few ponds in here so seek them out…

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To get back to where we started we suggest you continue down the canal & cross it via the lock gate & then head back towards Stoke Bruerne…autumns on its way…

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Walking back we met Frankie, a gorgeous, friendly dog who wanted lots of fuss. His owner told us he’d suffered a slipped disc some years ago, hence his collar was a device to hold up his rear – such a happy little fellow

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On the way back into the village we grabbed this lovely snap…

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There we are then…our thoughts about stunning Stoke Bruerne. As we said,most people head right towards Blisworth tunnel so, just for once turn right & explore the Nature Reserve

Go Walk!