Walk 148: Brackmills Country Park (1) The Hard Path Short Circuit

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 2.1 miles (3.36km)

Time to walk: Just a nice leisurely stroll with some nice benches to sit on. It’ll probably take around an hour, but can be extended into Brackmills (2) Walk – coming soon

Difficulty: Easy & fairly flat. The railway line shouldn’t be too muddy &, once in the park, it’s all on hard surfaces. A great little walk for young kids!

Parking: We started this walk from Great Houghton & walked in along the disused railway line. The village is small though so please park considerately. Alternatively you could park in the Salthouse Road car park in Brackmills Industrial Estate as for the Brackmills Country Park Walk (2)

Public toilets: Either The Old Cherry Tree or The White Hart in Great Houghton, but nothing from the Salthouse Road car park

Map of the route: 

I’ve lived in the area for 40 years & had no idea this country park on my doorstep even existed! Firstly, this isn’t a long walk, although it can easily be extended, as you’ll see in the second of the walks covering the park

The second bonus is that all of this short walk’s all on a hard-surfaced small path. What you also get, here in the middle of an industrial estate, is being away from it all. Covering 120 hectares there’s some great views over Northampton

With the decline of the shoe trade & collapse of the steelworks, Northamptonshire has relied on its central location & excellent road network to develop the distribution industry. From our county it’s possible to reach 85% of the UK’s consumer market within the shift duration of a lorry driver

Brackmills Industrial Estate comprises of some 3.9 sq.km of business premises & is home to over 150 companies & more than 11,000 employees

Let’s Walk

1. Today’s walk starts near the Green in the middle of the lovely village of Great Houghton, known in the ‘Domesday Book’ as ‘Hohton Magna’. The village was struck by an F1/T2 tornado on 23 November 1981, as part of the record-breaking nationwide tornado outbreak on that day

2. Walk straight ahead to the junction. Ahead’s the 18th century church of St Mary the Virgin with its spectacular spire standing on spires. The rest of the church was restored in the 19th century…

3. Turn left up the hill past the White Hart…

Note the “Book Share” / “Library” on the left

4. Cross the old railway & turn immediately right along Glebe Lane, looking for a slope & steps heading down onto the old railway line…

At the bottom of the slope, turn left along the track away from the road bridge

5. This is easy walking. Look out for the rather strange looking signpost after a few yards. It was presented for the Millenium…

6. Shortly the track arrives at the entrance to Brackmills Country Park…

There are several entrances into the park, but I believe that this is the main one to access the hard surface path. I decided to do the full circuit so turned left up the hill…

7. As you climb it becomes obvious there’s industry around you, but it doesn’t feel like it’s encroaching on the park. You can also make out the lift tower in the distance

There’s nothing to tell you about following the route as it’s obvious. As the path bends right you suddenly come upon a rather stunning, small pond 

8. The hard path continues ahead…

…& across to the right you get a view of the large lake

9. The path descends down to a junction where, if you wish to extend the walk, turn left. On this short stroll though we turn right…

10. The path now passes the larger pond…

It’s surprising how far below the path level the water is & it makes me wonder if this area was once a quarry

11. And just around the corner you’re back at the entrance barrier to the park….

Now follow the railway line back to the road & start of this walk

So that’s it, part one of our look at Brackmills Country Park. The second walk we do in the park will be much longer & take in some of the grassy tracks too

Go Walk!