Walk 194: Creaton: “The one with the Wild Flower Field” Circular

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: Just under 4 miles (6.44 km)

Time to walk: Roughly 1 hour 45 minutes

Difficulty: A mixture of surfaces. There are some hills, but nothing too steep

Parking: Carefully & considerately on the road in Creaton

Public toilets: The Bricklayers Arms in Creaton, although this walk doesn’t pass it 

Map of the route: 

I often think that when you visit beautiful Creaton, you know you’re standing in an English village

With its large, traditional village green, manor house, almshouses, chapel & medieval church where else would you be. Plus its stunning properties & position perched on the edge of the valley. Indeed the name Creaton probably means ‘farmstead at the rock, or cliff’

The village lies towards the hillier western part of the County, roughly 8 miles from Northampton. Close by are the beautiful reservoirs of Ravensthorpe & Hollowell 

It’s also surrounded by many historic buildings including Cottesbrooke Hall (1 mile north); Holdenby House & Althorp (2 & 3 miles south respectively); & Coton Manor (1 mile west)

Last year, & hopefully for the next few, one of the local farmers has planted a field of incredible wild flowers. I therefore thought that ahead of this year’s display it would be good to devise a walk that took in this field & help with the continuous question…”How do I find it?”

So with that in mind, I passed the route over to 003.5 Richard Parkes to walk & record for me…

Let’s Walk!

1. This walk begins outside the medieval church of St Michael & All Angels, which dates back to the 12th century, although changes were made in the 18th & 19th centuries…

Facing the church, turn right & head up the hill towards the main road

2. On reaching the main road, head right along the path & then the wide verge for a short distance…

…until when directly opposite the red house, cross the stile & enter the fields

3. Head down the fields, keeping the hedges & impressive gardens on your right. Presently you’ll arrive at the gate in the picture below. Pass through this & continue in the same direction down the hill…

4. The footpath now arrives at another stile by the large tree…

Cross this one & carry on to another. Cross that too & continue to the bottom of the paddock…

5. There’s one more to cross & hopefully this will be the last one for a while. It’s tucked in the corner by the gate…

Now bear right up the track 

6. At the top of the hill head left along the road. It’s incredibly quiet up here, but it’s still a road so be alert for traffic…

The views up here are just incredible, simply incredible…

7. As the roads bends right, enter the woodland through the gate & bear right…

Shortly you’ll reach another stile. Be careful crossing this one as the fence is electrified…

Now continue straight ahead & cross the double stile as well

8. After crossing the double stile head diagonally across the field towards the white cottage at the bottom, crossing a further stile as you get closer

You’ll find two gates. Pass through the first one…

…& then head around & through the white one in the picture above

9. Now turn right along the footpath…

…& we’ll say…”Welcome to Cottesbrooke! The village name literally means ‘Brook of a man called Cott’ 

10. Pass the Hall & Gardens on the left. The estate with Cottesbrooke Hall, built 1702, was bought by the Langham baronets, a family of London turkey merchants, in 1637, previously belonging to the Saunders family.

In 1937 Cottesbrooke Hall was bought by its current owners, the MacDonald-Buchanan family, who in 1937-8 employed Lord Gerald Wellesley (later the 7th Duke of Wellington) to make alterations to the Hall, including changing the entrance front to the other side of the house

11. On your right’s All Saints Church, which originally dates back to the 13th century, but  it’s been much altered over the years

The church is well worth venturing inside to look at its many monuments. The most interesting of these are those to John Rede & Sir John Langham & his wife, both from the 17th century

A separate tale tells of Parson Legard, one of Northamptonshire’s hunting clerics, who is said to have tied his horse to the little gate to the right of the churchyard, whilst conducting a funeral as the hunt galloped past

Unable to resist the temptation of the hunt, it’s said he left the corpse at the grave, jumped on his horse & joined the chase

12. At the T-junction turn left towards the public entrance of Cottesbrooke Hall & Gardens…

Once at the public entrance follow the road round, passing a beautiful little white cottage…

13. Pass over the bridge & keep following the quiet road, past some quite stunning properties…

Continue along the road, leaving the houses behind. When I walked it was incredibly peaceful…

14. Finally, on the right, you’ll arrive at a gate & footpath sign. Pass through it & enter the field

Our path continues to the corner of the tree line…

Walk through the gate in the corner & head across the next field on the clearly marked path

15. Cross over the bridge in the picture below & keep left with the hedgerows on your left…

On reaching the second gap, pass through it…

…& immediately turn right up the hill, keeping the hedgerow on your right. Head towards the lone tree at the top of this steep hill

16. On arriving at the tree, the village of Creaton can be seen clearly in front of you. Continue to follow the hedgerows…

The field just ahead looks completely normal…

but come back later in the year ….. it has the wow factor

17. At the corner of the field, don’t go towards the lane. Instead turn left & look for the bridge on your right…

Cross the bridge & continue straight ahead, passing through the little gap & then the next one opposite…

18. Climb over the final stile & head right along the path opposite into the village…

Head up the hill & continue over the High Street & up the hill

19. On reaching the Green, cross over & take the small lane on the right…

Halfway up bear left & just look around you… unbelievable beauty!!

20. In the left corner is the Manor House which dates back to around the mid 17th century…

…& just hidden beside this is the church & the end of our amazing walk!

So that’s a beautiful walk, which will be even more stunning later in the year when the wild flower field is in full bloom

Go Walk!