Walk 20: The Bramptons & the Brampton Valley Way Circular

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 3.5 miles (5.6km)

Time to walk: This walk can be done in under 2 hours, although it would be good to combine with a pub lunch en route

Difficulty: Easy routes along well marked paths & fields. It’s also pretty flat.

Parking: We parked on the street in Chapel Brampton

Public toilets: The Spencer Arms in Chapel Brampton & The Brampton Halt.

Map of the route: 

Chapel Brampton is a gorgeous village laying just north of Northampton on the Leicester road. The houses are typical of those forming part of the nearby Spencer Estate.

It became famous at the end of the 18th century, becoming part of the Irish Mail run. We’ll also pass through the village’s twin, Church Brampton & then climb to see great views over the Northamptonshire countryside before joining the Brampton Valley Way

So…..Let’s Walk!

1. Our walk starts at the Spencer Arms pub in the village

2. With your back to the pub, turn right & walk along the main road into the village. There’s some lovely old properties along here…

Continue along the left side of the road until you reach the Old Posting House…a remnant of the Irish Mail run.

3. Turn left up the road beside the Old Posting House & then, when the road bends left, head straight up the track below with the houses on the left

4. The houses give way to a field & the farmer’s got to be commended for leaving the path so clear. Next year’s rape is also well ahead…

At the hedge at the top turn left & then immediately right along the well marked path…

…& at the end you come to a gate leading out onto the main road

5. Turn right after going through the gate & head towards Church Brampton (home of Northamptonshire County Golf Club). At the crossroads, turn right & follow the Holdenby road…

6. The sign’s for Holdenby House & we’ve hyper-linked it, but will come back to on a future walk with fuller details

Be careful down here as the road bends sharply to the right & the pavement ends…

Pass the stables entrance on the left….

7. Now take a turn at the footpath sign on the right & pass into the field keeping the hedge on your right

The path now climbs to a farm at the top of a hill

Don’t forget to keep turning around to admire the views

8. Keep straight on through the gap in the hedge & past the farm on the left & then at the crossroads below pass straight across

Walk down the hill until reaching a hedge on the right, where the track bends to the left. Turn right & follow the hedge keeping it on your left…

9. Upon reaching the farm track turn left & walk down to the main road…

…& on reaching it turn left (be careful it’s a main road!!!). Carry on for about 50 yards & then cross over the road & down the steps at the footpath sign

10. At the bottom of the hill turn right & then left through the farmyard.

…& after the barns turn left & hug the hedge as it moves right & then left, including past a very inventive bird box…

Also by now it’s time to kiss the 15 year old walking boots goodbye…..(wet feet!!!)

11. At the end of the field exit through the gate below & turn right onto a narrow lane.

…& follow it to the bridge over the river…

12. Now turn right onto the Brampton Valley Way which is a 14-mile (22.5 km) path on a former railway line.

The railway line was closed in 1981 & the 13-mile (20.9 km) Northamptonshire section was purchased by Northamptonshire County Council with grant aid from the Countryside Commission in 1987, when work began on developing it as a linear park. The 1 mile (1.6 km) section north of the county boundary is owned by Leicestershire County Council although Northamptonshire County Council undertake the management of the complete route

The Way forms an off-road section of the Sustran’s National Cycle Route 6.

There are two former railway tunnels on the route, Kelmarsh (322 yards or 294 metres) & Oxendon (462 yards or 422 metres). The tunnels are unlit & so can be quite an experience to walk through

13. We’re now heading back towards Northampton & in the bushes on the right were lucky to see about 30 fieldfares

They are notoriously shy birds & we just managed to snap this one as it flew off…

They flew ahead of us for quite a time…

14. This is also the Northampton & Lamport Railway. In 1984 (just 3 years after the line’s closure) a group was formed with the intention of re-opening a section of the line as a heritage railway. The site opened to the public shortly afterwards. Following the granting of a Light Railway Order, the line carried its first fare paying passengers in November 1995. The official Grand Opening Ceremony took place (just 4 months later) on 31 March 1996

Currently, passenger trains operate on a section of line approximately 1 12 miles (2.4 km) in length, departing from & arriving at the only station, Pitsford & Brampton

We missed the photo, but at this point a magnificent sparrowhawk came across our path…

15. Carry on following the track & soon you’ll arrive at Pitsford & Brampton Station.

At the gate below cross over the track…

16. Have a look around the station & then it’s time to head out of the yard. On the right’s the Brampton Halt pub & restaurant which is very popular, especially in the summer when the barbie gets lit!! The building used to be the former station master’s house & is well worth a stop at for refreshments, especially as we’re nearly done

17. Right…suitably refreshed, head out of the car park & turn right along the road footpath to head back to Chapel Brampton. On the left in the dip is Brampton Fisheries.

18. Now simply continue up the hill (nice horses on the right) to arrive back at the village crossroads.

The Spencer Arms where we started is on the left. Time for another quick one??

So that’s our short walk around this area completed. It’s a good walk for families, around some beautiful villages, with big skies & views, amongst rolling countryside. Plus you could combine it with Sunday lunch at one of the pubs

It’s great so…

Go Walk!

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