Northampton (England)

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Northampton is the county town of Northamptonshire, and is one of the largest settlements in the UK not to be a city. It is located approximately halfway between the cities of Birmingham and London.

Get in[edit]

There are numerous routes into Northampton.

By plane[edit]

The nearest airports to Northampton are Birmingham [1], East Midlands [2], and London Luton Airport [3] in Luton. There are rail and bus links from London, home of Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted Airports.

By train[edit]

Northampton Castle Station offers frequent links from Birmingham and London every 30 minutes most times of the day with trains operated by London Midland [4]. The trains to Birmingham New Street cost £11.50 for a one way ticket, and due to the unusual pricing system a return ticket is £11.60. Tickets to London Euston cost £22.80 for a one way ticket, and once again the ridiculous pricing system means a return ticket will cost you £22.90. The railway station is located approximately 15 minutes walk from the town centre and has frequent buses passing the site. Taxis are also available from outside the station.

By car[edit]

Northampton is well connected by road with many distribution companies being based in and around the town. The M1 motorway passes right through South Northamptonshire, and from here it is about 15 minutes to the town centre. Junctions 15, 15A, and 16 all serve the town.

By bus[edit]

National Express [5] offer coach services across the country from Greyfriars bus station in the town centre.

By boat[edit]

A branch of Grand Union Canal passes directly through Northampton.

Get around[edit]

Most common way of getting around is by car, but on Saturdays expect queues because of the football and rugby games that go on.

Northampton also offers a comprehensive bus service. The two main operators in the town are Stagecoach Northampton [6] and First Northampton [7]. Service tends to be more patchy on Sundays; however, Monday to Saturday the bus is a viable method of transportation around the town.

Stagecoach Northampton [8] also offer a number of regional bus routes to the outlying villages and towns in Northamptonshire making exploring small towns like Bugbrooke possible.

See[edit]

Northampton has a number of attractions:

  • Guildhall: A classic neo-gothic styled building built in 1861 by Edward William Godwin. It now houses the Northampton Borough Council offices. The Guildhall is located opposite the Tourist Information office on St Giles Street.
  • Northampton Museum and Art Gallery: A collection of artifacts from Northamptons past with particular homage to the shoe industry that caused the town to first boom. The museum is open from 10:00 - 17:00 on Monday to Saturday and 2:00 - 17:00 on Sunday.
  • The Express Lifts Tower in St James.
  • 78 Derngate, The only house outside of Scotland to be designed by world-famous architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The House has been beautifully restored and is now a museum. Guided tours are available and there is also a small restaurant. Advanced booking is advised. Open 10AM - 5PM February to Christmas.
Delapre West Front
  • Delapré Abbey The 10th-century Monastery belonged to the congregation of the great Abbey of Cluny in Burgundy, France. The abbey was originally named Abbey of St Mary de la Pré, or literally "The Abbey of St Mary in the Meadow". At the end of the main dive up to the estate, lies one of the three remaining Eleanor Crosses left in Northamptonshire. The abbey was founded in 1145 by Earl Simon de Senlis during the reign of King Stephen and is well worth a visit.

Do[edit]

Shop along Abington Street, the main pedestrianised shopping area in Northampton. Both the Grosvenor Centre and Market Walk shopping centres have entrances from this street.

Northampton Market is one of the oldest in the country and operates daily out of Market Square, just off The Drapery and Abington Street.

Watch some sport - Northampton Saints are a top-flight rugby union team, the Cobblers play League Two football, and Northamptonshire County Cricket Club play cricket at the County Ground.

Attend a play at Royal & Derngate [9][http://www.northamptonballoonfestival.com/ , Northampton's jointly run main theatres. Each August the town hosts the Northampton Balloon Festival, previously at The Racecourse but in recent years hosted by Billing Aquadrome.

Learn[edit]

The University of Northampton [10] offers tertiary level courses in a range of subjects.

For vocational courses and A level courses, Northampton College [11] has a wide range of courses on offer.

Work[edit]

Northampton Job Centre [12] is on Frances Street and has listings for casual and permanent positions as well as job advice. It is essential for migrants to the area to visit the job centre to secure National Insurance Cards.

Adecco [13] and the usual temporary work firms also operate in Northampton.

Eat[edit]

For its size, Northampton has a good range of restaurants to suit any budget.

Budget[edit]

Academy Coffee Haus [14] offers cheap meals from around £7 a head.

Mid-range[edit]

The Fox and Hounds pub [15] in Harlestone offers good pub fare at a reasonable price of around £18 a head.

Splurge[edit]

The New French Partridge [16] offers fine, French styled cuisine for around £54 a head.

Sleep[edit]

  • The Westone Manor Hotel Northampton +44 1604 739 955. Ashley Way, Weston Favell Northampton NN3 3EA. The hotel was built in 1914 as the home of local shoe manufacturer William Sears. The original fireplace, bay windows and architectural mouldings form a picturesque backdrop for excellent cuisine and carefully selected wines. Located in peaceful gardens, just 10 minutes from the M1 and only a few moments from the centre of Northampton.
  • Park InnSilver St, NN1 2TA +44 1604 739988. Situated in the town centre, within walking distance of Northhampton's rail and bus station as well as easy access to major business parks and high street shopping.

Drink[edit]

  • Caffe D'Italia5 Fish Street, Northampton, NN1 2AA. Great little Italian cafe with friendly staff. Lovely Italian-style sandwiches and cakes too.

Clubs and pubs are located all around Northampton town centre and the night life is pretty lively most of the time.

For alternative music, pubs along the Wellingborough Road cater for grunge, punk and rock with local acts performing on Friday nights.

Connect[edit]

Police, fire and ambulance services are all reached from 999 or 112 in an emergency. Northamptonshire Police switchboard is 0300 011 1222 for non-emergency calls, or as recently implemented 101.

Stay safe[edit]

Drunken activity in the town centre on Friday and Saturday nights is common, and intoxication should be avoided to ensure your safety. Stay in well-lit areas and avoid taking short cuts through back streets.

The atmosphere after football matches can be a little loud and boisterous so avoid wearing other teams' colours in these instances.

Go next[edit]

Althorp House [17] the resting place of Princess Diana is in Northamptonshire just outside of Northampton.

Stoke Bruerne is also located halfway between Northampton and Milton Keynes on the canal and offers a picturesque escape from Northampton.

Trains also depart at regular intervals from Northampton railway station for every possible destination in the country using either Milton Keynes Railway Station, London Stations or Birmingham New Street as transit points.

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