Northampton – A Walk Worth Taking
I have just been bought a book called “Drive and Stroll in Northamptonshire – 20 Circular Walks” by Barbara Bignall which are walks around Northamptonshire all between two and half and five miles so suitable for just about everyone.
It got me to thinking why there isn’t a book of walks or regularly updated leaflets for Northampton itself, or if there is one I haven’t been able to find it even on the ubiquitous Amazon website.
So I thought I’d take one of my favourite Town Centre walks starting from the Ridings Car Park and challenge the readers of this to think about similar walks around the Northampton Town Centre.
OK this is my suggestion,
From the Ridings Car Park you have to turn right and walk to visit St Giles Church which is a great example of the architecture of the day, then down St Giles Terrace and turn right along St Giles Street which sadly has lost Churches Shop but still has a number of excellent independent retailers selling really high quality goods.
At the end of St Giles turn left down Guildhall Road and visit the renowned Royal and Derngate Theatres the frontage of which on Guildhall Road I still prefer to the new entrance around the corner in Angel Street, but that’s just a personal view…
From the theatres it is back up Guildhall Road to the Museum and the best historical collection shoe display in the world, and in the future across the road the Arts Collective once it moves from the Fishmarket, before turning left opposite the Guildhall and a short walk down George Row to All Saints Church where once you’ve had a tour you can take a rest and cup of coffee (I recommend the carrot cake), in the All Saints Bistro whilst sitting and watching the world go by.
I’ve always thought that with a little imagination and real commitment the plaza in front of All Saints could be Northampton’s answer to Covent Garden with street entertainers and artists performing for the public especially during the summer months.
From All Saints it is back up George Row to the Guildhall which celebrated its 150th anniversary last October and is so full of history, much of it unfortunately hidden, that you should allow at least 2 hours to really appreciate its history and value to Northampton.
It is then back along St Giles Street stopping only at the St Giles Cheese Shop to buy fantastic cheese and other produce you can’t find anywhere else in town including really good quality pies.
From here it is a short stroll back to the Ridings Car Park and home to enjoy the fruits of purchases on the stroll around a really excellent and sometimes overlooked part of the Town Centre.
I’m not sure that any town can beat such a short but full of history walk, I’m sure there will be some like Chester who may be able to equal it,
but beat it,
Then again of course I’m biased.