Thursday, 28 May 2020

Walks & Open Spaces in Northamptonshire

For years I have focused on parks with play equipment as my children love a swing & zip wire! However with coronavirus and lockdown play areas have become out of bounds & many people have stayed closer to home. As we are now able to drive & lockdown is easing I thought I'd share some walks & open spaces in Northamptonshire.

I've been trying to find lesser known quieter spots for our family walks & much needed PlayStation/YouTube breaks.  Often these lesser known places have no cafes/toilets etc so are not recommended for lengthy stays.  Obviously the country parks are great & we all know & love Sywell, Brixworth, and Irchester etc (and they have toilets!) but I've tried to focus elsewhere as there have been reports these places have been very busy.

Northampton Washlands (behind Riverside) is a vast open space with the River Nene flowing along side it.  There's a small marina and often horses, sheep and ducks/swans/geese.

River Nene (Brackmills) further up from the washlands you can walk along the Nene.  We walked in a loop going past Northampton Active.  You can walk all the way to Midsummer Meadow but the 9 year old wasn't quite up to that!




Upton Country Park can be busy but is a big space and the lesser known area away from the car park/football pitch is much quieter. There are currently sheep in one of the fields and is flat & perfect for buggies and bikes. There is a car park available.



Brampton Valley Way. This is a 14 mile stretch taking you all the way to Market Harborough.  We have only visited a small section but loved it.  I can recommend Draughton Crossing car park to Kelmarsh Tunnels.  Last year we also walked from The Windhover for a couple of miles & then had a break at The Brampton Halt which will be open again later in the summer (hopefully!) Several free car parks are dotted long the walk.  





Bradlaugh Fields which is not really so unknown anymore but depending on the day/time can be very quiet. 


Irthingborough Lakes is a lovely quiet spot & you can walk all the way to Rushden Lakes quite easily and grab a takeaway drink & sit on the boardwalk before your return journey (top tip from my sister).

Harlestone Firs is one of my personal favourites grower in popularity you can still easily find pockets of complete solitude and perfect on a hot day as lots of shade from the trees. Free parking is opposite.

Villages we have some beautiful villages in Northamptonshire which are perfect for a stroll away from the hustle and bustle. We visited one yesterday and found a stream for the kids to paddle in & very few people.



A few of these places do not have specific car parks so take care parking, make sure you read the signs and don't obstruct roads/paths etc.

Have fun, take care & stay safe in this crazy new world.

Emma xxx





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Saturday, 2 May 2020

Binge Watch List

Binge Watch list
Since most of us have a lot of time on our hands at the moment I thought I'd share some of the things I've been binge watching.  I'm not normally a massive TV person & stick to my Holby City, Call the Midwife, Great British Bake off, Strictly etc but these a regular weekly shows on at certain times of the year.  In the last 6 weeks however I have really got into boxsets and these are my recommendations.

Manifest (Sky)
Flight 828 reappears 5 years after disappearing & many of the passengers start to hear voices & see things. 2 series so far & there will be a third.  16 in the 1st series and 13 in the 2nd.  About 50 mins each. 
Good, different to my usual thing, slightly repetitive "Have you had a calling?", easy to watch.

After Life (Netflix)
Tony had a perfect life until Lisa (his wife) dies. A dark comedy with loads of touching moments. You'll laugh & cry. 2 series both 6 episodes each and 25 to 30 mins.
I had never heard of it but saw a Netflix advert & gave it a whirl. Loved it & watched the whole thing in a week. Does mention suicide & cancer so not for everyone but so well done. Ricky Gervais at his best.

Back to Life (iPlayer)
36 year old Miri is starting life again after an 18 year prison sentence. Only 1 series and 6 episodes 25-30 mins each.
Found this via Graham Norton & loved it. Quirky, funny with some touching moments.

Save Me & Save Me Too (Sky)
Teenage Jody goes missing & her family go to extreme lengths to find her. 2 Series and 6 episodes each abour an hour each.
Lennie James is an amazing actor as Nelly (Jody's biological dad). Dark, gripping and a great cast.

I haven't binge watched these as up to date but Ru Paul's Drag Race (Netlix) about 100 episodes if you go back to the beginning and Killing Eve (iPLayer) series 3 has just started on BBC1 are both a great watch too.
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Sunday, 19 April 2020

Church Farm Haven Tried & Tested

Church Farm is a large Haven site.  The site has direct beach access (shingle/pebbles) but this is quite a long walk depending on where you are located on site but a lovely addition to the site & dog friendly. Church Farm's Mash & Barrell has an enormous outside decking area overlooking the outdoor pool & if the weather is good a perfect place to sit & soak up the sun.  Younger children can run around & use the play area/sand pit & older children can use the outdoor pool with you nearby. When we visited the indoor soft play area was small but may have been updated.  There is a golf course & crazy golf on site, tennis courts and all the usual Haven activities like football, archery, aqua jets, water walkers etc.

Credit Haven Holidays
I would recommend visiting the following places whilst visiting:

Hotham Park in Bognor Regis a short 10-15 minute drive takes you to Bognor.  My kids loved this park with play areas, carved satues scattered about, mini railway (summer months only), crazy golf and cafe. You could also pop to Bognor Regis beach whist you were here.

Littlehampton seaside town with Harbour Park (funfair), skate park, spots for crab fishing and plenty of fish & chip shops. You can even catch a ferry.

Peppa Pig World an hour drive away is Paultons Park otherwise known as Peppa Pig World.  No other words needed if you have a Peppa Fan!
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