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This landlocked county is a rural idyll in the heart of England. Walks in Northamptonshire are rich in low hills, rolling farmland and lake loops with pretty market towns along the way. Forests, wetlands and meadows throughout the county have been designated nature reserves so when you head out on foot here, you’ll quickly find yourself amongst birds, butterflies and exquisite plants.
Day hikes in Northamptonshire are particularly glorious with canal trails, small but perfect woodlands to explore and picturesque county parks. No matter what your ability you can roam freely without the worry of steep hill ascents. Enjoying rural beauty all year round, it’s only after rain that you’ll need to watch your footing across much of the county.
With historic country houses, hill forts and ancient woodlands, whichever trails you choose in Northamptonshire, you’re sure to find memorable sights.
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With reservoirs, lakes, rivers and a major canal, exploring the waterways on your walks in Northamptonshire is a fantastic way to see the county. The Grand Union Canal runs from Welford down to Daventry before cutting across south east. You can hike the length of it, as well as the many trails along its scenic branches.
Rivers, reservoirs and wetlands can be found across the county and the River Nene is a particularly good watercourse for hikes in Northamptonshire. As it passes south of Northampton, you’ll find trails along the riverside, through the nature reserves and into the countryside. Further along the Nene, the Titchmarsh wetlands and nature reserve is a particularly vibrant area to explore.
Some of the best hiking trails in Northamptonshire can be found in the many country parks. Fermyn Woods, Daventry and Barnwell are just some of the beautiful country parks here with woodland trails, streams and open meadows.
Thanks to the rural nature of the county, you can go on day hikes easily from wherever you are. The whole area is covered in footpaths across fields and through pockets of forest, making circular walks easy to plot and follow.
For multi-day hikes, you can still follow the endless trails, linking them up as you go. By hiking from country park to country park or following the River Nene, you’ll get to embrace a true adventure while never being too far from accommodation or a good cafe.
With its wealth of nature reserves and wetlands, wherever you walk in the charming county you’ll find the air buzzing with life. From transformed quarries to revitalised meadows, many of the nature reserves here are brimming with songbirds, butterflies, bees and beetles. The meadows in spring and summer are havens for wildlife and even old industrial sites have been reclaimed by nature.
Reserves like the Glapthorn Cow Pastures in the north have stunning woodlands where birdsong streams through the air and the leaves glow green in the sunshine. The meadows throughout the county are some of the best places to enjoy nature in Northamptonshire and you can explore sites like Barnes, Abington and Barford.
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