days out in northamptonshire - Bubbablue and me

Things to do in Northamptonshire with children

We love a day out whether it’s just a weekend day popping out somewhere, or a day out while on holiday.  I’m reliving my childhood visiting around the UK, near home and further away, and love sharing it with N. He does moan, but loves days out once he’s there. If there’s a playground and café all the better. So if you’re looking for things to do in Northamptonshire with the family, you’re in the right place.

This series of days out posts are based on round ups of places we’ve loved on our travels.  Hopefully it’ll make them easier for you to find, especially if you’re looking for recommendations for places to visit. I’ll also be including recommendations from other bloggers, because if you’re looking for guidance on where to go you want to hear from local people as well as visitors to an area.

days out in northamptonshire - Bubbablue and me

Museums and culture

Abington Park and museum

Play area, 2 lakes, aviary and cafes, plus the museum itself.

Delapre Abbey

Recently renovated historic house, and gardens. Events run through seasonal times of year. Close to the town centre.

National Trust

Canons Ashby, Daventry

National Trust Elizabethan house and terraced gardens, plus a couple of churches onsite.  The usual tea room and shop, plus plenty of green space to picnic and let the children run around. We spent hours in the natural playground/den building area on a beautiful hot day. A bit out of the way, so one of the quieter National Trust properties.

look down the garden at canons ashby

Wildlife and outdoors

Irchester Country Park, Wellingborough

More basic country park, with a large playground area.  Inside café and large burger stand with benches with friendly staff. Parking fee only. Plenty of paths to walk and cycle round, overflow parking.  Best bit is the wires course – small and more challenging options.

playground at Irchester country park

Castle Ashby Gardens

Home to the 7th Marquess of Northampton. Not just the beautiful and varied gardens, they also have a menagerie, playground (undergoing maintenance in 2019), nature trail and arboretum.

Stanwick Lakes

Good for walks and cycling all year round, but best in summer where there’s a great water based playground, ice cream vans.  They also hold outdoor cinema events and the visitor centre has plenty of information as well as the main cafe. Parking fee only.

Evenley Wood Garden, Evenley

Open selected days of the year for seasonal events and floral seasons. They have multiple species of snowdrops but get there early for those dates. Parking in a matted field, and can get very muddy so take suitable footwear, and stick to carriers for babies and toddlers.

pavilion cafe at evenley wood garden

Salcey Forest

Take the bikes, or enjoy the family trails and playground for walks around this Forestry Commission location.  Parking fee only.  Basic café which does get busy

Wicksteed Park

Huge park with train, rides, arboretum, amphitheatre and several cafes.  6 hours didn’t cover everything for the Jaymee of The Mum Diaries on their trip.  There’s no entry fee, instead you buy either a wristband or ticket books – each ride varies in cost.  There’s also a large playground which is free.

Badby Woods

Take the children to see the bluebells in April/May time.

Kelmarsh and Gt Oxenden Tunnels, Brampton Valley Way

Old railway tunnels along a walk, for some great echo play with the kids


Riverside Hub, Northampton

N’s favourite place. Perfect for under 10s, it has the largest softplay frame in Europe, plus a climbing tree, electronic go karts, a crafting area/shop, laser tag and carousel. And for parents a pretty good café and wifi.

Do you have any favourite places to visit or things to do in Northamptonshire? Let me know and I’ll get them added to the list.

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