Have you been to Abington Park before? Think it’s just a plain old park? Think again…
Abington Park is Northamptonshire's oldest and most popular park which is situated in the heart of Northampton. Situated in the Abington district, it consists of flowing lakes, a whole host of greenery and lots of things to do, see and happening throughout the year that is suitable for individuals, families and couples.
It’s always thriving with happy families, dog walkers, museum attendees, Sunday afternoon strollers and everyone and anyone who is looking for a piece of nature to escape from the busy town life of Northampton.
I have been to Abington Park a fair few times. My earliest memories were when we used to hang out in the park after college during the summer days, particularly on the last day of the year, where we would enjoy picnics, dancing and running around - oh, to be younger again!
As Katie from Cake vs Scales and I visited last week, I was reminded once again what a wonderful place Abington Park is and I wanted to share how you can take advantage of a day out there and share what’s coming up, so you can fill your diary with dates!
One of the main structures that make Abington Park is Abington Park Museum, which was originally a Manor House, which is covered in plain branches and branches of ivy that make this 16th-century house feel so vintage.
Inside, you will find the Oak Room, named after it’s 1500’s oak panelling, which was originally called the Great Hall, which was once home to William Shakespeare’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Bernard née Elizabeth Hall.
In 1994 (a very good year *ahem* my birthday year!) the manor house was reopened as a museum after a complete restoration that now includes some of Northamptonshire’s most intriguing social histories and artefacts, including a costume collection, military history and the Museum of Leathercraft.
As you will discover further down this blog post, the museum is a place well worth visiting for a calendar full of events.
The Bandstand is the centre of the park and is the central hub for bringing the locals of Northampton together.
When it’s not taken over by teenagers and cyclists (no complaints when they do no harm), it plays host to some wonderful events throughout the year, including the popular return of ‘Bands in the Park’ which is organised by Northampton Borough Council every year between April and September.
These Sunday afternoon performances are always great in bringing families together to enjoy the entertainment on offer.
After all that walking, you will be of need of refreshment and a slice of cake.
Conveniently named after the park, The Park Cafe went under restoration but is now a family friendly (and dog-friendly!) place to sit back and unwind after a day of exploring. There is always a good selection of hot and cold foods and beverages, with the option to take away items and lots of big wooden tables spread out amongst the cafe.
Only thing I would say is, once the cafe gets busy, it can be quite overcrowded as the tables are quite close to each other - nonetheless, it’s not a huge problem and if the weather is nice, you can enjoy their outside terrace and take in the view of the park.
If you’re looking for something unexpected and different - go and see the array of colourful birds that live in the Bird Aviary at Abington Park.
It’s such a community haven that brings together some of the most beautiful bird species in one long walking trail that will get everyone stopping and admiring what’s inside.
They are free to roam around the cages and have their own dedicated backspaces which they can take shelter in when it rains. I have been told that they are well looked after and that they have regular park workers and volunteers who tend to them.
The look on everyone’s faces always lights up when they see the birds (including mine) and it’s well worth having a walk by next time you visit.
On my last visit, I actually forgot to take any photos because I was so mesmerised by the beautiful colours - I will get some nice photos next time!
Abington Park has so much going on throughout the year and with spring and summer approaching, it truly is the time to take advantage of the (hopefully) decent weather and get outside to experience what Northampton has to offer:
22nd June - 28th July
25th July - 3rd August
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