The Best Outdoor Places to Take Children in Northants

Guest blog written by Rebecca at Northamptonshire Mums and Kids

Are you struggling to occupy your kids during lockdown?

Now I know what you’re thinking…

“Nicole… you don’t have kids!”

No, I don’t (never say never) but as Nicole Navigates’ main audience lies within the 25-35 age bracket, I actually tend to get quite a few readers who are parents themselves and some of the top FAQ’s I get asked on my social media platforms is:

“What’s the best places to take children in Northamptonshire” or “what places are kid-friendly in Northamptonshire?”.

Obviously, we can’t go far at the moment due to lockdown and again, this is a frequent question I am asked which is obviously a tough one for me to answer as I don’t have children of my own.

Luckily, I am thrilled to introduce you to Rebecca from Northamptonshire Mums And Kids who writes a fantastic local blog that specialises in giving locals ideas, inspiration and details of places in Northants to take the kids.

I even find new places myself to navigate to thanks to Rebecca’s blog, so I am so happy she has written this guest blog for us!

If you’re in need of some outdoor places to take the kids during lockdown, here’s what Rebecca says.

Take it away, Rebecca!

Photo credit: Northamptonshire Mums and Kids

Lockdown has been harder the third time around for many reasons but the main one for me is that it’s Winter.

During lockdown number one it was easy to kick the kids out into the back garden or throw them in the car and chill at the park for the afternoon but with the freezing, wet weather it makes getting outside not only harder but less appealing too.

In saying all this, we are so lucky to have a number of beautiful outdoor places in Northants that we can take the kids for a breath of fresh air.

Castle Ashby Gardens

One of my absolute favourite places in Northants, Castle Ashby Gardens is perfect for a slow stroll to burn off some energy and unwind from the daily stress of homeschooling. The menagerie and Orangery is currently closed however there is still plenty to enjoy around the gardens themselves.

Delapre Abbey

You can still currently visit the Walled Garden and outer grounds however the Abbey, Orangery, and the Hibiscus are closed.

Kelmarsh Tunnel

For something a bit more than just a walk then head to 480 metres long Kelmarsh Tunnel! It’s an old railway tunnel that is pitch black inside minus the small amount of light that shines down the ventilation shaft halfway down. Make sure you take a torch!

Country Parks

We are so lucky to have a number of amazing country parks in Northamptonshire.

Brixworth, Sywell and Irchester and Daventry all boast amazing play areas. Irchester has the added excitement of dinosaur bones to discover while the other 3 have a beautiful reservoir to stroll around.

Photo credit: Northamptonshire Mums and Kids

Salcey Forest

Salcey Forest offers 3 walking trails, a cycling trail, and a great play area. If you’re a horse rider then this is a good spot as they have a 5 mile riding trail.

Badby Wood

Badby Wood is a beautiful woodland walk with some old ruins that you can explore.

Rushden Lakes

Not many people realise that there is more to Rushden Lakes than just the shops, restaurants and cinema complex. You can take a stroll around the Lake behind the restaurant and end at the play area. Or, at the other end, behind AJ Cycles is a public footpath that is perfect for bikes.

Harlestone Firs

Harlestone Firs is ideal if you are looking for a woodland walk amongst the trees. Again, I would say this is a great spot for bikes and you will often see a horse or two taking a stroll but be mindful of the weather as the ground will be wet due to a large amount of shade.

Photo credit: Northamptonshire Mums and Kids

Stanwick Lakes

Stanwick Lakes renovated their play area last year to what I would now say is one of the best outdoor play areas in Northamptonshire. There is something for all ages including a giant fort!

Stoke Bruerne

Stoke Bruerne is another spot that is ideal for a walk with something a little extra. A walk down the canal will allow you to check out some of the riverboats as well as hopefully seeing the lock open and close.

Evenley Wood Garden

Evenley Wood Garden is a 60-acre privately owned woodland garden that is open every day 10 am -4 pm.

Summer Leys

Summer Leys is located just outside Wollaston and has various paths to follow of different lengths. Take the one around the outside of the reserve and enjoy beautiful views up the valley towards Great Doddington.

Wicksteed Park

Wicksteed Park is made up of 147 acres of parkland. There is a formal garden, an arboretum, and the remains of a 900-year-old castle.

Photo credit: Northamptonshire Mums and Kids

Thank you Rebecca for those fab kid-friendly outdoor spots!

I hope this has given you some more inspiration – if you need further insight to navigating Northamptonshire with kids, I highly recommend heading to Northamptonshire Mums And Kids.

Where are your favourite outdoor places to navigate to with children?


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Rebecca was born and raised in Northampton and is a Mum to 3 wild boys.

She is the owner of the blog Northamptonshire Mums and Kids which provides families with ideas, inspiration and details of places in Northants to take the kids.

As well as the blog, you can follow Rebecca on Facebook and Instagram.

Rebecca at Northamptonshire Mums and Kids

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