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Northampton is easy to find – right in the heart of the country at a crossing of major routes both north-south and east-west. Add to this excellent rail links and waterways and there is really no excuse not to visit the town. Northampton has been attracting visitors and people looking for a good place to live since prehistoric times. You can still see the remains of an Iron Age fort at Hunsbury Hill.
Northampton and the surrounding area have a mixture of shopping from malls and high streets to retail parks or country shopping villages. The stores themselves include popular chains and individual shops, which are often family-run businesses where you will find items unavailable elsewhere. One of the jewels of Northampton is Market Square.
In the heart of the town, it is bounded on all four sides by a fantastic mix of buildings housing, banks, pubs and shops. Most days there is a general market with stalls selling everything from groceries to second-hand books, flowers to footwear. On other days there are special markets, such as farmers’ markets. This is a shopping place with real character.
The Grand Prix at Silverstone is one of the country’s top sporting events, but this is only one of Northamptonshire’s motorsports venues. The county has some prestigious teams to follow in rugby, soccer and cricket with several players representing the country at international level. If team sports are not your first love, there is a host of other facilities from golf to squash.
Festivals and Events
Festivals and special events take place in all kinds of guises at venues throughout the county, including some that are really unexpected. The fun is not limited to the summer but carries on throughout the year. Those interested in history will find reenactments from huge battles to traditional fayres, from Elizabethan weekends to nostalgic steam rallies. Different cultures are highlighted with events such as Diwali celebrations, Native American encampments and French markets.
There is everything from traditional fetes and town shows to the larger carnivals and themed festivals such as Northampton Balloon Festival with its massed ascents of hot air balloons. Some events mark the seasons, such as May Day and Halloween ghost walks, others make the most of national holidays including Easter and school half-terms.
Seeing the sights can be hungry work, but you will never be short of places to stop and ‘refuel’ in Northampton or the surrounding area. You can enjoy everything from a tasty snack to a banquet in everything from traditional tea rooms to romantic restaurants.
In Northamptonshire you can go on a culinary journey around the world. There is cuisine from America to Malaysia, so whether you fancy traditional favourites or would like to try something more adventurous every taste is catered for.