Located in the East Midlands, Northamptonshire has a population of around 725,000. Its central location in the UK means it’s surrounded by 8 other counties, just one of the reasons I love living here, exploring different places is so easy! In 1832 the county was noted for being “a county enjoying the reputation of being one of the healthiest and pleasantest parts of England”. The county today is still known for its abundance of churches and stately homes, yet it is yes well known for its beautiful villages.
A tiny village nestled in some of the county’s most beautiful countryside, Grafton Underwood is actually where Bridget Jone’s parents supposedly lived! Other than that mention, not much goes on here but someone did get almost run out of the village when they wanted to add a brick extension to their stone cottage.
Very little has changed in the village over the years, leaving it relatively untouched and as one would have found it over 100 years ago. Each sunday in August the locals host cream teas by the brook that runs through the centre of the village.
On the outskirts of Northampton itself, Boughton is a little haven that has just about avoided the urban sprawl of the town. The village is characterised by sandy-coloured houses built in locally quarried stone, many of which enjoy expansive views out into the countryside.
The infamous highwayman (a nice word for an old school robber who stalks the roads on horseback) “Captain Slash” was detained whilst attempting a robbery at Boughton Fayre which was held on Boughton Green. He was later tried and hanged in Northampton infront of a large crowd on 21st July 1826. Rumour has it he still haunts Boughton church, especially at Christmas…
The village of Wadenhoe is owned by a charitable trust that oversees the maintenance of 30 properties, located on a gentle slope down to the River Nene the village is home to around 130 people. 36 buildings in the village are listed, meaning they hold some sort of historical importance that must be protected, the majority of the houses date back to the 17th and 18th century and are constructed in a pale limestone with Collyweston slate roofs.
The village has been here over 800 years, it was mentioned in the Domesday Book and its home to a 13th century church. which the meadowlands of the Nene valley.
Located close to the border with Leicestershire and Rutland, the pretty village of Rockingham is situated just on the edge of the town of Corby. The village is overlooked by an ancient castle that was built on the instruction of William the Conqueror, the castle has been owned by the same family for over 450 years and they still live there with their children to this day, the castle is open to the public on certain days of the week.
Nestled in the South Northamptonshire countryside, Preston Capes is a sleepy village that wouldn’t look out of place in the heart of the Cotswolds. The name Preston Capes is derived partially from Preosta-tun (Anglo-Saxon for the priests enclosure) and from a French family name which was added when Hugh de Capes held the Hundred of Fawsley in the early 13th century.
Warkton is one of my favourite villages, I love this part of Northamptonshire as it is unbelievably beauiful and homely, yet you never seem to come across any outside visitors, you can truly enjoy these places all to yourself. I can’t tell you much about the vilage’s history because I can’t find anything, but what I can tell you is this is a beautiful village sprinkled with picture perfect thatched cottages.
There’s a reason why South Northamptonshire is consistently voted as one of the best places to live in the UK, and it’s villages like Harpoe that make you realise why. Close enough to Northampton itself you always have things to do, the village offers the best of country living. The village also boasts a fantastic scarecrow fesival each September which raises money for local charities.
Another hidden gem nestled on the outskirts of Kettering, Cranford is home to a lovely tea room and a host of chocolate box cottages!