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Blog

A lifetime ago I graduated in Archaeology, then got a proper job to keep my parents and the bank manager happy, leaving my love for ancient things behind. I went into the commercial world, working all over the country from a base outside London. To be honest, although I mostly loved what I was doing, in my busy life I largely forgot about my passion for the past and the fascinating heritage of the British Isles.

Nearly 25 years ago my family and I moved to Northamptonshire mainly because of the great central location.  My other half and I worked all over the UK and on the rare occasions we took time off, we travelled around the country. We would drive miles to visit the more remote places that had caught our interest as we passed by for work.

Then about ten years ago I had an epiphany. I visited one of our county’s little gems, Canons Ashby, and fell in love with Northamptonshire. My love of history and heritage reasserted itself, so I stopped my travelling job and started volunteering and working within the heritage sector of this county of Spires and Squires. I was delighted and surprised to discover that I lived in a county with more stately homes than any other, some of the oldest and finest churches, and world class heritage sites and stories. Any excuse - friends visiting, a quiet afternoon, a beautiful day - will find me on a hunt to discover the charms of this conveniently located, largely unknown and totally awesome county!

I’m passionate about learning more about England and its story. I love adventures, and discovering something surprising. I love sharing secrets, meeting interesting people and finding things that make me laugh. I’m also extremely fond of a great lunch, especially those involving cake, and things produced locally. I have a great weakness for gin, good beer, and yes, cake too!

If anyone has a suggestion about a place that I need to visit and report back on I would love to hear about it. Contact me here.

Meet our Bloggers - Laura

A lifetime ago I graduated in Archaeology, then got a proper job to keep my parents and the bank manager happy, leaving my love for ancient things behind. I went into the commercial world, working all over the country from a base outside London. To be honest, although I mostly loved what I was doing, in my busy life I largely forgot about my passion for the past and the fascinating heritage of the British Isles.

Nearly 25 years ago my family and I moved to Northamptonshire mainly because of the great central location.  My other half and I worked all over the UK and on the rare occasions we took time off, we travelled around the country. We would drive miles to visit the more remote places that had caught our interest as we passed by for work.

Then about ten years ago I had an epiphany. I visited one of our county’s little gems, Canons Ashby, and fell in love with Northamptonshire. My love of history and heritage reasserted itself, so I stopped my travelling job and started volunteering and working within the heritage sector of this county of Spires and Squires. I was delighted and surprised to discover that I lived in a county with more stately homes than any other, some of the oldest and finest churches, and world class heritage sites and stories. Any excuse - friends visiting, a quiet afternoon, a beautiful day - will find me on a hunt to discover the charms of this conveniently located, largely unknown and totally awesome county!

I’m passionate about learning more about England and its story. I love adventures, and discovering something surprising. I love sharing secrets, meeting interesting people and finding things that make me laugh. I’m also extremely fond of a great lunch, especially those involving cake, and things produced locally. I have a great weakness for gin, good beer, and yes, cake too!

If anyone has a suggestion about a place that I need to visit and report back on I would love to hear about it. Contact me here.

An enduring love for Eleanor

As the days lengthen and the birds start to sing, thoughts turn to love and courtship. This month I want to share the story of a deeply... Read More
An enduring love for Eleanor
Laura 05th Feb 2019

A Pharmaceutical Phenomenon

A Pharmaceutical Phenomenon It’s January, often a quiet month for exploring our county, but I have found you a warm, welcoming... Read More
A Pharmaceutical Phenomenon
Laura 07th Jan 2019

All Saints, Brixworth, an Anglo Saxon survival

This month I am visiting a place which has celebrated Christmas continuously for at least 1200 years. It’s a remarkable survival... Read More
All Saints, Brixworth, an Anglo Saxon survival
Laura 06th Dec 2018

A Towcester Timeline

It’s Northamptonshire’s oldest town, and can trace its origins back to the middle Stone Age. The Romans named it Lactodorum... Read More
A Towcester Timeline
Laura 08th Nov 2018

A Royal Residence in Northamptonshire

Imagine buying a lovely old Georgian farmhouse with plenty of outside space for the children to run around. Then imagine being a historian... Read More
A Royal Residence in Northamptonshire
Laura 12th Oct 2018

Brackley’s Brilliant Town Hall

It’s great to visit a vibrant Northamptonshire town, as full of life today as it has been for two thousand years. It’s... Read More
Brackley’s Brilliant Town Hall
Laura 04th Sep 2018

Explore Behind Closed Doors…Heritage Open Days 2018

Each September there’s a wonderful opportunity for us to discover Northamptonshire’s history for free. The Heritage Open... Read More
Explore Behind Closed Doors…Heritage Open Days 2018...
Laura 03rd Sep 2018

Wonderful Wickies

For nearly a hundred years, the people of Northamptonshire have had a wonderful place to relax and enjoy themselves thanks to the... Read More
Wonderful Wickies
Laura 07th Aug 2018

Settlers of the Nene Valley

This month I’m stepping back over 5000 years into the past. I’m exploring the remains of the settlers of the Nene valley... Read More
Settlers of the Nene Valley
Laura 05th Jul 2018

Grand Designs at 78 Derngate

Unexpectedly, in the heart of Northampton town there is a unique home given a spectacular makeover and redesign by two talented gentlemen... Read More
Grand Designs at 78 Derngate
Laura 05th Jul 2018

Borders

From the Grand Junction Canal near Weedon, a track winds down through a field to Watling Street. I've just crossed the 'West Coast... Read More
Borders
Vince 24th May 2018

Worn out Road

The Oxford Canal north of Braunston winds its way towards Rugby through emerald fields. The towpath is narrow and overhung. Drifts... Read More
Worn out Road
Vince 24th May 2018

Soggy bottoms (and soggy tops too!)

Saturday. Sunny...April...Saturday!  The weekend traffic jostles Blue Audi as I head north-west. At Rothersthorpe Services there... Read More
Soggy bottoms (and soggy tops too!)
Vince 24th May 2018

TESS

At baptisms, at weddings, at funerals, every organist knows he or she may have to give their own good account of Lord of the Dance... Read More
TESS
Vince 24th May 2018

Gongoozler

Is everywhere the same as everywhere else?I've been putting off this walk for a while. It looks like hard work: a slog up the Leamington... Read More
Gongoozler
Vince 24th May 2018

Gathering Nuts in May?

Gathering Nuts in May?May is my favourite month to get outside and enjoy the awakening of the woodland in our wonderful Northamptonshire... Read More
Gathering Nuts in May?
Laura 26th Apr 2018

The Insider Guide to Northampton

Want to visit but have no idea what to see, do and try? We do! We do!Keen to make the most of everyone’s favourite East Midlands... Read More
The Insider Guide to Northampton
Anna Lou 25th Apr 2018

Beautiful Barton Hall

Beautiful Barton HallThis is a one word review from me and then I’m letting my Muddy mates (above) tell you about Barton Hall... Read More
Beautiful Barton Hall
Anna Lou 25th Apr 2018

Walk 10: A lovely circular walk for all the family around Northamptonshire’s jewel in the canal network

The ‘Needs to Know’ Distance: 6.2 miles (10 km) Time to walk: Another one that you can crack in under 3 hours, but this... Read More
Walk 10: A lovely circular walk for all the family...
Dave 19th Apr 2018

Walk 9: Wonderful water, wildlife & willows

The ‘Needs to Know’ Distance: 7 miles (11.3km) Time to walk: Today the weather was threatening so we pushed round with... Read More
Walk 9: Wonderful water, wildlife & willows
Dave 19th Apr 2018

Walk 8: 8 miles across the fields with great views & big trees on a boiling hot day. Mind the sheep poo though!!

The ‘Needs to Know’ Distance: 8 miles (12.8km) Time to walk: Can do in about 3 hours, but today was sooooo hot &... Read More
Walk 8: 8 miles across the fields with great views...
Dave 19th Apr 2018

Walk 7: Stepping back in time across the fields to ‘The Deserted Village’

The ‘Needs to Know’ Distance: 3.7 miles (5.95km) Time to walk: This is a short little walk & even stopping to take... Read More
Walk 7: Stepping back in time across the fields to...
Dave 19th Apr 2018

Walk 6: A quick stroll around The Bringtons & a wave to Diana..

The ‘Needs to Know’ Distance: 4.4 miles (7.1 km) Time to walk: If the weather’s good and the land dry you should... Read More
Walk 6: A quick stroll around The Bringtons & a wave...
Dave 19th Apr 2018

Walk 5: Market towns, fields, ‘Snakes (nearly) on a Plane’ & frustration…”Get off my land!”

The ‘Needs to Know’ Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km) Time to walk: Well this one would normally take around 2.5 hours, but... Read More
Walk 5: Market towns, fields, ‘Snakes (nearly) on...
Dave 19th Apr 2018

Walk 4: A 10 mile circular walk from an ancient Abbey, along the Nene way, through the washlands & beyond!

The ‘Needs to Know’ Distance: 10 miles (16.1km) Time to walk: Best foot forward you can crack this one in about 3 1/... Read More
Walk 4: A 10 mile circular walk from an ancient Abbey...
Dave 19th Apr 2018

Walk 3: An ancient footpath, a gunpowder plot, a tale of woes, fab jams & marmalades & a canal finish

Walk 3: An ancient footpath, a gunpowder plot, a tale of woes, fab jams & marmalades & a canal finish The ‘Needs to... Read More
Walk 3: An ancient footpath, a gunpowder plot, a tale...
Dave 19th Apr 2018

Walk 2: A golf course, open fields, villages, a canal, pocket parks &, oh…an injury…

The ‘Needs to Know’ Distance: 8 miles (12.8 km) Time to walk: Can be done in 3.5 hours, but depends how many stops you... Read More
Walk 2: A golf course, open fields, villages, a canal...
Dave 19th Apr 2018

Walk 1: A fantastic walk including a stately home, great tea rooms, rivers, wildlife, spooky graveyards & a secret place…shhh!

The ‘Needs to Know’ Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km) Time to walk: Have done in just over 2 hours at pace, although there... Read More
Walk 1: A fantastic walk including a stately home,...
Dave 19th Apr 2018

Our great American tales

For a good part of its history, Northamptonshire was at the centre of events that shaped our country, however in recent years, for... Read More
Our great American tales
Mike 23rd Mar 2018

Is this a red or white rose county? The Lancastrian connection…

The second part of Mike Ingram’s two part examination of Northamptonshire’s key role in the Wars of the Roses…... Read More
Is this a red or white rose county? The Lancastrian...
Mike 23rd Mar 2018

Queen Eleanor’s Cross – a love story

Alarming pictures of Northampton’s Queen Eleanor Cross overgrown with weeds prompted a new Facebook group and the promise of... Read More
Queen Eleanor’s Cross – a love story
Mike 23rd Mar 2018

What about Kingsthorpe Obelisk?

Mike Ingram and his team are doing a great job trying to get Northampton Borough Council to repair the Queen Eleanor Cross.But what... Read More
What about Kingsthorpe Obelisk?
Mike 23rd Mar 2018

It was festival season in the medieval era

Historian Mike Ingram reveals that real medieval tournament’s were sprawling and chaotic – and some of the best took place... Read More
It was festival season in the medieval era
Mike 23rd Mar 2018

How a king was defeated at the Battle of Northampton

Mike Ingram tells the story of the 1460 Battle of Northampton which will be commemorated on July 15 and 16 at Delapre Abbey. Northamptonshire... Read More
How a king was defeated at the Battle of Northampton...
Mike 23rd Mar 2018

PRESS RELEASE: The Earl Spencer & Revd Richard Coles launch celebration of Northamptonshire's 100 best historic churches

2018: The Year of Northamptonshire Churches The Earl Spencer and Revd Richard Coles launch celebration of Northamptonshire&rsquo... Read More
PRESS RELEASE: The Earl Spencer & Revd Richard Coles...
Kate 27th Mar 2018

Walking the battlefield

At the weekend I felt like a big brave boy because I got some scratches on my leg while I was out on the old bicycle. Brambles and... Read More
Walking the battlefield
Mike 15th Mar 2018

The battle decided by a Banbury bar maid

Historian Mike Ingram reveals the story behind the Battle of Edgecote which legend has it was decided by the whim of a Banbury bar... Read More
The battle decided by a Banbury bar maid
Mike 14th Mar 2018

Magna Carta – the Northampton connection

Mike Ingram unpicks the role of Northampton in the Barons’ War and how it played a key role in bringing King John to seal Magna... Read More
Magna Carta – the Northampton connection
Mike 14th Mar 2018

The Gunpowder Plot in Northamptonshire

Mike Ingram takes a forensic look at history’s most famous terror plot and how it was very much a Northamptonshire conspiracy... Read More
The Gunpowder Plot in Northamptonshire
Mike 14th Mar 2018

The Hog, the Dog and the Cat

Historian Mike Ingram says Northamptonshire should stake its claim not just as the Rose of the Shires but also the Shire of the Roses... Read More
The Hog, the Dog and the Cat
Mike 14th Mar 2018

The Delapre Abbey story

Mike Ingram delivers an epic account of the history of Delapre Abbey… Although the café has been open for a while and... Read More
The Delapre Abbey story
Mike 14th Mar 2018

The Ecton Connection

This month I am on the trail of one of Northamptonshire's most illustrious grandsons, Benjamin Franklin. One of the seven Founding... Read More
The Ecton Connection
Laura 13th Mar 2018

We've created 'a thing'!

You may have heard of Champing™. Its had quite a lot of attention in recent years and has brought worldwide press interest to... Read More
We've created 'a thing'!
Chana 07th Mar 2018

Learning about Leather

This month I am visiting one of Northamptonshire's most interesting exhibits. It's hidden away in plain sight and costs nothing to... Read More
Learning about Leather
Laura 21st Feb 2018

Fotheringhay: an end, and a beginning

This month I’m visiting one of Northamptonshire’s prettiest villages. Fotheringhay has a spectacularly beautiful church... Read More
Fotheringhay: an end, and a beginning
Laura 01st Feb 2018

Lyveden New Bield - an interrupted dream

This month I’m visiting one of the most enigmatic places in Northamptonshire. The never completed pleasure house of a man who... Read More
Lyveden New Bield - an interrupted dream
Laura 22nd Jan 2018

The Christmas Ghost Story

Here’s a comic tale from Christmas Eve over 300 years ago, where a group of lads managed to terrify themselves and annoy the... Read More
The Christmas Ghost Story
Laura 14th Nov 2017

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot!

Ashby Manor, Ashby St Ledgers, Northamptonshire We all know how the rhyme goes... ‘Remember remember the fifth of November... Read More
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot!
Laura 30th Oct 2017

Take the Silverstone driving test!

Super duper founder of Muddy Stilettos, Hero Brown shows us her skills on her visit back to Silverstone! Rev me up, wipe down my... Read More
Take the Silverstone driving test!
Anna Lou 19th Oct 2017

It’s the bumper Muddy October Half Term special

The nights are drawing in, and school is out (again). Let Muddy guide you through the family fun to be had in Northants this October... Read More
It’s the bumper Muddy October Half Term special
Anna Lou 19th Oct 2017

Muddy Eats: The Rose & Crown

On the website blurb it says the Rose & Crown captures all the qualities of what a classic English country pub should be. And... Read More
Muddy Eats: The Rose & Crown
Anna Lou 19th Oct 2017

What do you mean I love the fashion at Rushden Lakes?

Shhhhhh, I'm not usually a fan of shopping centres, but when they're in the heart of the beautiful Nene Valley surrounded by lakes... Read More
What do you mean I love the fashion at Rushden Lakes...
Anna Lou 19th Oct 2017

Melancholy and Magnificent, the Montagu Monuments

Visiting one of our Northamptonshire churches, I was unexpectedly dazzled by a chancel full of ethereal light reflecting off pure... Read More
Melancholy and Magnificent, the Montagu Monuments
Laura 07th Sep 2017

Harvest and History at Canons Ashby

The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness begins as the Harvest is gathered in. All over Northamptonshire the bounty of nature will... Read More
Harvest and History at Canons Ashby
Laura 16th Aug 2017

Life a’Fermyn at the Woods

Muddy (and doggy pal) visits a real hidden gem within our lovely Northants countryside What better than an impromptu Sunday morning... Read More
Life a’Fermyn at the Woods
Anna Lou 17th Jul 2017

The Folly (food review)

Mellow moments and creative flair are both on tap at one of Northants not so hidden culinary gems It would be easy to drive past... Read More
The Folly (food review)
Anna Lou 17th Jul 2017

Overstone Arms

A village pub with countryside charm... LOCATION I often drive past the picturesque village of Pytchley on my way to the cinema... Read More
Overstone Arms
Anna Lou 17th Jul 2017

Out and about in Oundle

This month’s history hunting took me to the north east of the county, to visit a town famous for it’s ancient good looks... Read More
Out and about in Oundle
Laura 11th Jul 2017

Ready to be surprised by Northamptonshire? Grand Prix Weekend

Ready to be surprised by Northamptonshire?Grand Prix Weekend So, you’re coming to one of the world’s greatest sporting... Read More
Ready to be surprised by Northamptonshire? Grand Prix...
Laura 05th Jul 2017

Zoooom – 5 great things to do on British Grand Prix weekend

Well we all know how great Northamptonshire is and on the weekend of 14/15/16 July, Silverstone Circuit faces the glare of  global... Read More
Zoooom – 5 great things to do on British Grand Prix...
Anna Lou 30th Jun 2017

Rebels, Riots and Green Cheese versus the Vote!

8th June 2017, a significant date for the future of our country, and a date when we all must exercise our right to vote. An almost... Read More
Rebels, Riots and Green Cheese versus the Vote!
Laura 05th Jun 2017

10 Fabulous Northants Festivals…

There are loads of festival shenanigans planned for the county between now and September. Move over Glasters and V - Northamptonshire... Read More
10 Fabulous Northants Festivals…
Anna Lou 18th May 2017

Reviews: The Addams Family

If you're at a loose end this week and want to entertain you, the kids, the partner, your girlfriends, please see this! I’m... Read More
Reviews: The Addams Family
Anna Lou 18th May 2017

12 Cosy Northants Pubs

I wrote this post just before Christmas 2016 but we have at least another month of freakin’ cold weather, so this is a reminder... Read More
12 Cosy Northants Pubs
Anna Lou 18th May 2017

Our Daily Bread & Pullet

We're back at The Bread & Pullet to review their brunch menu, weekend mornings will never be the same again Those of you Mudsters... Read More
Our Daily Bread & Pullet
Anna Lou 18th May 2017

Tea at Highgate House

A 5 star afternoon tea experience and free glass of sparkly for each diner (it would be rude not to, no?) Who lives in a Highgate... Read More
Tea at Highgate House
Anna Lou 18th May 2017

The Brampton Halt

It's good for a beer festival AND for a meal, read our review of the pub set in Northamptonshire's gorgeous countryside. Who doesn... Read More
The Brampton Halt
Anna Lou 18th May 2017

The Stanwick Hotel

It's an oasis of tranquility and quality, set on the edge of the A45. It's easy to reach and even easier to relax. I’m a regular... Read More
The Stanwick Hotel
Anna Lou 18th May 2017

Bravo Nuovo!

Are we really surprised that Nuovo has maintained it’s high standards over the Northamptonshire years? Not really. Nuovo may... Read More
Bravo Nuovo!
Anna Lou 18th May 2017

High Five Northants – Cocktail Bars

Top Five Cocktail Bars It’s that time of year where it’s ok to apply as much sparkle as you want, get dolled up to the... Read More
High Five Northants – Cocktail Bars
Anna Lou 18th May 2017

Mini Staycation – The Narrowboat, Weedon

Weekend breaks, secret dates, and catching up with mates. It's a step into rural Northamptonshire, but offers the cuisine most often... Read More
Mini Staycation – The Narrowboat, Weedon
Anna Lou 18th May 2017

Rushton Hall Reviewed

Less than half an hour from Northampton town, this oasis will have you clamouring back  I had mixed reactions when I said I... Read More
Rushton Hall Reviewed
Anna Lou 17th May 2017

Twentieth Century Style in an Eighteenth Century Mansion

Kelmarsh Hall and the MacDonald Gill exhibitionI wonder if anyone else plays my game when visiting stately homes? I like to pretend... Read More
Twentieth Century Style in an Eighteenth Century Mansion...
Laura 08th May 2017

Easter Excellence

Northamptonshire has had a bumper Easter with some attractions reporting three times the number of visitors seen last year. How exciting... Read More
Easter Excellence
Laura 26th Apr 2017

The Rothwell Bone Crypt

Macabre mediaeval RothwellHere’s a suggestion for a visit to a historic site that is almost unique in Britain, and it is so... Read More
The Rothwell Bone Crypt
Laura 13th Apr 2017

Breathtaking Boughton

I am very rarely lost for words, as a fully card carrying extrovert I find it harder to restrain myself than to be quiet. However... Read More
Breathtaking Boughton
Laura 01st Mar 2017

Exploring the watery world of Stoke Bruerne

This month I have the perfect suggestion to keep all the family happy. It has been the favoured location for day trips for my brood... Read More
Exploring the watery world of Stoke Bruerne
Laura 28th Feb 2017

Snowdrops, surprises and stunning architecture

Snowdrops, surprises and stunning architecture Discovering Deene Park The fun of Christmas is long behind us now, and although we... Read More
Snowdrops, surprises and stunning architecture
Laura 17th Jan 2017

Llama-rama-ding-dong

Or How to have a great day and a big surprise in the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside I love walking. There’s something... Read More
Llama-rama-ding-dong
Laura 01st Feb 2017

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