Events
this week
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Starting to Reopen

Starting to Reopen

  • Yelvertoft to Crick Walk

    Yelvertoft to Crick Walk

    10th July 2020

    It’s July already. Where did the first six months of 2020 go? What a different place the world seems today, to what it did back then. Whilst restrictions are now starting to be lifted, one thing has gratefully remained constant; our ability to exercise and enjoy our wonderful, local, Northamptonshire countryside. This week’s 5.9 mile ‘easy’ walk is a fantastic example of what a beautiful county we live in. It starts in the quiet village of Yelvertoft, which has connections back to Saxon times. From here we follow a straight line along an old cart track as it rises steadily to give magnificent view across rolling countryside. You’ll also cross the Grand Union Canal twice on the way to Crick. If you fancy a short diversion, Crack’s Hill was created during the last ice age, when melted water deposited material underneath the ice. Once the ice sheet retreated it left a pile of silt and rock behind... Read More »

  • Filmhouse at Delapre

    Filmhouse at Delapre

    9th July 2020

    Northampton Filmhouse and Delapré Abbey announce new Drive-In Cinema. Northampton Filmhouse and Delapré Abbey have announced a new Drive-In Cinema for Northampton, running from Thursday 23 July to Sunday 9 August. Filmhouse@Delapré will feature a bumper season of films, curated by Northampton Filmhouse enjoyed on a gigantic screen against the beautiful and historic backdrop of Delapré Abbey. This fully-socially distanced experience allows film fans to see all their favourite movies as they’ve never done before. With more than 20 films to choose from spanning eight decades, Filmhouse@Delapré offers a Covid-safe summer of entertainment for all the family. Titles include recent blockbuster hits, film classics ,family friendly titles and the best from Northampton Filmhouse’s recent programme, with highlights such as Back to the Future, Grease, Mary Poppins, Downtown Abbey, Romeo &... Read More »

  • Oundle International Festival

    Oundle International Festival

    9th July 2020

    While we may not be able to meet together this year in real space and time, that will not stop us being in virtual space and time to enjoy the 2020 Oundle International Virtual Festival! This five-day long online event will feature recorded and live material showcasing the range of work we normally present. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous supporter, I have been able to commission some of our performers to record videos especially for the Virtual Festival, while others have generously provided new or existing recordings for us all to enjoy. Every day during the Virtual Festival, we will post new material. The videos are all around 5-10 minutes. After their initial posting they will remain on our website for you to enjoy again and again! We will also be presenting The Price of a Bed for the Night, a speciallycommissioned mini-series. Accessed via our website, at 4.30pm every day during the Virtual Festival, storyteller Jo... Read More »

  • Oundle Farmers Market

    Oundle Farmers Market

    9th July 2020

    Oundle Farmers Market takes place on the second Saturday of every month in Oundle’s beautiful and historic market place. The stall holders sell a delicious range of fresh food from local producers including fruit and veg, flowers, eggs, cheese and not so local fresh fish which is always popular in a town a long way from the sea. Farmer Simon Singlehurst usually has a hog roast on the go and Ganders Goat sells delicious ice cream flavours made with goats milk to name a few. Do not forget to visit all the local shops and enjoy a coffee and cake in one of the cafes on the streets around the market place. After a pause during lockdown, the market is up and running again with sensible social distancing restrictions in place. There is plenty of free parking nearby. Read More »

  • Silverstone's new museum to reopen on 20 July

    Silverstone's new museum to reopen on 20 July

    2nd July 2020

    The Silverstone Experience, located at the Home of British Motor Racing, will reopen on 20 July, giving motorsport fans the chance to get their racing fix after months of lockdown. Visitors will be able to get close to cars and bikes from seven decades of motorsport history and experience the Ultimate Lap – an immersive cinema show.  The museum team has prepared for a safe and fun experience for all visitors, and has achieved the Visit England consumer mark ‘We’re Good to Go’. Built in a restored WW2 RAF hangar, The Silverstone Experience is a huge indoor space naturally allowing for social distancing. Timed entry tickets will be limited each day.  This family-friendly interactive museum is perfect for a family day out, and is located in rural Northamptonshire with ample free parking.    From 20 July, the museum will be open daily from 10:00 – 18:00, with timed tickets available... Read More »

  • Made at Home & Beyond

    Made at Home & Beyond

    30th June 2020

    On March 14th we took the heart-breaking decision to cancel an event we had been working towards for over 18 months. Back then, as UK cases of COVID-19 were beginning to rise, we sensed that change was coming but had no comprehension of the devastating effect it would have on the cultural sector. Like so many other businesses and charities, over the last few months our entire delivery model has changed. We started with Made at Home, a 6-week programme of artist-led online video tutorials for people to follow at home. Local households joined us in a photo scavenger hunt, making story cubes and dancing around their living rooms. These resources are all still online. Some activities have flourished during lockdown – the residents of Kingswood and Hazel Leys in Corby have been busy writing poetry for a book to be published in the autumn, Corby Community Arts have delivered creativity packs directly to the doors of local families,... Read More »

  • Reflections on a Northamptonshire Lockdown part 2

    Reflections on a Northamptonshire Lockdown part 2

    23rd June 2020

     …A green of all colours, yellow brown and dark grey While the footpath all darkly goes winding away… John Clare   Thanks for all the positive feedback for my previous post.  I have succumbed to the walking bug several times since then and my enthusiasm for the county’s many surprises continues to grow! Our canal paths offer the walker a whole new side of life, not only things not seen before but also completely different angles on landscapes and places otherwise familiar.  Lockdown has pretty well paralysed the leisure industry and apart from the small band of permanent boat-dwellers, users of canal amenities have been few.  Busy locks, normally accompanied by the sound of rushing water, are silent and the system has been calm and still, left to the natural world. One expedition, tracking up the Leicester arm of the Grand Union brought me to the flight of seven locks at Watford.&nbsp... Read More »

  • Local is for life, not just for lockdown

    Local is for life, not just for lockdown

    19th June 2020

    Fast forward to Christmas and the conversation over the turkey is unlikely to be stuffed with many good things to have come out of the current crisis. However, if there’s one positive to have emerged, it is surely the surge in demand for buying local, as customers have switched crowded supermarkets for smaller independent shops and producers. Now, as the lockdown rules are relaxed further, the team behind the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards, the annual competition run by the sector, for the sector, is urging consumers to remember those county bakers and brewers, pie and pickle-makers  – and the local venues that stock them - who have stepped up to the plate to best serve their communities when they were most needed. Among those to have gone above and beyond, ensuring that their virtual shelves have been packed with some of the county’s fabulous food and drink, is The Good Loaf in Northampton,... Read More »

  • Nassington Circular walk

    Nassington Circular walk

    19th June 2020

    This week’s walk (7.7 miles) is in the far eastern part of the county and includes a visit to a rather special monument. It takes in some of Northamptonshire’s most beautiful woodland and countryside so listen out for some great birdsong. We heard a fabulous cuckoo… We start at the church in the lovely village of Nassington, which has existed since Anglo Saxon times, before passing into open meadow with wild flowers and butterflies.  The route then enters Old Sulehay Forest, part of the ancient Rockingham Forest, a former royal hunting forest. From here we move into Croker Wood to finally emerge on a bridleway through Kings Cliffe Industrial Estate that will take us to the monument. Hidden away in a corner of the forest is the concrete floor of a former World War II aircraft hanger and at one end is a plinth marking the exact spot where American Big Band Leader, Glenn Miller conducted his orchestra in their... Read More »

  • Farm Shops & Delis Now Open

    Farm Shops & Delis Now Open

    18th June 2020

    We are liaising with Made in Northamptonshire to bring you up to date news of the county’s wonderful farm shops and delis, now open and at the centre of our 'shop local’ revolution. If you have details to add or update please email: info@northamptonshiresurprise.com Business Town Ashley Farm Shop Ashley Beckworth Emporium Mears Ashby Bell Plantation Towcester Bliss Lane Nursery & Farm Shop Flore Bosworth Garden Centre Burton Latimer Canal Turn Farm Shop Whilton Creaton Village Shop Creaton Daily Bread Co-operative Ltd Northampton Dovecote Buttery and Farm Shop Newton Glebe Farm Kettering Hamm Tun Fine Foods Long Buckby Limes Farm Farthinghoe MIN Onlyne Local produce online New Creation Farm Nether Heyford New... Read More »

  • Appeal launched to save Wicksteed Park as company calls in administrators

    Appeal launched to save Wicksteed Park as company calls in administrators

    18th June 2020

    Appeal launched to save Wicksteed Park as company calls in administrators and is left “devastated” by job losses The Wicksteed Charitable Trust, which owns Wicksteed Park, has launched a fundraising appeal in a bid to save the park in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Wicksteed Park is the oldest theme park on the UK mainland and one of the oldest in the world. It is owned by Wicksteed Charitable Trust but has been run by a wholly-owned subsidiary company, Wicksteed Park Ltd. Wicksteed Park Ltd has been unable to avoid going into administration, with the loss of 48 permanent staff and 67 part-time and other jobs, due to the huge financial strain caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Backed by the Wicksteed Charitable Trust a small group of employees has formed a new company, much reduced in size, to try and safeguard the future of the park. The decision to call in administrators comes after the government announced... Read More »

  • Farmers Markets

    Farmers Markets

    12th June 2020

    We are liaising with friends all around the county to bring you up to date details of the county’s brilliant, open air weekly and monthly markets. If you have a market to add please email: info@northamptonshiresurprise.com Town When Timings Brackley Weekly, Friday 8am to 2pm. Higham Ferrers Monthly, last Saurday of the month. 9am to 1pm. Oundle Monthly, second Saturday of the month. 8am to 2pm. Thrapston First Saturday of each month (not in January). 9am to 1pm. Towcester Monthly, second Friday of the month. 9am to 1.30pm. Read More »

  • Althorp and the Bringtons

    Althorp and the Bringtons

    12th June 2020

    This week’s walk is a 4.5 mile stroll across glorious countryside and takes in two of Northamptonshire’s most beautiful villages, together with the opportunity of a great view of one of our most well-known stately homes, Althorp. We start outside the church in Great Brington which, once it’s open to visitors again, welcomes visitors with open arms, and contains the Spencer family chapel, where nineteen generations of the family are interred. From here we enter the centre of the village by one of two excellent hostelries on this walk…The Althorp Coaching Inn (well worth a visit for refreshments – again when open). The walk now leaves the village across undulating farmland as it heads towards Little Brington. There’s an opportunity to see lots of flora and fauna and, if you encounter another soul, you’ll be unlucky! Little Brington is another lovely village and, when it’s open, you&rsquo... Read More »

  • Open Air Market in Brackley 

    Open Air Market in Brackley 

    9th June 2020

    It was last Friday, around midday, when I walked slowly along with heaps of fruit and vegetables piled up on either side. Basket in hand I dropped into it a fat, mat-green spring cabbage, a bundle of tort asparagus and another of astringent rocket, then my eye was caught by early peaches on the other side and the piled up early cherries with the anticipation of that sweet-sour taste. No not a meander in a Provencal market but at our very own one in Brackley. Here were also bunches of new carrots, baubles of radishes, lozenge shaped shallots and this year's garlic with tidily gathered herbs lying near the till. The assistant was help itself finding a cardboard box to put everything in which was not already wrapped in a brown paper bag; no plastic here. Whilst paying I noticed some raspberries and thought to buy some as well. I quickly added them to the pile of shopping only... Read More »

  • Reflections on a Northamptonshire Lockdown

    Reflections on a Northamptonshire Lockdown

    8th June 2020

    The one delicious green that now pervades The woods and fields in endless lights and shades… How clever of John Clare, ‘the Northamptonshire poet’, to capture such images of the county’s countryside exactly 200 years ago.  And for those of us lucky enough to have remained healthy during Corona Virus lockdown, what a revelation our daily local excursions into that countryside have been. The restrictions we have lived with have brought opportunities as well, especially for those in rural locations.  Since February some sparkling weather has prompted many people to get out for their fresh air around the ample network of footpaths and byways offered by Northamptonshire.  Rights of way are generally well marked and a variety of stiles and kissing gates help keep you on your route.  They can lead you to stunning views across picturesque farmland, unexpected quiet nooks and woodland teeming with... Read More »

  • Another helping of superheroes!

    Another helping of superheroes!

    6th June 2020

    ‘Not all superheroes wear capes’ – so the saying goes – and you certainly need look no further than the county’s food and drink sector to see a wealth of community champions helping in the fight against COVID-19 who would give any Marvel comic strip character a run for their money. So it is that, while the coronavirus outbreak has put paid to their usual competitive format, the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards are not only continuing to act as a business support hub for the sector, but are also celebrating those who are responding to the ongoing challenges by becoming vital, if impromptu, local food heroes.  Among them is James Peck of Burnt Lemon Chefs in Northampton, runner-up in the ‘Chef of the Year’ category in last year’s Awards, who, with fellow ‘New Local Drink’ finalist Benjamin Jelley of Jelley Distilleries at Brixworth, has created a social isolation... Read More »

  • Supporting our local food heroes

    Supporting our local food heroes

    5th June 2020

    Over the last six years, local breakfast giant Weetabix has supported the celebration of some of our most passionate foodies through its sponsorship of the ‘Local Food Hero’ category in the county’s prestigious annual sector competition. Now, as headline sponsor of the ‘Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards’, that role has become all the more crucial as the company not only helps to support sector businesses facing the toughest of challenges, but also honours those which, through their impressive responses to the crisis, have become stalwarts of their communities.  Weetabix Food Company Marketing Director, Francesca Theokli, says recognition of our heroes is vital and indeed, while the awards may currently be operating very differently from their usual format, the company’s commitment to the competition is unwavering: “The Awards were launched twelve years ago to help support... Read More »

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