Northampton gives the best of both worlds for commuters
Posted 5 September 2016 by Fiona Brandhorst
A huge amount of regeneration is taking place in this historic city including the replacement of the train station and a proposed new bus station. Train services into London Euston take just 54 minutes. The University of Northampton has a £330m plan to bring its campus into the heart of the city centre to be at the forefront of the new Enterprise Zone.
This is just part of a wider redevelopment of a stretch of waterfront leading to the centre, providing an abundance of commercial space. New council offices are being built next to the town’s cultural quarter bringing workers with £12m spending power back to the centre of Northampton.
Northampton’s history as a boot and shoe town has been well recognised since the 17th century. It wasn’t until the advent of industrial processes that a significant and lasting effect was seen on the town. From the middle of the 19th century the industry developed at an astonishing pace resulting in low rows of terraced housing and factory buildings which make up the historic core of the town today. Northampton’s shoe heritage is celebrated at the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery which houses one of the largest collections of shoes in the world.
Dating from 1235, the Market Square is one of the oldest and largest in England. After the great fire of Northampton in 1675 the town was rebuilt around the square and many of those buildings survive today. Traditional and specialist stalls set up from Tuesday to Saturday with fresh fruit, vegetables, cut flowers and plants available on Monday. An award-winning visitor attraction is 78 Derngate, a 19th century townhouse remodelled by artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1917 in the Art Deco style.
St Giles has been recognised as one of the leading high streets in the country and won the Best British High Street award in 2015. The bustling town centre has a wealth of bars, historic hostelries, restaurants and further shopping facilities which are based around the impressive Grosvenor Centre. Head to Wellingborough Road for a host of great restaurants and bars and a selection of artisan eateries can be found in Derby Road and Magee Street on the edge of town. The Weston Favell Shopping Centre on the outskirts of Northampton has over 50 shops and restaurants including a 24-hour Tesco supermarket.
Northampton’s Cultural Quarter includes The Royal Theatre, arthouse cinema, the Errol Flynn Filmhouse and the NN Contemporary Arts venue. Northampton currently plays host to a number of events to celebrate its cultural diversity including the Northampton Carnival. The Sixfields Leisure boasts a variety of restaurants, pubs, a cinema, gym and other leisure facilities. The green space of Abingdon Park is a firm favourite as are Upton County Park and Hunsbury Hill Country Park. Northampton Town Football Club, known as the Cobblers, plays in League One and the Northampton Saints is a Premiership Rugby club.
There are several popular primary schools including Castle Academy and Bridgewater Primary School. Co-educational secondary schools include Kingsthorpe College, Abbeyfield School and the Malcolm Arnold Academy. Single sex schools include Northampton School for Boys and Northampton School for Girls and Billing Brook special school. Independent schools include Northampton High School for girls and co-ed St Peter’s.
A monthly season ticket to London costs £599.10 from Northampton (£6,240 annually) with the average journey taking 1hr 2mins. Trains to Milton Keynes take 14 minutes (£177.80 monthly, £1,852 annually); Birmingham takes 1hr (£199.70 monthly, £2,080 annually.
Northampton is close to the M1 giving quick and easy access to London, 68 miles away and 1hr 40 minutes by road, and to the North. Birmingham Airport is an hour via the M1 and M6, Luton Airport is 50 minutes via the M1, Heathrow is 1hr 22 minutes via the M1 and M25.
Here’s a round-up of great new homes to buy in Northampton:
Pearce Leatherworks (Lagan Homes) - Within easy reach of Northampton’s historic town centre this development has been well-designed for contemporary living with high environmental credentials. Choose from the two-bedroom 'Swanson', 'Garbo', a three-bedroom coach house, four-bedroom 'Stanwyck', 'Lombard' and 'Chaplin' and five-bedroom 'Hemingway' and 'Valentino' homes. Prices from £132,000. Read more about Pearce Leatherworks from Lagan Homes
Moulton Rise (David Wilson Homes) - The Manning is a spacious five-bedroom home featuring breakfast, family and utility areas. The ground floor comprises a large dining room, study and generous sized lounge with French doors leading into the garden. The master bedroom and a second bedroom have en suites. Priced at £509,995. Find out more about Moulton Rise from David Wilson Homes
Saxon Rise (Barratt Homes) - The 'Stratford' is a stunning three-storey family home featuring a large lounge area, dining room and kitchen with French doors to the rear garden. On the first floor there are two generously-sized bedrooms and a spacious master bedroom with a dressing area and en-suite bathroom and a family bathroom. The second floor features a double and single bedroom plus shower room. Find out more about Saxon Rise from Barratt Homes
Buckton Fields (Martin Grant Homes) - This collection of two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom houses is situated between Northampton and the village of Boughton. A park-and-ride service will offer a connection for residents into the centre of Northampton, three miles away. Prices start from £204,950. For more information www.bucktonfieldsmgh.co.uk; 01604 269910
Hunsbury Fields (Bloor Homes) - Just two miles south-west of Northampton town centre, this is a superb collection of three- and four-bedroom homes well-served by a host of local amenities. Upton County Park and Hunsbury Hill Country Park are both within walking distance. Priced from £350,000 for four-bedroom detached house. For more information visit www,bloorhomes.com ; 01604 809610