Northampton train station and destination guide (England)

Northampton train station and destination guide (England)

The Northampton train station serves London in just over an hour and Birmingham in just under. This is a town most people will have passed through at some point.

We were in Northampton for our first long stay house/pet sit, with Luna the beautiful Shepherd The closest we’d been previously (and on the same train line) is Rugby, birthplace of the game of the same name.

There is so much to see and do in this cute market town. Next time you’re on the west coast mainline get off at Northampton train station and see for yourself.


Luna our Trusted Housesitter dog in Northampton


Northampton train station and destination guide

As the county town of Northamptonshire, Northampton is steeped in history, with archaeological evidence dating back as far as the bronze age.

It wasn’t until thousands of years later that the town grew in national importance, following the building of Northampton Castle in 1084.

It went on to become one of the most famous Norman castles in England, an occasional royal residence and regular host of parliament.


Northampton train station and destination guide (England)


Unfortunately, there’s not much left to see. Charles II ordered the destruction of the town walls and most of the castle in 1662 after the town supported the roundheads in the English Civil War.


Northampton train station and destination city guide (England)

The rest of the castle was flattened to make way for the train line. The Poster Gate only remains visible today. It was dismantled from its original position and rebuilt into the walls of Northampton railway station.



The town was hit by more destruction in 1675 with the Great Fire of Northampton. This fire destroyed an estimated 600 buildings. Although, Welsh House on Market Square and Hazelrigg House both survived. They are now Grade II listed buildings worth a visit.


Northampton train station and destination guide (England) - Abington Park


Where to visit in Northampton

Abington Park was just up the road from where we were staying on our house sit, and it’s beautiful!

The park was built on the site of a medieval manor house and mill which was mentioned in the Domesday Book. It’s Northampton’s oldest and most popular park. Some of the ruins are really interesting, reminiscent of what you can find in York.


The park features two lakes, a model boating lake and the church of St Peter and St Paul. It’s home to Abington Park Museum, which is housed in Abington Park Manor House.

It won’t come as any surprise to hear that the town is home to a museum of Leathercraft, also based in the house.


Northampton destination guide (England)


What’s with all the shoes?

Northampton has long been a major centre for footwear and leather manufacturing. By the end of the 18th century, a third of all adult males in the town were making shoes. It also supplied the British army with more than 23 million pairs of boots for World War I.

Barkers, Churches and Trickers are three of the most famous names to come out of the town. Although Churches, which was founded in 1873, is no longer a family run business after it was bought by Prada in 1999.

Trickers might be the least known name on the list, despite having a royal warrant. That’s because 80% of their sales come from overseas.

All three brands still have factories and factory shops in the town today.

This area was also famously the location for 2005’s Kinky Boots which was later turned into a popular Broadway production.


Northampton - filming for Kinky Boots and a history of shoemaking


From shoes to shopping (for more shoes?)

Shopping is another reason to visit the market town. There are three shopping centres, including the Grosvenor Centre, Weston Favell and Market Walk shopping centre, which are home to all the high street favourites.

We also discovered some excellent vintage and second hand stores. A highlight is Vintage Guru spread across two floors and boasting many locally handmade gifts.

This is all as well as the widely acclaimed market, which has taken place in its present location since 1235!

So, if it’s history, some bargain leather or a sporting event, with both Northampton Town football club and Northampton Saints Rugby based just outside the town centre, there are plenty of reasons to visit.


Onwards on our house sitting journey: we went from here, a town all about shoes, to house sitting in an Irish town that’s all about hosiery. Find out more


30 Reasons Why You Should Visit Rugby in England (updated 2024)

30 Reasons Why You Should Visit Rugby in England (updated 2024)

Hey there, fellow explorers! It’s Sarah here. I recently revisited Rugby, a charming market town nestled in the heart of England, and oh my, how it’s blossomed since our last jaunt here in 2016! If you’re mulling over where to venture next, let me share with you 30 compelling reasons why you should visit Rugby in England.


Visit Rugby in England: video guide


Travel to Rugby in England: A 2024 Guide


  1. Rugby Art Gallery & Museum: A Cultural Hub

The Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, one of the town’s cultural highlights, offers free admission to all visitors​​. It’s a fantastic spot for art enthusiasts with its range of events and exhibitions, including the Rugby Open 2023 exhibition and engaging drawing workshops.

  1. A Calendar Brimming with Events at The BENN Hall

The BENN Hall in Rugby is bustling with events in 2024. Notably, the Phantom Revival Concert on January 20, priced at £17.50​​, and the Bay City Rollermania on February 23, for £29.00​​. The New Year’s Eve Party is another highlight, with tickets at £28.99​​.

  1. Family-Friendly Performances at Macready Theatre

The Macready Theatre offers delightful family-oriented shows, like The Man Who Wanted to be a Penguin, with ticket prices ranging from £0.00 to £14.00​​. It’s a perfect venue for families seeking entertainment in Rugby.

  1. Alexmas at The Alex: An Artistic Christmas Celebration

The festive event Alexmas at The Alex, located at Alexandra Art, 72-73 James Street, is a free event​​. It combines art with festive cheer, offering a unique experience during the Christmas season.



Rugby UK - ideal to visit on days out in Warwickshire

  1. Rugby Town Concert Band: Melodies that Resonate

The Rugby Town Concert Band performs at various venues, including St. Peter and St. John’s Church. Their concerts are priced at £12.00 – £14.00, with some events being free​​​​.

  1. Santa and the March of the Penguins: A Festive Delight

This charming free event in Rugby’s town centre runs from late November to early January, bringing the magic of a winter wonderland to life​​​​.

  1. A Glimpse into the Past: Celebrating Rugby’s Heritage

The 200th anniversary of Rugby football at Rugby School in 2023 was a milestone for the town. The Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum, which commemorates this heritage, offers adult tickets for £8, concessions for £5, and free entry for under 12s​​.

Days out in Warwickshire - explore Rugby


Rugby’s Rich History and Modern Charms


  1. Rugby School Shop & Tours: Walk Through History

Rugby is synonymous with the game that shares its name, and no visit is complete without exploring the Rugby School Shop & Tours. Walking through the corridors of this prestigious school, where the game was born, was like stepping into a historical novel. The tours are insightful, and the shop is a treasure trove for rugby enthusiasts.

  1. The Outdoor Splendour of Rugby: Draycote Water and More

The town isn’t just about history; it’s also about embracing the outdoors. Draycote Water has become one of our favourite spots for a peaceful walk or a bit of bird watching. And if you’re into nature, don’t miss the Swift Valley Nature Reserve and the Great Central Walk – perfect for those who love to explore the natural beauty of the English countryside.

  1. Fun for Kids: From Toft Studio to Elliotts Field

Rugby is incredibly family-friendly. Take your little ones to Toft Studio – they’ll have a blast. For a day of shopping and leisure, Elliotts Field Retail Park offers a great mix of stores and eateries. It’s ideal for families looking for a variety of activities.


Days out in Warwickshire - Clifton upon Dunsmore


The Culinary Scene: A Taste of Rugby


  1. The Bull Inn: A Culinary Delight

We loved The Bull Inn on our last visit. It’s still there, offering the same warm, inviting atmosphere. The food is as delicious as ever, and the vibe is just perfect for a relaxing evening. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic English pub cuisine.


  1. Summersault: More Than Just a Vegetarian Café

We revisited Summersault, and it remains a gem in Rugby’s culinary crown. The vegetarian fare is scrumptious, and the quirky gift shop adds to its charm. It’s a place that leaves you feeling content, both in heart and stomach.


The Architectural Beauty of Rugby


  1. St. Marie’s Church: A Historic Marvel

On our stroll around town, we were drawn again to the architectural splendour of St. Marie’s Church. The history embedded in its walls and the welcoming community make it a must-visit for anyone interested in architecture and local history.

Wrapping up the Day


  1. A Country Escape in Clifton upon Dunsmore

Our stay in a quaint Airbnb in Clifton upon Dunsmore, just outside Rugby, was the cherry on top of our visit. Overlooking the serene countryside, it was the perfect blend of rural tranquillity and proximity to the town’s attractions.

Days out in Warwickshire - Rugby school


Rugby: Where Every Street Tells a Story

  1. Caldecott Park: A Green Oasis

Amidst the bustling town lies Caldecott Park, a verdant oasis that offers a tranquil escape. Its well-maintained gardens and playgrounds are perfect for a family day out or a quiet stroll to enjoy nature’s beauty. It’s amazing how this park combines the charm of old England with the vibrancy of modern landscape design.

  1. Rugby Theatre: A Cultural Beacon

The Rugby Theatre continues to be a cultural beacon, showcasing a variety of performances. Whether it’s a gripping drama or a light hearted comedy, the theatre’s vibrant community spirit makes every visit memorable. It’s a testament to Rugby’s thriving arts scene.

  1. The Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum: Celebrating Rugby’s Legacy

No trip to Rugby would be complete without a visit to The Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum. This small yet fascinating museum offers a deep dive into the history of the game and its roots in this very town. It’s an absolute must for sports enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Days out in Warwickshire, Rugby architecture


Discovering Rugby’s Hidden Gems


  1. The Adventure Zone: Family Fun Unleashed

For those travelling with kids, The Adventure Zone is a gem. It’s a place where laughter and excitement fill the air, and children can have a blast while parents relax. We loved the vibrant atmosphere and the range of activities available.

  1. Great Central Walk: A Journey Through Nature

The Great Central Walk is a hidden treasure for nature lovers. It’s a peaceful trail that takes you through some of the most picturesque parts of the Warwickshire countryside. Ideal for a leisurely walk or a cycling adventure, this path is a wonderful way to experience the natural beauty surrounding Rugby.

  1. A Peek into Rugby’s Artistic Side: Local Art and Craft

Rugby’s artistic scene is vibrant and diverse. From local galleries to craft shops, the town is brimming with creativity. We stumbled upon several local artists’ studios and were mesmerised by the talent and variety of artwork on display.


Days out in Warwickshire - Rugby, Sommersault


Rugby: A Blend of Tradition and Modernity


  1. A Taste of the Local Life: Markets and Shops

Exploring the local markets and shops in Rugby is a delight. From fresh produce to artisan crafts, these markets are a window into the everyday life of the town. The friendly vendors and the quality of goods reflect the town’s commitment to maintaining its rich heritage while embracing modernity.


  1. Rugby’s Culinary Diversity: From Traditional to Contemporary

Rugby’s culinary scene has something for every palate. From traditional English fare to contemporary cuisine, the variety of dining options is impressive. We enjoyed everything from cosy cafes to elegant restaurants, each offering a unique taste of the local culture.


Days out in Warwickshire - Rugby, St Marie Church


Rugby: Where Past Meets Present


  1. Rugby’s Festive Spirit: A Victorian Christmas

One of the highlights of our trip was experiencing Rugby’s festive spirit. The Victorian Christmas events at the Rugby Art Gallery and Museum were a delightful journey back in time. Making our own Christmas crackers and listening to readings from A Christmas Carol truly captured the essence of a traditional English Christmas.

  1. Engaging Workshops at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum

The Rugby Art Gallery and Museum also offers a range of engaging workshops. A popular recent example friends of ours attended was the Drawing Workshop with Jamie Boots, focusing on wildlife themes like elephants and tigers. These sessions are not just educational but also a fun way to interact with local artists and like-minded art enthusiasts.

  1. Exploring Rugby’s Outdoor Adventures

Beyond its historical and cultural offerings, Rugby has plenty of outdoor adventures. Draycote Water is ideal for water sports and picnics, while Swift Valley Nature Reserve offers tranquil walks amidst diverse wildlife. For the more adventurous, The Adventure Zone provides a thrilling experience for all ages.

Days out in Warwickshire - stay in an airbnb in Rugby


Rugby’s Community Spirit


  1. Rugby Town Concert Band: A Musical Treat

Another gem we discovered was the Rugby Town Concert Band. Their performances, filled with energy and community spirit, are a testament to the town’s vibrant cultural life. The blend of classic and contemporary pieces makes their concerts enjoyable for everyone.

  1. St. Marie’s Church: Architectural and Spiritual Grandeur

A visit to St. Marie’s Church is a journey into Rugby’s spiritual and architectural heritage. The church’s stunning architecture and the warm community make it a serene and welcoming place for reflection and admiration.


Days out in Warwickshire, Rugby, St Marie church


Unwinding in Rugby’s Serene Countryside


  1. A Country Retreat in Clifton upon Dunsmore

Our stay in Clifton upon Dunsmore offered the perfect balance between rural tranquillity and accessibility to Rugby’s attractions. The countryside’s scenic beauty, combined with the cosy and comfortable Airbnb, provided a much-needed retreat after our days of exploration.

  1. Rugby’s Culinary Delights: A Gastronomic Adventure

Rugby’s culinary scene is as diverse as its culture. Whether you crave traditional English pub food or contemporary vegetarian dishes, Rugby’s restaurants cater to every taste.

Days out in Warwickshire - Rugby school


A Town That Leaves You Wanting More


  1. Rugby: A Tapestry of Experiences

As our reminiscing on Rugby comes to a close, I’m reminded of the town’s unique charm. From its historic roots in the sport of rugby to its lively arts scene, vibrant community events, and picturesque natural surroundings, Rugby is a tapestry of experiences waiting to be discovered.

So, there you have it – 30 reasons why Rugby should be on your travel radar in 2024. Whether you’re seeking history, culture, nature, or culinary delights, Rugby offers an enriching and diverse experience. I can’t wait to hear about your adventures in this captivating English town! Drop us a line in the comments to share :)

Looking for other ideas on easy trips out of London? Have a browse here for inspiration.


Do you have any tips on this part of England, or questions? Let us know in the comments.