Delapre Abbey & The Villages Circular Walk – 10.5 miles

Event Details

  • Start Date Saturday, 27th of July 2024
  • End Date Saturday, 27th of July 2024
  • Start/End Time 09:45 - 16:30
  • Categories ,
  • Groups
  • Approx Distance 10 Miles
  • TerrainMostly flat. A couple of short gentle climbs. Mixture of muddy woodland paths, grassy paths, small amount of road walking and hard surface.

This is a 10.5 mile moderate circular walk taking in the historic Delapre Abbey, part of the Nene Way, Little and Great Houghton Villages, Hardingstone and back to University via Delapre Abbey.

- An ideal opportunity to walk and see a variety of Northampton town and countryside.  Our first point of interest is Delapre Abbey which is part of Northampton history for the last 900 years.  Founded by the then Earl of Northampton (Simon De Senlis) the nunnery was one of only 3 in Cluniac Nunneries in England. .     In 1290, the cortege of Eleanor of Castile (wife of Edward 1) rested overnight at the abbey/nunnery on its way to Westminster.  Delapre was the site of the Battle of Northampton fought in 1460. The nunnery was closed in 1538 as part of the Dissolution.

We walk through Delapre woods, along the lake and later the canal until it joins the river Nene.  We walk along a bank with the river on one side and the Washes on the other.  You are likely to see a variety of waterfowl and other birds on this stretch.

We proceed to Billing Aquadrome before turning for Little Houghton.  At this point we will get a glimpse of one of the largest mottes in the country - Clifford Hill. Little Houghton, where we hope to have our lunch stop, is another delightful Northamptonshire village.  The church dates back to 1225 and is worth a look inside.  (It survived the great fire of 1333)  There is a set of stocks preserved in the centre of the village.

Our next village is Great Houghton, another village with oodles of charm.  Before entering Hardingstone we hope to stop briefly to take in the views from the nearby parkland.  Hardingstone made the news in the 1930's due to the "Rouse Case" a fraud case where an unknown man died in a car fire.  His last resting place is marked by a wooden cross at the rear of the church should anyone wish to view it.

We are now on the last leg of our journey passing the golf course as we re-enter Delapre grounds again.  Possibly time for coffee and ice cream before returning to campus.

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