Brampton Valley WayBrixworth, Northamptonshire
Brampton Valley Way, which used to be the former Northampton to Market Harborough Railway, is a linear park that is surrounded by beautiful scenery, and has a rich historical and natural heritage. It is open all year and free to visit, making it a great place to go for a wander or bike ride with the kids.
There are 2 former tunnels on the route: the 294m Kelmarsh and the 422m Oxendon, both of which are unlit and are quite an experience to travel through! If you don't fancy that, don't worry, there are alternative routes that will take you over the tunnels rather than through them so nervous nellies who aren't fond of the dark have no pressure applied.
There are 14 miles (22.5km) of park to explore, with woodland spinneys, traditional hedgerows and ancient meadows throughout. You'll also see steam trains and railway embankments, although there is a stout safety fence to divide the park from the working railway line so don't panic if the kids run over there (unless they can really jump!) as it's a nice spot to watch the passing train traffic from if you can find some.
It's a great place to take binoculars and simple outside games, but steer well clear of the railway divide if you're using balls or frisbees and it's not safe at the peripheries for kites because of wires.
Year round access
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Yes, there is parking onsite.