Northampton boasts many historical religious buildings, and is an excellent place to visit for anyone interested in this area. The oldest is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, dating from 1100, All Saints Church was rebuilt after a fire, but retains a medieval tower, and Delapre Abbey is an old Clunaic convent, reputedly haunted by a nun. The Eleanor Cross at nearby Hardingstone was the resting place of Queen Eleanor’s coffin for a night en route to London in 1291, while the King spent the night in Northampton Castle, of which little remains. Northampton is dotted with parks, including Racecourse Park which hosts the annual Balloon Festival, and Billing Aquadrome, which incorporates a marina and funfair, and has a family-friendly pub in which to relax when the energy runs out.
The manufacturing history of Northampton is charted in the local Museum, through its display of footwear, and there are several art galleries and music venues spread throughout the town to provide entertainment. The Nen Whitewater Centre provides outdoor fun with water-skiing and canoeing, and swimmng, cricket and stock-car racing are other popular local sports, along with Northampton Town football team, whose enthusiastic fans welcome visitors to games with great enthusiasm.
Abington Park Museum, Abington Park, Northampton NN1 5LW (01604) 838110
Open during the summer season, Abington Park Museum is housed in a Grade I listed building originating from Tudor times.
Highlights of the museum include the history of the Northamptonshire Regiment, aspects of Northampton life, and an extensive leathercraft collection. There is also a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions and a changing display of costumes.