Located on the River Nene, 60 miles north-west of London is the large market town of Northampton in East Midlands. The county town of Northamptonshire, Northampton is one of the largest towns in England with archaeological evidence suggesting settlement in the region since as far back as the Bronze Age. The region rose to significance during the Middle Ages with the establishment of the Northampton Castle. The castle was an occasional royal residence, often hosting the Parliament of England. During medieval times, Northampton had several churches, monasteries and the University of Northampton, which was all enclosed by the town’s walls.
During the English Civil War, the town walls and most of the castle were demolished. Much of the town was further damaged or destroyed by The Great Fire of Northampton in 1675, however, it was quickly rebuilt and grew rapidly during the 18th century. The arrival of the Grand Union Canal and the railways bolstered Northampton’s growth, with the town becoming the footwear and leather manufacturing hub of the time.
The town has continued to see expansion over the years with the last population census at around 215,173 in 2015. Northampton applied for city status in both 2000 and 2002 but was denied on both occasions and remains a town. The town became a government expansion zone in 2006, with new growth promoted by West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC). This has resulted in a series of regeneration schemes across the town. Some have been completed, such as the redevelopment of the railway station, the opening of the Radlands Plaza Skatepark and the development of Becket's Park Marina just south of Northampton's town centre, to name a few.
Amenities and attractions
There are several sights and attractions in Northampton, such as the Althorp House, Stanwick Lakes and the Royal & Derngate Theatre to name a few. There are also numerous other family-friendly places to take the children as such The Pinnacle Climbing Centre or The Riverside Hub, as well as several parks such as Nene Valley Country Park, Abington Park, Harlestone Heath and Delapre Abbey.
The town centre in Northampton has the usual array of high street shops and the thriving St Giles Street is full of independent shops and boutiques. There are many superb local restaurants and numerous delicatessen and farm shops throughout the county to tempt even the most avid foodie. Local produce is the key in Northamptonshire, and it has become a passion to not only the food lover’s community but also to the families who wish to shop locally and save a few pennies. Farm shops here are mostly jam-packed with people looking to have homemade brews, drinks and Sunday afternoon tipples.
Top schools in the area:
Northampton High School for Girls (Private)
Northampton School for Boys (State) - Outstanding
Northampton School for girls (State) - Outstanding
Quinton House (Private)
What it costs to live in the area
Good town houses range from £350,000 to £500,000, whereas larger detached suburban houses start at £500,000 and go to £1,200,000. Village period houses starting from £500,000 to large period country house with acreage from £1 million to £3 million.
Who would it suit?
Northampton is definitely attractive to the London commuter market as it offers direct trains to London Euston and St Pancras in just under an hour.
Cost of an annual season ticket
The cost of an annual season train ticket from Northampton to London starts at £5,780 and goes to £6,792 depending on the route and type of ticket.
Northampton to London Terminals – £5,780 (any route permitted)
Northampton to London Victoria - £5,816 (Valid only for travel via changing trains or passing through Kensington Olympia)
Northampton to London Waterloo - £5,816 (Valid only for travel via changing trains or passing through Kensington Olympia)
Northampton to London Travelcard Zones 1-6 - £6,792 (Valid only for travel via changing trains or passing through Watford Junction)
Seasonal tickets can be purchased through trainline.com.
Parking costs at station
If you drive to the station, you will pay around £11 per day on parking during peak days. There is the option of purchasing weekly and monthly parking permits.
Average time of commute
Depending on the train, the 60-mile journey takes between 53 minutes and 1 hour 19 minutes, with the average journey time taking 1 hour 10 minutes. On an average weekday, there are 68 trains travelling from Northampton to London. The journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays.