There are numerous routes into Northampton.
Northampton Castle Station offers frequent train links from Birmingham and London every 30 minutes most times of the day with trains operated by London Midland. The trains to Birmingham New Street cost £11.50 for a one way ticket, and due to the unusual pricing system a return ticket is £11.60. Tickets to London Euston cost £22.80 for a one way ticket, although you might want to opt for a return ticket, as that will cost you only £22.90. The railway station is located approximately 15 minutes walk from the town centre and has frequent buses passing the site. Taxis are also available from outside the station.
If you're driving in, you'll find that Northampton is well connected by road with many distribution companies being based in and around the town. The M1 motorway passes right through South Northamptonshire, and from here it is about 15 minutes to the town centre. Junctions 15, 15A, and 16 all serve the town.
Alternatively, National Express offer coach services across the country from Greyfriars bus station in the town centre. A branch of Grand Union Canal passes directly through Northampton, so if you own a boat, it's easy enough to get to town over water.
The most common way of getting around is by car, but on Saturdays expect queues because of the football and rugby games that go on.
Northampton also offers a comprehensive bus service. The two main operators in the town are Stagecoach Northampton and First Northampton . Service tends to be more patchy on Sundays; however, Monday to Saturday the bus is a viable method of transportation around the town.
Northampton has a number of attractions:
- Guildhall: A classic neo-gothic styled building built in 1861 by Edward William Godwin. It now houses the Northampton Borough Council offices. The Guildhall is located opposite the Tourist Information office on St Giles Street.
- Northampton Museum and Art Gallery: A collection of artifacts from Northamptons past with particular homage to the shoe industry that caused the town to first boom. The museum is open from 10:00 - 17:00 on Monday to Saturday and 2:00 - 17:00 on Sunday.
- The Express Lifts Tower in St James.
- 78 Derngate, The only house outside of Scotland to be designed by world-famous architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The House has been beautifully restored and is now a museum. Guided tours are available and there is also a small restaurant. Advanced booking is advised. Open 10AM - 5PM February to Christmas.
- Delapré Abbey The 10th-century Monastery belonged to the congregation of the great Abbey of Cluny in Burgundy, France. The abbey was originally named Abbey of St Mary de la Pré, or literally "The Abbey of St Mary in the Meadow". At the end of the main dive up to the estate, lies one of the three remaining Eleanor Crosses left in Northamptonshire. The abbey was founded in 1145 by Earl Simon de Senlis during the reign of King Stephen and is well worth a visit.
- Northamptonshire Ironstone Railway Trust, Hunsbury Hill Road, Camp Hill, NN4 9UW, ☎ +44 1604 702031.
- Northampton & Lamport Railway, Pitsford Road, Chapel Brampton, NN6 8BA (4 miles north of Northampton), ☎ +44 1604 820327, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shop along Abington Street, the main pedestrianised shopping area in Northampton. Both the Grosvenor Centre and Market Walk shopping centres have entrances from this street.
Northampton Market is one of the oldest in the country and operates daily out of Market Square, just off The Drapery and Abington Street.
Watch some sport - Northampton Saints are a top-flight rugby union team, the Cobblers play League Two football, and Northamptonshire County Cricket Club play cricket at the County Ground.
Attend a play at Royal & Derngate [http://www.northamptonballoonfestival.com/ , Northampton's jointly run main theatres. Each August the town hosts the Northampton Balloon Festival, previously at The Racecourse but in recent years hosted by Billing Aquadrome.
For its size, Northampton has a good range of restaurants to suit any budget.
- Academy Coffee Haus. offers cheap meals from around £7 a head.
- The Fox and Hounds, Harlestone. pub offers good pub fare at a reasonable price of around £18 a head.
- The New French Partridge. offers fine, French styled cuisine for around £54 a head.
- Park Inn, Silver St, NN1 2TA, ☎ +44 1604 739988. Situated in the town centre, within walking distance of Northhampton's rail and bus station as well as easy access to major business parks and high street shopping.
- Sedgebrook Hall, Chapel Brampton, ☎ +44 1142 583811, fax: +44 1142 822135, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 2pm, check-out: 11am.
- The Westone Manor Hotel Northampton, Ashley Way, Weston Favell Northampton NN3 3EA, ☎ +44 1604 739955. The hotel was built in 1914 as the home of local shoe manufacturer William Sears. The original fireplace, bay windows and architectural mouldings form a picturesque backdrop for excellent cuisine and carefully selected wines. Located in peaceful gardens 10 minutes from the M1.
- Caffe D'Italia, 5 Fish Street, Northampton, NN1 2AA. Great little Italian cafe with friendly staff. Lovely Italian-style sandwiches and cakes too.
Clubs and pubs are located all around Northampton town centre and the night life is pretty lively most of the time.
For alternative music, pubs along the Wellingborough Road cater for grunge, punk and rock with local acts performing on Friday nights.
Police, fire and ambulance services are all reached from 999 or 112 in an emergency. Northamptonshire Police switchboard is 0300 011 1222 for non-emergency calls, or as recently implemented 101.
Stoke Bruerne is also located halfway between Northampton and Milton Keynes on the canal and offers a picturesque escape from Northampton.
Trains also depart at regular intervals from Northampton railway station for every possible destination in the country using either Milton Keynes Railway Station, London Stations or Birmingham New Street as transit points.