DAYS OUT IN THE NENE VALLEY #3 cYCLING: THRAPSTON TO Irthlingborough lakes and meadows


Thrapston to Denford 2.1km

Little Addington to Woodford 5.3km

Thrapston to Stanwick Lakes 7.8km

Start your journey of exploration at the market town of Thrapston. With its location at the crossroads of two Roman roads and a crossing of the River Nene, Thrapston was granted its market charter by King John in 1205 and a weekly market is still held here on Tuesdays. Built near the site of an ancient castle. the church is one of Thrapston's oldest buildings, dating back to the 13th century. The church has a stone tablet displaying the stars and stripes, the arms of the Washington family. Sir John Washington, who died in the town in 1688, was the great-great-great uncle of George Washington, the first American president.

Thrapston Farmers' Market - 1st Saturday of the month

Explore miles of footpaths, cycle routes and bridleways along this part of the Nene Valley and discover hidden hamlets, a haven for wildlife and ancient churches.

Lunch Stops

Woodford Mill Tea Room is the perfect stop serving a variety of teas and coffees from around the world. The Woodford has a beautiful seating area at the rear of the building, overlooking the river Nene, which welcomes dog walkers and all guests.

The Bell, Little Addington

Stanwick Lakes

Explore a unique 750 acre nature reserve which is widely considered to be one of the region's most imaginative outdoor activity destinations. It offers extensive play areas for families and includes acres of wide open spaces and paths for nature lovers, walkers and cyclists.

Many of the lakes within the Nene Valley form part of the Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits Special Protection Area; a protected wildlife site of European importance for its over - wintering birds.

Local Nature Reserves

Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows Nature Reserve is a wonderful stretch of rare grazing marsh and flooded gravel pits, now a hugely valuable wetland for birds and other wildlife. The site lies in the heart of the Nene Valley, one of the most important wetlands in England and an internationally important stop-over for thousands of wildfowl and waders.

Higham Ferrers

Although the site of a Roman settlement, Higham Ferrers derives its name from the Anglo-Saxon term ‘Hecham’ (Heck - high, on a hill – Ham – important enclosure). The name ‘Ferrers’ was added during the 13th century, when the Lord of the Manor, William De Ferrers, granted the first of many important charters to the town.

Over the next two hundred years, Higham Ferrers became a wealthy and important town in the area and this is reflected in some of its fine architecture, not least of which, the magnificent Church of St Mary the Virgin. Today, Higham Ferrers is a thriving market town, with a variety of good quality shops, bars and restaurants to suit all tastes.

Higham Ferrers Farmers' Market - last Saturday of the month

Wilson's Pits Nature Reserve

Part of a larger Site of Special Scientific Interest, this is an important refuge for overwintering and breeding birds, including little grebe, shoveler, gadwall, reed warbler and reed bunting.

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