Many of our clients like to treat (we prefer to say bribe) their children after a portrait shoot by taking them to one of the many local Northamptonshire family attractions. They are all within a 10-40 minute drive of our studio here in Brixworth and if you’re traveling to us from outside Northants, many will be on your way back home too.
For those of you traveling to us for a family portrait shoot from outside the county and thinking of making it a weekend break, please get in touch for a list of local accommodation.
Please note that this is only a list of local attractions that we as a family are familiar with or that our clients have recommended. It is by no means a full list of what’s available locally, so if you have any more suggestions of great places to take the kids around the Northampton area, then please don’t hesitate to drop us an email.
Outdoor Treats, If The Sun’s Shining
Northamptonshire is predominantly a rural county and therefore has an endless list of things to do outside in the sunshine, or slip on your Hunter’s and getting muddy.
Holdenby Falconry Centre (Icarus Falconry)– Holdenby House (4 miles from our studio)
A fantastic local attraction hiding in the grounds of the impressive Holdenby House, just down the road from us. Our family has enjoyed their displays on many occasions. The charismatic resident Falconer’s fly some impressive birds of prey and if you book an experience with them, you even get to fly them yourself. That’s if you don’t require the use of both your eyes that is!
Rookery Open Farm – Stoke Bruerne near Towcester (14 miles from our studio)
Within walking distance of Stoke Bruerne village, which has a couple of cracking pubs, and a great way of entertaining a family with younger children. An ‘earthy’ aroma filled pets corner and lot’s of traditional farmyard animals plus two bouncy castles, miniature tractors, an outdoor plus indoor play area, undercover sand pit and best of all… go-carts for the competitive Dad’s!
Welland park – Market Harborough (11 miles from studio)
A really lovely park slap bang in the middle of market Harborough. Loads of kids play equipment for children of all ages, a nice little cafe plus a skate park for older children. One of our families favourite places.
West Lodge Rural Centre – Desborough, near Kettering (14 miles from our studio)
Our youngest went here for her nursery trip and loved it! Lots of fluffy things for the kids to cuddle and mildly worry, plus all the usual open farm stuff! A nice day out.
Jungle Parc– Wellingborough (18 miles from our studio)
In the grounds of Irchester (Irchy) Country Park. The park is a firm family favourite for us, although we still haven’t given in to the kids demands to let them go in the Jungle Parc. Many of our friend say it’s a fab way of tiring out older children and even the more adventurous parents amongst us!? Climb, slide, jump and beat your chests like Neanderthal man.
Wicksteed Park – Kettering (17 miles from our studio)
A childhood favourite of ours, so yes it really is “that” old! A much more gentler and sober affair than the bigger theme parks, but a fun day out all the same, especially for those families with younger children.
All the usual (slightly retro) theme park attractions like roller coasters, a pirate ship, a terrifying (irony) antiquated water chute and other pretty tame but charming fairground rides. Set in 147 acres of lovely parkland, perfect for picnics, plus loads of free playground equipment. Oh and of course who can forget… Wicky Bear…I’m still in therapy!
Sywell Country Park– Ecton (6 miles from our studio)
A favourite of ours for dog walking and a lovely place to take a stroll or picnic whilst our thug of a dog terrifies the waterfowl.
Brixworth Country Park – Brixworth (1 miles from our studio)
AKA Pitsford reservoir or “The Resy” for us simple locals. A firm favourite for any family in our part of Northamptonshire. Perfect for walking, cycling (including bike hire), picnics and general outdoor fun. The only downsides are that it get’s very busy on a nice day and you can’t let your dogs off their lead. Also the swarms of hungry mosquitos on a sunny day are infamous for chomping lumps off unsuspecting pleasure seekers.
Salcey Forest– Quinton, Northampton (15 miles from our studio)
A massive country park only a few miles south of Northampton and home to the Tree Top Way, an amazing walkway in the canopy of the trees with glorious views of the Northampton skyline, honest. They say that on a good day you can see the infamous Northampton lighthouse, exciting stuff I assure you!
Daventry Country Park – Daventry (19 miles from our studio)
Been here a handful of times with our two and a lovely place to while away a few hours in the countryside. A good sized reservoir (130 acres of open water) to walk around plus a good play area near the car park.
Stanwick Lakes – Stanwick (20 miles from our studio)
Lots of fun water play here and a great place to let the little darlings let off some steam, but only if the sun is shining as they WILL get drenched. Some nice gentle walks and some great twitching action round the lakes for all you bird watchers.
Toplodge Fineshade Wood – Between Corby and Stamford (29 miles from our studio)
Toplodge Fineshade Wood is a popular family visitor attraction in the heart of the Rockingham Forest. With two great play areas and a whole wood to explore; families can play, picnic, walk or cycle and then recharge their batteries at the cafe.
Indoor Treats, If It’s Soggy Outside
If the weather’s grim or you’re just a soft city type, breaking out in hives at the mere thought of fresh air and mud, then there’s still loads of indoor things to do in and around Northamptonshire.
Kids Play – Kettering (6 miles from our studio)
A favourite of our kids and a popular venue for children’s birthday parties, oh the joy. A indoor play centre with loads of the usual apparatus, plus a climbing wall, trampolines, a merry go round for the younger kids plus the most infuriating bumper cars ever…you’re not allowed to bump! One of the bigger and hence more expensive local play centres.
The Riverside Hub – Riverside Northampton (11 miles from our studio)
A relative newcomer on the Northampton indoor play centre scene. We haven’t yet had the pleasure but I’m guessing it’s much the same as all the rest, just much bigger, newer and more expensive.
Hullabaloo – Northampton (6 miles from our studio)
A firm favourite of our two before we packed them off to school. A fairly clean and well maintained indoor play frame in the Gladstone Road area of Northampton. What can I say, things to climb on, slide on, bounce on, crack your bunce on and chomp on.
Berzerk Indoor Play – Moulton Park (6 miles from our studio)
Another firm local favourite with a slightly more tatty but oddly charming feel than many of the other Northampton indoor play centres. To be fair, we haven’t been there for a couple of years so they may have invested in some much needed new play equipment, but I doubt it. My 4 year old daughter was traumatized a few years ago after an encounter with their hideous giant Bear called ‘Barney’.
Mini Mischiefs – Market Harborough (10 miles from studio)
Mini Mischiefs is a children’s indoor play and party venue in Market Harborough, with a huge multi-level soft play frame that reaches an incredible 5.5 meter height. In addition to this huge three tier play frame we also have a dedicated built-in Baby Area and Toddler Area with height appropriate soft play equipment allowing babies and toddlers to explore the play centre at their own pace. Never been ourselves but some clients have recommended.
Wacky Warehouse – Quays Little Billing (11 miles from our studio)
Another Northampton based indoor play centre with the added benefit that you can sit and enjoy (in the most generous sense of the word) a meal whilst the kids fight it out in the ball pit. Hell on earth really but a good way of adding a touch of stress to your dining experience.
Paul’s Pirates – Wellingborough (18 miles from our studio)
Who’d have thought it, a giant play frame in the shape of a pirate’s ship, genius! Wellingborough’s soft play centre is aimed squarely at the younger child but it’s a nice clean place with plenty to entertain the little ones whilst you sup on a much earned skinny mochachino latte express and flick through some outdated local rags.