Area Guide: Northampton

One of England’s largest towns, Northampton is within easy reach of some of the country’s major cities. But there’s far more to this East Midlands market town than simply a comfortable commute.

In this Northampton guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the town, where to live and how much it costs to buy a property.

We’ll also highlight Northampton’s best schools, pubs, and restaurants, and showcase the area’s superb transport links.
Area guide header northampton

Where is Northampton?

Northampton is in the East Midlands and is the largest town in the county of Northamptonshire.

The town is halfway between London and Birmingham, being 60 miles north west of the capital and 50 miles south east of the Second City.

Is Northampton a good place to live?

Northampton combines the best of rural tranquillity with the convenience of a modern town.

The town is home to great properties and some superb open spaces, while retaining excellent transport links to London, Birmingham and beyond.

Is Northampton safe?

Northampton has been awarded ‘Purple Flag’ status for three successive years.

Purple Flags are awarded to towns and cities deemed to have a safe, diverse, and entertaining night-time economy.

Is Northampton expensive to live?

The cost of living in Northampton, without rent taken into account, is 4% less than London.

However, once rents are factored in, Northampton is 63% cheaper than the capital, according to Numbeo.

The best areas to live in Northampton

1. Abington and Abington Vale

West of the town centre, Abington and Abington Vale are close to The Racecourse park – more than 100 acres of stunning green space.

The areas are home to some of Northampton’s best period homes, with family-sized Victorian and Edwardian accompanied by rows of quaint, bay-fronted terraces.

2. East and West Hunsbury

To the south of the town centre and close to the M1, West Hunsbury offers buyers and renters a range of more modern family homes.

Ladybridge Park provides the open green space for the area, alongside the commuter convenience of the nearby motorway.

4. Weston Favell Village

Weston Favell Village lies east of the town centre, with bay-fronted early 20th century semi-detached and terraced properties dominating the area alongside some Victorian terraces.

The area is also close to the Weston Favell Shopping Centre, which is home to more than 60 shops and restaurants.

5. Delapre

South of the town centre, Delapre offers buyers and renters some excellent bay-fronted 1930s properties – the best of which are close to the ‘Good’-rated Delapre Primary School.

6. Kingsthorpe Village

Kingsthorpe Village is north of Northampton town centre and is packed with character.

Look here for period terraces and stone-built cottages – some of which are Grade II listed.

7. Boughton

The village of Boughton to the north of Northampton offers a mix of late 20th century homes and some large country piles on big plots.

The best of Boughton’s stone-built terraces can be found on Church Street, close to the primary school.

8. Great Houghton

South east of Northampton, Great Houghton offers thatched cottages alongside more modern homes and bungalows.

The best of the traditional properties in the village are around two pubs – The Old Cherry Tree and The White Hart.

9. Wootton

A former village, the suburb of Wootton can be found south of Northampton and close to the M1 motorway.

A mix of traditional stone-built homes and modern family properties can be found in Wootton.

House prices in Northampton

The average price of a property in Northampton in the year to September 2021 was £261,432 according to Dataloft Inform – a rise of 10% on September 2020.

Average costs by property type in Northampton

Detached house: £394,190

Semi-detached house: £244,684

Terraced house: £204,315

Flat / apartment: £134,998

Property to rent in Northampton

Rental properties in Northampton include many of the Victorian and Edwardian period homes the town is known for, alongside new-build houses and modern apartments.

Rental properties close to Northampton station, for links to London and Birmingham, are in particularly high demand.

Rental prices in Northampton

The average monthly rent for a property in Northampton was £811* in September 2021.

Buy-to-let investors can expect yields of between 4% and 6% on rental properties in Northampton, with good demand from young professionals, families and students studying at the University of Northampton.

*Prices from Dataloft Inform October 2021

The best schools in Northampton

Northampton’s popularity with family buyers and renters is, in part, due to the town’s excellent schools.

Five primary schools within three miles of the town centre are rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted and these are:

  • Fairfields School
  • Wootton Park School
  • Preston Hedges Primary School
  • Weston Favell CofE Primary School
  • Whitehills Primary School

A further 43 Northampton primary schools are rated ‘Good’, including:

  • Spring Lane Primary School
  • Castle Academy
  • Northampton International Academy
  • Vernon Terrace Primary School
  • Delapre Primary School
  • Queen Eleanor Primary Academy
  • Briar Hill Primary School
  • Barry Primary School
  • Earl Spencer Primary School
  • The Abbey Primary School

Four secondary schools within three miles of Northampton town centre also carry Ofsted’s prestigious ‘Outstanding’ rating and they are:

  • Northampton School for Boys
  • Northgate School Arts College
  • Wootton Park School
  • Northampton School for Girls

The University of Northampton, meanwhile, opened a new £330m campus alongside the River Nene in 2018 and is home to more than 12,000 students – making Northampton an excellent town for higher education.

Northampton transport links

Northampton is well connected to both London and Birmingham, as well neighbouring counties like Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire, by rail and road.

Northampton rail links

Direct trains from Northampton to London Euston arrive in the capital in just an hour, while services to Birmingham New Street also take an hour.

Trains to Manchester, via Milton Keynes, are also available and take around two hours.

Northampton road links

Northampton sits alongside the M1 motorway, meaning great access to London, Nottingham, Sheffield, Derby and Leeds.

The M6 to Birmingham and the North West is also nearby.

Northampton airport links

London Luton is the closest airport to Northampton and is 34 miles away. The airport offers flights across the world.

Five of the best pubs in Northampton

Northampton offers country pubs and more modern bars and cocktail venues, as well as gastro venues with superb menus.

Here are our top-five Northampton pubs…

1. The Lamplighter

A traditional corner pub dating back to the late 1800s, The Lamplighter offers a host of real ales and farmhouse cider.

The venue’s Sunday roasts are also hugely popular with locals, alongside a vegan tapas night on Tuesdays.

2. The White Elephant

The White Elephant can be found between Abington and Kingsley, close to The Racecourse park.

As well as a great beer garden and big screen sport, the venue also offers an extensive food menu.

3. The Old House

A self-styled English pub and kitchen, The Old House can be found on Wellingborough Road in Abington.

Housed in a stunning Victorian building, the venue’s food menu offers Sunday roasts alongside a range of pub classics and even afternoon tea.

4. The Whyte Melville

The Whyte Melville can be found in Boughton and has been dubbed ‘a village pub with a modern feel’.

With two log burners and an open-plan kitchen, it’s a superb venue for the colder months, while a sunny terrace and beer garden offer views of Northampton in the summer.

5. Sunnyside

Located between Boughton and Kingsthorpe, Sunnyside has a stunning beer garden and children’s play area, making it an ideal pub for families.

An extensive food and drink menu, including a Sunday roast, is on offer at this popular venue.

The best restaurants in Northampton

From classic French cooking to spicy Asian cuisine and British classics, there’s a Northampton restaurant for all tastes.

Here are our top-five restaurants in the town…

1. Nuovo

Nuovo serves Italian small sharing plates, known as cicchetti.

The venue’s ‘Cicchetti Experience’ menu features Italian breads and olives, followed by pasta, meat and fish and finished with some authentic Italian desserts.

2. Sorrentinos

Sorrentinos has been serving authentic Italian food in central Northampton for more than 20 years and is still going strong.

The venue’s menu is extensive, featuring a huge number of pizza and pasta options, alongside classic Italian meat dishes.

3. Firejacks

For flame-grilled meats, Firejacks can be found in Sixfields, close to Northampton Town FC.

Steaks, burgers, chicken, and ribs are all on offer, alongside a wide-ranging drinks menu.

4. Clary’s

Clary’s can be found inside Aspers Casino in the town centre and offers a great menu of British and European classics.

A great-value Sunday roast is also available.

5. Aladdin’s

Aladdin’s is one of Northampton’s most popular Indian restaurants.

Unlicensed, the venue allows diners to bring their own alcoholic drinks to enjoy alongside an extensive menu of dishes from across India and Bangladesh.

Things to do in Northampton

Althorp House is the grand country estate owned by the Spencer family and lived in currently by Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer.

A visit to the sprawling estate reveals the history of the Spencer family and includes some wonderful pictures of the late Diana growing up.

For more open green space, head to Abington Park, where there is a museum, sports facilities, and a café, as well as a three-mile walk around the park itself.

Northampton’s rich history can be seen by visiting the ruins of Northampton Castle and the Holy Sepulchre – a Grade I listed Norman church.

Shoppers are well catered-for in Northampton, with the Grosvenor Centre and Market Walk home to a range of high street brands.

St James’ Retail Park and the Weston Favell Shopping Centre on the outskirts of town offer even more options for retail therapy.

For sport lovers, Northampton Town FC are based at Sixfields in the west of the town and play in League 2, while Northampton Saints rugby club ply their trade in the Premiership and play at Franklin’s Gardens, just east of Sixfields.