Fotheringhay near Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford – A Magical Place Full of History
There can be few counties in England with quite such a fascinating past as Northamptonshire, let alone one with so many historic houses, fine churches and monuments. Famed for its historical connections, Fotheringhay is home to the birthplace of Richard III and the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Although only the site of the castle is left, there are still enough groundworks to evoke ideas of what must have been all those years ago. The “motte and bailey” castle was first built by Simon de St. Liz in about 1100, followed some 200 years later by the collegiate church and the foundation of the college. By this time the House of York owned the property.
To the north and east lies Rockingham Forest, once annexed by William the Conqueror as his personal hunting ground and still with large tracts of woodland. It is excellent touring country, dotted with unspoilt pretty stone villages and the attractions of Rockingham Castle, Thomas Tresham’s follies, Kirby Hall and the ancient market towns of Oundle and Stamford to name but a few.
In the south and west you’ll find other hidden treasures such as Althrop, Cannons Ashby, Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum and Sulgrave Manor. The Fotheringhay area as a whole has a huge variety of gardens, animal parks, antique, craft and farm shops, pubs and restaurants that provide a thoroughly relaxing and richly rewarding holiday experience.
The Falcon – Fotheringhay
The award winning Falcon Inn nestles with the heart of Fotheringhay. Their superb seasonal menus, created from locally sourced ingredients where possible, offer something for all, from traditional wholesome bar food to delicious a la carte cuisine. Enjoy wonderful food, along with fine wines and real ales, in charming surroundings. Log fires, fresh flowers, a beautiful garden and conservatory overlooking the splendid church.
We would also whole heartedly recommend the White Swan at Woodnewton, The Red Lion at Warmington, Queens Head at Nassington, The Crown at Elton, The Papermills at Wansford. Nearby Oundle also has a wide selection of high quality pubs and restaurants.
Burghley House And Horse Trials ( Stamford )
The home of the Cecil family for over 400 years. The house is situated on the edge of nearby Stamford within a Deer Park landscaped by Capability Brown. There are 18 magnificent state rooms open to visitors filled with fine pictures, furniture, porcelain, tapestries and painted ceilings. The house is open seven days a week from Easter to early October.
Also home to the world famous horse trials. Burghley is both an equestrian sporting event and a social event, a test of all-round horsemanship, and involves almost every activity of which the horse is capable.
The Peterborough Arena is a modern, purpose built, multi-functional complex that welcomes over 800,000 visitors each year. It has been designed by event organisers to be flexible and adaptable in order to accommodate all types of event from conferences, exhibitions and product launches to sporting events, gala dinners and concerts.
Drive Ferraris, V8 supercars, Aston Martin, rally cars and even a genuine Formula 1™ car on an unforgettable driving day, or learn driving skills for road safety on the wet grip area with the Rockingham DriveSafe course.
Rockingham is proud to host a round of the BTCC and several other race and rally events, as well as car and bike track days and general testing for competitors. The circuit is also home to the SED exhibition every year and is a superb venue for product launches and conferences.
Rutland Water – Bird Fair
The world’s first and largest international bird watching event. Described as the birdwatcher’s Glastonbury, Birdfair encompasses the whole spectrum of the birdwatching industry whilst at the same time supporting global bird conservation. This is the event of the year if you’re into birds and wildlife. There are hundreds of stands selling the latest products for wildlife enthusiasts. You’ll find everything, from scopes to sculptures, binoculars to bird food, eGuides to eco-holidays.
Course Fishing From The Garden & Bluebell Lakes
Here, as with elsewhere in the county, water is a special feature of the quiet rolling countryside. The rivers, canals, lakes and reservoirs will keep many a fisherman and birdwatcher happy. Our location offers private fishing from the Castle Farm gardens into the banks of the ajoining river Nene. For the more serious fisherman, Bluebell Lakes is only 1 mile away and is well known for beautiful bream, tench, chub, carp, perch and roach.
Other Local Places of Interest
Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English market town from which it takes its name. The School’s buildings, dating from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus. As a result, pupils pass through the streets continually as they go to lessons, games or other activities, and are not isolated from the local community.
St Mary’s and all Saints Church, Fotheringhay
Almost on cathedral scale and dating from the 15th Century, with a mass of windows. A former collegiate church reduced to half its size in the reign of Edward VI. Superb riverside position.
Built by William the Conqueror. Still the home of the Watson family as it has been since 1530. Fine rooms with furniture, pictures, china and armour, collected over 400 years. Commanding views over four counties. 12 acres of gardens. Gift shop and teas.
House dating back to 1474, lived in by the Proby family since the early 17th century. Fascinating mixture of styles, reflecting the tastes and interests of succeeding generations. Many art treasures. Gardens and teas.
A monastic church founded by King Peada in 655 AD, destroyed by the Danes in 870, rebuilt as part of a Benedictine Abbey and re-consecrated in 972, burned down in an accidental fire in 1116 and re-built in its present form between 1118 and 1238. In 1539 the monastery was closed by Henry VIII, but 18 months later in 1541, the church became the Cathedral of the new Diocese of Peterborough, with the last abbot as the new bishop, and Peterborough became a city.
Nene Valley Railway
The Nene Valley Railway has one of the most varied collections of locomotives and rolling stock in the United Kingdom, if not the world. Examples come from Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Italy, Denmark, Sweden & Norway.
Canoe 2 – Ditchford Lock
Centrally located between London and Birmingham, with Canoe2 you can hire a canoe from their base by the River Nene in rural Northamptonshire, and paddle down river for half a day to 5 days. A drop‐off and pick‐up service at the start or end of your trip is provided as required.