Exploring Open Access and Permissive Paths in the Northamptonshire Uplands


Welcome to the Rambler's new page which he hopes will provide local walkers with a brief guide to the areas of open access and permissive paths which, presumably because they are essentially temporary, are not marked on your OS maps.

Many of these are now listed, with links to printable large scale maps, on Natural England's website.

(Natural England manage this scheme for DEFRA).

Permissive access does not create new rights of way, though any existing rights of way are unaffected.

As always when rambling be sure to be properly equipped for the terrain and weather and always take the relevant OS map in addition to the large-scale, downloadable map provided by Natural England.

**Please remember to check that the period of permissive access (which you will find within the information supplied with your downloaded map or the displayed map at the access point) has not expired!

The Rambler will also include areas open to the public and managed by The Woodland Trust.


For the reader's convenience, the areas explored will be arranged in alphabetical order of their nearest village.



Location: Off Sibbertoft to Clipston road at the ‘reservoir’, opposite Lowe Farm.

Parking: Limited official parking at this Moot Hill viewpoint.

Download Map Here

Lovely views of the surrounding countryside plus historical interest - the path of the Royalist Retreat from defeat at Naseby is believed to be through this area.

*This permissive path could provide a variation to Rambling Explorer Walk 7.





Download Map Here


Location: Access from the Eastern end of the playing field in Creaton, off the Brixworth Road

Parking: With due consideration for residents, in the village.


As you will see from the map there is a superb network of Permissive Paths in Creaton of which the Rambler has only sampled a small section (see Rambling Explorer Walk 10) – more soon!

Crick : Cracks Hill and Crick Woods



Location : Several access points in Crick.

Parking : Small Car Park now available at the end of a rough track accessed from Yelvertoft Road via the Sports Field.

Best reached from Bridge 13 or 14 of the Grand Union Canal, this area offers fine views from Cracks Hill and pleasant strolls through established and newly planted woodland. It also now forms part of Walks Around Cold Ashby 4 where you will find more details, links and photos.

Elkington : Fieldside Covert

For more details click on the Woodland Trust link below.

Location:  Bridge 27 of the Grand Union Canal

Parking:    None nearby

Best reached by walking on the canal towpath from Elkington and crossing Bridge 27, this is a very attractive small wood of broadleaved trees made available by the Woodland Trust.

It is part of Rambling Explorer Walk 11.



Download Map HERE

Location: Guilsborough, at Nortoft, outside the 30mph limit on the road to A5199 (This is the larger marked northern area on the downloadable map - for comments on the smaller southern area see below*.)

Parking: Limited parking on verge – more, safer parking available in Guilsborough


This is a beautiful area of managed parkland which is best appreciated by walking around the perimeter of the site and around the lake.

There are fine views of the surrounding countryside and the lake has ducks and swans.

It also has carp and unwelcome visits from hungry otters which has resulted in an electric fence being constructed (see sign on your way round the lake).

You may also catch a glimpse of a small herd of llamas in an adjacent field.

In all, an enjoyable stroll in pleasant countryside.

Nortoft, as this area of Guilsborough is still known, would once have been a small separate Hamlet between Guilsborough and the main turnpike road from Northampton to Leicester. Cromwell's army is said to have travelled through Nortoft to meet the Royalists at Naseby.

*The smaller southern area on this map, described as 'the first area' on Natural England's map does, indeed, 'afford picturesque views' etc. but is otherwise somewhat featureless. Also, there is a problem with the labelling of the roads on this map - the road to Hollowell is incorrectly designated 'Teeton Road

Teeton Road is, in fact, the unlabelled road on which the access point is marked.



Map available HERE

Location: Access from Isham Crossing on Brampton Valley Way

Parking: Limited parking at Houghton Crossing(about 1mile)

An area of waterside meadow which is accessible from the Brampton Valley Way. It is recommended on the Rambling Explorer Page as a possible addition to Walk 3 and the bridleway from Lamport to Blueberry Lodge (see Walk 6) passes through the eastern end).

Fine, extensive views.



For more details click on the Woodland Trust link below

Location : Access from Ravensthorpe Recreation Ground or Coton Road.

Parking : Recreation Ground or small tarmac lay-by on Coton Road.

This is a Woodland Trust managed site, planted in November 2000 with local support. The views over Ravensthorpe Reservoir are superb on a sunny Autumn morning. There is a display board at the site which shows the extent of your access. The planting scheme has created broad grass tracks and an open area -  ideal for a woodland stroll.


South Kilworth

Click HERE for Map

Location: Access from South Kilworth Road near Sybole Farm

Parking : Adjacent to reservoir - see map.

Old railway trackbed - wide and level, with views across the Avon Valley and opportunities to spot farmland birds.

Part of Rambling Explorer's Walk 12 on this page.

Also accessible from Rambling Explorer Walk 5.

Stanford on Avon



Click HERE for map

Location: Opposite Stanford Hall in Stanford on Avon

Parking: With due consideration for residents, in the village.

A large open area which has prominent earthworks : hollow-ways, building platforms and paddocks.

See More Rambling Explorer Walk 14


Welford : Hemplow Hills



Click HERE for map


Location 1: on Jurassic Way at the Northern End of Old Hemplow Wood.

Parking:  near Bridge 31 of the Grand Union Canal on the Stanford Road.

This permissive path forms part of this walk on the Rambler's More Walks Page.

There are bluebells on The Hemplow in spring and great views across the Northamptonshire Uplands at any time of year.

Click HERE for map

Location 2: Entry point off Stanford Road or the bridleway known as Hemplow Drive which connects Stanford Road and Welford via The Hemplow.

Parking: As above (though this is limited and about half a mile along the Stanford Road).

This short path takes you up into the Hemplow offering fine views of the area and its flora and fauna.

** The usual mapboard at the Stanford Road entry point (pictured) is missing at present (July 2017) but The Rambler has been informed that the path remains open as stated.


Welford : Canalside Access

Location: From the towpath which passes through the Marina on the Welford Arm of the Grand Union Canal ( see map for several other access points).

Parking: Nearest official free car park at Welford Reservoir.

(The Wharf Inn has parking for patrons).

Click HERE for map

In this area, to the west of the canal, you will see evidence of earthworks believed to be part of medieval Welford and Welford Mill. This could add extra interest (and mileage, of course!) to Rambling Explorer Walk 5 .

Also, one of the permissive paths shown on the map is used in the final stage of Walk 5.


 The Rambler thanks you for your interest.

(This page is still under development - so do come back for more.)








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