- General Facilities
- Variety for dogs
- Dog Socialisation
- Dog Waste Bins
+ Open fields, wooded areas and enclosed areas.
+ Popular with dog owners so opportunities for dogs to socialise.
+ Decent number of dog waste bins.
– Barn cafe) not open every day.
– Burrs (seed pods) in the summer attach to dogs with longer coats
Do you walk your dog at Bradlaugh Fields? If so why not leave your rating between 1-5 stars below!
User Review( votes)
For this the first in a series of reviews about places to walk dogs I wanted to focus on Bradlaugh Fields. It’s become one of my favourite places to walk the dog in Northamptonshire along with Hunsbury Hill. If you are a local maybe it’s one of your favourite places too? If so feel free to add a comment at the end of this article.
Bradlaugh Fields History
Before I discuss why I like Bradlaugh Fields and what it has to offer for the dog owner I thought I should mention something about its history. Firstly where does the name come from? It’s actually only been known as Bradlaugh Fields since the late 1990’s.
The name comes from Charles Bradlaugh Northampton MP between 1881 and 1885. He was a controversial character for his stance on religion and the monarchy. He served time in prison for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the Crown. His funeral in 1891 was attended by 3,000 people including a 21 year old Mohandas Gandhi.
Before the late 1980’s the area was mainly a golf course. When the golf club decided it wanted to move there was a proposal to build 800 homes on the land. This was opposed by local groups keen to maintain as much green space in the area as possible. Thankfully these local groups won and we are today left with this space for all the local people to enjoy.
Bradlaugh Fields – Getting There
Being such a large green space, locals access Bradlaugh Fields from one of a number of different entrances, depending on where they live. For me this is normally one of the entrances on Fulford Drive but for others there will be closer, more convenient entrances. Free on street parking is readily available at most of the popular entrances. I’ve never been unable to find somewhere to park, even at weekends when Bradlaugh Fields is at its busiest.
Bradlaugh Fields – What to expect
One of the things that makes Bradlaugh Fields special is the variety on offer for dog walkers. There are flat open fields as well as a more undulating area known as the Hills & Hollows Local Nature Reserve. Towards the northern end you will find pathways through trees and some smaller enclosed fenced off areas. There really is something for every dog personality type here! It’s also large enough to enjoy a walk in excess of an hour. It will take quite some time before any dog is bored here! Drainage is pretty good, it’s certainly less muddy here than some other popular local dog walking locations. It’s possible to modify your route to avoid those areas which do become muddy after heavy rain. There are also a good number of dog waste bins placed around the park which seem to be emptied on a regular basis.
As a popular location with dog owners you are almost always guaranteed to meet other people on a walk. This is ideal if you have a puppy who needs to socialise with other dogs. Thankfully in my experience both the owners and the dogs you meet here are very friendly. For those with an adult dog who enjoy walking in a large pack you might enjoy a free Bradlaugh Fields dog walk which typically take place most Saturday mornings, offered by Nathan Watson dog trainer. Nathan also offers puppy pack walks at another Northampton location.
Bradlaugh Fields Barn
One of the popular gathering places in Bradlaugh Fields is the area known as the barn. Some refer to it as Bradlaugh Fields cafe but they serve little more than hot and cold drinks, cold snacks and doggy biscuits. Don’t expect a bacon sandwich or any fancy Cappuccino or Latte here! Prices for the limited range however are cheap and the place is staffed by volunteers. There are toilets for customers which are a blessing and water bowls for dogs are left outside. Dogs are allowed inside the barn if they are on a lead. Unfortunately the barn is only open for very limited hours on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
Bradlaugh Fields is also a haven for a variety of wildlife. Besides the squirrels and rabbits which I sometimes see during the day I’m told that at dawn and dusk it’s not unusual to spot foxes or even badgers. It’s also an area rich in plant life, especially the meadows to the north. I’m no plant expert but I’m told some of the wild flowers are relatively rare and during the summer I have seen a number of photographers with macro lenses concentrating on the flowers.
In summary Bradlaugh Fields is one of the better places in Northampton to exercise your dog. Unless you are new to the area the chances are if you are a dog owner you probably already know about the place. If so are you a fan? Feel free to comment below, I’d be curious to know what you think as well as where else in Northampton you like to walk your dog.
**July 2017 Update – Whilst it is still one of my favourite places to walk a dog in Northampton I do want to point out one negative issue. In the summer months the longer grasses contain thousands of burrs (seed pods) that are sticky and attach to dogs with longer coats. Removing them is a real pain, so I do avoid Bradlaugh Fields sometimes in the summer. **