One of my most visited dog walking locations after Bradlaugh Fields is Delapre Abbey Northampton. In the following article I assess what appeal it has for dog owners, highlighting the pros and cons as I see them.
Delapre Abbey – Historic place to walk your dog
Turning off the A508 London Road, you follow a grand tree lined road that leads to the free car park. You definitely get a sense that this is a special place with some history. Indeed it was founded by the Earl of Northampton Simon de Senlis as a Cluniac Nunnery in 1145. The location has other interesting connections that include Queen Eleanor, The Battle of Northampton and King Henry VIII. If you would like to read the history in more detail click the following link:
Delapre Abbey – What to expect
Once parked up you will notice some open fields to your left and right. It’s not unusual to find a dog or two running around here. If you walk in an easterly direction though you will see a path that leads to a large lake. To the right near the start of this path is an entrance to some gardens which is the image used at the top of this article. I believe dogs need to be on a lead in these gardens but to be honest I only ever continue to the lake.
Once you reach the lake there is a path that closely follows the lake edge. I usually take this in an anticlockwise direction. The path can be muddy in winter so be warned and perhaps wear decent boots. You can spot a fair amount of wildlife close to the lake, including swans, ducks and often a heron. Delapre Park does have its fair share of squirrels, so don’t be surprised if your dog suddenly darts off for a chase. Our Border Collie Archie is not particularly a fan of the water. However recently he has started to get bolder in his curiosity to meet the swans as the photo below illustrates.
At one point the lake path gets very close to the A45 Nene Valley Way. It’s not a safety hazard for your dog but just slightly noisy which can break the otherwise tranquil feeling of the place.
You are almost certain to meet other dogs and their owners when visiting Delapre Abbey. These meetings normally are very brief as you pass them heading in the opposite direction on the path around the lake. The exception would be in the open fields near the car park. Therefore those who want their dog to get lots of socialisation might find that Bradlaugh Fields is a better option.
The last time I visited I forgot to count the number of dog waste bins. I’m fairly sure however that there are a decent number spread around. What about toilet facilities for humans I hear you ask. Well there is a basic toilet block that’s usually open close to the car park. I’m guessing there are more toilets in Delapre Abbey tea rooms. I’ve never visited the tea room however and I believe the Abbey is currently undergoing some refurbishments.
If you walk your dog at Delapre Park feel free to leave a comment to add your thoughts about this dog walking location.