The Racecourse Northampton is the closest place to our house for walking dogs. As new dog owners we did use it for a few months until we found other places that we and our dog Archie preferred.
The Racecourse Northampton – A hugely popular space for local residents
There is no doubt that The Racecourse Northampton is a very well used green space. It’s popular with dog walkers but also many other local residents. On weekends for example, local football teams use the marked out pitches. Running events are also held around the perimeter. At certain times of the year the amount of space is somewhat reduced when the Northampton Racecourse Fair turns up. It’s also a location used for firework displays (not a time when you want to be out walking your dog!).
If you want more general information about The Racecourse Northampton then the following Wikipedia page is worth a read. For this article though I want to move on to the positives and negatives of The Racecourse from a dog owner’s point of view.
The Racecourse Northampton – The Positives
There is no question that this is a popular place for dog owners. As such if your dog is well socialised it will enjoy the interactions with other dogs. Most other dogs you meet seem to be friendly but as with anywhere you should still take care. There is not a dedicated car park as such but there is plenty of free on street parking. I would usually park in the layby on East Park Parade. Signs indicate that parking is allowed Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm. You can park for up to 4 hours with no return within 4 hours. For many Northampton residents though the park is within walking distance, myself included.
You will find plenty of dog waste bins which seem to be emptied regularly. It’s also a great location to use in winter as the ground seems to drain very well. This is one of the least muddy locations locally after heavy rain.
The Racecourse Northampton – The Negatives
Despite the positives mentioned above it’s still not one of my favourite places to walk dogs. The park is surrounded on all sides by busy roads. If you own a skittish, nervous dog or one likely likely to give chase to something, there are better alternatives. The terrain is rather flat and uninteresting. Many dogs don’t care where they walk, as long as they have somewhere to run and chase a ball. Many of the dogs I walk however prefer places with long grass, wooded areas and a generally more varied terrain. Such places usually have a greater diversity of wildlife and perhaps it’s these added smells that scent focused dogs like.
Finally another reason I don’t like this location as much as others is it just feels slightly run down and dirty. It’s not unusual to find litter in the corners of the park or discarded takeaways on the floor. I’ve also heard a few female dog walkers say they would not consider walking here after dark.
If you happen to live very close to The Racecourse Northampton it is a good dog walking option. If you are able to however I would try Bradlaugh Fields as an alternative. Most dogs I know far prefer the variety on offer at the latter location.