Upton Country Park Northampton, Elgar Centre

Upton Country Park Northampton

Upton Country Park Northampton

Gary Box

Variety for dogs
Dog socialisation
Dog waste bins


A typical playing field. There is free parking but it’s limited. Mini market if you need a drink. Could not see toilets and distinct lack of dog waste bins. Convenient for dog owners who live close by but hardly a haven for dogs like some other places.


Upton Country Park Northampton is another popular dog walking location. We are quite lucky in Northampton to have a number of great places to walk dogs. However as you will discover from this review Upton Country Park is not a particular favourite of mine.

Upton Country Park – Introduction

The park is located in the NN5 postcode, close to the River Nene. It’s close to Sixfields and also seems to be quite popular with people living in the village of Duston. There is a free car park on Upton High Street. I’ve never visited on a week day but I can confirm that the car park is very busy at weekends. Once parked up you will no doubt spot The Elgar Centre which is the main image for this article. The Elgar Centre is available for hire. You can hire either the Willow Room or Oak Room or hire the whole venue for things like wedding receptions. The Elgar Centre has its own car park with signs warning that parking is for Elgar Centre customers only. Further signs on the centre doors explain that toilets within the centre are also only for customers of the centre. Therefore don’t expect toilets at Upton Country Park!

Upton Country Park – The Positives

The park itself is close to a modern housing estate. Most of the properties appear to be 3 storey town houses and the whole area feels modern, safe and peaceful. Whilst there are roads servicing the properties you don’t get the sense that you get speeding traffic which can be a worry for dog owners.

I’ve not visited the park in winter but it did seem to drain well and the whole area seems well maintained. There are actually 3 football pitches marked out so possibly a groundsperson is employed. There is also the useful Upton Mini Market (photo below) which sells the basics should you want a snack or drink during your visit. It’s open 7 days a week at times that will suit anyone likely to be visiting Upton Country Park.

Upton Mini Market
Upton Mini Market

Upton Country Park – The Negatives

Whilst Upton Country Park looks like a great place to take the kids for a game of football I don’t really rate it that highly for dog walking. The flat fields are just a little too clinical to be considered a haven for dogs. Yes they may well enjoy running around and chasing a ball but they won’t get the same variety of terrain and smells that they would at other places like Bradlaugh Fields or Harlestone Firs for example. Certain breeds love ferreting around in long grass and picking up the scent of a rabbit or squirrel, something that’s not on offer here.

I also didn’t really notice any dog waste bins. Perhaps regular visitors to Upton Country Park can confirm in the comments whether there are any, but they certainly don’t seem to be abundant like they are at Bradlaugh Fields.

In summary if you live close by and just need somewhere to quickly exercise your dog it’s a decent option. All some dogs need is some grass and a ball to chase and they are happy. For others however who like to explore more and like more variety on a walk there are far better options within Northampton.

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  1. I walk my dog fairly regularly in Upton Park and in the recently opened country park area. It is flat but has plenty of different habitats to explore.
    There are quite a few dog poo bins at intervals around the park. They seem to be emptied frequently, too.

    1. Hi Jo,

      Yes perhaps I was slightly unfair in my review. Whilst it is not my favourite dog walking location by a long way, I know a number of people who like it and there is some water I didn’t notice on my first visit which some dogs love.

      Thanks for the comment.

  2. If you limited your visit to the playing field, you missed out on the larger country park with a part bridle path from which there is access to a walk across country to Kislingbury , two and a half miles away. Upton does not have a pub, but there are two or three in Kislingbury, well worth the effort on a summer’s day.

    A walk round the park is 2 miles and accessible from the playing field at both ends. The west end access has a couple of farm buildings used to service the sheep on the adjoining ‘flood plain’. There are up to about 120 sheep that are fattening at any one time, or waiting for lambing. There is evidence of a bronze age barrow visible in the middle of the flood plain and an information board explains.

    The Nene passes on the southern side of the flood plain and on the western side is Upton Mill and the Mill stream flows into the Nene.

    I’m afraid your review only scratched the surface..

    1. Hi Stephen,

      Agreed there is more to Upton Country Park if you have the time to explore. For a longer walk the route you mention is worth checking out. Most of the dogs we walk for clients though require 30 minutes or 1 hour and the need to return to the start point where the car is parked means we don’t often get the chance to get much further than the main field.


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