Abington Park is my favorite green space in my home town, my second favorite green space being the country cricket club just across the road. My least favorite green space is the one in Northampton Town FC`s back four. Abington Park is one of the top ten ornamental parks in Great Britain with 352 different varieties of trees and ten times that of shrubs, second only to Kew Gardens for that badge of honor, although the Borough Council keep chopping them down because they over-hang the road and deposit seeds and kindling on posh peoples cars who then threaten to sue the council. It's a really beautiful and iridescent place though, especially in autumn a really pleasant place to be in and equal to any of London's Royal Parks if you ask me. We even have a towering Redwood Pine and a Monkey Tree, towering up from the cute little aviary full of budgies and Peacocks. The other day there was a domestic parrot on the outside of the cages trying to get in to join the exotic birds, presumably because they were the same color as him, unlike the gray and brown birds on the outside.
Because Abbey is immaculate the people off all social backgrounds in Northampton treat it with surprising respect. There's no litter to be seen and even the roughians scoop up their fighting dogs poo poo with a scooper. The kids even take off their shoes to play soccer on the manicured bowling greens they are the reverent to its pristine condition. This is Great Britain in action! The other prominent park in the town, 'The Racecourse', which houses the now cancelled balloon festival, is a tip in contrast. If you are going to be mugged or far worse then that's the place it will happen.
Parks are cool things because they are free of charge of course and great places to escape to in the summer, maybe with a good book and some snacks, or a pretty girl and some medium priced wine with an impressive label for company, one of the few places in England where the British class system actually mingles with no pretensions - although social groups A, B and C always keeping their distance from the D`s and E`s in Northampton, as written in the British social class manual.
Across the park you have the park café; expensive, homely and safe, young couples surrounded by kids, plastic footballs, ice cream and steaming tea and coffee (at fair-trade prices!). The café is called the 'Ye Old Oak' and it's the only one and so a bit of a monopoly.
Parks have lakes too, but the water never blue. Ours has three small ones. One is a boating lake with no boats, the armada of two-seaters long since sunk by the 'yob culture'. The other lakes are for the birds, the water very grey and murky looking like the fish who are imprisoned in them. The well known Cricket Test umpire Peter Willey chairs the 'Friends of Abington Park Group', his voluntary role to row out in a little boat and judge the conditions of the lakes all year round. So if you want to talk cricket with someone who knows then there your tip for the day.
We have a 'pitch and putt' but a rather sad affair. It was recently reopened after a ten year absence, the council house kids terrorizing the booking clerks and so torched out their hut. I learnt to play golf there as a kid and so it was good to see it reopen. It is up and running again but not quite the same, a long walk to the other booking office to get the clubs and, believe it or not, the flags. Abington Park was my childhood but very different to the one kids have today.
The park is massive and being the size it is, you can get away from it all - even on a Summer Day in the middle of the school holidays!. There are often organised events in the park like Northampton Dog Training Club dog show.
The park includes the site of a deserted medieval village dating back to the 1300s as well as other links with the past like the pigeonry, this has survived for hundreds of years.
There is also a museum in the park with features displaying life in Northamptonshireis many years ago, it is housed in a 15th Century Manor House which was once the home of Shakespeare's granddaughter, Elizabeth Bernard.
The church of St.Peter & St.Paul, where Shakspeare's granddaughter is buried, is usually open to visitors at weekends. Its origins date back to around 1200 and some of the original church is still evident, this is right next to the Park and well worth a visit.
So whether you want a peaceful hour to read a book, want to let your kids run wild without annoying anybody, play on the swings, walk around the lake, take a picnic or get some history this is the place to be and the best part is it is practically free.
it a lovely park, very big, especially like the bird sanctuary bit, there is a cafe there too, plenty of play stuff for the kids , the museum is really good as well and its free! Lots of events take place too
Beautiful in both summer and winter altough you will need plently of wasp and bee repelent on in the summer its a great place to take the kids complete with a picnic for a days outing
I'd lived in Northampton for 2 years without even realising this place existed just down the road from me! Abington park is perfect for a town like Northampton as it can be the perfect getaway on a Sunday afternoon but still only a stroll from town. With enough room for an energetic long run, all sorts of sports, a playground and a picturesque walk around the lake and through the aviaries, there is something for all ages here. In the summer the bandstand plays host to various events perfect for a warm afternoon with a folding chair and a glass of Pimms!
This is what I would describe as a proper old fashioned park, It is huge and includes a great cafe, bandstand (which features regular performances - especially in the summer when there is a Folk Music Day), sensory garden, bowling green, tennis courts, two large play areas, a varied aviary, a lake and a fascinating museum, including a wonderful display of old puppet theatre models and vintage toys. This park gets a lot of wildlife, especially squirrels. During school summer holidays a play scheme is usually run in the park for local children to get involved in free sports activites
great park good for kids and museum to adults enjoy
and some caged birds and cafe
I live opposite the park having moved in two years ago,huge space with nothing in it apart from nice views,its a shame as all the parks in Northampton are the same, full of the same!Why is there so little for kids to do even the swings and slide part is tired and dated straight from the late 70,s.maybe some one should venture further afield to other towns with far better facilities,where rides and climbing gear cover a far greater age range instead of children up to about 8?What would be wrong with skate board parks or cycle tracks B.M.X.courses?Crazy Golf,Boating lake?A few ideas,come on Northampton out of the 70s and try at least to move with the times
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