Once famed for its leatherwork and shoemaking, Kettering is a historic market town in Northamptonshire. It originated as a Romano-British settlement that was occupied until the 4th century AD and later became part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia. Kettering is home to one of the oldest theme parks in the United Kingdom, which opened to punters in 1921.
Things to do in Kettering
In the centre of Kettering is the Manor House Museum, which details the people, events and industries that have shaped the town. In addition to exhibits about Kettering’s shoemaking industry, works by local artists such as Sir Alfred East and T.C. Gotch are displayed. The Manor House Museum regularly hosts activities for kids and there is an adjacent flower-filled garden to explore.
Young and old alike will enjoy a ride on the Wicksteed Park Railway, which is located in a Grade II-listed green space in Kettering’s south-east. The park was established by wealthy industrialist Charles Wicksteed in the 1910s and now features a children’s playground and an area filled with amusement rides. Adjacent is the Wicksteed Carp Lake where anglers can try their luck.
Independent boutiques and eclectic eateries can be found at The Yards, a popular gathering space in Kettering’s town centre. It’s located a short stroll from Market Square, which is watched over by the towering spire of St. Peter & St. Paul Church. The church is believed to have been originally established in the 13th century, with two medieval paintings and a beautiful organ housed within.
Getting around Kettering
Kettering is around 30 minutes’ drive from Northampton and just under an hour from Birmingham Airport, which has flights to destinations across the globe. Regular trains connect from London to the Kettering railway station and the town centre is compact enough to explore on foot.