F1 2023 Insider's Guide No. 11 – Northamptonshire

07 Jul 23


F1 2023 Insider's Guide No. 11 – Northamptonshire

Home of the iconic Silverstone Circuit and Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team, the county of Northamptonshire offers sprawling stately homes, traditional thatched pubs and mile upon mile of quintessentially English countryside. Whether you're an avid motorsport enthusiast, a history buff, a cream scone aficionado or someone who simply craves natural beauty, Northamptonshire has masses to offer.

Where’s best for a pint of lager?

The Tollemache Arms The Tollemache Arms in Harrington (45 mins from the racetrack) is a traditional pub complete with a historic English thatched roof. Serving punters since the 17th century, it has a variety of hoppy lagers on draught, but if a gin and tonic is more your thing, their house supplier ‘Warner’s’ is brewed in a 200-year-old barn down the road. During summer, there’s often live music and if you’re in town the last Monday of the month, you can show off your general knowledge prowess by joining the locals for quiz night.

What about a three-course meal?

The Crown Inn Locals rave about The Crown Inn in Weston, a traditional 17th-century pub offering White Company-style interiors and a friendly welcome. Expect simple British fare – elevated. Ingredients are locally sourced, and menus are inspired by the changing seasons: beer-battered haddock & chips; 32-day dry-aged ribeye steak; chicken, leek & mushroom puff pastry pie. The wine list is ‘small but excellent’ according to the MasterChef critic (and local resident) William Sitwell. He also describes the roast beef as ‘a carnivore’s dream’.

Craving a cream tea?

Fawlsey Hal Hotel & Spa Fawsley Hall Hotel & Spa offers daily afternoon tea (12.30-16.30; booking required). Make sure you have an appetite. It starts with finger sandwiches (ham & mustard; chicken tarragon & mayonnaise, cucumber and cream cheese, prawn and crayfish etc) followed by homemade scones with jam and cream and a selection of cakes and patisserie. Champagne optional, naturally. For something quirkier, head to Black Goo, a converted petrol station serving coffee and cake in the town of Buckingham.

Fancy a dose of culture?

Lamport Hall puts on a variety of jazz and theatre events throughout summer months. Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest will take place on 15 July 2023 in the walled garden and the following evening there’s ‘Jazz in the Gardens’. Book tickets here. Alternatively, on 16 July, Sulgrave Manor will be putting on a performance of The Great Gatsby (outdoor theatre).

Where can I indulge my inner aristocrat?

Althorp HouseAlthorp House, darrrrling. This sprawling estate was the childhood home of none-other-than Princess Diana and, sadly, it’s also her final resting place. The main house’s panelled galleries and ancestral ante chambers are filled with some of Europe’s finest examples of antique furniture, art and curiosities (including a rare collection of walking canes dating back to 1508) while outside in the 300-acre deer park, black fallow bucks roam free. Little known fact: the main avenue at Althorp was planted with 36 oak trees in recognition of Diana’s age when she died.

Althorp House is open to visitors from July 3 until the end of August.

Where can I see examples of stunning Palladian architecture?

Stowe School (Richard Branson’s old stomping ground) is open to visitors throughout summer months and boasts some of the UK’s finest examples of neoclassical and Palladian architecture. As well as the main house with its grand porticos, ornate stonework and columns dating back to the 18th century, there are temples and pavilions dotted around the National Trust grounds designed by the architects James Gibbs and William Kent.

Rock ‘n’ Roll fact: It was recently revealed that Stowe School was the venue for the Beatles’ first ever concert on April 4, 1963.

Stowe School is located just south of Silverstone Circuit, and Turn 15 at the historic racetrack gets its name from the school. A rapid right-hander at the end of the Hangar Straight, Stowe is one of the most challenging corners for drivers to master on a lap of the British Grand Prix.

Where might I spot a badger?

Rockingham Forest William the Conqueror’s favourite hunting forest, is the place to go. This ancient woodland in the heart of Northamptonshire offers peaceful walking trails, scenic lakes, idyllic picnic spots and plenty of British wildlife including deer, badgers, foxes, squirrels, hedgehogs, owls and red kites.

Where can I tee off?

Whittlebury Park Golf Course Is across the road from Silverstone and has four loops of nine holes in pristine grounds. Book here.

Is there any decent shopping?

Bicester Village Yes, Bicester Village is home to more than 100 designer outlet boutiques selling clothes, accessories, and homeware. It’s high-end (Burberry, Gucci, Prada, Jimmy Choo, Alexander McQueen) and has a charming village atmosphere thanks to its open-air pedestrianised streets. Book at table at Cecconi’s for lunch.

Tip: If you’re planning on loading up on shopping, you might want to bring an extra suitcase. The brand-new lime-green Globe-Trotter Aston Martin F1 collection just landed.

Is a day trip to London feasible?

Yes, the buzzing capital is only 80 miles away.

The Globe-Trotter x Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team partnership celebrates a shared commitment to craftsmanship, innovation, and heritage; bringing together the timeless style of Globe-Trotter’s handcrafted luggage and the cutting-edge design and performance of the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team.

Free Luggage Tag

Sign up to receive a free handmade luggage tag with your first order and be the first to get exclusive access to new releases, offers and events. T&Cs apply.

Featured items in this article