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Welland Valley at Harringworth

Places to visit

Harringworth Viaduct in the Welland Valley

Places to visit in Rockingham Forest

The area has nature reserves, publicly accessible woodland and parkland, historic buildings and landmarks - the hidden gems of the forest. On this page we have picked out a few of our favourite places to visit.

See these places on Google maps


You can find details of other parks and open spaces on this page of North Northamptonshire Council's website

Interested in helping out?

Why not share your favourite places to visit? Please get in touch if you would be interested in helping to compile a more complete list of interesting places. No website building experience necessary.

The Gullets at Priors Hall Park

Parking at OS SP925908   what3words///limited .competing.flesh

Priors Hall Park is the large new housing development north of Weldon and on the east side of Corby.  Formerly an ironstone quarry serving the steelworks, for decades the site remained wild and derelict as various proposals for its future came and went: locals remember plans for it to become a huge theme park - "Wonder World"! There is now an impressive nature reserve with easily accessible footpaths running through the surviving gulleys or gullets (the local name).


Collyweston Quarries - the Deeps

Parking at OS TF005036.   what3words///backtrack.static.snippets

This 20-acre reserve lies between Easton on the Hill and Collyweston and can be easily accessed from the A43. Managed by the Wildlife Trust BCN, it comes into its own in high summer when the lime-rich soils that have developed on the old quarry workings are aglow with a variety of flowers including the local rarity, Dyer's Greenweed.  It is a great place to see many of our grassland butterflies too.

Railway KC

Railway Path, King's Cliffe

Parking at OS TL007977.   what3words///pokers.wharfs.choppers

Until 1966 a single track railway ran through this part of Rockingham Forest with stations at Wansford, Nassington, Kings Cliffe and Wakerley. Now a 2-mile section of the track has been opened up for walkers thanks to the efforts of Wildplaces, a part of King's Cliffe Transition. Starting at King's Cliffe Active, you can walk west through a cutting as far as Wood Lane with access then to Fineshade Wood. Otherwise head east enjoying the views towards Apethorpe, Jacks Green and beyond.

Walkway around Cook's Hole

Parking at TL051990, odd spaces beside Roman Road. what3words///bulldozer.whom.moth

The series of quarries west of Wansford and south of the A47 contribute to Rockingham Forest's landscapes and wildlife. (See here). Footpaths have often been diverted while quarries are worked, but there is an interesting walkway between two of the quarries, from which you can compare different stages of restoration.  It's just under a mile to walk the route from the south end of Bedford Purlieus up to the A47 road - and another mile back.  The path is shown as a Right of Way on the current OS maps and, in 2023, is in a good state of repair.

Cook's Hole

Lyveden New Bield

The Elizabethan lodge and manor house are now owned by the National Trust. The lodge, constructed for Thomas Tresham around 1604 was never finished, but is an interesting place to wander and wonder about. There is a restored orchard, moated gardens with viewing mounds and a labyrinth laid out in the grass. The garden and lodge is surrounded by  restored hay meadows.

Details and opening times here.


Sudborough Green Lodge Meadows

Parking at SP9658598, opposite the gliding club what3words///outraged.enjoys.fluid

This little-known and rarely visited area has the richest grassland biodiversity in Northamptonshire. It is a SSSI, owned and very sensitively managed by the Forestry Commission, so there is Open Access across the two ancient meadows. In one the ridge-and-furrow can still be seen and from May to late July it is awash with flowers and insects.

The meadows are well away from any roads - the shortest route is just over a mile from the parking place and starts by following the hard track through Fermyn Woods  .


Old Sulehay Forest

Various parking including TL068988 what3words///indicates.look.husbands

This remnant of the former forest is part of a much larger Nature Reserve owned and managed by the local Wildlife Trust.  It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest with a mixture of broadleaved tree species, woodland flowers and unusual butterflies. It is typical of an old coppiced woodland and is dominated by Hazel coppice with some Ash, Oak, Field Maple, and Small-leaved Lime.

The woodland is well worth a visit at any time of the year, even in winter when many of these pictures were taken.

King's Cliffe Heritage Centre

Parking in Bridge Street (TF009970)  what3words///hits.whistling.dragons

King’s Cliffe Heritage researches, gathers and records information relating to the history of the village and its residents. Much of the information is available via the (soon to be improved!) website but a visit to the Heritage Centre is a fascinating experience. Located at 27 Bridge Street in an old charity boys' school room, the Centre is open from 2-5pm on the 4th Sunday of every month from February to October and on Bank Holiday Mondays. Entry is free to everyone and knowledgeable volunteer stewards are on hand to help.


Wothorpe Groves and Towers

Parking at OS TF021053   what3words///smile string.burn

At the northern tip of the the former Rockingham Forest lie two small sections of  mature woodland named Wothorpe Groves and Pit Holes on the OS maps. Part of the Burghley Estate, the woodland is open for all to access and provides magnificent walks at all times of the year. Close by is the old manor house, rebuilt in the late 16th century and remodelled as a dramatic towered lodge by the Cecil family. This is not currently open to the public. The woodland is connected to various rights of way from Stamford and Easton-on-the-Hill

Glapthorn CP

Glapthorn Cow Pasture

Parking at OS TL006903.   what3words///validated.shielding.belong

This Wildlife Trust reserve is great to visit at any time of year. The woodland today stands isolated in a landscape of farmland. Until the early 20th century, it was pasture with scattered trees and used for grazing cattle, probably surrounded by woodland. In spring the reserve is known for its colony of Black Hairstreak butterflies and, until recently, Nightingales bred there too. There is a network of Rights of Way leading from the reserve making it easy to incorporate into a longer walk.

Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller memorial, Jacks Green

Parking at OS TL042966.   what3words///

The World War II airbase at Kings Cliffe hosted the last hanger concert of Glenn Miller and his band in 1944, an event  commemorated  by an engraved metal plaque. It is now adjacent to the new Rockingham Forest Park but can still be accessed from various Rights of Way. The bridleway through Great and Little Morton Sales from the Apethorpe-Nassington Road is on hard tracks and probably suitable for those with wheels. 

Parking at OS SP988886   what3words///design.wage.seriously

Lower Benefield - village and footpaths

This attractive stone village is on the A427 between Oundle and Corby. Turn off the main road and park near the entrance to the churchyard to explore the network of footpaths, particularly those leading south. There are at least two routes to Lyvedon New Bield, one passing through Banhaw Wood and the other through Forestry England's Bearshank Wood. The well-kept church yard is close to the site of a 13th century castle.

Turtle Bridge

Parking at OS SP932979   what3words///confirms.remover.resurgent

Turtle Bridge - the Welland Valley

The name of this Grade-II-listed bridge refers, not to a reptile, but to Ralph Turcle, an inhabitant of Harringworth in the 13th century. Today it carries the Jurassic Way across the Welland and is a popular place for local children and dogs to paddle and cool off. In winter it can be very different! Floods often fill the valley making it popular with wintering wildfowl. The views on the walk down to the bridge are spectacular at any time of year.

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