Brixworth Country Park

Brixworth Country Park (supplied by Northants Council)

Set in the heart of beautiful rural Northamptonshire, Brixworth Country Park is a national showpiece for an accessible countryside. This small yet perfectly formed park offers great possibilities if you want to picnic, walk, push or cycle in woodland, meadow and stunning reservoir surroundings.

There are three short circular routes round the park – Kestrel, Lapwing and Skylark – all signed and colour-coded and ranging from 550 yards to just over a mile. The paths are hard surfaced, with some undulations but no steep gradients, so regular wheelchair users should be able to manage independently or with a little assistance. You can stroll quietly through the woods and meadows, or pause to watch from the accessible viewing hide, where you may catch a glimpse of wildlife, including foxes, squirrels, waterfowl and woodland birds. For a more challenging half-day adventure, the walking routes also give access to a 7.5-mile circuit around the Pitsford Reservoir.

Families are exceptionally well catered for at Brixworth. There are two children’s play areas, both of which are accessed by hard gravel paths and contain some supportive, accessible equipment as well as plenty of open spaces, perfect for sports and play. Kids will also love experimenting with the human sun clock in the tranquil sensory garden. On the third Wednesday of every month there is a nature-themed parents and toddlers group (10–11.30am; £3 per child if booked in advance, or £3.50 on the day, if spaces still available).

Disabled parking is situated just in front of the café and running shop, as well as by the overflow parking meadow, next to the bottom car park. An excellent disabled toilet facility (you’ll need a RADAR key), located to the left of the ranger’s office, contains a hoist and privacy screen. Trampers – powered off-road scooters – are available to hire for £5.00 for the first hour and £2.50 for each additional hour. There are also two specialist bikes available for a small charge: a two-seat single-control bicycle designed so that both users can pedal, but only one rider controls gears, steering and brakes; and a wheelchair bike that has a disabled passenger seat at the front with an operator seat behind. Call to book these bikes in advance from the ranger’s office. Standard bikes can be rented from Pitsford Cycles, next to the ranger’s office and information booth. The latter has leaflets and information about the park (and others in the county) and from wildlife trusts.

Food & drink: The Willow Tree next to the visitor centre serves tasty breakfasts, jacket potatoes, cakes, baguettes and burgers – all in healthy portions. There is widely spaced moveable seating inside or at fixed picnic benches on the patio. There is a great view over the fields and lake and the young children’s play area is right next door.