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Look back at history, or get ahead for Christmas in the heart of England

British breaks: Northamptonshire

What’s on

Fill your Christmas stockings with handmade crafts on sale until 20 October at The Bounteous Mid Winter Bazaar (78derngate.org.uk) at 78 Derngate in Northampton, aka The Charles Rennie Mackintosh House & Galleries, a house that was remodelled by the designer and architect in his his iconic Modernist style.

Head for the Royal & Derngate in Northampton next Sunday, 25 October, for The Annual Arnold Festival (royal andderngate.co.uk), to celebrate music by the town’s famous son, Sir Malcolm Arnold. Carnival of the Animals and his Fourth Symphony will be performed.

Flame & Thunder is the action-packed day of motorsport stunts and drag racing taking place at Santa Pod Raceway (santapod.co.uk) near Wellingborough on 31 October. Jet vehicles, monster trucks and motocross will all be raced.

Putting an alternative spin on bonfire night on 5 and 6 November, Watch this Space: Lyveden New Bield (watch-this-space.org.uk/lyveden newbield.html), a sound, light and dance spectacular, will explore Gunpowder Plot connections with this National Trust-run roofless Elizabethan lodge near Oundle.

See the sights

Check out the free downloadable ebook of walks written by local man David Saint (britainonshow.co.uk/walking book.php), covering every corner of the county, from Wakerley to Kings Sutton. Pedal your bike, too, along the Nene and Brampton Valley Ways with the help of more free guides from Explore Northamptonshire (explore northamptonshire.co.uk).

Take a step back in time, some 950 years, at Rockingham Castle, built on the instruction of William the Conqueror (rockinghamcastle. com). Explore the castle and its grounds, then take in views from its turrets – you can see five counties on a clear day.

Go wild at Salcey Forest (forestry.gov.uk/salceyforest). Walk across its all-ability Tree Top Way or follow the forest trails to see sculptures by artist Linda Johns.

Quick march to the Naseby Battlefield Outlook Posts (naseby.com), site of a decisive Civil War battle in 1645 in which Parliament’s New Model Army defeated the forces of Charles I, now being brought back to life.

Further information

For more ideas and suggestions about accommodation, go to britainonshow.co.uk.