12 Castle Way
The Wellingborough Museum is a delightful place to visit. Well set out with plenty of information, it's a brilliantly organised and fascinating free day out.
Managed by a dedicated group of volunteers, Wellingborough Museum does a fantastic job of hosting an ever-changing programme of events and as such, there will always be a fresh reason to visit.
If you have kids, there will be plenty to keep them entertained; from the eye-catching model train set to the engaging World War II displays. Past events such as the 'creepy crawlies' and the 'owl handling exhibition' will always keep the little ones amused as will the Victorian coin game machines.
With a beautiful gift shop, filled with a lovely collection of retro toys and games, Wellingborough Museum is a pleasant surprise – and free!
NORTHAMPTON MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY
4-6 Guildhall Road
The Northampton Museum and Art Gallery is a marvellous array of artwork and exhibitions charting the intriguing stories behind the growth of Northampton.
For visitors, it provides themed exhibitions depicting the local traits and industries that contributed to the development of the town, including its renowned shoe production prowess. The depths of insight from prehistoric remains to the Victorian age manufacturing processes prove to be interesting to all guests, not just Northampton locals.
The collection of Oriental porcelain, British glassware and Italian 15th-century paintings are simply stunning, worthy of a visit themselves. The highlight for many however would be the world's largest collection of assorted boots and shoes. Northampton Museum is perfect for those with an interest in shoe design and manufacturing. You may even wish to try on some of your favourite footwear from past eras.
With plenty of interactive displays and incredible Art galleries, the Northampton Museum is another great free day out.
THE CANAL MUSEUM
A short drive south of Northampton takes you to the quaint village of Stoke Bruerne, with its charming waterways and sprawling countryside walks. You'll also find the small but excellent, Canal Museum.
Set in a restored corn mill, it provides a wonderful look at the important part this particular mode of transport played in the industrial revolution that was so fundamental to Britain's development.
The collection of signs, photos, working models and old boat displays are surprisingly interesting, even to those with little or no knowledge of life on the waterways. Collated by the passionate lock-keeper Jack James, visitors can appreciate the pleasantly relaxed pace of life in a museum that genuinely is pleased to welcome you.
For the younger ones, there is plenty to keep them entertained, from a boatman dressing up the box, colouring in activities and the chance to take a trip on Charles, the splendid canal boat. For a small charge, visitors will be able to explore the flight of locks, beautiful boats and Blisworth Tunnel along the Grand Union Canal.
Back at the museum; treat yourself to an ice cream before settling of on one of the woodland walks or head to one of the many friendly local inns for a spot of lunch in the sun.
SYWELL AVIATION MUSEUM
The Sywell Aviation Museum is a series of buildings, which during the days of World War II were home to the pilots of the U.S Air Force. Today, visitors will be able to admire the vast collection of jets, aviation artefacts, models, weapons and uniforms from the RAF, Luftwaffe and USAAF.
In the summer months, Sywell Aviation Museum is the perfect place for plane enthusiasts. The Sywell Air Show features an aerobatic flying display from the famous Red Arrows Squadron and the spectacular local Aerobatic team, The Blades. The family fun continues with drag racing, fun-fare rides as well as historic flights from vintage favourites such as a Lancaster Bomber, Spitfire, de Havilland Moth and some special Fokker Triplanes.
Here you can also put your pilot skills in the state-of-the-art flight simulator. If you've ever been curious what it's like to pilot a 65-ton aircraft then you can book yourself in for a session. Including expert briefing and multiple chances to perform take-offs, in-flight manoeuvres and the all-important landings in an authentic cockpit simulator, it's a hugely entertaining way to spend the day.