Kelmarsh & Gt Oxendon Tunnels

Kelmarsh & Gt Oxendon Tunnels

Following our theme of finding walks that offer photographic opportunities for Luke and his ever present camera, last Sunday we trundled along to Kelmarsh tunnel in North Northants. I was also conscious of the atrocious weather we’ve had lately, so fancied a walk that would be mostly solid underfoot and not too muddy. These factors, and a brief survey of Tripadvisor, led me to the Brampton Valley Way. This is an old railway line that runs for 14 miles from the Northern outskirts of Northampton to Market Harborough.  As it’s a linear route (obviously!) we didn’t want to walk it all as we’d have to walk back as well! There are plenty of access points along the way so we drove to the car park between Maidwell and Draughton.

The Brampton Valley Way

We walked as far as the Great Oxendon Tunnel (about 4 miles) via the very impressive Kelmarsh tunnel. Kelmarsh is the longest of the two tunnels at a not inconsiderable length of 480m. (Gt Oxendon tunnel is a mere 418m) The air shaft halfway along adds an atmospheric touch.

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It was quite spooky in the tunnel-a good torch is definitely needed!

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As I had hoped the path was mostly hard standing and, apart from the bits immediately around the tunnel, it was relatively mud free. This walk passes through some lovely countryside and is very popular with families, runners and cyclists (and apparently quad bikers which we thought a little antisocial). There are plenty of picnic spots dotted along the route, it also links up with many other footpaths if you fancy a detour.

We had a very enjoyable outing. It was great fun looking at the tunnels, they really are a feat of engineering and sheer manpower. It was a lovely 8 mile walk, and as it’s flat it’s very accessible to all standards of walker.

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