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Brampton Valley Way

Brampton Valley Way

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The Brampton Valley Way is a 14 miles (22.5 km) linear park
Rail trail
A rail trail is the conversion of a disused railway easement into a multi-use path, typically for walking, cycling and sometimes horse riding. The characteristics of former tracks—flat, long, frequently running through historical areas—are appealing for various development. The term sometimes also...

 based on the former railway
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 line in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...


The railway line was closed in 1981 and the 13 miles (20.9 km) Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire is a landlocked county in the English East Midlands, with a population of 629,676 as at the 2001 census. It has boundaries with the ceremonial counties of Warwickshire to the west, Leicestershire and Rutland to the north, Cambridgeshire to the east, Bedfordshire to the south-east,...

 section was purchased by Northamptonshire County Council with grant aid from the Countryside Commission
Countryside Commission
The Countryside Commission was a statutory body in England and Wales, and later in England only...

 in 1987, when work began on developing it as a linear park. The 1 miles (1.6 km) section north of the county boundary is owned by Leicestershire
Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the English Midlands. It takes its name from the heavily populated City of Leicester, traditionally its administrative centre, although the City of Leicester unitary authority is today administered separately from the rest of Leicestershire...

 County Council although Northamptonshire County Council undertake the management of the complete route.

The Brampton Valley Way, from Boughton Crossing in Northampton
Northampton is a large market town and local government district in the East Midlands region of England. Situated about north-west of London and around south-east of Birmingham, Northampton lies on the River Nene and is the county town of Northamptonshire. The demonym of Northampton is...

 to Little Bowden Crossing in Market Harborough
Market Harborough
Market Harborough is a market town within the Harborough district of Leicestershire, England.It has a population of 20,785 and is the administrative headquarters of Harborough District Council. It sits on the Northamptonshire-Leicestershire border...

, was opened in the spring of 1993 and provides recreational access for cyclists
Cycling, also called bicycling or biking, is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, or for sport. Persons engaged in cycling are cyclists or bicyclists...

 and walkers
Walking is one of the main gaits of locomotion among legged animals, and is typically slower than running and other gaits. Walking is defined by an 'inverted pendulum' gait in which the body vaults over the stiff limb or limbs with each step...

. Further developments to enhance access continue alongside everyday management of the site. The Way forms an offroad section of the Sustrans
Sustrans is a British charity to promote sustainable transport. The charity is currently working on a number of practical projects to encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport, to give people the choice of "travelling in ways that benefit their health and the environment"...

 National Cycle Network
National Cycle Network
The National Cycle Network is a network of cycle routes in the United Kingdom.The National Cycle Network was created by the charity Sustrans , and aided by a £42.5 million National Lottery grant. In 2005 it was used for over 230 million trips.Many routes hope to minimise contact with motor...

 Route 6.

There are two former railway tunnels on the route, Kelmarsh
Kelmarsh Tunnel
The Kelmarsh Tunnels are disused railway tunnels in Northamptonshire, England. The Northampton to Market Harborough line opened in 1859 and had tunnels at Kelmarsh and nearby Oxendon....

 (322 yards (294.4 m)) and Oxendon
Oxendon Tunnel
The Oxendon Tunnels are disused railway tunnels in Northamptonshire, England. The Northampton to Market Harborough line opened in 1859 and had tunnels at Oxendon and nearby at Kelmarsh....

 (462 yards (422.5 m)). The tunnels are unlit and so can be quite an experience to travel through, although alternative routes over the tunnels are provided.

A section of the Brampton Valley Way runs adjacent to the Northampton & Lamport Railway
Northampton & Lamport Railway
The Northampton & Lamport Railway is a standard gauge heritage railway in Northamptonshire, England. It is based at Pitsford and Brampton station, near the villages of Pitsford and Chapel Brampton, roughly north of Northampton.-Overview:...

. The railway is separated from the linear park by a stout safety fence. As the railway extends, so the fence will be erected first to protect members of the public from the works. The Midshires Way
Midshires Way
The Midshires Way is a long distance footpath and bridleway that runs for through Middle England from Bledlow in Buckinghamshire to Stockport, Greater Manchester....

passes through the Brampton Valley Way.

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