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You are in: Northamptonshire » A Sense Of Place

Wednesday, 20th November, 2002
A cycle tour in South Northamptonshire
Image of a bike against a wall Jonathan Staples moved to Northamptonshire in 1990. He's fallen in love with our breathtaking countryside. Here he takes us on a guided tour - by bike.

A personal tour of Helmdon

Tour of Towcester



Sulgrave Manor

Profile of Jonathan Staples

BBC Radio Northampton

South Northamptonshire Council

Preston Capes website

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Jonathan Stapes co-presents the Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Northampton. If you live in Northamptonshire you can hear him between 6.30am and 9am on 104.2FM or 103.6FM

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In the daily rush to get from one appointment to another, how many of us stop to really appreciate the beauty of our part of the world?

Image of Jonathan Staples
Jonathan Staples

It’s no exaggeration to tell you that it was my bicycle that brought me to south Northamptonshire 12 years ago. The quiet lanes, pretty villages and beautiful scenery made for an irresistible combination that grabbed hold of my heart and simply wouldn’t let go.

Bit by bit, I spent that first summer exploring every nook and cranny of the countryside within about ten miles of my cottage in Weston. In some ways I feel nostalgic when I think back to that time – an era of "firsts" – and yet I know nothing has been lost. It’s all still there and waiting for me whenever I can find the time and energy to pump up those tyres, pop on my cycle clips and start peddling.

Rediscovering the magic

But just as a Londoner may make little use of the capital’s museum’s and art galleries, it’s all too easy to take our everyday surroundings for granted. So journey with me now, even if it’s only to rediscover the magic you already know of this little corner of our county.

Map of the cycle tour
The route taken by Jonathan Staples

Weston to Plumpton

My favourite way out of Weston has always been the narrow road that leads through the tiny hamlet of Plumpton with its tiny church and on to Woodend and Blakesley.

Image of Plumpton Church
Plumpton Church

Aside from being free of traffic, the rolling hills capture everything that’s best about this part of the world for a cyclist within just a few short miles - easy gradients, far-reaching views, charm and character.

Image of Plumpton wood
Plumpton Wood

The sign at Plumpton Wood used to boast of guard dogs and prosecution for trespassers but no more. Revolution at the Forestry Commission has come in the form of a "Walkers Welcome" board and a chance to explore the once forbidden glades carpeted in May with bluebells.

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