Village Store with a post office and cash machine – 50 High Street 01788 890334
Village Meats - family butchers – 25 High Street 01788 890204
Braunston Fryer - fish, pies, chips etc, take-away only – 2 The Green 01788 890258
The Boat Shop – souvenirs, some basic groceries, ice cream – Bottom Lock 01788 891310
Braunston Marina Shop – boaters’ items + souvenirs, cold drinks, books - 01788 891373
Serendipity Art Studios – workshops, art & handicrafts for sale – Bottom Lock - 07446 891925
The Gongoozler’s Rest – café boat & garden – on towpath outside marina - 07940 973 529
The Admiral Nelson (“The Nellie”), Dark Lane – canal side + garden – good food - 01788 891900
The Wheatsheaf, 10 The Green – small friendly pub, pool, darts, TV, no food. 01788 890748
The Old Plough, 82 High. Old, 2 bar pub. Food: dine-in or take away. 01788 878126
The Boat House, London Road – large pub/eatery, huge menu - 01788 891734
Many of the restaurants in Daventry deliver to the hut, including Chinese, Indian and Dominos.
There is a wide selection of pubs and restaurants plus a live theatre and a cinema complex in Rugby, 15 minutes’ drive.
Take yourself out on a narrowboat!
Union Canal Carriers, Bottom Lock (book well in advance) - 01788 890784
Other places/things of interest in and around Braunston
Braunston Marina, An interesting place to walk around and see the narrowboats moored, being worked on, usually several historic ones around!
The Jurassic Way runs thorough the farm for walkers and cyclists to enjoy.
All Saints’ Church – known as the cathedral of the canals. There are a pair of peregrine falcons nesting on the spire – the fastest animal on the planet!
Braunston guided walks from your doorstep – leaflets available in your hut
Health and Well Being Centre – book yourself in for a treatment!
Braunston Village Website - for all local info
Daventry – a market town just 5 minutes down the road. Daventry still boasts a twice weekly market with plenty of local fresh produce on offer as well as home to several artisan cafes.
Daventry Country Park– a green flag park recognised for being among the best green spaces in the country. It has a large reservoir, café, outdoor gym equipment, nature trail, accessible bird hides and a wealth of wildlife to explore.
Interesting places further afield
Braunston is ideally placed as a base from which to visit a huge array of interesting venues, most within 30 minutes’ drive and the following are a selection (average driving time shown in brackets):-
Althorp Estate – stately home to Spencer family since 1508 (25 mins)
Barby Sporting Club – clay shooting, air-gun range, café (8 mins)
Canons Ashby – Tudor manor house in delightful gardens (27 mins)
Coventry (28 mins)
- Cathedrals – the old and the new together
- Transport Museum – Coventry was UK’s centre of car making
Draycote Water – country park + fishing, water sports, bird hides, etc. (16 mins)
Horse riding, inc. absolute beginners, Woodbine Stables, Grandborough (14 mins)
Kenilworth Castle – magnificent mediaeval fortress + Elizabethan gardens (30 mins)
National Space Centre – museum of space science & astronomy (30 mins)
Ryton Organic Gardens – the UK centre of organic gardening (17 minutes)
Silverstone Circuit & museum – Drive round the circuit yourself! (30 mins)
Stratford (40 mins)
- Shakespeare’s Birthplace & Museum
- RSC Theatres
- River Avon boat trips
Stoke Bruerne – pretty canalside settlement (35 mins)
- The Canal Museum
- Passenger boat trips www.stokebruerneboats.co.uk
- The Boat Inn – large pub with a traditional boaters’ bar
- plus café, Indian restaurant, souvenir shop – all canal side.
Warwick Castle – perfectly preserved iconic clifftop fortress + dungeons, special events etc (30 mins)
Welton Mill Karting – plus quad biking, clay shooting, archery and more (13 mins)
What Braunston offers today
Braunston is a charming and friendly village with three hearts!
It is “the heart of the shires” in the middle of beautiful countryside with rolling hills to the east and the Warwick plain to the west. Around it are three deserted mediaeval villages; indeed, the ancient ridge and furrow field workings are to be seen everywhere.
Braunston is also “the heart of the waterways”, the Piccadilly Circus if you like, of the canal system and is a busy boating centre. Furthermore it is at the meeting of three official long distance footpaths.
Its third heart is its wonderfully caring community! The village is proud to have been declared the “Best Northamptonshire Village” in 2019, awarded to the village with the best community spirit and catering for all with a wide range of social activities.
Your shepherd’s hut is in a field in the hamlet of Little Braunston, just a few minutes’ walk from Braunston, on the sunny south-facing slope of the canal ‘valley’ which is a protected conservation area, as also is the High Street. There are no less than 29 listed buildings in and around the village. You overlook “Bottom Lock”, the first of six locks that take boats up to a long tunnel going towards London.
There’s a variety of short, interesting walks to be had in and around Braunston. Free leaflets are available; please ask if none are in your hut. You are free to walk the canal towpaths; you will find boaters are a friendly bunch.
What Braunston offered yesterday
Braunston, a hilltop village on the edge of the Northamptonshire Heights, minded its own bucolic business as a small collection of farmsteads and agricultural workers’ hovels from Anglo-Saxon times until the end of C18th when both the Oxford Canal and what is now known as the Grand Union Canal formed a cross-roads here.
Then, all hell broke loose! It became a huge inland port, transhipping cargoes from wide boats from London into narrow boats for all points north including Birmingham and Manchester. It was an important enabler of England’s Industrial Revolution.
The population exploded to just a little less than the 1,759 it is today – as did the number of pubs – to a grand total of 19 in Victorian times! The canal trade dwindled substantially by the end of First World War and had died out completely by 1950.