|Brampton Valley Way|
Cyclists cross a disused railway bridge on the Brampton Valley Way
|Length||14 mi (23 km)|
|Location||The Midlands, England|
|Designation||UK National Trail|
|Trailheads||Northampton, Northamptonshire |
Market Harborough, Leicestershire
The Brampton Valley Way is a 14-mile (23 km) rail trail built on the way of the former Northampton to Market Harborough Railway in Northamptonshire, England. It forms what trail managers, Northamptonshire County Council, describe as a linear park.
The railway line was closed in 1981 and the 13-mile (21 km) Northamptonshire section was purchased by Northamptonshire County Council with grant aid from the Countryside Commission in 1987, when work began on developing it as a linear park. The 1-mile (1.6 km) section north of the county boundary is owned by Leicestershire County Council although Northamptonshire County Council undertake the management of the complete route.
The Brampton Valley Way, from Boughton Crossing in Northampton to Little Bowden Crossing in Market Harborough, was opened in the spring of 1993 and provides recreational access for cyclists and walkers. Further developments to enhance access continue alongside everyday management of the site. The Way forms an offroad section of the Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 6.
There are two former railway tunnels on the route, Kelmarsh (322 yards or 294 metres) and Oxendon (462 yards or 422 metres). 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. 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 passes through the Brampton Valley Way.