thrapston lake

Here in Thrapston we are lucky enough to live by some wonderful scenery.  Thrapston Lake as it is now called was once a huge gravel pit, many people still refer to it as ‘the Pits’ and birdwatchers on Twitter use Thrapston GP to save characters in their tweet.  If you have not yet been to the lakes, follow this little guide and have a great walk!  The walk is not pushchair or disabled friendly.


I love where I live and hope to make a small series of walks around the area for you to share.  I shall keep an eye and share areas where you are allowed to exercise your dog and also look for some disabled friendly paths too.


Of course, we recommend a hat and a bottle of water if it’s hot and sunny.  Dogs should be kept on a lead, as per the land owner’s signs, and any poop should be cleared away.  We live by the adage “Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but photographs”

There is a huge amount of wildlife to be seen, some very common and other plants and animals quite rare, for those you will need to be fairly quiet and not have a mad spaniel with you as I did.

My walk was about 3-4 miles long I really should have measured, so I will on the next one! I began on Oundle Road at the top ad walked down Springfield Avenue.  Turning second right into Washington Court, then right at the bottom and along to the bottom corner of Roman Way.  You will find the start of a footpath leading downhill, towards the trees.


Keep walking down this path, with the horses on your left and often sheep in the field to your right.  You will go through a gap in the trees and find a lovely wooded area which goes all around the lake.


We turned right to go around the lake in a clockwise direction.  Our first sighting was a Green Woodpecker, who was far too quick for our camera, as was the Muntjack Deer we saw later on!

Walking along this part of the path, you are nearer to the field than the lake, but the path will gradually turn in towards the lake so most of the way you are lakeside, and experiencing some fantastic views.

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Germander Speedwell and Cuckoo Pint were two of our flowery finds, as well as Red Campion and also new shoots on all the nettles which made me start thinking about some nettle soup… It’s yummy and I promise it does not sting!



There are various little ‘inlets’ of grass in toward the water’s edge that the fishermen use. My dog does like to check out each and every one of them…so I get to see all of the lake.


Part way around the lake, near where you can turn right, walk through the farmers field and up to the A605, there is a fallen tree you need to walk under, I found that Mrs Queen Bee was making her home there, and although I am really nervous of bees and wasps was able to walk underneath all the buzzing to get past.  Very brave of me!!


Carrying on around the lake you will get to a fork in the path, if you go to the left you will end up on a spur that sticks out into the lake, then goes no further, so in order to carry on around the lake take the right hand path.  When it’s been raining and the lake is full you will come across a stream with a tiny bridge over it, at the moment this is very dry though.IMG_1345

As you carry on, you will see the River Nene on your right, keep the lake on your left and you’ll spot many birds on either river or lake and flying between the two.  We spotted Swans, Canada Geese, a Bullfinch, Chaffinch and heard many sparrows.IMG_1349

About half way around the walk you get to ‘Bob’s Bench’ which is a lovely place for a rest.



Keep walking, and either follow the lake edge or the tarmacked road at this point, both will lead to the 48 hour moorings on the River Nene.


Here is the Islip Pipe Bridge, soon to be consigned to the history books.  We are getting a new bridge, hopefully pushchair and wheelchair friendly, and boat friendly too! It’s been the bane of many boater as when level is high they just can’t get under!  A few narrowboaters have lost or damaged their chimney! We were stuck in our cruiser for nearly a week unable to progress on our holiday a few years ago, so a new bridge will be lovely.



Islip lock is just along from here.


I often see a Heron here and sometimes a Kingfisher too

I often see a Heron here and sometimes a Kingfisher too

If you wanted to leave your car to pick up at this point, the car park is down Chancery Lane past the sports field and Skate Park.


I carried on walking, gong past the car park, and then turning in to the left opposite the Skate Park where you see this sign…


Walking all the way around until you see the gap in the trees you popped out of a couple of hours ago.


It’s a fabulous walk, the dog loves it and often paddles in the lake.  I see lots of wildlife and hope to take more animal photos if I can sneak up on a few subjects, I need to come out without the dog though I think!


Let us know what your favourite Thrapston walk is…