A visit to Heart of the Shires by freelance travel writer and blogger “Kate Love Travel.”

Kate Loves Travel says:
Well, my name is Kate and I’m a forty-something mum of one with a lifelong passion for travel and languages (I teach Spanish and translate from Spanish into English when I’m not travelling or blogging!).

We had a free afternoon so decided to take a quick trip over to Heart of the Shires Shopping Village in Northamptonshire.  We had been there before but not for a year or two so were looking forward to visiting again…

a visit to heart of the shiresHeart of the Shires is a pretty out-of-town shopping village made up mainly of small, independent shops, set round a pretty Victorian courtyard.  Parking here is free and there is plenty of it, which means you start your visit feeling relaxed (as you have not had to drive round in circles for half an hour and then manoeuvre into a space made for a car the size of a shopping trolley!).  There is also a small outdoor play area for younger children.

Our first stop was the fantastic Darlingtons Tea Room, where we sat outside in the sunshine (until it started to spit with rain!) and enjoyed a delicious cream tea – the warm scones were absolutely divine! If you are lucky, you may even be treated to music while you eat and drink, as there is a bandstand in the middle of the courtyard which sometimes hosts local musicians.

After fuelling up, we spent the next couple of hours browsing around the lovely shops. There are shops selling all kinds of goods from clothing to upholstery to food. And if you are after gifts or decorative items for either indoors or out, there are beautiful objects to tempt you everywhere you look! Similarly, the huge Abraxas Cookshop sells everything you could ever need for your kitchen!

Before we knew it, a few hours had passed and it was time to leave! Even if you are not into shopping (like my hubby), you can’t not enjoy Heart of the Shires – the setting is picturesque, Darlingtons Tea Room is lovely and the whole experience is pleasant and relaxed…

If you are in the area, go and check it out. We will definitely be taking another trip there very soon!

If you have recently visited Heart of the Shires, we’d love to hear from you.

A Postcard from… Heart of the Shires
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