Which county is home to Britain’s best stately homes? Northamptonshire!
Where are 80 per cent of the world’s Formula One cars made? Northamptonshire!
Northamptonshire, Britain’s best kept secret, will be a secret no more.
The county, which boasts the best historic houses in the country as well as a huge array of other surprising assets, has chosen English Tourism Week to launch its biggest ever campaign to attract visitors in time for the spring season.
The campaign, ‘Northamptonsh!re. Britain’s Best Surpr!se’, devised by James Lowther, former Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi and Chairman of M&C Saatchi, is for the first time being produced by a partnership of major bodies in Northamptonshire including the County Council, Lord Lieutenancy, University of Northampton, Northampton Council, Northamptonshire Arts Management Trust (which manages Royal & Derngate and The Core at Corby Cube), the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum, Northamptonshire Food & Drink Sector, plus all the county’s historic houses, sporting venues, gardens and churches.
Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire David Laing officially unveiled the campaign at Boughton House.
He said: “A year ago a working party of Deputy Lieutenants, Lord Spencer, James Lowther and James Miller started to consider what the county had to offer the visitor and were astonished at what was available.
“The different elements have since come together and today, courtesy of the Duke of Buccleuch, the resulting campaign showcases brilliantly all that this historic county has to offer.”
Boughton House property manager Charles Lister said: “Northamptonshire is undoubtedly one of the nation’s most exquisite and heritage filled destinations.
“We are delighted to play host to the launch of this excellent campaign.”
So why is Northamptonshire Britain’s Best Surprise?
Of course, there’s the stunning countryside, with its country parks, world class gardens, the Nene and Welland rivers and Grand Union canal.
In this countryside sit the most magnificent historic houses in the country as well as some of the best Anglo Saxon, Norman & Gothic churches anywhere.
It contains the birth place of Richard III, was the scene of Mary Queen of Scots’ execution, the cradle of The Gunpowder Plot, the place of Charles I’s imprisonment, as well as the Civil war battle that put him there, Naseby – arguably Britain’s most important battle.
But most surprising is that among all this beauty and history sits a very 21st century county.
The place where 80 per cent of the world’s F1 cars are built and the Grand Prix is held, where some of the country’s best artisan food and drink is made, and where the award winning Royal & Derngate produces some of the country’s best theatre.
The place that makes the most prestigious shoes is also the inspiration for the international hit film and musical, Kinky Boots.
To enjoy all this you can stay in luxurious 16th century hotels or enchanting B&Bs and also enjoy a series of established food and literary festivals at Althorp, The Nene Valley Festival and Oundle Music Festival as well enjoy great sport at Silverstone, The Saints and The Cobblers.
Today all this is revealed and launched with spectacular 3D projections onto the Northampton Lift Tower.
Projection starts at 7.30pm when a burst of fireworks, designed to be viewed from around the town, will light up the Lift Tower.
The campaign also features advertisements on the London Underground, posters and digital displays in key gateways plus planned stunts later in the summer.
A beautiful short film and an active social media campaign will help drive traffic to a dramatic new website www.northamptonshiresurprise.com where visitors can discover all the county has to offer, a rolling events diary and special tours covering such diverse subjects as the county’s breweries, Charles I in Northamptonshire and the American Trail.
Thus, at the touch of a button, one of the country’s most interesting and historic counties is back on the map; Northamptonsh!re. Britain’s Best Surpr!se.
And the biggest surprise? It’s all right in the centre of the country, just an hour from London by train!