The village of Badby, its Woods and Bluebells
Visiting Badby Woods in early May has become an annual pilgrimage for many families in Northamptonshire and beyond. I have been taking my children to view the bluebells since they were very small and now they visit themselves with their friends. You can of course visit Badby Woods at any time of the year but the `Bluebell Weekend` has always been a favourite because of the beautiful carpet of colour throughout the woods created by the bluebells.
Badby village has been described as `one of the prettiest in the county` with an assortment of ironstone cottages, thatched roofs and village green. There are also two splendid pubs in the village, `The Windmill Inn` and `The Maltsters Arms` for those walkers looking to sample the local brews and a bite to eat after a strenuous walk around the woodland.
Badby Wood is a short walk south out of the village famous for its carpet of bluebells in May and June. The woods are over seven hundred years old and was designated a site of of Special Scientific Interest in 1985. You will find native Hazel, Oak and Ash trees in the wet areas down by the streams and a mixture of Birch, Elder, Honeysuckle, Holly and Rowan across much of the woodland.
The woods were designated a deer park in the 13th century (1245-46) for the Abbot of Evesham who had a Grange at Badby village. The `park pale` boundary ditches and earth banks built to keep in the deer can still be seen today particularly on the eastern edge of the woodland.If you are lucky you may even come across some of the native deer. On a walk some years ago I had to take cover behind a couple of trees as two Roe deer came rushing towards me through the woods.
Woodland plants include wood anemones and other wildlife include badgers, foxes, pipistrelle bats and many birds such as the nuthatch, wood warbler and tree pipit. Within the wood there are bracken glades, ancient earthworks and streams which can at times prove awkward to cross so make sure you are wearing the correct footwear.
A short walk around the west side of the wood land brings you to Fawsley Park with its beautiful lakes, the isolated church of St Mary the Virgin and Fawsley Hall Hotel which is a beautiful country house Hotel surrounded by formal gardens and parkland landscaped by Capability Brown in the 1760s.
Once the bluebells arrive sometime in early May or June you can visit Badby village hall and indulge in a cream tea. Walkers target the village hall for much needed refreshments after visiting the woods to see the bluebells. What better way to finish a walk with a nice pot of tea and home-made cakes? The cream teas and cakes are made by villagers and all proceeds go into village hall funds. The Village Hall is open from 1:00 – 5:00pm.
Badby lies in the south-west of the county, about 3 miles south of Daventry. Parking in the village is extremely limited particularly at weekends. There is a parking area for about 12 cars off the Everdon Road going out of Badby 400 yards out of the village. From there you can walk into the woods through the impressive Arch. On Bluebell weekend the car park at the cricket club is also opened up to ease the parking for visitors.
The path is not suitable for wheelchairs and there is no realistic disabled access to Badby Woods. If parking in the village, please do not park on any of the greens and show consideration for residents.
The Travel Locker