The leafy town of Northampton was shaped during the Industrial Revolution and its miles of red brick terrace bear testament to this fact. It is a town with a plethora of historic architecture, from the decorative Gothic frontage of the Victorian Guildhall to one of Britain's oldest surviving round churches, and even the only example of Charles Rennie Macintosh's interior design work outside Scotland.
For something more modern, not to mention more unusual, you need look no further than Northampton's Express Lift Tower, the only example of an elevator testing tower in the country. The tower has fallen into disuse in recent years but, with its striking silhouette on the skyline, it is still thought of as something of a local landmark.
There are many areas of green in and around Northampton, but one of the most tranquil is the Billing Aquadrome on the edge of town with its marina, watersports and high class restaurants.
Northampton has a whole host of retail areas to choose from, such as the two major indoor shopping centres - Peacock Place and The Grosvenor Centre - or the more rustic pleasures of the open-air market. The town centre also has several theatres and museums of interest, as well as a number of vibrant clubs and bars.
A particular local passion is sport in all its forms, from newly-promoted Northampton Town FC - with their appropriate nickname, 'The Cobblers' - to the winners of the 2000 Heineken Cup, rugby union club Northampton Saints, home of England's Ben Cohen. Apart from these clubs, there are several other sporting pursuits on offer, not least the purpose-built white-water course for rafting and kayaking just outside town and the nearby championship standard golf course.