Brampton Valley Way traffic-free cycle route

Brampton Valley Way Overall Rating: ⭐⭐

The Brampton Valley Way is another rail trail. Stretching for 18.6 miles, from Northampton to Market Harborough. The route as show on the map below ends at the Market Harborough train station, and it’s possible to catch a train back to Northampton, but that goes via Milton Keynes and is quite a detour.

The tunnels can be muddy at the best of times, and are usually locked during the coldest times of winter, whenever there is risk of icicles forming.

Photos supplied by LycraOptional and Douglas Mcfarlane

Surface on the Brampton Valley Way

The surface is self-compacting gravel almost throughout, but is mainly wide and in good condition when dry. Poor drainage means that when it’s wet (or recently rained) the route can have loads of puddles, and it can be very muddy.

Bob MacQueen added the following: “The surface can be very poor in places loose gravel and rough. Inside tunnels there are some very large holes riding a Brompton through was impossible!”


You can use most kinds of bike on this route, but will be better off on something with thicker tyres. Road bikes will struggle. Tandems can be used, but trikes will struggle to get through.


There are toilets at Miller’s Yard Café, at the Brampton Halt pub, at Waterloo Tea Room (slightly off the trail) and in Market Harborough.

Points of Interest

Enjoy riding through the Kelmarsh and Oxenden tunnels (you will need decent lights – the tunnels are long and unlit) and do stop at the Lamport Steam Railway.

Routes in Northamtonshire


There are some barriers and gates along the length of this route.


Safety: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Hilliness: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Refreshment stops: ⭐⭐
Barriers: ⭐
Surface: ⭐

Overall: ⭐⭐

The grading system I use is explained here.

Forecast for the Brampton Valley Way

What the Brampton Valley Way looks like

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This utterly adorable video is by Family ByCycle, and shows much of the route.

More Routes

To find more routes, click this link.


DayCycle routes are routes can can easily be cycled by most people in a day, or part of a day. Do have a look at all the other DayCycle routes available on WillCycle. Many contain detailed route guides, as well as embedded maps (like the one below) from which you can download the GPX file for the route.

1 thought on “Brampton Valley Way traffic-free cycle route”

  1. The surface can be very poor in places loose gravel and rough. Inside tunnels there are some very large holes riding a Brompton through was impossible!


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