Visit Oundle: Places to stay, things to do

Bordering the green counties of Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire lies Oundle, a picturesque market town full of history, stunning architecture and lots of character. 

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Why go there?

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Set on the River Nene, Oundle has a history dating back to Anglo-Saxon times when it was once known as Undela or Undalum. Starting its life as a market centre, craftsmen and farmers would come from afar to trade their goods, and decided to settle. And a pretty and characteristic town flourished. In the centre of the town, St Peters Church stands proud, having the tallest spire in Northamptonshire county and beautiful stained glass windows.

The town is best known for its independent boarding school, Oundle School, who own most of the grand buildings including the Great Hall and Chapel (which have to be seen to be believed), whilst bringing a hub of students to the area. 

Surrounding Oundle are an array of quirky villages and lovely countryside making it a great area for exploring, walking, relaxing and observing local wildlife, including the abundance of red kites often seen hovering above the town. One of the annual highlights is the world conker championship. Every October this interesting event takes place two miles out of Oundle in the village of Ashton, bringing people from across the world competing to be crowned the King of conkers.

The markets still take place, with a farmers market on the second Saturday of every month, where ostrich burgers are often a favourite on the menu, and a local market every Thursday.

Where to eat and drink?     

Whether you want a hearty meal in one of the homely inns or a fine dining treat there are many options.

The Oundle Mill caters for all needs, offering an informal rustic bar as well as an elegant fine dining restaurant. With mains ranging from £14.95 to £23.95 it is a little pricey but the experience is well worth it in this beautiful converted mill. 

The Kings Arms at Polebrook is a couple of miles out of Oundle but boasts some of the best pub meals around, including a vibrant tapas menu and a great cosy atmosphere. 

Where to stay?

The Talbot Hotel is one of the oldest inns in Oundle welcoming guests since 628AD. Recently renovated there are many rooms available at a range of prices with a restaurant and bar downstairs. 

Tell us a secret…

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If staying at The Talbot look out for an indented ring mark on the staircase. The staircase was taken from Fotheringhay Castle and is apparently the one Mary Queen of Scots walked down to her beheading. In her terror, she squeezed the banister so hard her ring left a permanent imprint. There are even rumours that she may now haunt the hotel!