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Introducing Northampton

Unassuming Northampton is surprisingly steeped in historical significance. In Saxon days it was perhaps the most important city in England, and Mary, Queen of Scots, was executed in nearby Fotheringhay. Nowadays, soulless stretches of shopping precincts blight the centre but the town has some buildings of architectural note, and it’s a good base for trips around a remarkably pretty county. It’s particularly notable for two other things: shoes (factories here used to protect the feet of half the country) and its hideous 1970s bus station, recently voted one of the ugliest buildings in Britain.

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