At the heart of the Nene Valley, this sleek shopping and leisure hub does so much more than it says on the tin. From water sports and birdwatching to family dining, an IMAX cinema and a perfect blend of high street and indie shopping, there's something for everyone.
You can’t fail to notice the expansive contemporary stores emblazoned with the household names we all love as you approach Rushden Lakes. Good old M&S, Boots, Next, Primark, Accessorize, Cotswold Outdoor, Decathlon, Barbour and the newly zhuzhed up and super swanky Frasers, to name but a fraction, are all there. It’s worth knowing though, that this shiny retail and leisure haven just outside Rushden, which first opened in 2017, is about much more than loading up with the essentials.
Yes, there are more than 50 stores, blending the big high street chains with small, independent retailers, including Mooch, which sells gorgeous gifts and homewares; Magazine Heaven for mags, books and a wonderful upstairs cafe and event space; AJ Cycles for bikes and accessories; the absolutely stunning Robert Goddard fashion store, which is packed full of some of the more hard to find brands; and of course Made In Northants, an essential stop to stock up on all the best locally produced food and drinks brands. But did you know about all the other fantabulous stuff there is to get up to here?
The retail park is nestled beside the Nene Wetlands, a 270 hectare nature reserve of man made, managed wildlife habitat which is criss-crossed by a number of accessible walking trails. There is always interesting bird life to spot here, as well as a sculpture trail and outdoor play area, making it a perfect spot to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Skew Bridge Lake and the wider Nene Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest. You can even hire a canoe or katakanu from Canoe2 and head down the river Nene (my kids can totally vouch for how fabulous this is), or enjoy a pootle on the lake one of the swan or dragon pedalos. The Nene Wetlands visitor centre here also holds regular events like evening bat watching or half term pond dipping activities. Plus (big plus) there’s a dog wash on the boardwalk for those inevitable times your pooch has just got a little too puddle-happy.
Not the outdoorsy type but still fancy something a bit different? Step this way. The Leisure Terrace boasts a multiplex cinema, indoor trampoline park, adventure golf, soft play and climbing centre too, so there is certainly no shortage of things to keep the whole family entertained.
When you’ve worked up an appetite, you’ll be spoilt for choice. From Jamaican street food at Blue Mountain Yard, Japanese fusion at Chi, to a cheeky Nandos, Wagamama, Five Guys, Fridays, Bills, Lago Lounge, Pizza Express and the newly opened Jurassic Grill dino themed kid heaven plus loads more amazing restaurants, cafes and bars, you can easily spend a brilliantly fun day at Rushden Lakes and keep the whole family happy whilst stocking up on everything you need and you can even charge your electric vehicle and park for free while you’re here.
Rushden Lakes, Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 6AR
Monday: 9.00 - 20.00
Tuesday: 9.00 - 20.00
Wednesday: 9.00 - 20.00
Thursday: 9.00 - 20.00
Friday: 9.00 - 20.00
Saturday: 9.00 - 20.00
Sunday: 11.00 - 17.00
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