National Rally - The Drives -

Route details for the National Rally drives are now available for download here:


Castle Ashby Run

This is a very pleasant drive that skirts around Northampton to Castle Ashby, covering approximately 40 miles, which was originally built as an “E” shaped building to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 1 and with the steps within the present courtyard making the central stroke of the “E”. The sunken lawn at the front of the House is described in history books as a “Bowling Green” and is now used as a croquet lawn in the shape of a Maltese Cross. Castle Ashby House has recently passed to Earl Compton, the son of the 7th Marquee to continue the family tradition of managing the Estate, the gardens are continuously undergoing change and restoration and are open daily for all to enjoy along with the superb tea rooms.

Grand Union Canal - Stoke Bruerne

This drive is approximately 35 Miles long taking in some very quaint Northamptonshire villages and ending up at Stoke Bruerne where the National Waterways Museum provides a glimpse of the colourful life of yesteryear’s canal people and their traditions. The entrance to Blisworth Tunnel opened in 1805 is just a short stroll along the canal with a flight of seven locks each containing some 56,000 gallons of water. The waterside café provides an ideal place to have a bite to eat during your visit or there are two pubs in the area both “The Navigation” and “The Boat” provides food and like the Café have canal side views so that you can watch the boats going by.

Sulgrave Manor and the American Connection

This is a circular drive around some interesting Northamptonshire Villages to the West of the County close to Silverstone approximately a 30mile route that takes in Sulgrave Manor the Tudor mansion of Lawrence Washington a 16th century ancestor of George Washington the first President of the USA. It is the largest UK collection of George Washington memorabilia demonstrating the British contribution to the origins of the USA with a separate exhibition on George’s life and career in the US. A discounted entrance fee of £5pp has been arranged for those wishing to view the Manor House and Gardens. On display is a wonderful collection of Tudor to Georgian furniture, the artefacts are displayed in their natural settings with only the most delicate behind glass. Alternatively at Sulgrave Manor “The Buttery” serves light refreshments, tea, coffee, and soft drinks, cakes, biscuits and souvenirs, or you may prefer to picnic in the pleasant gardens or even stroll through the National Garden of the Herb Society. The Manor is also the headquarters of the Herb Society with a large Herb garden with many plants that would have been used in Tudor times. Locally the 300yr old Star Inn pub on Manor Road Sulgrave offers a warm welcome with a full lunch menu.

Sywell Airport

The run is approximately 50 miles through the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside.
The run passes through Canons Ashby home of the Drydens since Elizabethan times. This is a National Trust property with cafe and gardens. *1 You will drive through Fawsley Park which was a Royal Manor in the 7th century. Fawsley Hall, which is now a hotel, is on your left. *2 The Windmill Vineyard at Hellidon has views over six counties being the highest in Britain
at 600 feet. *3 You then drive through Ashby St. Ledgers the home of the “Gunpowder Plot”. The local hostelry is the Olde Coach House Inn. *4 You will pass through Guilsborough where the 17th century Ward Arms serve snacks and meals and has a micro brewery attached where they brew Nobby,s Ales. The pub also has royal connections with George VI. *5 All Saints church in Brixworth was built circa 680AD. *6 Pitsford reservoir supplies Northampton and was opened in 1956 by the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. It is the third largest in the country and is a site of special scientific interest. *7 The run terminates at the aviation museum at Sywell. The exhibits are displayed in three Nissen huts. Entry is free but donations appreciated. *8

Please follow the route instructions provided, starting in your own time. Please observe all motoring laws keeping within all speed limits and be respectful and considerate towards other road users and the public in general and if possible avoid forming large convoys of MX-5s.
Enjoy your drive and motor with a smile. Big Smile


Drive details updated and introduction documents all now added.

Hello all Looks like a great weekend of fun looking forward to it big time and Sam Dog.

Can I have a little help, I would love to do a Saturday run to Sywell Airport.

My problem yes Sam he is not allowed in Silverstone totaly understandable, but I can waite outside the gate with him. Please if anyone is doing that run (Can I follow) if Sam could navigate it would be great, but as he only looks at meDog that dosent helpBig Smile !!! if its not possible at all no worries, I will set my sat nav and take the shortest route.

All the best

Terry and Sam Dog

Hi Terry,

I shall be giving out the run details at Silverstone and will try to remember to tell anyone chosing the Sywell run to look out for you at the main gate.  However, my mind is like a sieve these days, so can you remind me please? 

Ken Stanbury.  Northampton Area Co-ordinator

07825 344620 

 Hi  Sam Dog, tell your owner that Hils and I plan to do the airfield run, all we need to do is to finalise a time to suit you and us, midday’ish?

 Hi Hils

That’s great anytime is fine with me just let me know what time to meet you at the gate and I will tell my driver. Looking forward to meeting up have funBig Smile.

The boss SamDog

 Hi there Terry & Sam, we reckon to be there at 11’ish.


Hello HJ2 sorry to be a pain but, I found out yesterday that I have to work the 17th so wont be abile to do the run that day. But I will there on the Sunday 18th so Ihope we can meet up and have drink.

Teerry and SamDog

 Oh, we were so looking forward to meeting SamDog.

 Where do we meet up at Silverstone for the drives, will it be signed and from what time will the meeting point be open.

 All drives will be starting from Stowe Circuit, located in the infield of Silverstone’s GP circuit; there will be directional signs from the main entrance of Silverstone Circuit.  I shall be manning the Drives Gazebo, from 08.00hrs until 13.30hrs  (when I shall abandon my duties in order to take part in the track sessions Big Smile), but a colleague will deputise during my absence.

Ken Stanbury.  Northampton Area Coordinator

 Thank you for the info’.

 I should add that all drives are not led and massive convoys are discouraged by the Club.  You can download details of the drives from this website and therefore not have to start from Silverstone, or take a “reverse” drive and finish up at Silverstone.