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Kelmarsh Tunnel, Kelmarsh

4.3
#14 of 17 in Historic Sites in Northamptonshire
Historic Walking Area Tourist Spot
The Kelmarsh Tunnels are disused railway tunnels in Northamptonshire, England. The Northampton to Market Harborough line opened in 1859 and had tunnels at Kelmarsh and nearby Oxendon.

The original tunnel was single-track, and when the line was doubled a second single-track tunnel was built. Both tunnels are 322 yards long, and due to the small bore, were known as \"the rat-holes\" by train drivers.

The former \"up\" line tunnel at Kelmarsh is open as part of the Brampton Valley Way, a linear park which runs from Boughton level crossing on the outskirts of Northampton to Little Bowden near Market Harborough, on the former railway trackbed.

A species of moth Triphosa dubitata has been observed to overwinter inside Kelmarsh Tunnel.

The tunnel is easily navigated on foot or by cyclists, and the open bore has been effectively restored but is unlit. The sign on site placed by the council indicates the tunnel length as 480 m, although this might well be an error in conversion rather than the actual length of the tunnel.
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  • Walked the Brampton Valley Way from Market Harborough to Northampton. The route includes 2 tunnels, the first is at Great Oxenden, the second and shorter is at Kelmarsh. The tunnels give added interes...  more »
  • This is the second time we have visited, we bought some other family members with us including a 5 and 9 year old. They brought their torches and loved walking in the dark tunnel, imagining what it wo...  more »
  • We stayed at a campsite nearby to meet family, we all live miles apart & this is central for most! We have children ranging from 5 to 14 so wanted something different to keep everyone entertained. We ...  more »