Northamptonshire is known as the county of 'squires and spires' and it runs gently along the Nene Valley from the SW to the NE. The county town is ,no prizes for guessing, Northampton. Other large towns are Wellingborough, Rushden, Towcester, Kettering and Corby. The most famous sporting venue in the county is most probably Silverstone racetrack, the current home of the British Grand Prix. Also for vroom vroom enthusiasts, there is the country's premier drag-racing venue at Santa Pod. Northamptonshire is a first class cricket county that has managed never to have won the County Championship. It is the home of Weetabix in Burton Latimer. It has one football league team in Northampton Town, mildly interesting because of their consecutive promotions from the Fourth to the First Division(1965) and back again to the base of the League in six seasons. Northampton Saints have won the European Heineken Trophy for Egg Chasing but have just been relegated from the highest echelons. One company of the Royal Anglians is recruited from the county. The 9/12 Lancers are also recruited from there as the county is a part of that cavalry unit's catchment area. The Pioneer Corps maintained a presence at Simpson Barracks. The museum of the Northamptonshire Regiment, prior to its crushing subjugation to the Royal Anglians, is maintained at Abington Park in Northampton
Previously, during the Napoleonic conflicts, Northamptonshire afforded the British Army's main suppliers of footwear but this manufacturing base is now at skeletal levels compared to those prior to Britain's Common Market entry in 1973. In a pitiful cringe-inducing reference to the comatose steel town of Corby, Northamptonians are sometimes referred to as Steelbacks.