Royal Leamington Spa is right on the doorstep of Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, historic Warwick and Kenilworth, and lively Coventry and Birmingham.
Surrounding the Town
With all these iconic locations positioned nearby, Leamington provides the perfect position from which to explore the heart of England. Plus an hour and a quarter’s train ride will take you direct to the centre of London.
A lot closer to home, the town is surrounded by glorious countryside, waterways and cross-country ambling routes to delightful villages, hamlets and, of course, traditional pubs!
Warwick is Warwickshire’s county town and is steeped in history. It is well-known for its magnificent Castle but it also has many other historic buildings, secret gardens and shops that make the town a superb place to visit.
Warwick has a good reputation for the variety of its cafes, restaurants and other eateries in which to enjoy a good meal and glass of wine.
The busy Market Square plays host to numerous events throughout the year and is the home of the Charter Market and monthly Farmer’s Market.
In the centre of the town sits the Market Hall Museum and dotted among the nearby streets many antique shops and excellent restaurants can be found.
Going away from the town centre, back towards Leamington Spa, is the historic Smith Street, the oldest shopping street in Warwick. This street has many independent shops and several restaurants serving excellent food, while St John’s Museum can be found at the end.
No visit to Warwick would be complete without stepping into Warwick Castle, Britain’s Greatest Mediaeval Experience.
Visit the lavishly decorated State Rooms, scale the towers and ramparts and descend into the dark dungeon. Be chilled in the ghost tower, meet colourful characters and enjoy year round entertainment from Easter and Christmas festivities to jousting tournaments and birds of prey displays.
With a Victorian Rose Garden, Mill, Engine House and 60 acres of grounds to explore, there is plenty to enjoy.
For more info: warwick-castle.com
Kenilworth has existed since at least the time of the Domesday Book which refers to Kenilworth as Chinewrde, a small village in a clearing in the Forest of Arden.
In centuries gone by Kenilworth was at the centre of English power and politics due to the dominance of Kenilworth Castle. It is believed that one of the first English Parliaments was held here.
Although Kenilworth is best known for the ruins of Kenilworth Castle, other significant local landmarks include Kenilworth Clock, St Nicholas Church and Abbey Fields.
Kenilworth town is essentially split into two areas; the old and new parts of the town separated by Abbey Fields park. Old Kenilworth features picturesque twisting lanes and thatched cottages while the new part of Kenilworth has a lively night-life with a number of top quality restaurants and theatres.
There is something to suit everyone, and all budgets, in Stratford-upon-Avon. Unique attractions, historic buildings, stately homes, idyllic villages, health spas, golf, leisure, cycle ways, vineyards, canals, undulating countryside and winding rivers.
Stratford-upon-Avon is the birthplace of William Shakespeare and home of the internationally-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company.
Visitors can discover the Shakespeare houses, five beautifully preserved Tudor homes and gardens, all directly linked with William Shakespeare and his family.
Birmingham is a diverse and exciting melting pot and the largest city within a 40 minute drive from Leamington Spa.
As well as a rich retail offering in the city centre and sophisticated Brindleyplace, Birmingham provides glamorous restaurants and bars, or a creative and cool Eastside, the artistic hub of the city.
Explore the world-famous Balti Triangle – home to spectacular Asian fashion and mouth-watering curries; Colmore Business District – the economic heartland of Birmingham or the historic Jewellery Quarter, where over 40% of British jewellery is created.
Next door to each other, the Gay Village and Theatreland compete in the glamour, drama and entertainment stakes, and both know how to show a visitor a great time! They’re only a stone’s throw from Chinatown too, with its wealth of great places to eat and vibrant clubbing scene.
Just ten minutes away by train you’ll find Birmingham Airport and the NEC, home to some of the UK’s most spectacular events.
And when the sun goes down, head to Broad Street to enjoy clubs and bars galore.
Coventry is a lively city of business and commerce and offers visitors a wide cultural experience.
Over 300,000 people live and work here, and the city offers a fantastic range of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, good sporting facilities and excellent shopping centres. The centre of Coventry is traffic free and pleasant spacious parklands are dotted throughout the rest of the city.
Heavy bombing during the Second World War devastated Coventry and is the reason why the city has such modern architecture and infrastructure.
Although very little remains of the old Coventry in the city centre, Spon Street has a row of fine medieval buildings which were taken from various parts of Coventry and reassembled here. Today this buzzing street features many excellent restaurants and bars set in and around these old buildings. See sponstreetcoventry.co.uk for a list of shops within Mediaeval Spon Street.
Other pre-war buildings that remain include the Tudor almshouses of Bond’s Hospital and Ford’s Hospital, which are now accommodation. There is also the 14th-century St Mary’s Guildhall that has Minstrel Galleries and Medieval Tapestries well worth seeing.
The Coventry Cathedral site, combining the ruins of the old 14th century building destroyed by firebombs in 1940 with the new 20th century creation designed by Sir Basil Spence is a definite must for every visitor. The new cathedral is a magnificent example of post-war architecture and features a bronze statue of St Michael and the Devil designed by Sir Jacob Epstein, and a huge tapestry behind the cathedral altar designed by Graham Sutherland.
Lady Godiva’s Statue which stands in the city centre in front of Cathedral Lane Shopping Centre is also an important landmark.
Other attractions that are a definite must for any visitor are the city’s excellent museums. These include the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, the Toy Museum, and the Coventry Transport Museum, which houses a fine collection of cars as well as the world’s fastest car Thrust SSC. While the Midland Air Museum in Baginton has an impressive selection of Vulcan Bombers.