Warwickshire is sometimes referred to as the ‘Heart of England’ due to its location. Its central position means that it is easy to reach from most counties, so it is an ideal destination for a short break or a holiday.
If you are planning a short break in Warwickshire, there are plenty of things to do during the day to immerse yourself in local history and give you a flavour of the area.
But there’s no reason to limit this to the daytime.
Why not extend your experience overnight? Instead of heading back to a hotel after a day of exploring, try Medieval Glamping at Warwick castle. Inside a huge tent, you will find full size, comfy beds – and we don’t mean camp beds, we mean real actual beds like you would sleep in at home. Each tent has power sockets, free WiFi, and medieval décor including wooden floors, sweeping drapes, heavy fabrics in rich colours, and at least one coat of arms.
Horrible Histories Maze
If you are visiting Warwick Castle with the family, make time for the Horrible Histories Maze.
Choose from six different adventures to take you through the Horrible Histories Maze. Each one has a different theme based on a specific era from history, allowing children to become more familiar with a historical period whilst having fun trying to complete the challenge. Entry to the Maze is included in all official Warwick Castle tickets, so you don’t even have to pay extra.
Fans of the Arts who are planning a trip to Warwickshire will likely already be intending to visit Stratford-Upon-Avon. Believed to have been the birthplace of Shakespeare in 1564, there is an annual celebration over two days on the weekend closest to Shakespeare’s Birthday (23rd April). The celebration includes a parade through the town, as well as drama and musical performances.
Royal Shakespeare Company
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) performs regularly at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Attending a play performed by the RSC is a fantastic way to spend an evening. But there are also several experiences that true fans will be eager to get involved in.
For just £9 per person (or £5 for under 18s), you can gain access to both the public and private areas of the theatre with a Behind the Scenes tour.
Or for something truly unique, take advantage of the rare opportunity to learn directly from the professionals about the process of evolving Shakespeare’s written work into a live performance with the From Page To Stage experience.
Stratford-Upon-Avon Butterfly Farm
The Butterfly Farm in Stratford-Upon-Avon is the UK’s largest tropical butterfly paradise. The Flight Area is populated by around 1,500 free flying butterflies, dancing playfully amongst tropical plants. The Butterfly Farm is a very calming environment, so it is an ideal choice if you are in need of a relaxing day out.
See every stage of the butterfly life cycle in the Discovery Zone, as well as some of the rarest, spikiest, hairiest, and largest caterpillars in the world. Or visit the Wildflower Garden, which is the perfect setting to a peaceful afternoon.
Built in the 1120s, Kenilworth Castle grew in popularity thanks to Kenilworth, a novel written by Sir Walter Scott in 1821.
After touring the castle, visit the Stables to see an exhibition on the castle’s history. The exhibition is right next to the tearoom, so you can take the opportunity to pause for a hot or cold drink and a bite to eat before making your way to the garden.
Designed by the Earl of Leicester for Queen Elizabeth I, the Elizabethan Garden is an excellent example of composed English style. Carefully laid out in geometric designs, flowering plants bring a subtle pink hue to the garden.
The focal point of the garden is a beautifully carved fountain made of Carrara marble that sits in the centre of the four quarters of the garden.
There are two main destinations for motoring enthusiasts in Warwickshire: The British Motor Museum in Gaydon; and the Transport Museum in Coventry.
The Transport Museum has a large collection of cars, cycles, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles. There is a wide range of permanent exhibitions (possibly too much for just one day), as well as temporary exhibitions and events, so you may want to book a guided tour to make sure you see all the essentials.
But there’s something else you will want to save some time for. If you want to know what it feels like to drive the fastest car in the world, but you don’t fancy risking your life or your bank account, try the 4D Land Speed Record Simulator.
British Motor Museum
If it is specifically cars you are interested in, you will not be disappointed by the British Motor Museum. View the world’s largest collection of British cars and learn about the history of the British motor industry.
Bring the family along – it might encourage the kids to share your interest in cars – which means more votes in your favour for car related family outings…
When you arrive, swap the pushchair for a child sized push along car for little ones to ride around in. Or get them involved in how cars work by taking them to the Interactive Zone, which demonstrates what happens inside a car when you do things like turning the key or changing gear.
Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum
If it’s culture you’re after, the Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington Spa is a centre for culture and tourism; home to the Leamington Library, Visitor Information Centre, Royal Spa Centre’s Box Office, Assembly Rooms, and Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum.
The Art Gallery & Museum features a permanent collection including fine art, sculpture, glass, ceramics, and paintings. There are also temporary exhibitions featuring contemporary and historical artwork, so there is usually something new to see each time you visit.
Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park
Set amongst 120 acres of parkland, award winning Compton Verney Art Gallery has several permanent collections including the British Portraits Collection, the British Folk Art Collection, and the Chinese Collection. Temporary exhibitions feature specific artists, movements, or themes.
There is an outdoor adventure playground to keep the kids happy, as well as a family friendly café and gift shop.
Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery
Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery in Riversley Park is an ideal choice for families, with free Saturday event days offering a chance to meet a character from history, listen to a story, or work with an artist.
For adults, there are a number of exhibitions on local history, fine art, and local writer George Eliot.
Lunchtime talks at the Museum offer an opportunity to learn about new topics, meet new people, and discover new interests. All events and activities are free to attend, but donations are welcome.
National Herb Centre
The National Herb Centre near Warmington Village features six different herb gardens, so you can take in the natural perfumes of popular herbs including lavender, rosemary, and mint as you wander through the centre.
Walk along one of the nature trails, winding your way through woodland, before taking a break in the Bistro & Coffee Shop for lunch.
By this point you will probably be inspired to start your own herb garden, so you’ll need to visit the shop on the way out to stock up on supplies.
Magic Alley in Stratford-Upon-Avon is a unique concept.
Based on the books of the Chronicles of Wizard’s Hatch series by Dave Matthews, Magic Alley is the go-to shopping destination for the discerning modern-day wizard.
Whether you need a new wand or you just have a craving for some magical candy (fizzing whizz bang, anyone?), Magic Alley is a hidden gem that you must visit. Highlights include Wartytoads Booksellers, Wonderland Toys, and the Golden Broomstick traditional butterbeer bar.
If you’re looking for a unique gift or an unusual souvenir of your trip to Warwickshire, head straight to Magic Alley.