Warwickshire

Warwickshire in the West Midlands is a mixture of towns in the north of the county, whilst being mainly rural in the south, including a small area of the Cotswolds. The county is home to the Forest of Arden, though having been harvested to support the region’s historic industrial activity, it is now much smaller than at its peak.

Warwickshire is easily accessible using the M40 from London and Birmingham and the M6 from the North of the country. The Chiltern Mainline and the West Coast Mainline provide the main rail links.

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Warwickshire Overview

Welcome to Warwickshire

Warwickshire’s landlocked position means it is bordered by seven other counties including Shropshire, Staffordshire and Leicestershire.

Warwickshire is synonymous with, and perhaps most famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Stratford upon Avon is home to a number of activities and discovery trails relating to the great bard – visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, Mary Arden’s Farm and Hall’s Croft to trace the life of the literary great or see a production of the RSC in the theatre.

Warwick and Leamington Spa are other large towns providing a number of tourist attractions. Explore the history of Warwick including the Collegiate Church of St. Mary, the Lord Leyster Hospital and Master’s Garden, St. John’s Museum and The Mill Garden. At Leamington Spa take in the regency architecture, Royal Pump Rooms and 19th century bathhouse that is home to the Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum.

Other sites of interest in the county include the Warwick Castle, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Stoneleigh Abbey, Compton Verney and the British Motor Museum at Gaydon.

The landlocked county of Warwickshire, “Shakespeare’s County”, in the Midlands is surrounded by Leicestershire, Worcestershire, West Midlands, Staffordshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire.

Warwickshire has a population of around 600,000 people, the county town being Warwick, despite the larger town of Nuneaton. Other significant towns are Atherstone, Bedworth, Royal Leamington Spa, Stratford-Upon-Avon birthplace of William Shakespeare and Rugby – where the game of rugby football was invented.

The population is largely based in the north of the county, whereas the south is more rural and extends to a small area of the Cotswolds.


History

Modern day Alcester, or Alauna was Warwickshire’s significant Roma settlement by the River Arrow. Sites near Atherstone and Rugby were also Roman settlements in the county.

Warwickshire became part of the Kingdom of Mercia in the 11th century. Through the Middle Ages Coventry was part of Warwickshire and being centrally located in England, the textile trade was an important industry. The English Civil War saw the Battle of Edgehill and other conflicts within the county.

Warwickshire was one of the counties at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution and contained the industrial and manufacturing cities of Coventry and Birmingham, whilst Leamington Spa developed into a fashionable spa town for tourists.

The Local Government Act of 1974 saw boundaries change and both Coventry and Birmingham were lost to West Midlands leaving Warwickshire as the county we know today.


Places to Visit in Warwickshire

The larger towns of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick and Royal Leamington Spa provide visitors to Warwickshire with a wealth of places to visit and enjoy.

Warwick on the River Avon is home to a wealth of history. Visit Warwick Castle built by William the Conqueror in 1068 and spend a day looking round the castle, exploring the gardens and enjoying the regular shows and entertainment. Visit the Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum to view the collection of memorabilia including medals, weapons and uniforms or take in Warwick Museum at Market Hall or St. Johns Museum with its military history. The town itself is a delight, peppered with tea rooms, cafes and restaurants to provide refreshments whilst you browse the antique rooms, gift shops, art galleries and independent boutiques.

Royal Leamington Spa is a vibrant, lively town with a selection of independent boutiques and retail shops set in stunning architecture and wide boulevards. Leave the car behind – Royal Leamington Spa is a compact town best explored on foot. Hire out a boat and float down the River Leam, explore the Lansdowne Crescent or follow the Heritage Trail to discover the story of the Elephant Walk. Elsewhere in Royal Leamington Spa you will find the Jephson Gardens, The Royal Pump Rooms – perhaps the most famous of the baths opened in the town in the 18th and 19th centuries or perhaps head for the open space of Newbold Comyn.

The medieval market town of Stratford-upon-Avon one Britain’s most popular tourist locations, is best known as the 16th century birthplace of William Shakespeare, famous for Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet amongst other works. Discover the life and times of the English poet and playwright by visiting a string of buildings including Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Mary Arden’s Farm, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Hall’s Croft, Nash’s House and New Place.

Set on the banks of the Avon, there is more to Stratford-upon-Avon than Shakespeare, so take time to explore the side streets, visit the historic buildings and range of cafes, tea rooms, art galleries and antique shops. Pay a visit to the Royal Shakespeare Company or go MAD – visit the Mechanical Art and Design Museum.

Warwickshire has a number of stately homes for visitors to explore and enjoy. Arbury Hall is an Elizabethan mansion set in acres of landscaped gardens. Charlecote Park south of Warwick is a stunning Tudor mansion and the house and gardens are well worth visiting whilst Compton Verney also has acres of garden designed by Capability Brown. Ragley Hall, Coughton Court, Upton House, Packwood House and the magnificent Stoneleigh Abbey are all great places to spend a day.

Warwickshire’s famous names include the Bard Williams Shakespeare, actors David Bradley and Adam Woodyatt, actress Kate O’Mara and novelist George Eliot who books include Silas Marner, The Mill On The Floss and Middlemarch.

Warwickshire has a large range of annual events, including The Kenilworth & District Agricultural Society at Stoneleigh Park and festivals such as Camper Calling at Ragley Hall. Enjoy the Warwick Food Festival, plus those at Nuneaton and Kenilworth for something tasty to eat. Stratford-upon-Avon hosts a packed programme of events including music, literary, arts, food and beer and cider festivals.

Edgbaston, home of Warwickshire cricket, is a test match ground and host to many entertaining T20 matches.

Want to find out more? Click here to read our guide on things to do in Warwickshire.


Getting There

Located in the West Midlands, Warwickshire is easily accessible from London and Birmingham via the M40 and further afield from the North via the M6.

Rail services via The Chiltern Mainline and the West Coast Mainline provide the main train links of the county, whilst the airports at Coventry and Birmingham make Warwickshire accessible for those travelling from distance.


Businesses in Warwickshire

Check out these great places to visit in Warwickshire

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What to see and do…

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Boutique Tipi Parties Limited

10 Bordon Hill, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 9RZ

Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6BB

Shakespeare’s Birthplace

Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6QW

Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden

Castle Green, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 1NG

SEA LIFE Birmingham

National SEA LIFE Centre, Brindley Place, Birmingham, Warwickshire, B1 2HL

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV34 4QU