The church in Royal Leamington Spa. Photo: Stefan M / Flickr

Leamington named one of the best places to live

Royal Leamington Spa, home to many students of the University of Warwick during term time, has been named one of the ‘Best Places to Live’ in the midlands.

While Leamington made it into the top ten of The Sunday Times’ ‘Best Places to Live’, other well-regarded towns in the midlands, such as Warwick and Stratford, missed out.

The annual guide takes into account a wide range of criteria, from natural beauty and cultural life, to the quality of schools in the area and low crime rates.

Robin Slott of the Leamington History Society welcomed the news, telling the Leamington Observer: “It is a very pleasant town with a short but fascinating history.”

With regards to the North Parade, a main attraction for students shopping with their student loans or looking for part-time employment, Mr Slott said: “The parade was not meant as a shopping street initially, but has to be one of the most attractive in Britain.”

However, not all students in the area have shared in the praise of the town. Second-year Maths student Peter MacMillan believed that the town lacked any real leisure activities and was populated by students solely because of the transport links to the University.

“There isn’t much to do other than shopping and walking through parks,” he said. But he admitted that his opinion may be misguided, saying: “Maybe I just think that because I haven’t bothered to really look for anything though.”

Mr MacMillan’s views did not seem to be shared by the majority of people asked.

Danielle Morgan, a recruit in the Royal Navy who was in Leamington Spa visiting a friend at the University, commented: “In what has been a pretty short visit the park really stood out as a beauty spot, it is easy to see why it is such an attraction.”

This view was shared by third-year Classical Civilisations student Désirée Parrinello, who said that she enjoyed running through the park and along Kenilworth road, calling Leamington “nice” and “pretty”.

Third-year engineering student Euan Long also commented on the areas architectural beauty, saying that the Parade “is great” and that it is “postcard picture material”.

This accolade also comes a year after residents of Leamington Spa accused students of ‘ghettoising’ Leamington Old Town, but the influx of students has not seemed to affect the town’s national standing or its reputation as one of the best locations in the midlands.

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