Exams are rocking up and some people will soon be leaving for the real world – if you feel like you need a quick break from it all, why not travel locally? There are tons of amazing places in the area that we say we’re going to get round to visiting, and simply never do. Well, there’s no time like the present to put that right – as you’re waiting for summer to begin, why not pass the time by crossing one of these places off your Warwick Uni travel bucket list? All of these places are cheap, easily reached by bus or train (within 30 minutes), and interesting days out.
Unless they wind up living there, there’s a large number of Warwick students who have never visited Kenilworth, and that’s a real shame. It’s a small and beautiful town, the highlight of which are the ruins of the castle and the Elizabethan garden and, as quiet and relaxing places go, you could do a lot worse!
If the area can boast one thing, it’s that it was the birthplace of Shakespeare
Warwick Castle (Warwick)
On the subject of castles, you need to make sure that you head to Warwick and visit its incredible castle. It’s immense and impressive, having been built nearly 1000 years ago, and there’s tons to do. From looking around the castle itself and climbing to the top of its towers, heading down into the terrifying dungeon, watching knights joust and the trebuchets launch, and see birds of prey fly – there’s something to get up to on every inch of its 64 acres. After visiting the castle, it’s also a short stroll into the idyllic town of Warwick itself, where you can find more museums and parks to explore.
If the area can boast one thing, it’s that it was the birthplace of Shakespeare, and it’s no surprise that his home town is big on the Bard. His birthplace, and the house of his wife Anne Hathaway, are both open for visitors, as is his mother’s farm. And, of course, if you want to enjoy Shakespeare’s work, the Royal Shakespeare Company frequent puts on top-quality productions with some of the finest actors in the world. There’s more to Stratford than Shakespeare, though. You can soak in the Tudor architecture, head to the Butterfly Farm or just take a peaceful walk down the River Avon. It’s hard to find a more peaceful day out (especially locally) and although it’s only half an hour away, you couldn’t feel further from the stress of exams.
you’ll need to time it just right
Royal Pump Rooms (Leamington Spa)
Everybody on campus knows Leamington, but I guess students are more likely to be more familiar with the unique charms of Smack or Neon than those of the Royal Pump Rooms. Found on the border between Leamington’s Old and New Towns, the Pump Rooms is home to an art gallery and museum, the local library and a really lovely café – add in the historically landscaped Jephson Gardens immediately next to it, and it’s the perfect place to go and spend a relaxing day.
Arbury Hall (Nuneaton)
Last but certainly not least, here’s a lesser-known gem from my home town of Nuneaton (it’s really close – about the same distance from Coventry as Leamington, but on the other side). It’s only open to the public on Bank Holiday weekends from April to August, so you’ll need to time it just right, but the chance to visit and explore a stunning Elizabethan stately home to not one to miss.