Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Five local hotspots to de-stress

As we approach the main exam period, the library is packed, the grid is full and it is impossible to find a seat in the Oculus. With such a stressful time approaching, it is important to know that it is okay to take some time out to unwind. Here are five places you can visit, just a stones throw away from campus.

 

Jephson Gardens

Set in the centre of Leamington, this is the perfect spot to getaway during exams. Once a zoo, you can still spot some local wildlife. Be it squirrels so friendly you’ll be pleased to make their acquaintance, goslings so cute you’ll want to pick them up and take them home, or an elusive robin, their scarlet breasts a stark contrast to the verdant lawns.

Amongst the stunning architecture within the grounds hides the Aviary Cafe, should you get peckish. With the fountains, river views, and trees galore, with Leamington Spa named the happiest place to live in the country there’s no reason not to wile away an afternoon sat in Jephson Gardens.

 Price: FREE

 

So why not return to a time when our minds were filled with the wonders of daring knights, wonderous wizards, and fearsome dragons.

 

Warwick Castle

When we were younger we didn’t have to worry about exams, we were carefree, using our imaginations, and asking if our friends could stay for dinner. So why not return to a time when our minds were filled with the wonders of daring knights, wonderous wizards and fearsome dragons.

Perfect for a day’s break, you can eat in restaurants on the grounds or bring your own picnic to relax on the expansive lawns. Includes a dungeon, birds of prey display, and the restored castle, so there’s definitely lots to do, but we’re sure you’ll want to go for the Horrible Histories Maze!

 Price: £14.55 (Book online)

 

Tocil Wood and Nature Reserve

They call it bluebell for a reason.

This time of year it’s a stunning scene of blue and green, and barely a walk from central campus. A close guarded secret by those who go to Gibbet Hill from main campus, this idyllic spot hides the stresses of work in the stark contrast with the concrete terror that is the library, trading it for nature’s own architecture.

 So, next time you want a break from the grid, why not take your Costa out for a stroll in our very own ancient woodland.

 Price: FREE

 

Boating on the River Leam

Almost secreted away by Jephson Gardens, situated on the south of the river is the Leam Boat Centre. Here they offer everything from kayaks to pedal boats, however, we recommend the rowing boats. My friends and I recently made the most of the glorious bank holiday sun by renting out a traditional Victorian rowing skiff. If you’re feeling really ambitious why not rent a double, with two of you trying to row together, trying to swap seats when one of your friends decided they want a go at rowing is also a challenge! With views of the church, Jephson Gardens and arborous banks, what better way to spend an hour with friends.

 Price: £6 per person for an hour

 

the ideal place to stroll and wonder about times when your score on an exam didn’t seem like the most important thing in the world

Kenilworth Castle

 Only an 11 away, nothing puts your stresses in perspective quite like the site of the longest siege in English history and base during the Wars of the Roses.

 The Elizabethan gardens are the ideal place to stroll and wonder about times when your score on an exam didn’t seem like the most important thing in the world. Head over Sunday week 5 and Monday week 6 for their medieval festival, try your skills in have-a-go games and activities.

 Price: £10.20 (Don’t forget your student ID!)

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