Warwick University seems to have this unfair reputation of being ‘dead’ just because it isn’t a city university. I’ll admit when I first went to Warwick I was worried that this would be true, but in fact the truth is far from this. Within touching distance of campus there are so many things you can do, whether that be with friends or on a date.
First on the list is Teezers in Coventry – this place does mini golf right. It’s an 18+ venue which means no little kids running around, and combines pop culture with a fun 18-hole course that provides lots of photo opportunities and laughs. They also have a themed cocktail and food menu with a great 2-4-1 happy hour every day! It is only 30 minutes by bus or 10 mins in an Uber from campus, and costs just £5.95 for students.
Coventry, although not the most glamorous city in the world, has a lot to offer being the closest place for you to escape campus whilst at Warwick
Coventry, although not the most glamorous city in the world, has a lot to offer being the closest place for you to escape campus whilst at Warwick. Less than 15 minutes from campus, Coventry City Centre offers a variety of shops, including a massive Primark (which believe me, will save your life for last minute Halloween/Christmas/Birthday celebrations) and all the major chain restaurants (Nando’s, McDonalds, Cosy Club, Pizza Express etc.), as well as more original ones like The Botanist or Jinseon Korean BBQ Restaurant.
The dessert options are also great, ranging from Creams (where you can get a student discount) to the more luxurious Dolci Take me Away. There is also an IKEA, bowling, a big Odeon, indoor skydiving and pretty much anything else a major city can offer you. Don’t discount the city without giving it a shot first. Just be aware that the 12X (15 minutes) will get you to Coventry a LOT faster than the 11 (25 minutes).
Though us non-freshers will complain about the commute on a regular basis, Leamington Spa is actually a really nice place to visit
However, Leamington Spa is probably where the vast majority of you will be spending your Tuesday and Thursday nights (at Smack) and Friday nights (at Neon). It is also where a lot of you will be living after first year, so is definitely worth checking out as soon as you feel ready to leave campus. Though us non-freshers will complain about the commute on a regular basis, Leamington Spa is actually a really nice place to visit. The café opportunities are endless, from Procaffienate which do great breakfasts and coffees in South Leamington, to Coffee Architects, another popular breakfast café in North Leamington.
There is also HART + CO – did you really go there if you didn’t take a photo in the bathtub? Warwick Street Kitchen specialise in coffee, brunch, lunch doughnuts and cake, and The Anti-Social – you’ll probably know it as the place to get Smack Q-Jumps – also serve a great breakfast.
It also has a lot of major chain restaurants (Bill’s, Carluccio’s, Wagamamas etc.), but a popular option for a special occasion is La Coppola – you will definitely see snaps of their interior filling up your ‘gram feed – and for good pizza try out Basement Browns.
In terms of activities, Leamington also has a bowling alley where you can get student deals, a Vue (where you can get £4.99 tickets) and the beautiful Jephson Gardens, a popular place with students in the summer term. The best way to see Leamington is just to take a day with your friends and wander around. The streets are filled with quirky independent shops, high street stores and everything in between.
Birmingham New Street Station also opens directly into the Bullring, where the vast array of shops, bars and restaurants will mean you will always find something interesting
If you wish to stray further afield, Birmingham is only 20 minutes by train from Coventry, and tickets only cost around £4 return. Birmingham New Street Station also opens directly into the Bullring, where the vast array of shops, bars and restaurants will mean you will always find something interesting.
Birmingham also hosts the biggest artists when they come on tour at Resorts World Arena, o2 Institute and o2 Academy, and the ease of being able to access Birmingham from campus means you’ll never have to miss out on seeing your favourites in concert as it is only 15 minutes to the train station and 20 minutes by train.
For those looking for luxury shopping (I wish!), Birmingham is also home to a large Selfridges, where, if nothing else, it is fun to roam around and see the displays.
Overall, the Warwick bubble really isn’t as bad as it seems and has something for everyone so don’t feel disheartened before you try some of the places listed above!