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Towns and Villages
Towns and Villages around Stratford-Upon-Avon
Don't think of Stratford as a day trip only. The area in and around the town offers so much more than the Shakespeare experience.
There are many wonderful quintessential English villages and fascinating towns within easy reach of Stratford and all worth taking the time to visit.
Warwick, an historic town, with its magnificent Castle, secret gardens, a great choice of restaurants, antique shops and nooks and crannies. The perfect place to spend the day.
Among the places to visit in Warwick are;
The Lord Leycester Hospital,
An unparalled collection of 14th century timber-framed buildings, home to ex-servicemen known as The Brethren, house a chapel, Great Hall, galleried courtyard and Regimental Museum of the Queen's Own Hussars. Hidden at the back of the Hospital discover one of the oldest gardens in Warwick, the Master's Garden, a tranquil oasis in the midst of the town.
Warwick castle, a fun packed and exciting day out on it's own. Something for everyone to enjoy, from bird of prey shows to jousting and banqueting.
Learn about Warwick's dramatic history at the Market Hall Museum.
The Mill Garden, a perfect place to relax and enjoy some of the best views of the castle and river.
Hill Close Gardens were once the Victorian towns folk found peace and tranquility,
The 19th century kitchen and schoolroom at St John's House.
Discover over three centuries of history at the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum
As if that wasn't enough, the town of Warwick is also the perfect place for antique and art lovers with its plethora of unique shops and galleries.
Royal Leamington Spa
Elegant, fashionable, historic. No, not a contradiction, Royal Leamington Spa has both old and new side by side and in harmony. Georgian and Victorian architecture sits neatly next to superb shopping and dining.
The town has a fantastic range of shops, from unique small boutiques to large stores selling the best in design.
The magnificent Royal Pump Rooms house the town's Museum, Art Gallery, Library and Tourist Information Centre, alongside the elegant Regency-style Assembly Rooms, and you can sample the spa water!
The Grade II listed Jephson Gardens of horticultural excellence are the perfect place to stroll and relax. The gardens include a sensory garden, a temperate glasshouse, a boathouse and children's play area. There is a new riverside restaurant and the Victorian tearoom.
Perhaps best know for it's castle, originally built from local sandstone by Geoffrey de Clintonin the 1100's and later to become one of the most impressive castles of Elizabethan England. Today, visitors can enjoy stories of from the past as they wander the remains.
A visit to the castle wouldn't be complete without a visit to the authentically recreated Elizabethan Garden.
Abbey Fields, Kenilworth's main park set in the dramatic valley of the Finham Brook. The park has great views of the castle and the parish church and offers lots of things to enjoy, including walking, fun for children, wildlife on the lake, wildflowers and fine trees, games and sports as well as discovering the history.
Kenilworth is a favourite for locals and visitors alike. The town has excellent restaurants, pubs and shops and many local events are held throughout the year. Kenilworth Carnival, one of the few still held in the area, The Kenilworth Lions Show in Abbey Fields and Kenilworth Round Table's Fireworks at the Castle.
Admington & Quinton
Quinton, original 'Queens-town' and Admington are two small villages on the northern edge of the Cotswolds.
Admington, particularly remains largely unspoiled. The small village has some old and interesting farms and houses. Admington Hall is a 16th century stone house with an 18th century front.
Picturesque streets, authentic atmosphere, beautifully preserved buildings, lanes and passageways and a vibrant bustling modern day market town. The mediaeval street pattern survives almost intact, along with many ancient buildings including the 17th century Town Hall and the Parish Church of St Nicholas with its 14th century tower.
Roman Alcester museum traces the town's links to the Romans and their continuing influence.
For well over a hundred years the village has been known as a tourist destination and and there are old postcards printed at the beginning of the 20th century to prove it.
Bidford-on-Avon is a pretty place with its famous bridge built by monks 600 years ago, and an old Roman road that used to ford the river. Many Anglo Saxon artifacts have been found that are now displayed in museums.
The old village of Burton Dassett sits in the hills with impressive views across the surrounding countryside and a 12th century church with a holy well which still provides water.
One of the best preserved and most historically important Cotswold town often described as the 'jewel in the crown'.
The High Street is lined with honey-coloured limestone buildings dating from the 14th century to the 17th century which today house a range of wonderful and intriguing shops. In the town centre is the Market hall built in 1627 for the sale of butter, cheese and poultry.
Evesham is an ancient market town situated in the Vale of Evesham, known for fruit growing and market gardening. There are a wealth of historic buildings in the town, including a fine 15th century timbered merchants house called the 'Round House', Abbot Reginald's gateway, a Norman arch leading to the abbey site, flanked by the 15th century Walker Hall and Church House. In the High Street is a late 17th century town house, Dresden House, once occupied by Dr. Baylies, physician to Frederick the Great of Prussia, and tucked away in the area of the town called Bengeworth is an old manor house once owned by King Canute.
Dating back to 1400 is the Almoneyr which was once the home of the Abbey Almoner, who was charged with the duty of administering to the poor and needy and providing hospitality to visitors to the Abbey.
A fine example of a mediaeval 'street' village with a number of places of interest as well as a great variety of places to eat and drink.
One of the best known in England, Henley's High Street has a wonderful variety of architectural styles, red brick and black and white half-timbered buildings.
Long Compton has always attracted witches, it is alleged that it was once home to 17 of them and in 1875 one was murdered!
It's a pretty village of honey coloured Cotswold stone and thatched cottages.
The stones are said to be the thing that attracted the witches to Long Compton.
A 5000 year old piece of history.
The Whispering Knights Dolmen is the old burial chamber of a Neolithic long barrow. The Knights are 5 stones that lean in towards each other, hence the name. Nearby is the King Stone and there are suggestions that it might be astrologically aligned with the King's Men. These stones form a perfect circle 104 feet across and stand on a prehistoric trackway at the edge of a ridge. Currently 77 stones remain out of a suggested 105.
Traditional stone, brick and timber cottages, some complete with thatched roofs can be seen here.
In the village is the Norman, St Peter's church, originally used by Saxon monks from Deerhurst Priory in Gloucestershire. The original font bowl that they used can still be seen in the church.
Situated on the village green is a 65ft highe maypole which is danced around by the villagers in an annual ceremony.
This ancient village, or rather two villages, was first recorded in 862 as Wallesburam. It was later referred to as Walebourne in the Domesday Book. Once two villages - Wellesbourne Mountford and Wellesbourne Hastings, the two villages being divided by the River Dene, they were merged in 1947.
Perhaps the most significant event in Wellesbourne's history was the founding in 1872 of the first trade union for agricultural workers by Joseph Arch. Wellesbourne Watermill, on the outskirts of the village, is an award-winning watermill driven by one of the country's largest wooden watermills. Visitors can see demonstrations of the mill's workings and enjoy some homemade baking using the mill's flour in the tearooms.