If you are only in Coventry and Warwickshire for 48 hours, don’t worry, you can still pack a lot in if you’re savvy. This region is rich in culture and heritage, with all the modern day and family attractions you could ask for. The region offers magnificent medieval castles and ancient legends, historic market towns, fine dining and popular shopping quarters. Learn the legend of Lady Godiva or visit the birthplace of Shakespeare himself.
Start in Coventry, a city that’s seen a lot of regeneration over the past few years and yet more it coming its way thanks to the title of Capital of Culture 2021. After making your way to the city centre and bidding hello to the famous statue of Lady Godiva, visit the ruins of the Cathedral and the surrounding lanes.
Petrol-heads must find time for the Coventry Transport Museum, telling the highs and lows of the motoring heritage of the city. Nearby is the cultural quarter of the city, FarGo village. A wonderfully unique collection of independent businesses in a truly quirky setting. Then head to Royal Leamington Spa and soak up the elegant marble pillar-lined parade; shopping has never been such an elegant affair.
Once you’ve bagged some bargains take your pick of independent pavement cafes and coffee shops. The food scene here is thriving with everything from Greek to Thai to Caribbean covered. If you’re after gourmet dining stop off at The Cross in Kenilworth, the Michelin star restaurant, for an unforgettable dinner.
The hidden hedged gardens of Warwick at Hill Close Gardens are something not every visitor knows about. A delightful network of individual Victorian gardens, separated by high hedges, have been restored using Heritage Lottery Funding. Charming summerhouses, old fruit trees and blossoming flower beds all await.
Other historical delights in this pretty town is the timber-framed Lord Leycester Hospital and vast greenery of St Nicholas’ Park. End your busy 24 hours with a night fit for a knight in Warwick Castle’s newly-opened lodges.
Spend the following day in Stratford-upon-Avon soaking up the wonderful Tudor charm of this bustling town. As soon as you get to Stratford, take a Tower Tour at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. It costs £2.50 adults and £1.25 under 18s to ascend the 118ft red brick tower for views of the town, the Royal Shakespeare Company estate and its surroundings.
Stratford also has you covered for family friendly activities too, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Stratford Butterfly Farm that big and little kids alike will love to soak up the atmosphere at the Stratford Armouries or the MAD mechanical art museum. There’s also Tudor World, a small and independent museum devoted to the Tudors – the only one in the country.
Walk across the pedestrian Tramway Bridge in front of the theatre and make for The View fish and chip restaurant near the bandstand. It has an outdoor terrace with wonderful views of the theatre, the Avon and the spire of Holy Trinity, a short walk along the river. The Stratford Town Trust runs free concerts at the bandstand from May to September.
Sadly it’s time to head home with a head full of memories and a list of lots to do when you next come back.
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