Warwick is the county town of Warwickshire, obviously, and can be found about 10 miles south of Coventry. It's an old town with a castle at its heart, hence on the pretty side, and there's plenty to see and do.
The big attraction is WarwickCastle, which covers a lot of land beside the River Avon, but is surprisingly hard to see from the town itself. For a 950-year-old it's in very good shape, and is one of Britain's most-visited castles, but a Monday in half term is probably not the best time to join the throng. Also, it's operated by the same company who run Madame Tussauds and Chessington World of Adventures, so it's all a bit "interactive immersive experience", so I wasn't keen. I did poke my nose in, only to be greeted by a sign saying Be Ready For An Exciting Day! Proud To Serve Costa, so I gave it a miss.
Warwick has a lot of 17th century buildings because a fire in 1694 wiped out most of the medieval ones. The 17th century Market Hall in Market Place is now the town's museum. It's free, but unfortunately it's closed on Mondays. St John's House at the other end of the town centre is another museum, and is open daily... except in the winter, when it closes on Mondays. An impressive medieval survivor is the Lord Leycester Hospital (n.b. not, and has never been, a hospital), whose timbered frontage abuts a dip on the High Street. It's open six days a week, the one off-day being a Monday, so I didn't go there either.
Warwick racecourse nudges up against the western edge of the town centre, at the bottom of a hill, with footpaths across the middle when no racing's scheduled. The next racing is scheduled for February 23rd, which is not a Monday. Overlooking the circuit is Hill Close Gardens, an extensive enclave of hedged terraced beds used by Victorians allotmenters with no outdoor planting space of their own. I'm sure they're gorgeous later in the year, but I wasn't tempted to pay £4.50 to see the snowdrops and a lot of bare earth. Also, although I made it down to the bottom of Mill Street round the back of the castle, the gardens there don't reopen until Easter.
The Court Housewas open (even if the Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum on its upper floor wasn't). As well as a small display on the building's history, it doubles up as Warwick's Tourist Information Office, where the two ladies on duty were busy doing all the tasks they do to pass the time on quiet winter Mondays. The Warwick Visitor Guide leaflet is jolly useful. Another attraction which was actually open was St Mary's church, the town's tallest building, where if you ask nicely a lady will unlock the door to the tower and let you climb up to the roof. I didn't do that, but I did see a young couple being let in.
I had a nice wander round Warwick instead, through Georgian streets and past half-timbered leftovers. I found a cul-de-sac call Bread & Meat Close, and a pub called the Tilted Wig. I liked the eclectic mix of shops down Smith Street, in the unburned part of town, beyond the imposing Eastgate. I dodged the Mini Golf and Children's Play Area in St Nicholas Park to stroll beside the Avon. And I carried on, following the Riverside Walk, then switching to the towpath of the Grand Union Canal by the aqueduct, because it was only two miles to Royal Leamington Spa...