diamond geezer

 Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Gadabout: WARWICK

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 Warwick Castle, 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 House was 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...

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream