For a flavour of this bustling little market town’s heritage head straight for the historic centre and Market Place with its 18th-century buildings, the 16th-century timber-framed Old Swan, an atmospheric coaching inn and the Old Bank House (1711). See, too, Merevale Church on the outskirts, originally the gate chapel to the abbey.
Small, unique bookshops appeal to magpie instincts, there’s a monthly farmers’ market, and nearby Kingsbury Water Park is great for birdwatching and cycling. Or visit Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre and Country Park—Atherstone’s links to the final chapter of the Wars of the Roses are closer than you might realise!
Atherstone is an ideal place to base yourself in Warwickshire. Find accommodation in Atherstone.
Immerse yourself in 11 centuries of dramatic history, myth and adventure as you scramble around breathtaking ramparts and towers. Warwick Castle has survived attack, siege and fire, served as a power base of the Earls of Warwick, a royal prison, and favourite haunt of Victorian high society. Discover its exciting past in dungeons and lavish state rooms, see the world’s largest working siege machine and join the mighty medieval Kingmaker Richard Neville on the eve of battle. Merlin: The Dragon Tower, ghosts and a Royal Weekend Party will fill your day with fascination.
New for 2013 is Warwick Castle Unlocked, allowing you into four centuries of secret towers and passageways, and there’s always a packed calendar of special events like dragon egg hunts, re-enactments and medieval banqueting.
Middleton Hall may not be well known, but it is packed with surprises, among them evidence of an incredible range of domestic architecture from the late 13th to early 19th centuries and including a Tudor-origin Great Hall. There are also many famous associations, not least with Queen Elizabeth I, who stayed here after the historic festivities at Kenilworth in 1575. You will be further intrigued by the Hall’s links with numerous pioneers, in fields as diverse as exploration and natural sciences.
Up for a challenge? Try this 16-mile mountain bike expedition from Pooley Country Park exploring northern Warwickshire. Around 6 miles are off-road and you are mainly on quiet lanes, in a little-known area of the county that surprises with pleasing views. The trail passes a varied mix of nature reserve and villages (and country pubs!), while also following a Saxon salt traders’ route.
This relatively easy walk in north Warwickshire takes you through Ansley village and Ansley Common. It is a waymarked route off the North Arden Heritage Trail, a project that has worked with local communities to establish a 25-mile circular heritage route. Ansley Parish Walk links with the varied historical sites of northern Warwickshire: from the Saxon lands of Lady Godiva to the industrial remains of the former coal mining landscape.
Dobbies Farm Foodhalls bring you the best of nature from the garden to your kitchen table. Set within Dobbies Garden World, this is the perfect destination if you’re planning a dinner party, or simply love good food. You’ll find flavoursome local produce, a tantalising delicatessen selection plus gourmet treats.
C H Rowley is a third generation family butcher and abattoir, with traditional butcher’s shop and mobile community shop. Our skilled butchers can produce any cut of meat for you and we sell beef, lamb and pork, all from farms within a ten-mile radius, plus poultry, game, eggs and our handmade pies and sausages.
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