See the meeting place of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot conspirators, the former Old Red Lion Inn (now a private residence known as Guy Fawkes House). Or find where the poet Longfellow allegedly stayed and wrote poetry: as a one-time coaching stopover, Dunchurch has attracted its fair share of famous names.
While away some time admiring buildings that date back to the 15th century and have a look around the church, which includes a Norman font among its treasures. A short distance away is Draycote Water, a 650-acre reservoir that is brilliant for birdspotting and watersports – feeling energetic? With so much to do in the local area it is well worth staying a night or two. Find accommodation in Dunchurch.
Founded in 1154 by Cistercian monks but later transformed into the home of the Leigh family from 1561 to the late 20th century, Stoneleigh Abbey bears witness to an eventful history. King Charles I was entertained here when the gates of Coventry were closed against him and Jane Austen wove descriptions of the interiors into her novels; Queen Victoria and Prince Albert stayed and in modern times Prince Charles visited following restoration work. Tour the imposing baroque West Wing, its Saloon the epitome of Georgian magnificence, and follow the Pleasure Garden Walk to the River Avon.
The home of organic gardening in England is guaranteed to spark a few ideas, with more than 30 individual gardens in ten acres of landscaped grounds. Explore the world’s first public biodynamic garden, and experience the beauty of a wildflower meadow, a cornfield, swathes of blue lavender and sensual roses. The Bee Garden, Cook’s Garden and Growth Therapy Garden appeal to varied interests, while composting and pest/disease control displays provide practical tips. Tuck into organic produce in the award-winning restaurant, and buy plants and seeds to take home.
Get the adrenaline pumping on this mountain bike adventure through central Warwickshire. Start point is Coombe Country Park, a major local attraction with events and play areas for all ages. Then you are on a 12-mile trail that mixes roads and stony, muddy bridleways with a couple of downhill stretches – mind the uphill in between! The route is best suited to trail and mountain bikes rather than road racers.
This circular route in central Warwickshire conveniently starts and finishes at the Blue Lias pub; Blue Lias is a hard stone used for building in many local villages. Depart Long Itchington at bridge number 23 on the Grand Union Canal and pass Stockton Locks. Follow the towpath and on to Napton Hill, from where you can spy seven counties on a clear day. Then it’s back, via 12th-century St Michael's Church, to beautiful Stockton Reservoir.
The Lea family’s farm shop specialises in their own and local produce. Beef, lamb and pork at the butcher’s counter are reared on our farm, cottage pie in the coffee shop is made with our beef, award-winning breakfasts feature sausages made with our pork, and tempting fruit smoothies are created from our fruit.
You will find the privately owned Golden Lion (AA 3-star accommodation) in one of Warwickshire’s most picturesque and best-kept rural villages. We have a welcoming bar, plus an award-winning restaurant in the original 16th-century building where you can enjoy outstanding dishes made with locally sourced produce. We are The Good Pub Guide recommended.
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