First stop: St Mary the Virgin Church, which has stood at the heart of Stoneleigh for 800 years and contains a Norman font and interesting effigies. Pick up information on the history of the village and its buildings here. Then immerse yourself in the restored splendour of Stoneleigh Abbey or check the calendar for what’s on at Stoneleigh Park, home of The Royal Agricultural Society of England and a hub for rural activities.
Enjoy a walk and a picnic in 100-acre Ryton Pools Country Park, or maybe even ramble a short stretch of the Centenary Way from Stoneleigh to Kenilworth Castle. See accommodation near Stoneleigh.
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.
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.
Ryton Pools Country Park between Rugby and Coventry is a place for both activity and tranquillity, with lakes where you can watch birds, as well as an adventure playground for children. Use the visitor centre facilities at the start or end of this 16-mile route that follows quiet lanes and bridleways across a gentle landscape. You will cross the Roman Fosse Way and pass a number of villages with shops and pubs.
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.
Peter and Antje Knibb’s AA 2-rosette restaurant has been restyled by designer Emma McIvor to create a feeling of luxury and comfort. Fine dining menus have been created using the best, freshest seasonal products, with good wines to match, as befits a couple that has a background in Michelin-starred restaurants.
Our small, four-barrel micro brewery in historic Warwick is dedicated to the creation of quality handcrafted traditional beers and ales. You are very welcome to visit and look around – please call us so we can book you in for an unforgettable experience. Look out for our beers and ales in local pubs.
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