The big news at Wellesbourne is the opening of Chedham’s Yard scheduled for summer 2011. The paraphernalia-packed former blacksmith’s and wheelwright’s workshop, owned and run by seven generations of the Chedham family from the early 19th century, has been restored and promises intriguing insights to a forgotten way of life.
Then make a short jaunt from Wellesbourne to Compton Verney art gallery or the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon where exhibits include over 180 historic cars. North of Wellesbourne, Charlecote boasts a fascinating working watermill that produces stoneground wholemeal flour still using 19th century machinery. Step back in time even further at Tudor Charlecote Park. See accommodation near Wellesbourne.
Join the 1930s weekend house party of Lord and Lady Bearsted and admire their outstanding collection of English and continental Old Master paintings, including works by Hogarth, Stubbs, Canaletto and El Greco. Peruse exquisite porcelain from Derby, Chelsea, Worcester and Sevres factories, be dazzled by the red and silver art deco bathroom, listen to family stories or read the papers. The gardens – being returned to their 1930s heyday – feature terraces, herbaceous borders, a water garden and the National Collection of Asters.
Immerse yourself in the grandeur of this magnificent Palladian house, family home of the Marquess and Marchioness of Hertford. It’s an unrivalled treat, from James Gibbs’ baroque plasterwork in the Great Hall to James Wyatt’s Red Saloon. A Woodland Walk snakes through the 400-acre ‘Capability’ Brown park and there’s a Rose Garden, Winter Garden and unusual Fumpary of reclaimed tree stumps and woodland planting. Crown a visit by following the distinctive Jerwood Foundation Sculpture Trail, which includes Elisabeth Frink’s Walking Man and Antony Gormley’s Insider VIII.
Why not mix town and countryside, and Shakespeare with the Gunpowder Plot? This 27-mile circuit around central Warwickshire includes a level, traffic-free canal towpath stretch, and shortcuts also make 20- and 11-mile rides. Start this trail from any of the numerous local villages and attractions, such as Mary Arden’s (home of Shakespeare’s mother). Places of interest near the route include Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Edstone canal aqueduct, historic Alcester and Kinwarton Dovecote.
This walk in the south of Warwickshire takes in the county’s highest ground, at the fringes of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Crossing the AONB’s downs, it provides a superb introduction to the protected landscape. Start at honey-stone Ilmington village, then your route uses footpaths, bridleways and country lanes to explore Ilmington Down and surroundings. Bring your camera for particularly good views into the Vale of Evesham from the top of the Down.
Enjoy food with natural flavour, freshness and traceability. We stock scrumptious local and British foods from small-scale producers and have an in-store kitchen providing baked goodies. Choose from lunchtime sandwiches, hot soup in winter or ice cream and fruit smoothies in summer, plus meals like cottage pie to take away.
Experience a quintessential English stately home, now carefully restored as a luxury hotel (AA 4 star) in 65 acres of attractive countryside. Sit beneath crystal chandeliers in our restaurant (AA 2 rosette) and dine sumptuously, maybe on beef, lamb or fish – and do leave room for our English Classics pudding.
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