The Ultimate Guide to Things to Do in Warwickshire
Before you head to Warwickshire, take a look at our guide to the best activities in the county
Tucked away in the West Midlands, Warwickshire may be small in size, but it’s packed with fun activities to get stuck into. It’s known as the heart of Shakespeare’s England, as William Shakespeare was born and raised here. Naturally, there are numerous attractions related to the great Bard himself. If you’re not quite the Shakespeare fan, don’t worry - there are plenty of other exciting things to do to keep you busy (but the main concern is: why aren't you a Shakespeare fan?). We certainly are here at Plum Guide, but more importantly, we're also experts when it comes to all things travel. We know all the best places to go and what to do there, so your prayers have been answered with this carefully curated guide. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this guide to the best things to do in Warwickshire.
Explore Shakespeare-themed attractions
As the name suggests, Shakespeare's Birthplace is the house in which William Shakespeare was born in 1564. He spent his childhood years in this half-timbered house in Stratford-upon-Avon, which you can visit the home to learn more about his life - and what it was like to be a performer between the 1500s and 1700s. There is a collection of original artefacts on display at the house, including furniture and utensils that would’ve been used during Shakespeare’s time.
There are several other Shakespeare-themed things to do in Warwickshire, specifically in Stratford-upon-Avon. Have a look around Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Hall’s Croft, the former homes of Shakespeare’s wife and daughter. There’s also Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall, where you can see the room where the Bard was educated - maybe some of the genius will rub off on you. Discover where he first experienced theatre, with his school years brought to life by costumed interpreters and tour guides, and see if you can spot where his inspiration truly came from.
Attend a show at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
It would be rude to visit Stratford-upon-Avon and not catch a theatre show. Despite seating over 1,000 people, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is unique in that you get a much more intimate experience compared to other venues. The stage reaches out into the audience who are seated around it - the same way stages used to be designed during Shakespeare’s time. The theatre offers an exciting calendar of shows throughout the year, including classic favourites like Much Ado About Nothing and Richard III. Before the show, make sure to swing by the theatre's Rooftop Restaurant and Bar for drinks with views over the River Avon.
Ride a boat along the River Avon
You don’t always have to rush around a place to see all the sights - in fact, sometimes, the best way to take in your holiday destination is by sitting totally still. Give your legs a rest, and take in Stratford from the comfort of a river cruise with Bancroft Cruisers. As you glide along the River Avon in The Rita Ellen, entertaining guides give you a live commentary of what you're seeing, as well as a run down of town’s heritage. Admire the views of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Holy Trinity Church, before learning about the canal and the river wildlife. There’s even a bar and galley aboard the cruiser, perfect for enjoying a cuppa - or something a little stronger.
Take a family trip to the British Motor Museum
If you’re a car geek, which we know some of you are, then the British Motor Museum is definitely one of the best things to do in Warwickshire. Home to over 400 cars, this is the world’s largest collection of historic British cars, and a playground for auto enthusiasts. Get up close to legendary F1 cars, vehicles from the Royal Collection, and even A-list motors from TV and film. When else would you get to see James Bond’s Land Rover Defender in real life? Through photographs, film, and documents, the museum offers a colourful insight into the birth, decline, and rebirth of the British motor industry. You can even go behind the scenes in the Collection Centre’s workshop to see how the staff expertly restore the vintage vehicles. Why not see if they're hiring?
Wander through Coughton Court
Constantly rebuilt, redecorated, and enlarged by the Catholic Throckmorton family, Coughton Court is a beautiful Tudor house boasting centuries of stories, family portraits, and treasures. Discover the myriad of impressive rooms, and see how each generation has left their mark on the house. You'll find that every room has its own quirks, with such features including the vaulted ceiling in the front hall, the 16th-century panelling in the dining room, the lavish decor in the saloon, and the luxurious fabrics in the tapestry bedroom. Once you’ve explored the inside of the house, step outside into the kaleidoscope of colour that is the garden. Spring is the best time to visit, with roses rambling over arches, apple blossoms lighting up the orchard, and carpets of daffodils setting the perfect scene. Take a gentle stroll to the riverside to enjoy a quiet moment in nature, or head further down to Timms Grove to see a magnificent show of bluebells on the ancient woodland floor.
Venture out to Royal Leamington Spa
Set on the winding River Leam, Royal Leamington Spa is a picturesque spa town known for its Regency architecture and wide boulevards. It was once a famous spa town, in the 18th century, due to its water - it was thought to have medicinal qualities. Find out more about the town’s history at the Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, housed in the Royal Pump Rooms (which were the most famous spa baths in town). Another must-see in Leamington Spa is Jephson Gardens. Originally laid out in 1834, these picturesque formal gardens have been preserved to this day, so don't forget your camera under any circumstances. Take a relaxing stroll through the greenery, while discovering a collection of monuments and memorials, a tranquil lake, and an impressive collection of tropical plants. Back in town, wander down the high street and take in the beautiful period buildings. Pop into the many independent shops, boutiques, and cafes for a little retail therapy - go on, treat yourself.