A wander to Warwick: Weekend-ing it in Leamington Spa
We often overlook that which we know well, and that’s certainly been the case for me when it comes to the joys of my home country. That has been one of the many benefits of life as an expat – learning to really appreciate what you have left behind and no longer have regular access to. As I have mentioned on previous posts, I now make an effort to explore other parts of the UK and Europe whenever I have a visit home, and whilst I had certainly had plenty of excitement in The Lake District during this particular trip, I found myself keen to explore more.
Warwickshire is an old stomping ground of mine, having covered the county when I lived in the UK and worked for Marie Curie Cancer Care. I never lived there however, and so visits were always pretty fleeting. I have been back to Stratford Upon Avon many times since, as it is such a pretty place with so much heritage and culture, however on this occasion I found a cheap hotel in Leamington Spa for the weekend through Bookings.com and decided to try a new destination.
I’m consciously not going to name or review the hotel as in all honesty it was nothing worth writing about, however it was clean and functional and served the purpose so I wouldn’t want to berate it either.
We spent very little time in the room, and for anyone with a day to spare in Leamington Spa, I would recommend a visit to the Jephson Gardens in Victoria Park, which are open everyday. You can grab a coffee and some delicious looking cake from The Aviary and enjoy it on the grass, while the hothouse and the rest of the gardens are lovely for a stroll. There’s also a boating centre for those wanting to get out and explore the lakes and rivers from a different perspective.
We chose to take a wander along the river to Warwick for the afternoon, following our noses (and with a little bit of help from the satellites at times!) The walk started from the park, past the bandstand, and along the river (with a short stop to regress for a while in the play parks en route!) The 3.5 mile route passed fields of sheep, becoming the tow path of Grand Union Canal for a while and taking us over an aqueduct, before arriving at Nicholas Park in Warwick. From there it was very easy to find our way to Warwick Castle, along with the rest of the tourists (although not so easy to find our way around the outskirts of the castle and back to Leamington Spa!)
For anyone interested in an afternoon meander along the River Leam, I’ve since found a map of the Riverside Walk which might be useful!