Warwick sits on the banks of the River Avon and is a pretty, historic town with plenty of visitors’ attractions. Warwick Castle, which has played a crucial role in 1000 years of British history, overlooks the town.
Distance from campus:
Warwick Castle holds a number of themed events and festivals throughout the year, and also hosts special ticketed events such as Warwick Ghosts where you can experience the re-enactment of the death of Sir Fulke Greville who is said to haunt the castle grounds.
Warwick Racecourse has a year-round programme of flat and steeple chase races. Visit their website for the dates of race meetings and other special events.
There are also a number of pubs, bars and restaurants in Warwick that are worth a look. More information can be found on the Warwick Town Council Tourist Information website.
Shopping in Warwick is particularly good for gifts and specialist items such as art and antiques. Warwick has some very good restaurants, cafes and tea-rooms.
Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred the Great, founded Warwick town in the 10th century AD. Its location on a hill by the river Avon made it a perfect site for defence against Danish invaders in 914.
In 1068 William the Conqueror ordered the building of a timber motte and bailey fort on the site of the town in order to secure the area against potential uprisings following his success at the battle of Hastings in 1066. Henry de Beaumont became the castle’s first inhabitant.
In the 12th century the timber frame of the motte and bailey fort was replaced with stone structures, forming areas of the castle that remain today. An extensive reconstruction and rebuilding of the castle was carried out by the successive generations of de Beauchamps who lived in the castle from 1268 to the 1440s.
The castle has undergone periods of dilapidation and restoration at the hands of its numerous owners. Charles Guy, the 7th Greville Earl who owned the castle from the 1920s, even built a cinema on the roof of the castle. It is still there today.
In 1978 the castle was sold to The Tussauds Group, who have since restored areas of the castle and opened much of it to the public.
Although many original buildings remain in the town, such as the 14th and 15th century Lord Leycester hospital buildings, a Great Fire in 1694 destroyed many of the buildings on its central streets. The streets and surrounding buildings were rebuilt soon after the fire, giving Warwick the spectacular architecture of the 18th century that remains today.
While a visit to the castle cannot be missed, the opportunity should also be taken simply to wander around Warwick’s streets and observe the stunning architecture that covers almost 1000 years of English history.
Access from University:
By car: The quickest way to Warwick from the University is to take Gibbet Hill Road, straight on to Stoneleigh Road, then right on to the A46. The A46 takes you directly to Warwick, and the journey takes about 15-20 minutes.
By bus: The Stagecoach X16 service travels between campus and Warwick. The Stagecoach X17 doesn't come on to campus, but stops near the Gibbet Hill end of the University, and also collects from some locations in Warwick. Check the Stagecoach website for more information about service times.
By train: Trains run from Leamington Spa station to Warwick station frequently throughout the hour. The journey takes around 5 minutes. Warwick station is within walking distance of the town centre and castle.