Things to See & Do
Warwick, capital of the county, is worth a visit and its old town has some attractive 17th- and 18th-century buildings to admire, like Shire Hall with its octagonal tower lantern and the West Gate, which remains from the old town walls.
The tradition of a Saturday market dates back over 500 years, and its bustling atmosphere is a good reason to drop in, especially if you’re in town during one of the town’s many festivals. Head into the Warwickshire countryside and you’ll quickly find yourself surrounded by a classic English backdrop – a gentle landscape featuring lush fields and hedgerows, ancient forests, grazing livestock and tranquil rivers.
The area’s history is also reflected by the canal network that runs alongside charming local villages and some outstanding old country houses that offer insight into life from bygone times. It’s easy to plan a day out that includes a fascinating tour, beautiful scenery and numerous options for those who can’t resist the urge to walk, whether it’s a gentle canal side stroll or a hike into the heart of the countryside.
HATTON COUNTRY WORLD
If you’re looking a family day in the countryside that features animals, activities, artisan produce and more, Hatton Country World is a great option. It’s just over 30 minutes’ drive from the hotel – or less than 15 minutes away from either Baddesley Clinton or Packwood House.
Former Victorian farm buildings have been used to house the Shopping Village, hosting around 20 independent shops where you can browse antiques, furniture & homeware, jewellery, fashion and more. There’s also a Garden Centre, a Farm Shop and a café – and if you need to walk off lunch, you can embark on a short circular walk which takes in Hatton Locks, Hatton Estate and the Grand Union Canal.
There’s loads to do for kids of all ages here, with indoor and outdoor options including interaction with animals (Farmyard Favourites and Guinea Pig Village go down well with the youngsters) as well as activities based purely around fun, all accessible at Adventure World. From super slides to an assault course, hawk handling, milking a cow, or trampolining, all activities are included in the ticket price, except for pony rides.
Packwood House is a Grade I-listed property, built in the 16th century and just 10 minutes by car from its neighbour, Baddesley Clinton. The meticulous restoration of its interiors in the 1920s by owner Graham Baron Ash, transformed the property from a farmhouse into a glorious vision of a Tudor home.
Once you’ve explored the fabulous interior and grounds, make a day of it and set off on one of the walking trails across the Warwickshire countryside.
This 16th-century estate is a hidden gem, set in the Forest of Arden, around 30 minutes’ drive from the hotel. Home to the Ferrers family for over 500 years, most of the house was built by Henry Ferrers, an English antiquarian and MP, and its warmth and relative simplicity give a real sense of family life.
The moat surrounding the house makes it feel quite magical and the estate gardens, including the walled garden and vegetable patch, are lovely to wander through. Alternatively, try one of these walks which include an option to walk a stretch of the Grand Union canal or take a five-mile circular route to neighbouring Packwood House.
If you imagined that a visit to Warwick Castle would simply involve a tour around a handsome historic monument - and admittedly, it’s a breathtaking sight - think again! There’s a whole world of exploration, activity and interaction on offer, both inside the castle and around the 64-acre site, which means there really is something for everyone.
Warwick Castle is only 30 minutes’ drive from the hotel, but you’ll want to set the whole day aside for your trip and do some forward planning beforehand, including downloading the app for a map and information during your visit, and ticket purchase, which is cheaper in advance.
The first Warwick Castle was built on the site of a Saxon fort by William the Conqueror in 1068, a simple wooden structure on top of a mound – the very same Mound you can climb today and acknowledge the outstanding views that made it such an attractive vantage point.
The Castle was altered and extended throughout the centuries that followed when it was both residence and fortress, and the remains are impressive, with the two majestic towers dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries and the Great Hall largely 14th century. Much of the interior work, including the State Dining Room, is a restoration or a creation from the 18th century. Warwick Castle is not only a stunning visual experience, it is also the source of stories and characters linked with key historic events, including the War of The Roses and the English Civil War.
Activities include Zog-themed areas inspired by the friendly dragon (Zog Playland and Activity Trail), a Horrible Histories Maze, an immersive tour through history at the Time Tower and the chance to try your arm at archery.
Included in your entry fee, there are also shows and entertainment throughout the day depending on the time of year (check the app for timings), with a Bird of Prey show, a History Talk, or a visit to the Princess Tower to solve a romantic riddle just some of the extra options to choose from. If you’re interested in the murkier side of Castle life, experience the grisly Castle Dungeon walk (must be booked in advance for a specific time slot at an additional cost), which features live actors and special effects and is not suitable for under-10s - or the faint-hearted!
The grounds are extensive and varied with plenty of choice when you need a break from the day’s excitement. Join resident peacocks for a stroll around the elegant Peacock Garden where manicured beds are surrounded by impressive topiaries; at River Island, you can admire the Castle grounds from across the river and get close up to the castle’s life-sized Trebuchet, or head to the Pageant Field, the perfect place for a stroll, with stunning views of the Castle in the foreground.
The grounds also includes the huge replica Trebuchet, built to scale using 13th and 14th century designs of what is effectively a giant catapult. This would have been used during peak siege warfare, where a skilled crew would attempt to launch a missile every six minutes. For a view from the opposition’s perspective, climb Caesar’s Tower and walk the ramparts.