Art Holiday Travel and Vacation information for Warwickshire

"Warwickshire, a county in the west-midlands of England; bounded N. by Staffordshire, Derbyshire, and Leicestershire, E. by Northamptonshire, S. by Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, and W. by Worcestershire; greatest length, N. and S., 52 miles; greatest breadth, E. and W., 32 miles; area, 566,271 acres, population 737,339. Warwickshire presents a pleasant undulating surface of hill and dale, watered by the Avon, Leam, and Tame. The climate is mild and healthy, and the soil, except some cold stiff clays on the higher grounds, is fertile. It consists chiefly of a strong red loam adapted for wheat and beans, or a sandy loam for barley and turnips. Much land is kept in permanent pasture for grazing. Formerly the county was thickly wooded (that part N. of the Avon being called the Forest of Arden), and fine timber is still abundant. Geologically it mainly belongs to the secondary formation. A coal field, 16 miles by 3 miles, extends from the neighbourhood of Coventry to the border of Staffordshire, E. of Tamworth. The principal minerals are coal, ironstone, limestone, freestone, blue flagstone, and fire-clay. The manufactures are carried on chiefly at Birmingham (hardware and silk goods) and Coventry (watches and ribbons). There are mineral springs at Leamington, Stratford on Avon, Ilmington, Southam, Willoughby, King's Newnham, &c.; The county is traversed in all directions by canals and railways." [Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887.]

Some great day visits for all ages; quietly appealing countryside away from the built-up areas - good scope for an enjoyable short stay This area has some excellent family days out. Cadbury World at Bournville fills a most enjoyable half day, and the impressive sea life centre in Birmingham is enthralling. There's a lot to enjoy at the Black Country living museum in Dudley, and Warwick Castle is excellent (though it can be very crowded); the ruins at Kenilworth are perhaps more atmospheric. There are a few good farms, and always a lot going on at the impressive crafts village at Hatton.

The Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon is irresistible to small boys - not to mention their fathers, uncles and grandfathers.Older people have some striking historic houses to look over, particularly Moseley Old Hall (good guided tours), Arbury Hall, Coughton Court, and Wightwick Manor near Wolverhampton. Birmingham has almost endless scope for day visits - excellent art collections, lively museums, good Botanic gardens, and its own (free) period house Aston Hall. Coventry also has quite a lot to see on day visits. The Kingswinford glass museum is quite dazzling, and the Nickelodeon at Ashorne has a fine nostalgic appeal. There's much food for thought in the organic gardening centre at Ryton on Dunsmore.Stratford is the obvious focus for people on the Shakespeare trail, with plenty to interest them (though prices are high here, and others will find more to enjoy elsewhere); there are further Shakespeare connections in the pretty villages nearby, above all at Shottery and Wilmcote.Warwick has the character and atmosphere to make a short stay enjoyable, coupled as it is with its neighbour Leamington Spa - which still has the gardens, parks and spacious terraces of its heyday as a spa resort. The countryside (which edges into the Cotswolds in the S) is quietly attractive, laced with canals and dotted with charming villages and appealing places to stay in.