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Top places to live in Warwickshire Dunchurch, Rugby

A conservation village with picture-perfect thatched cottages, rolling countryside and a 650-acre reservoir nearby, 3 miles from Rugby. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

Image: Stephen McKay / Phoenix Cottage, Dunchurch

WHY

A large picturesque village on the outskirts of Rugby, part of which is a conservation area on account of its many historic 15th century thatched roof buildings. It’s popular with commuters thanks to a 50-minute direct train route to London Euston and outstanding schools, including one of the UK’s top boarding and day schools.

Rugby is the birthplace of rugby football, idealist First World War poet Rupert Brooke and Jason Pierce, lead singer of top 1990’s indie band Spiritualized, an ex-Lawrence Sheriff grammar pupil.

EAT

Historically, Dunchurch was a former staging post on the road from London to Holyhead with 27 coaching inns for travellers, two remain still: The Dun Cow and The Green Man, popular for pub grub. There’s also an Indian restaurant, Malancha. New teensy hipster coffee shop, Square Coffee, is a welcome addition.

In-and-around Rugby, Cafe Vin Cinq, The Tuning Fork, Inside the 22 and Bacco Lounge are good for relaxed, dining/drinks. Hilltop Farm Shop and Cafe in the rural village of Hunningham has frequent foodie events from pizza pop-ups to an annual Beer and Cider Festival. Country pubs nearby include The Red Lion, Hunningham and The Stag at Offchurch.

SHOP

Dunchurch’s Fosse House Gallery specialises in framing and work by artists. Regent Street is Rugby’s independent quarter with Sass, Terracotta, Izzy Loops Interiors (an Annie Sloan stockist), Albie & Lonnie’s, Gallachers of Rugby wine merchants, Etcetera and organic shop Wild and Free to name but a few. For quirky gifts by 25 local makers and a zero waste store, check out The Nest. Elliott’s Field is a modern out-of-town retail park.

The nearby village of Marton is home to Warwickshire’s biggest independent baby equipment showroom, The Baby Barn Pram and Nursery Centre. Family-run Hilltop Farm & Cafe has an excellent farm shop, butcher’s, deli and lifestyle store, with a selection of local gins and craft beers. Malt Kiln Farm Shop in Stretton-under-Fosse also has Pick Your Own fruit fields.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

An 18-hole golf course in the next village, Thurlaston, and Draycote Water – a 650-acre reservoir used for sailing, windsurfing, fly fishing and bird watching, popular with walkers and cyclists. In Rugby sights include Rugby School, museum and Macready Theatre (tours available); World Rugby Hall of Fame and Rugby Art Gallery and Museum. Slightly further afield there’s Cotesbatch Estate, near Lutterworth, Ryton Pools Country Park and Canon’s Ashby, near Daventry, a National Trust Elizabethan house with 18th century gardens.

Other National Trust heritage properties in Warwickshire include Charlecote Park, a Victorian country house and landscaped deer park, and are within an easy drive. Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, with brilliant bijou exhibitions, is close too – Canaletto, Magnum Manifesto and a Lucas Cranach digital tour to name but a few.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

£352,676. The majority of sales in Dunchurch were for detached properties, selling for an average of £429,250. Terraced properties sold for around £260,827, with semi-detached homes fetching £322,200. Good local estate agents in the area are Fine & Country, Rugby, Crowhurst Gale, and Carter & King.

HOT PROPERTY

SCHOOLS

An impressive range of state and independents including Dunchurch Primary School and Hillmorton Primary (‘Outstanding’) with two outstanding grammar schools Lawrence Sheriff (boys) and Rugby High (girls) and ‘outstanding’ Ashlawn School, which has a selective grammar stream. Independent options include: a Montessori Nursery, the Crescent School, Bilton, for 4 to 11-year-olds; Bilton Grange Prep; world-renowned Rugby School, one of the UK’s oldest independents, for day pupils and boarders, and Princethorpe College, a mixed co-educational Catholic secondary day school.

BEST KEPT SECRET

In 1605, the Gunpowder Plotters stayed at the Lion Inn – now Guy Fawkes House, in Dunchurch, awaiting news of Guy Fawkes’s attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. If he’d been successful, they planned to kidnap the King’s daughter Princess Elizabeth from nearby Coombe Abbey.

COMMUTE

50 minutes direct to London from Rugby train station.

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live 

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