Top places to live in Warwickshire Kenilworth
Home to England's most romantic ruined castle where Robert Dudley would entertain Queen Elizabeth I, and one of Warwickshire’s three Michelin-starred restaurants. Enjoy long walks though Abbey Fields and the castle grounds. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
This historic market town is architecturally notable for its romantic castle ruins, once home to Robert Dudley whose alleged love affair with Elizabeth I was explored in Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett and Joseph Fiennes. The monarch visited the castle several times. Kenilworth has its own arts festival, a food festival and annual Two Castles Run. It’s also close to the University of Warwick on Gibbet Hill, Coventry.
Scoff and quaff at Michelin-starred gastropub The Cross (reservations taken up to three months in advance), Harringtons-on-the Hill, Pomeroys Bistro, Indian Edge and Deli-on-the-Hill coffee shop. Popular pubs and bars include The Clarendon, The Almanack, Virgins & Castle and Kenilworth Cocktail Lounge.
Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and a couple of great indie bookshops Kenilworth Books & The Tree House Bookshop (musician Warren Ellis, of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is a patron). Other independents include The Farthing Gallery, Farmers Fayre farm shop and cafe at Stonleigh Park and third-generation family-run Smith’s Nurseries and Garden Centre.
Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden – you can now climb to the top of the 18m high tower to see Elizabeth’s previously derelict private chamber after English Heritage built an impressive £1.1m viewing platform opening in 2014. Abbey Fields, a 68-acre park is just a few minutes’ walk from the town centre with a lake overlooking the castle and hosts an outdoor lido, tennis courts and children’s play area. It’s great for walks, picnics and sledging in the snow. Stately Grade I listed Stoneleigh Abbey, with its links to Jane Austen, is 10 minutes away by car.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
£383,094 in the last year. Semi-detached properties sold for an average price of £362,310. Detached properties sold for an average of £550,925, with flats fetching £202,874. Good local estate agents in the area are Elizabeth Davenport, Knight Frank, Reeds Rains, Julie Philpot Residential, Boothroyd & Company and Leaders
Several good and outstanding state primary and secondaries in and around town including Kenilworth School and Sixth Form. Crackley Hall School is a feeder primary for Catholic co-educational independent secondary Princethorpe College; Rugby School and Bilton Grange Prep are within easy reach with independents in Leamington Spa, Warwick and Coventry close too.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz were rumoured to be house-hunting in the nearby exclusive village of Leek Wootton a few years ago. They apparently checked out a £5m former mill but declined so you won’t have James Bond as a neighbour, sadly.
Vastly improved since the reopening of the town’s train station improving connections to Coventry, Birmingham, and London. Journey time to London in under 90 minutes.
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