Top places to live in Warwickshire Meriden
Known as the historic centre of England, this small village punches above its weight on the pub front and has easy access to local towns and London. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
Known as the historic centre of England (the true centre is actually 13 miles up the road, but we won’t dwell on that!) nestled between Coventry and Birmingham, and protected by the greenbelt of the Meriden Gap, this bucolic village is all country pubs and honey pot cottages with the added bonus of great links to local towns and cities.
Situated on a working family-run farm, local favourite The Barn at Berryfields offers farm-to-table produce inside its glass-fronted Barn Restaurant, or street food outdoors where you can sit in the cool teepee. Minutes down the road is gastropub The Strawberry Bank with gorgeous views over the countryside, or a short drive away is Sky by the Water for nibbles and cocktails while looking over the Birmingham skyline.
There’s a farm shop and butchery at The Barn at Berryfields, but if you’re looking for more you’ll have to take a little journey out. At nearby Resorts World you’ll find a choice of high street clothing shops including Religion, Next and Vans. Solihull is also close with cool indie homestore Liv’s, luxury clothing boutique Katherine Draisey and local artist’s Paul Horton Fine Art Gallery. Luxury outdoor designer outlet Bicester Village with 160+ boutiques and restaurants is just under an hour away.
Just up the road is the NEC with its plethora of shows and events, and right next door you’ll find Bear Grylls Adventure with its 65ft high rope course, archery and interactive skydiving. The National Trust’s Baddesley Clinton, set in the breathtaking Forest of Arden, and much-restored Tudor house, park and gardens Packwood House are both less than 10 miles away. For more outdoorsy action head to the lush greenery of Coombe Abbey which is also home to Go Ape. Make sure you book in for afternoon tea at the Coombe Abbey hotel while you’re there too – it’s a goodie.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
£436,574. Detached properties were the most popular selling for around £523,909. Semi-detached fetched about £343,778 while terraced properties reached £271,000.
Poet Philip Larkin was famously a pupil at King Henry VIII School, an independent co-educational school for 3-18s; Bablake is another leading UK co-educational independent dating back to 1344 and Pattison College for children with a talent for the performing arts. Ruckleigh School is also nearby catering for children aged 3 to 11. The majority of state secondaries are rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted with Arden Academy rated ‘Outstanding’. Most primary schools also received top marks from inspectors, including Berkswell Church of England and George Fentham Endowed School.
BEST KEPT SECRET
The oldest archery club in England was founded in Meriden in 1785 in the local boozer and still exists to this day. The Woodmen of Arden still meet and try to follow the rules set centuries ago. Membership is by invitation only, oh errrr.
London bound? You can jump on at Hampton-in-Arden train station or Birmingham International. If you’re driving it’s about 2 and a half hours.
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