Top places to live in Warwickshire Warwick
Famously home to one of the country’s finest medieval fortresses - Warwick Castle - and where Tolkien got married. An ancient market town with an interesting mix of Georgian townhouses, Queen Anne mansions, tottering half-timbered Tudor buildings among tea shops and artisan bakeries. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
Well, one of the UK’s best historic monuments, Warwick Castle, for a start! It has two top independent single-sex schools, boating on the river, leafy parks and is really close to Leamington Spa (10 mins), Stratford-upon-Avon (20 mins) and Coventry (10 – 15 mins). Local produce is sold at the weekly ‘plastic free’ market in the square. The RSC at Stratford, universities in Coventry and bustling nightlife of Brum lie on your doorstep…
This popular market town has a calendar of vibrant community events from an annual food festival to town centre cycle races, Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park, Warwick Words and an international folk festival. A great location in the heart of the country for everyone from city commuters to families, gaming artists, culture vultures and academics.
Take your pick from fine dining at Tailors Restaurant – a former tailors shop – creative Spanish cuisine at La Mesa or pizza and craft beers at the Muddy Award-winning Dough & Brew. Nice characterful gastropubs include The Old Coffee Tavern, a London-style boozer with rooms, The Rose and Crown and The Globe, both also offer B&B. And if it’s a coffee and home-baked croissants you’re after, we can highly recommend Thirteen, a small artisan bakery.
Smaller, independent boutiques and antiques shops rule here (although there is a decent sized M&S food hall) including the always helpful Warwick Books, Hatton & Harding for luxe interiors and Green and Wild, a florist with an eye for British blooms on Smith Street, where you’ll find a cluster of eclectic indies, cafes and restaurants. Just out of town is the lovely Hatton Shopping Village which has a mix of small, independents ranging from boutiques and jewellery makers, to a farm shop, garden centre, antiques store and electric bikes shop.
Marvel at Warwick Castle set within 64 acres and with shows bringing history to life. Then there’s the medieval timber-framed Lord Leycester Hospital, one of the best preserved examples of medieval courtyard architecture in England. Climb up the 134ft tower of the Collegiate Church of St Mary’s Church which dominates the town’s skyline, admire its 15th century chapel, or if you’re into jump-racing check out Warwick Racecourse. Don’t miss the hidden, beautifully restored Victorian Hill Close Gardens, Mill Garden and St Nicholas Park, for excellent riverside castle views. The Grand Union Canal and restored Saltisford Canal Arm also pass through the town with scenic tow path walks.
Playbox Theatre is brilliant for creative kids of all ages interested in training for theatre, circus and film. Family attraction Hatton Adventure World is a farm park and shopping village, close to Hatton Locks with its 21 canal locks to walk along, and the recently refurbished Destination Spa at Ardencote is an enticing tranquil treat.
The National Trust’s beautiful heritage properties in Warwickshire including Charlecote Park, a Victorian country house and landscaped deer park, are an easy drive. Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, with brilliant bijou exhibitions – Canaletto, Magnum Manifesto and a Lucas Cranach digital tour to name but a few, is close too. Summer exhibition On Colour has been postponed until 2021.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
£326,370. The majority of sales in Warwick during the last year were detached properties, selling for around £456,424. Semi-detached houses sold for an average of £301,725, with terraces fetching £285,137. Warwick Gates is a popular new housing development, with period townhouses and terraces options within the town centre. Good local estate agents in the area are Margetts, Charles Rose and EHB Residential.
Highly regarded top independents include Warwick Prep. Warwick School, a leading UK independent and boarding school for boys aged 7 to 18, and King’s High, Warwick, an ISI ‘Excellent’ rated day school for girls aged 11 to 18 – now all conveniently located on one campus, as part of Warwick Independent Schools Foundation. ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rated state primaries include St Anthony’s Catholic Primary and Coten End Primary School; with ‘Good’ secondary’s including Campion, Aylesford School and Sixth Form College and Myton.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Actress Sophie Turner – Sansa Stark in the HBO hit TV series Game of Thrones and in X–Men: Dark Phoenix – was a pupil at King’s High, Warwick and a member of the town’s Playbox Theatre – where she’s still an official ambassador.
It’s just 40 minutes from Birmingham and 1 hour 20 mins to London by train from Warwick Parkway.
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