Coombe Abbey Country Park is a picturesque retreat that combines royal history with children’s activities and stunning natural beauty. The acclaimed British landscaper Lancelot “Capability" Brown designed Coombe Abbey Country Park in the 1700s from the estate of an abbey once owned by King Henry VIII. Its 500 acres (202 hectares) of parkland feature formal gardens, ponds, a lake, woodland and wetlands.
Start your visit at the Discovery Centre, where a video presentation provides an overview of the park, its habitats and wildlife. Learn about the resident animals via interactive activities. A map of the park is available at the information desk. It shows the various walking trails and park highlights.
The Discover Capability Brown trail goes around the Old Deer Park. Read about Brown and the evolution of the park via interpretive signs. Adjacent to here, the wildflower meadow is a riot of color and aromas from April to September. On Tuesday and Sunday a woodturning group meets at the park to demonstrate their traditional craft.
Cross the lake and walk amid Victorian-era trees in the arboretum and then admire the topiary hedges and flowerbeds of the formal gardens. Take a moment to appreciate the Gothic-Revival architecture of the abbey building, which opened as a luxury hotel in the 1990s. Princess Elizabeth lived here as a child and it was also the home of the aristocratic Craven family.
Another popular area of the park is the bird hide, home to the largest heronry in Warwickshire. Have fun feeding ducks and swans or purchase a fishing net to see what you can catch at the pond dipping stations. Children will enjoy playing on the swings, slides and forest climbing frames. Bring your own food to eat at the designated picnic and barbecue areas.
Coombe Abbey Country Park is open daily and admission is free. It’s about a 15-minute drive east of Coventry. There’s a fee for parking. An alternative way to get here is to walk the Centenary Way footpath from Coventry city center.