From cosy romantic getaways to leisurely boating holidays, Warwickshire is blessed with a fantastic range of cultural and natural attractions.
This county has a proud literary heritage, inspiring the minds of some of the world's most accomplished authors. It was the setting for J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth in his world-renowned novels, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and was the birthplace of the world's greatest playwright, William Shakespeare, who was born in the pleasant market town of Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564.
Close to the geographical heart of England, most of Warwickshire lies to the southeast of Birmingham and Coventry. Warwick, the county town, is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes by train to central London, and just a 30-minute car journey from Birmingham International Airport.
Key settlements in Warwickshire include Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Royal Leamington Spa, Rugby, and Nuneaton. The county also has a well-developed motorway network, with easy access to Birmingham and northern England via the M6, and good links to the capital and Heathrow Airport via the M40.
Conveniently located close to Royal Leamington Spa's attractive Georgian terraces and Warwick Castle, the Holiday Inn Leamington Spa offers very affordable contemporary accommodation. The modern Days Inn Warwick South, meanwhile, also has well-presented rooms (with free WiFi) and is less than five miles from the acclaimed Motor Heritage Centre.
The Mercure Warwickshire Walton Hall & Spa in Wellesbourne, a short drive from Stratford-upon-Avon, is the idyllic four star retreat for those looking for a majestic, country-themed atmosphere. The Stratford in Stratford-upon-Avon also provides immaculate, deluxe accommodation and a delicious free breakfast, and is just a short walk from Shakespeare's Birthplace Museum. Another sought-after venue is the four star Mercure Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare Hotel, which is in a delightful restored Tudor house just minutes from the Nash House exhibition gallery.
As you might expect, Warwickshire has many impressive historic landmarks, one of the most notable of which is magnificent Warwick Castle. Arguably England's finest and best-preserved Norman defence, the castle, which was greatly extended in the 14th Century, was converted into a country residence by the 17th Century, and became a tourist attraction after it was sold by the wealthy Greville family in the 1970s.
Other sights that are definitely worth visiting include the 17th century country estate of Ragley Hall, the 19th century Royal Pump Rooms of the charismatic Regency town of Royal Leamington Spa, the Stratford-Upon-Avon Butterfly Farm, and medieval Kenilworth Castle.
Stratford-upon-Avon is also the location of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, which is one of Britain's leading entertainment venues, providing world-class performances of his plays in a state-of-the-art 1,040-seat auditorium.
For mouth-watering Indian cuisine, you can try the Castle Balti restaurant in Warwick, and if you're a lover of great British classics, consider visiting The White Lion in Atherstone. The Undergraduate restaurant in Royal Leamington Spa is also revered for its tasty American-style steaks, while the Lazzolli restaurant in Rugby provides terrific Italian and Turkish-inspired dishes.