The historic town of Warwick has an attractive town centre with Georgian and medieval architecture but it is best known for its castle.
As well as being the county town of Warwickshire, Warwick is a bustling market town with a rich history dating back to Neolithic times. Lord Leycester Hospital, which is one of England’s best examples of medieval courtyard architecture, is certainly worth a visit. However, Warwick’s biggest drawcard is Warwick Castle, which dominates a bend in the River Avon and was originally founded in 1068 by William the Conqueror.
Although Warwick is a relatively small town of around 30,000 people, its built-up area has merged into neighbouring Leamington Spa and Whitnash creating a much-larger conurbation with a combined population of around 95,000.
Many people choose to stay in Leamington Spa, which is an elegant spa town that has a less-touristy feel when compared with Warwick. Regular buses run between the two towns every 15 minutes or so with a journey time of just over 20 minutes and it is only four minutes to travel between the two towns by train. In fact, Leamington Spa is close-enough to Warwick that you could walk between the centre of the two towns in around 50 minutes.
Leamington Spa, officially known as Royal Leamington Spa, grew into a prominent spa town in the 18th century and it is noted for its fine Regency architecture. The Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum is located in the Royal Pump Rooms, which was the town’s big drawcard during its Regency-era heyday.
Both Warwick and Leamington Spa lie on the Chiltern Main line, which connects Birmingham with London Marylebone railway station. You can travel into Birmingham from Warwick in as little as 29 minutes (33 minutes from Leamington Spa) and it takes around an hour and 20 minutes to travel from Leamington Spa to London Marylebone. There is also a direct service to Stratford-upon-Avon and there is a direct rail line linking Leamington Spa with Coventry with a journey time between 11 and 14 minutes.
Both towns also have excellent local bus connections with bus routes 1, X17 and X18 running between Leamington Spa and Warwick (X17 and X18 are faster than bus 1, which meanders through residential areas north of Warwick).
Both Leamington Spa and Warwick also have excellent bus connections to other towns in Warwickshire. Buses X17 and X18 run between Leamington Spa and Coventry via Kenilworth and in the other direction, X18 connects both towns with Stratford-upon-Avon. Bus route 63 runs between Leamington Spa and Rugby.