It might be most famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare but with medieval market towns, a glorious countryside setting and the Cotswolds in the south, there are plenty of reasons to visit the lovely landlocked county of Warwickshire. Lulu has started her collection of boutique hotels in Warwickshire with The Lazy Cow, just a few minutes’ walk from Warwick castle. It has 16 rooms (the Moo suite is a good choice for families) and a reputation for its restaurant, the Warwickshire Premier Ale & Steak House which is overseen by head chef Ben Rathbone and serves the best steak in the county. This is one of the best boutique hotels in Warwickshire and you won't be disappointed with a stay here.
What to do?
While you’re in Warwick, do explore the castle: with the interactive Dragon Tower (based on BBC family drama Merlin), thedungeon and the Princess Tower, it makes a fun day out for all ages. The city is also home to Leycester Hospital, one of Britain’s most famous timber framed buildings, Warwick racecourse, plenty of shops and markets (there’s a farmers’ market the third Friday of every month, Charter Market every Saturday and independent boutiques on Smith Street). The county’s other famous castle is Kenilworth, once home to Robert Dudley, the great love of Queen Elizabeth I. Wander round the ruins and the recreated Elizabeth garden with its aviary and marble fountain. Other noteworthy market towns include Atherstone, Bedworth, Nuneaton and Rugby where you’ll find Rugby School, the birthplace of rugby and the Webb Ellis Rugby Football museum, home to much memorabilia associated with the sport.
Fans of the Bard won’t want to miss Stratford-Upon-Avon either. Visit his birthplace and Nash’s House & New Place, where he lived later in life and book tickets to a performance by the internationally renowned Royal Shakespeare Company. The Royal Shakespeare Company theatre also offers behind-the-scenes and family tours where children can handle props and learn how costumes and special effects are made. For shopping, head to Wood Street and Bridge Street where you’ll find a mix of familiar high street names and independent stores. Before you leave the town, take a gentle boat trip on the river Avon and perhaps visit the Butterfly Farm, where you can walk through large greenhouses with tropical plants and exotic butterflies from all over the world.
Food and drink
Another worthwhile stop in Warwickshire is the Royal Pump Rooms at Leamington Spa, a Grade II listed building and cultural complex which, among other things, houses the town’s museum, art gallery and a cafe. The town is great for both shopping and eating: Queans modern British fine dining restaurant in particular is an absolute gem. It’s set in the basement of a Georgian townhouse and run by chef owner Laura Hamilton who serves up dinner dishes such as brie and hazelnut bake with chilli bacon jam, grilled whole seabass with dill, garlic and lime mustard and heavenly homemade ice cream accompanied by fresh baked cookies.