Whether on foot as a Roman Centurian or rattling around inside a Georgian stagecoach, people have been coming to Warwickshire for centuries.
And it’s not hard to see why. Rural Warwickshire features varied and beautiful terrain. Its northernmost village is the rather gothic-sounding No Man’s Heath, which is only 34 miles south of the Peak District National Park. If you venture south, the county extends into the Cotswolds, with picturesque towns and villages to match.
Of course, Warwickshire has a unique cultural heritage which continues to fascinate visitors and the residents who are lucky enough to live there. The Royal Shakespeare Company has its base in Stratford-upon-Avon. William Shakespeare, who was born and buried in the town, has left a legacy which includes no fewer than three vibrant theatres as well as rich historic resources.
During the Second World War, over 250 artists, designers and technicians were located in Warwickshire to work on military and civilian camouflage. Known as the Camouflage Directorate, the unit was based at the Regent Hotel in Leamington Spa and created models and designs that would disguise key bombing targets. The visual trickery included draping giant nets over buildings, painting ‘road markings’ onto rooftops and installing model cows on roofs so that key buildings would look like fields from the air.
The county town of Warwick is also dominated by its history, visible in the ramparts of the castle and throughout the town. These days there are also independent shops, restaurants and galleries serving the town, which, under normal circumstances also plays host to festivals, craft fairs and horseracing.
If you’re deciding where to put down roots in Warwickshire, you could do much worse than consider Leamington Spa. Right at the heart of the county, it’s a good local base and is handy for the M40 which means easy access to Birmingham, Oxford and London. These links go a little way to explaining why Leamington has been adopted as a hub for creative and tech activity. So much so that it’s known as ‘Silicon Spa’ because of the number gaming companies that have gravitated there in the last few years. It’s a small town that “looks old but acts new” – and who’s ambition outweighs its size.
“Schools, transport links and a laid-back air of affluence pull in the families, while nearby Warwick University supplies enough students to keep things young and fill the nightclubs. There’s also a cinema, and you might catch a touring show at the town hall.” – Sunday Times, Best Places to Live 2020
For those who are drawn to the countryside, the village of Ilmington features in the Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live in the UK 2020, and should not be overlooked. Its write-up states: “The community shop is at the heart of all that’s good in this timeless Cotswolds village”. It’s not just any community shop, but was reopened after three years of fundraising, in the former Catholic church, and is run by a small army of local volunteers.
At its last inspection in 2012, Ilmington CofE Primary School was rated outstanding, and its pupils often go onto Chipping Campden School (also outstanding) or Shipston High, which is slightly closer.
If you’re not (yet) a native, Warwickshire County Council is so proud of what it has to offer that it offers successful candidates a generous relocation allowance. It's designed to help with the cost of taking up a new post and covers relocation costs such as legal fees, removal costs or temporary lodgings. It is also pitched to make sure you don’t lose out financially as a result of your move.