The Great Outdoors |

The Great Outdoors

Whether you’re in town or the country, Warwickshire is renowned for a  wide range of activities to tempt you off the sofa and into the fresh air.

There are excellent parks in Warwick, Leamington and Kenilworth, and great country walks for those who are looking for a little more adventure.

Draycote Water is a country park complete with restaurant, play area and water activities. There’s a five mile circular walk around the reservoir, with the well-placed Dun Cow within reach for restorative refreshments.

There are worse places to start out than a friendly, family run pub, and the White Hart at Ufton might just do the job. From its car park, it’s just a half-mile walk to Ufton Fields Nature Reserve. Ufton Fields is great for families – it has buggy-friendly footpaths, kissing gates and an abundance of wildlife.

If you’re feeling more energetic, choose from one of the two Blue Lias Rings walks starting from the White Hart. They’re both around 5.5 miles long and lead you through the beautiful countryside and the ancient Long Itchington Wood which is renowned for its bluebells in the Spring.

No one to walk with? Why not join one of the active and welcoming walking groups in Warwickshire? They are based right across the county, and whether you’re in your 20s, or 40+, super-energetic or more interested in the social side, there’s surely something for everyone.

It’s hard to get away from the past in Warwickshire, and if you’re a member of the National Trust or English Heritage, there can never be a dull moment. Choose from intimate and secluded estates, deer parks – even “notable topiary”! And that’s before you get to the 900-year old remains of Kenilworth Castle.

Perhaps less well known is the romantic and mysterious ruin, Guys Cliffe House, near Warwick. The building is currently owned by the Freemasons, who open it to visitors from time to time. It started out as a secluded place of worship in the fifth century and morphed into a chapel, a Tudor timber framed house and a stately home in later years. Now, it’s uninhabitable – by the living, at least! Given its long and colourful history the house and gardens are almost certainly haunted as its very own ghost hunters will explain.

Animal lovers aren’t left out in Warwickshire, either. Umberslade Farm Park, Redwings Horse Sanctuary and Lucky Tails Alpaca Farm offer children of all ages opportunities to meet and learn about animals of all shapes and sizes – from guinea pigs and meerkats to alpacas and donkeys.

Being so close to the cities of Birmingham and Coventry, it’s easy to overlook the charms of the Warwickshire countryside. But it’s – literally – middle England at its best and it has the landscapes, rivers and outdoors culture to prove it.

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