Historic Warwickshire Guide
by Ben Johnson
Facts about Warwickshire
Famous for: Birthplace of William Shakespeare, Warwick Castle
Distance from London: 2 hours
Local delicacies: Coventry Godcakes, Warwickshire Stew
County town: Warwick
Nearby Counties: Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, West Midlands, Staffordshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire
Home to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Warwickshire is one of the most visited counties in England. Most tourists tend to head straight to Stratford-upon-Avon, an ancient market town situated on the banks of the River Avon where Shakespeare’s birthplace still stands to this day. Stratford is also home to one of the most photographed cottages in the country, Anne Hathaway’s cottage, where she lived before marrying Shakespeare in 1582.
Just to the north of Stratford lies another popular tourist attraction; Warwick Castle. Originally designed as a motte-and-bailey castle by the Normans in 1068, this is now one of the most intact and magnificent castles in the whole country having miracously escaped destruction during the English Civil War.
Within a hop, skip and jump of Warwick Castle lies Kenilworth Castle, a ruined but equally impressive fortress which was once a favourite holiday destination for Queen Elizabeth I.
The county of Warwickshire is also bisected by the Roman road of Watling Street. Running from Dover to Wroxeter via London, the path of the original Watling Street is today covered by the A2 and A5 roads. That being said, there is a small portion of the original Roman road still visible just across the Northamptonshire border near Crick.
Warwickshire is also home to the Battle of Edgehill, the first battle of the English Civil War. Rumour has it that every year on the 23rd October a ghostly reenactment still takes place, an event which is officially recognised by the Public Records Office. Visit at your own risk!