What are the best places to explore in Leamington?
The end of term is nearly in sight. For many, including myself, this means leaving Warwick altogether. That topic is something I will cover in my next – and final – blog. However, for those remaining at Warwick for another academic year (or two or three…), next year might bring the prospect of moving off campus for the first time. You’ll have most likely sorted housing now, either in Leamington, Canley or Coventry city centre.
Moving off campus into the wider West Midlands can be a daunting experience, especially when you’ve had the security of on-campus living for a year. However, it is also immensely exciting. Looking back, I enjoy being off campus and having that distinction between university life and home. As I, along with a majority of off campus students, lived in Leamington, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to detail my highlights of that delightful spa town.
It’s important to remember that a huge part of university is work. As such, desiring places to work in Leamington should be a priority. Thankfully, Warwick are on hand to help. Inside the beautiful Leamington town hall is the Learning Grid. Similarly in structure to the library, it provides a valuable space to work, use university computers and print materials when you don’t want to commute onto campus. The local library is also rather pleasant and homely.
However, you might be someone who is more productive when surrounded by noise and conversation. If so, you will be spoilt for choice with the volume of excellent Leamington cafes. From ‘Cafe Royal’ to ‘Temperance’ or even ‘Coffee No 1’, there is a plentiful mixture of friendly places where you can conduct your studies. They’re also superb for socialising when you need that essential escape from university work.
Though I love urbanism and cities, some green spaces within them are essential. Leamington Spa delivers on those perfect. Jephson Gardens are in the heart of the town with beautiful spaces for relaxing with a wide array of horticulture. Similarly, to help yourself put things in perspective, walking up the Newbold Comyn Country Park is a fantastic way to stay calm and focused, as well as enjoying inspiring green views as far as the eye can see. Victoria Park, a spot I’ve regularly used for jogging, and the Royal Pump Gardens also show there is plenty to choose from.
Now that lockdown seems like another century ago, good transport restrictions are essential. Getting into campus via the Stagecoach university buses is possible when they’re regular, though it’s worth checking their twitter page each morning where cancellations are announced. Similarly, buses into Stratford, Kenilworth and Warwick are also available if you want to venture slightly further. For going outside the immediate area, Leamington Spa station provides quick journeys into Birmingham or London Marylebone.
Leamington has been a lovely place to live over the last two years. I’ve enjoyed its depth of history, beautiful architecture and range of attractions. Simply going for a walk around the town centre, by visiting charity shops, relaxing in green spaces and eating at cafes, has meant Leamington has been not just a place to live but a location to enjoy. After all, your student house should at its best, become a temporary home away from home.