Why Live in Kenilworth?
A lot of students choose to live in Leamington Spa after their first year, and who can blame them? It’s pretty, classy, vibrant and all-round very student-y.
But I’m here to tell you about another option. About halfway between the university and Leamington lies Kenilworth, the best place (in my opinion) to live as a Warwick student.
What’s Kenilworth got going for it?
So many things.
The first has to be that it has a castle. I mean, come on! And what a castle it is. Half ruined, red-brick, stunning. It’s well worth a visit even if you don’t live in the town — you can enjoy learning about Robert Dudley’s slightly tragic attempts to woo Queen Elizabeth I, then frolic around the ruins! What more do you want?
Well, Kenilworth is also really, really pretty, and historically interesting. According to Wikipedia, the town has been here since at least 1086, and has the buildings to show for it: as well as the castle, there are Abbey ruins, and some gorgeous, centuries-old houses including a converted windmill.
The student housing is very affordable compared to Leamington, as it’s less popular; you could easily get a spacious semi-detached house with a garden in Kenilworth for the same rent as a slightly dodgy flat in Leamington.
Kenilworth has a great high street, with loads of charity shops (my favourite thing in the world) and some fantastic book shops, plus plenty of food options and supermarkets.
The town is surrounded by beautiful countryside which, as well as the common and Abbey Fields, provide lovely local walks and runs. There’s also a really scenic connecting foot and cycle path to the university (called Connect2 Kenilworth) which I use to commute by bike – honestly the highlight of my day.
Is Kenilworth Right for You?
To be clear, Kenilworth is not for every student. If you like a night out, it’s probably not for you: late-night and weekend buses to Leamington and campus can be few and far between. And there won’t be anything going on in Kenilworth, I’m afraid – there’s not exactly much of a student community.
However, Kenilworth is excellent if you want somewhere quiet. If you appreciate being able to get to sleep at a reasonable hour without earplugs, it’s perfect.
If you aren’t from a city (and are also a bit easily worried), Coventry and Leamington might feel like big scary cities (/towns) where you aren’t really sure how to look after yourself. Kenilworth feels very safe, with spacious, well-lit, residential roads and a friendly sense of community.
Overall, the thing about it that really appeals to me – the semi-rural, small-town, half-an-hour-to-the-nearest-Nando’s bumpkin that I am – is that Kenilworth feels like home. It’s somewhere safe, quiet and familiar to return to after a long day. This certainly helped me to settle in quickly and feel less homesick.
So, if all of this sounds quite appealing and like the sort of place you’d like to live while at Warwick, Kenilworth might be the place for you!