WHY YOU MUST VISIT ROYAL LEAMINGTON SPA NOW
Royal Leamington Spa is a town boasting Regency period architecture, green outdoor spaces, beautiful gardens, wide boulevards, an impressive 19th century former baths turned museum and gallery and is centrally located to reach some well-known impressive nearby attractions! However, it’s time to push this less touristy town to a top tier spot on your day trip or weekend getaway itinerary.
Here’s why Leamington Spa is middle England’s Georgian sister to Bath waiting to be discovered!
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Where is Royal Leamington Spa Located
This Spa town is located in the heart of Warwickshire and boasts a fine centrally placed locations to transport links and points of interest in the neighbouring regions. It’s current populate is in the region of 50,000 putting much of the town’s growth largely down to the natural spa springs which were discovered and commercialised in the nineteenth century.
Google Map of Royal Leamington Spa
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The History of Royal Leamington Spa
The town was originally known as Leamington Priors and was a very tiny village until 1800. The locals knew about the value of the mineral springs back in the middle ages but it wasn’t until 1784 that this small village rediscovered its springs and started building baths around some of them. After a huge influx of people bathing in the mineral springs around the town, a proper syndicate was formed to provide finance for a proper baths where the water was known to have healing properties.
How to get to Royal Leamington Spa
- Car – Leamington Spa is located five miles from junctions 13 and 14 off the M40, four miles from the A46 and 11 miles from the M45. From the North, travel via the M6, junction 4a.
- Car Parking – Leamington Spa city centre provides over 1,700 car parking spaces, 23 electric car charging points.
- Train – The train station is located on Old Warwick Road and is a short walk into the centre of Leamington Spa. Direct trains to Leamington Spa are from local cities like, Coventry (11 minutes), Banbury (17 minutes), Birmingham International (21 minutes), Birmingham (25 minutes). London Marylebone station is 75 minutes away. check the latest information and fares on Trainline.
- Bus/ Coach – A number of local and National Express services run to Newbold Terrace and Jephson Gardens which are great pick-up and drop-off locations. Check Trainline for coach timetables and up to date fares.
- Plane – The closest airport by far is Birmingham International and is situated a 21 minute train ride away or the equivalent by car/taxi in the absence of traffic.
When’s the best time to Visit Royal Leamington Spa
Leamington Spa is an all-year location with plenty going on around the year but to truly enjoy the outdoor spaces and to see them in bloom, spring and summer are great. The colours at autumn time are very pretty especially in Jephson Gardens. You can also check out the Christmas markets and beautifully decorated streets in late November and December. If you love your food and drinks, Leamington Spa hosts the Leamington Food Festival every September.
How long Should you Visit Royal Leamington Spa
This is entirely up to you. It’s absolutely perfect for day trips from surrounding cities such as Coventry, Birmingham, Stratford-upon- Avon. Leamington Spa is also a quieter alternative to the larger neighbouring cities to stay in if you don’t mind the drive or commute. It’s also idea for a short one-night weekend or midweek break.
What’s the Weather like in Royal Leamington Spa
As with much of Blighty, things can get a little unpredictable so always carry a brolley or a rain mac. Refer to the usual England weather forecast information resources.
What are the Best Things to do in Royal Leamington Spa
Explore Royal Leamington Spa as part of a day trip or mini weekend break, there is plenty to see, do and learn in this town.
The most impressive formal gardens in the city consist of stunning landscaping, nature areas, fountains and an expansive grassed area. The gardens were once a place for the wealthy to ‘to take air’, are in the centre of Leamington Spa on the Parade with the River Leam flowing through them.
Cute cafes and floral displays are admired by those walking through and a great spot to stop off and take in the surrounding with some refreshments and food at the café quite aptly named, The Aviary Kiosk (you’ll see when you visit).
The gardens here also consist of the Mill Gardens, situated on the South side of the river and cover a total area of 14.6 acres.
Don’t miss the the Jephson memorial and pretty boating lake opposite as you walk through
The gardens were laid in 1831 and in 1846 became more formal grounds in honour of Dr Henry Jephson, who promoted the town as a spa. The park itself is listed as Grade II on the English Heritage Register of historic parks and gardens
Location: Newbold Terrace, Leamington Spa CV32 4AA
The Czechoslovak Memorial Fountain
Located in Jephson Gardens, Czechoslovak veterans erected this memorial as a tribute to all their fellow countrymen, soldiers, airmen and patriots who during the second World War sacrificed their lives in the fight against Nazisim.
The fountain is surrounded by gardens and is a beautiful peaceful place to sit and take in the dedication of the Czechoslovak nationals who came to Leamington Spa in 1940 from France to fight valiantly as our allies.
Location: Opposite the Jephson Gardens. Newbold Terrace, Leamington Spa CV32 4AA
Situated in Jephson Gardens, the Glasshouse opened in 2003 and was built on the site of a nursery which was no longer in use. The Glasshouse is full of a range of beautiful, exotic tropical and temperate plants such as banana, pink powder puff and bird of paradise. There is also a goldfish pond, observation beehive and a slate sculpture designed by David Wilson. It makes for a lovely space to walk through and you may even see the odd wedding party as they host special events in the side hall.
Location: Mill Bridge, Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa CV32 4AA. Tel. 01926 935051. Website.
The Royal Pump Rooms
The historic and beautiful Royal Pump Rooms built in 1814 were well positioned beside the River Leam. It’s Regency assembly room and 20 baths made it the largest and most prestigious of all the spa bathing places in Leamington.
It now hosts Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, the Visitor Information Centre, the Box Office for tickets sales for the Royal Spa Centre and other local venues, the library and a café serving refreshments and light meals.
Location: Royal Pump Rooms. The Parade, Leamington Spa CV32 4AA
All Saint’s Church
All Saint’s Church in the centre of Leamington Spa has been a Christian place of worship since 1843 but this spot has been a place of prayer for well over a thousand years.
The architecture is beautiful and its definitely worth a visit as it’s right in the centre of town
Location: St Mary’s Rd, Leamington Spa CV31 1JP. Tel. 01926 778505. Website
Art Gallery & Museum
If you love your arts and history, head to the Art Gallery and Museum located in the Royal Pump Rooms. Some of the exhibitions are free so worth checking out if you have a tight budget. Events, arts, exhibitions and heritage all year around so check out their schedule before paying the gallery a visit.
Location: The Parade. Royal Leamington Spa. Warwickshire. CV32 4AA. Tel. 01926 456940. Website
Queen Victoria Statue
The statue of mighty Queens Victoria was built in 1902, costing around £1,500 with an inscription of ‘Victoria Queen Empress 1837-1901. She bought her people lasting good’ (quotation taken from Tennyson); and on the back: ‘Erected by the people of Leamington October 11th 1902 William Davis Mayor’. It’s a great reminder of the history of the town and you’ll see it right outside the Regent Hotel where she stayed as a Princess in 1830. Queen Victoria successfully lobbied to give Leamington Spa the prefix ‘Royal”.
Location: 3 Regent Grove, Leamington Spa CV32 5AA
This memorial commemorates the residents of Leamington Spa who were killed or missing in World War I (570 names) and World War II (188 names). There are also five names from other conflicts: Malaya, the Korean War and the Falklands War.
Location: The gardens facing the Parade. Leamington Spa. CV32 4AE
The Old Town
Carry on walking up St Marys Road past the church until you come to a bridge. This is the Old Town and is a contrast from the New Town where the Pump Rooms and all the other places of interest are located. Spot the distinct change in architecture and check out you may even spot some cool street art pieces as you walk deeper into the streets.
Victoria Park was opened to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1899 in a bid to provide more recreational spaces. Throughout the 19th century it was Leamington’s village green, the venue for galas, military parades, flower shows, circuses and cricket matches.
The riverside path, New River Walk, had been laid out in the early 1860s along the south bank of the River Leam and is the perfect place for a stroll and even a picnic on the tree lined benches along the river.
Victoria Park has hosted many events, notably the Royal Show, festivities for the coronation of King George VI and, and international Bowls championships.
Location: Leamington Spa CV31 3PH. Tel. 01926 456128. Website
Admire the Georgian Architecture
The town has many beautiful villas and Georgian houses, which will satisfy on a small scale the Bridgerton fans! Beautifully decorated porches, rows of terraced villas and wait for it time your visit right, you’ll be sure to see houses draped in Wisteria.
Where to Stay in Royal Leamington Spa
If you are staying over in Leamington, it has some great hotels options to choose from which are close to the main points of interest and attractions as well as being a stone’s throw away from restaurants and bars.
Search for your Leamington Spa Hotel Here
Woodland Grange (Luxury)
This is a beautiful 4-star hotel just two miles from Royal Leamington Spa (a six minute drive) set in 16 acres of parkland, which include picnic areas, walking routes and fire-pits. The hotel offers award-winning facilities, delicious food, a large fitness centre and a games room. There is also plenty of secure off-road parking.
The bedrooms at Woodland Grange are comfortable and airy, with some enjoying floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the Warwickshire countryside. Their Lawn’s Restaurant is great for evening dining.
Location: Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa CV32 6RN. Tel. 01926 336621 Website
The Angel Hotel (Mid-Range)
This Grade II Regency former coaching house is quite the Leamington Spa constitution. It’s located just of the main shopping parade and has tastefully decorated rooms, The Counting House, a restaurant serving all day food, a bar and daily parking for a small fee. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly and breakfast is included in the room rates.
Location: 143 Regent St, Leamington Spa CV32 4NZ. Tel. 01926 881296. Website
Victoria Colonnade Aparthotel
Boasting a terrace, Victoria Colonnade Aparthotel is situated in Leamington Spa, within 0.7 miles of Royal Leamington Spa College and 3.7 miles of Stoneleigh Park. If you love beautiful Regency style interiors and architecture but would like the flexibility of your space, this is the ideal base for you. You won’t notice that you’re situated so close to the town centre, in this leafy part of Leamington Spa.
The Terrace Bar/Restaurant on the ground floor of the Victoria Colonnade offers all-day dining, featuring locally sourced ingredients and a range of dishes crafted by one of the venue’s top international chefs.
Location: 2 Victoria Terrace, Leamington Spa, CV31 3AB. Tel. 07798858841. Website
The Jephson Hotel; BW Signature Collection (Good value)
A wonderfully located hotel, Jephson Hotel was originally built in the 19th century. The hotel is just 450 yards from Royal Leamington Spa College. The rooms are comfortable, and the restaurant offers a good selection of food and a traditional English as well as a continental breakfast. Only a few minute’s walk from the city and added bonus there is free private front and rear parking.
Location: 6-20 Warwick New Rd, Leamington Spa CV32 5JQ. Tel. 01926 699229. Website
Where to Eat & Drink in Royal Leamington Spa
From casual and cute cafes to pubs and fine dining restaurants. You’ll be spoilt for choice in Leamington Spa. You can find the most comprehensive guide to eating and drinking via this Where to eat and drink map in Leamington Spa
Be-lavie Tip : When at the Pump Rooms pop into the Library Café for a great selection of hot and cold drinks, pastries, salads, and exceptional sweet treats.
Day Trips from Royal Leamington Spa
Warwick Castle is a medieval castle developed from a wooden fort, originally built by William the Conqueror during 1068. Warwick is the county town of Warwickshire, England, situated on a meander of the River Avon. The original wooden motte-and-bailey castle was rebuilt in stone during the 12th century
Location: Castle, Castle Lane, Warwick CV34 4QU. Tel. 01926 406610. Website
Distance from Leamington Spa: nine minutes by car via A425 and Myton Road, A425
Explore & Book Warwick CastleTours
Stratford-upon-Avon, a medieval market town in England’s West Midlands, is the 16th-century birthplace of William Shakespeare. Possibly the most famous writer in the English language, Shakespeare is known for his sonnets and plays. The Royal Shakespeare Company performs his plays in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and adjacent Swan Theatre on the banks of the River Avon. A must visit location when in the area.
Location: Warwickshire CV37
Distance from Leamington Spa: 21 minutes by car via Warwick Road, A439
Explore & Book Stratford Upon Avon Tours
- Shakespear’s Birthplace Tickets
- Hop-on-Hop-Off Stratford-Upon_avon Tour Bus
- Shakespear’s Schoolroom & Guildhall Tickets
Founded in 1150 AD as the Abbey of Cumbe, Coombe Abbey is now a hotel, connected to the Gunpowder plot! The 121 rooms are all individually designed with the landscaped grounds covering 500 acres of parkland. It’s a great place to walk around, and even has historic woodlands.
Be-lavie Tip: Book in for afternoon tea at Coobe Abbey in the Garden room Restaurant, for a special occasion.
Location: Brinklow Road, Binley, Coventry CV3 2AB. Tel. 024 7645 0450. Website
Distance from Leamington Spa: 26 minutes by car via B4455
Chesterton Windmill is Grade I listed and was erected in 1632. It is a cylindrical stone tower and is known as one of the oldest examples of a mill that retains all its working parts. The sails had been taken down but is quite a remarkable structure with the corn field backdrop with stunning panoramic vistas. It’s located in the village of Chesterton around eight Km away from Leamington Spa.
Location: Chesterton Windmill, Windmill Hill Lane, Leamington Spa. CV33 9LB
Distance from Leamington Spa: 10 minutes via AA425 and B4455
Where to Shop in Royal Leamington Spa AA425 and B4455
You may be surprised to learn that this Spa town is a great place for shopping. The more commonly known chain stores and boutiques are located on The Parade with more independent stores located through the side streets.
Shopping lovers grab your complete shopping directory guide.
Leamington Spa: A filming location
- A few notable TV and film accolades amongst a list of many
- Seven Years in Tibet (1997) , featuring Brad Pitt
- Keeping Up Appearances (1990-1995), featuring Patricia Routledge as the infamous Hyacinth Bucket (Pron. Bouquet!)
- Dangerfield (1995-1999) Starring Roderick Smith
Is Royal Leamington Spa Worth visiting: Round Up
Hopefully this guide has convinced those not so au fait with Leamington Spa to add to their UK visit list. A town steeped in history, a sprinkling of history, a fine list of things to see and do combining the outdoors with shopping and dining and not forgetting its central location for day trips. Royal Leamington Spa, a town dear to Queen Victoria and it’s easy to see why.