Why do I love Warwick so?
All the Tweeting on Warwick got me thinking… why do I love Warwick so? Although I don’t come from the town, I feel very settled in the town since moving here about five years ago and I really rave about it. Why is it so special? I have tried to narrow it down to five essential ingredients!
Top 5 things I love about Warwick…
#1 We work hard and play hard. A fit and active town – particularly seen in the evenings and at week-ends. As a runner in a local club and sports massage therapist I am aware of the ever growing interest in sport and fitness around the town. The St Nics park 1 mile path perimeter circuit, the fabulous Warwick Triathlon, Cycle races, Dragon Boat Race, 2 Castles 10km run, orienteering events, jousting school, horse racing and Christmas day runs and just the support, nods and waves you get as you train out and around the roads in the area. I do believe more could be made of the St Nics park area for recreation but this is a great base to build on with certainly a lot of enthusiasm.
#2 Splendour. We have a very pretty castle which has fabulous events happening throughout the year including fireworks concerts and dungeon tours, jousting knights, falconry, medieval festivals and halloween horrors! It really is impressive especially the Guy’s Tower which is 128 feet high…and the view of the South Front which is the first full view of the castle as you enter the town by the Banbury Road over St Nics park. There is also the St Mary’s Church only a short distance from the castle which is the resting place for many Earls of Warwick and has an impressive gothic style tower, 174′, is higher than Caesar’s Tower of Warwick Castle (147′), and has good views over the town and countryside. When out on runs and re-approaching the town from the west, down from Claverdon and the racecourse it really stands proud and is a truly welcome site. The Lord Leicester Hospital – originally the West gate of the town and traffic could go through this gate. In 1571 Robert Dudley acquired the buildings for use as a retirement home for soldiers, and they became known as Lord Leycester’s Hospital. The buildings have been used for this purpose ever since. There is the East Gate – which also has an impressive tower and clock (never seems to be the right time) through which the Smith Street shops can be found. I have always thought that Warwick School was a very attractive looking school (very ‘Hogwarts’) founded by Edward the Confessor.
#3 Unique Added Experience. The castle is on the doorstep to the town – which has a fabulous selection of eateries and additional attractions for families. I am certain the students at the nearby schools could get involved in some work experience programmes of guiding tourists to this ‘forbidden fruit’ and extend the Warwick experience? I had a thought – that maybe if we have an hourly ‘event’ or ‘attraction’… in Cheltenham’s Regents Arcade there is a large ‘fish’ clock which spurts out bubbles every hour and families with children gather to enjoy the spectacle. Could we have a similar event which drew tourists out and down to the fabulous Smith Street shops and restaurants? A skipping Jester guide, storyteller or hourly occurrance (the toy shop in Smith St…music and bubbles out the front?) There are many delights about Warwick which should attract couples looking for those ‘romantic week-end breaks’ as well as families looking for a place with interesting and stimulating attractions for children. The nearby Hatton Country World, the fabulous canal walks, old fashioned tea-rooms, parks and gardens and fine dining restaurants. Many tourists visit London and then make their way to the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon…why not add another day to the experience in fabulous Warwick?
#4 Independents. Although many shoppers in the UK are enjoying the online shopping revolution… I believe people still want to ‘discover’ and then recommend exciting places to explore to their friends with different things to offer than what they could purely access online (this should be seen as an opportunity for the town). There is real choice and value, with an eclectic selection which really adds to the town’s individuality and most of those businesses are individually or family owned and they work in Warwick because they love the town and want to serve the local community and our visitors. Personal favourites of mine are Warwick Sports, which offers great advice on sporting good, Present Days for individual gifts and cards, Warwick Books which is a fabulous cosy bookshop and the fabulous Art Kitchen Thai restaurant.
#5 Social gatherings. Warwick was essentially an epicentre of social occassions ..In 1858 Queen Victoria visited the 4th earl with great local celebrations. Now the celebrations are both within and outside the Castle walls… private weddings and corporate events inside as well as firework concerts, jousting and medieval festivals… but outside the walls the fabulous Farmer’s markets, carnivals and folk and music festivals….although there is a lot more opportunity here. Personal favourites of mine are the Thai festival and the Victorian Evening… there is such a great atmosphere in the town and its great when the shopkeepers bring their wares out onto the streets.
Twitter has well and truly brought the town together with the latest #warwickportaspilot bid to try and bring the independents to the forefront and position the town. Well done to all @Warwicktweetup for reigniting the passion of Warwick!