Warwick Tourist Information Centre

The Court House, Jury Street, Warwick CV34 4EW
Tel: 01926 492212 Fax: 01926 494837
website: www.visitwarwick.co.uk
E-mail: touristinfo@warwick-uk.co.uk

A Brief History of Warwick

Warwick offers to visitors today the opportunity of exploring not only the architectural gems of our medieval history but also those of our more recent past and the modern vibrant life of the county town of Warwickshire.

The town of Warwick was founded on the banks of the River Avon in 914 AD by Ethelfleda, sister of Edward the Elder, as a defence against the Danish invaders, on a site overlooking earlier riverside settlements. It is built on a small hill which controlled not only the river valley but also the river crossing on the road to London and the roads to Stratford, Coventry and the salt way to Droitwich. The Anglo-Saxon town was surrounded partly by a wall and partly by a ditch.

The medieval core of the town was prevented from expansion by the open spaces that surround it: the Common and Racecourse, the grounds of the Priory, St Nicholas Meadow, the River Avon, and later, Warwick Castle. Within a relatively small area there are many buildings of historic interest, of which the Castle is the most important.

This is one of the most dramatic and complete medieval castles in the country. It has been inhabited continuously since the Middle Ages, and was the home of the Earls of Warwick until recently.

St Marys Church from Okens House

Many of the central streets of the town were destroyed by the Great Fire of 1694. The buildings which were burnt, and many which were not, were re-built in the handsome style of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. St Mary's Church, which dominates the surrounding countryside, had a new nave and tower at the same time.

Several important medieval buildings survived the fire and can be seen to this day, notably the town's medieval Guildhall, now the Lord Leycester Hospital, as well as a group of timber - framed buildings around Oken's House.

Warwick and its historic buildings have featured in the BBC TV's drama series 'Dangerfield', 'Pride and Prejudice', 'Tom Jones' and Granada Television's 'Moll Flanders'.

How to get here

Warwick is located in the rural Heart of England.  It is close to Stratford-upon-Avon, Royal Leamington Spa and Kenilworth.  The closest cities are Coventry and Birmingham.  The table below shows the distances from Warwick.

Distances from Warwick

Kenilworth 6 miles/
9 km
Royal Leamington Spa 3 miles/
4 km
Stratford-upon-Avon 9 miles/
15 km
Coventry 12 miles/
19 km
Birmingham 24 miles/
38 km
Birmingham Airport 18 miles/
29 km
Oxford 50 miles/
81 km
London 94 miles/
152 km

By Car
M40 Motorway, junction 15 then A429 to Warwick.

By Coach
Regular services of National Express. Tel: 08705 808080.

By Bus
Midland Red.  Tel: 01788 535555

By Train
Warwick train station is just 10 minutes walk to the town centre and Castle.  Trains are available to Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, London (Paddington and Marylebone) and intermediate stations.  Use Leamington Spa for connections to Banbury, Coventry, Oxford and intermediate stations.  Tel 08457 484950. Please note Warwick Parkway Station is situated 1.5 miles from the town centre.

Click here to view the Warwick District Council Parking leaflet.

Warwick Town Map

Below is a map of Warwick Town Centre.  Many of the places of interest are marked on the map.  Please click the places of interest on the map, or the links below to learn more.

  1. Collegiate Church of St Mary
  2. Hill Close Gardens
  3. Lord Leycester Hospital and Master's Garden
  4. Saltisford Canal Trust
  5. St John's Museum
  6. St Nicholas Park
  7. The Mill Garden
  8. The Queen's Own Hussars Museum
  9. Warwick Racecourse
  10. Warwickshire Museum - Market Hall
  11. Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum
  12. Mill Street
  13. Warwick Racecourse

There are a large number of antiques shops and centres in Warwick making this one of the most popular antique centres in the region.

Warwick has a wide variety of small specialised shops located around the Market Place and Swan Street.  Smith Street is separate from the town centre but is still a lively shopping area.

There are a number of hidden gardens in Warwick that welcome the public to picnic or just take a rest.  Ask the Tourist Information Centre for more details.

Places of Interest in Warwick

Below is a selection of Places of Interest in Warwick.  Please click on the image or text for more information.

Collegiate Church of St Mary
Collegiate Church of St Mary

Hill Close Gardens
Hill Close Gardens

Lord Leycester Hospital and Master's Garden
Lord Leycester Hospital and Master's Garden

Saltisford Canal Trust
Saltisford Canal Trust

St John's Museum
St John's Museum

St Nicholas Park
St Nicholas Park

The Mill Garden
The Mill Garden

The Queen's Own Hussars Museum
The Queen's Own Hussars Museum

Warwick Racecourse
Warwick Racecourse

Warwickshire Museum - Market Hall
Warwickshire Museum - Market Hall

Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum
Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum

Collegiate Church of St Mary
Old Square
CV34 4AB
Tel: +44 (0)1926 403940
E-mail: admin@stmaryswarwick.org.uk
Website: www.stmaryswarwick.org.uk

Saint Marys Church

St Mary's Collegiate Church dominates the overall view of the centre of Warwick with its imposing tower, rebuilt along with much of the church in 1704 by Sir William Wilson after the Great Fire of Warwick. There has been a church on the site since Saxon times, but the saxon church was rebuilt by Roger de Newburgh in 1123. 
Howerver, the magnificent mediaeval Beauchamp Chapel escaped the devastating fire of 1694 and houses the tombs of past Earls of Warwick including Richard Beauchamp's tomb described in Simon Jenkin's book 'England's 1000 Best Churches' as "one of the masterpieces of medieval art" and was awarded a 5-star rating.
St Mary's also contains The Chapel of The Royal Warickshire Regiment and Field Marshall Viscount Montgomery's garter banner hangs outside the Chapel.  There is also the Norman Crypt dating back to 1123 AD and contains one of only 2 remaining ducking stools in England.
A glorious view of the town, surrounding countryside and the Castle can be seen from the top of the tower - well worth climbing the 134 steps to see.
OPEN - Daily Summer 10.00am - 17.40pm Winter 10.00am - 16.10pm
Church Admission Free (Donation welcome) 
Tower open all year (weather permitting) - there is a small admission charge

Visit the official St Mary's Church web site - click here.

St Mary's boasts four choirs. For further details, please click here.

Hill Close Gardens
Off Friars Street
CV34 6HF
Tel: 01926 493339
E-mail: centremanager@hcgt.org.uk
Website: www.hillclosegardens.com

Hill Close Gardens, Bread & Meat Close, Warwick CV34 6HF. Tel. 01926 493339.

This delightful network of individual Victorian gardens, separated by high hedges, has been restored using Heritage Lottery funding. Delightful summerhouses, gnarled old fruit trees, and heritage flowers and vegetables welcome the visitor to this tranquil spot.  Buy plants and historic varieties of fruit and vegetables in season. Enjoy tea, coffee and cake in the "sustainable" visitor centre. View the changing displays. Gifts for sale. Venue hire available

Winter Opening Hours
1st November to March 31st
Mon - Fri only, 11.00 am - 4.00 pm (Last entry 3.30pm)
Self-service drinks + small snacks available

Summer Opening Hours
April 1st - October 31st
Daily 11.00am - 5.00pm (Last entry 4:30pm)
Cafe Open Sat, Sun and Bank Holiday Monday

Admission: adults £4; children £1.00  under 5s free. RHS & HCGT members free
Access from racecourse car park off Friars Street (2 hours free parking available).

For more information on special events and educational activities please view www.hillclosegardens.com.

All year round guided tours are available for groups of over 10 people at a charge of £8.40 a head to include entrance, services of a guide and tea and cake. Also the Centre has a well equipped kitchen and good projection facilities and is available for hire. Further information on both tours and lettings can be obtained from the Centre Manager Tel 01926 493339 or email Centremanager@hcgt.org.uk.

Lord Leycester Hospital and Master's Garden
High Street
CV34 4BH
Tel: +44 (0)1926 491422
E-mail: lordleycester@btinternet.com
Website: www.lordleycester.com

Lord Leycester Musuem

The historic group of buildings that now comprise the Hospital, is now dominated by the ancient Chantry Chapel of St James, built over the West Gate into Warwick by Thomas Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick, in the latter half of the 14th Century.


The Guild of St George was created under a license issued by King Richard II on 20th April, 1383, and Thomas Beauchamp granted the benefice of the Chantry Chapel to the Guild on its formation. Sometime between 1386 and 1413, the Guild of the Blessed Virgin, based at the Collegiate Church of St Mary, joined the Guild of St George at the West Gate. To accommodate the resident priests and the guilds, reception, meeting and dining halls were built as well as living quarters. They became known as the United Guilds of Warwick.


In 1546, when they were dispersed by King Henry VIII, the United Guilds were able to save their property from seizure through the admirable foresight of their Master, Thomas Oken, who had it transferred to the Burgesses of Warwick.


In 1571, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leycester acquired the buildings and founded, under charter from Queen Elizabeth I, a Hospital for aged or disabled soldiers and their wives. The Charter set up a corporation consisting of the Master in charge of the Hospital and the twelve resident Brethren, which was endowed with estates producing an income of £200 per year. To accommodate them, parts of the buildings, including the Guildhall itself, were divided into primitive quarters. These arrangements remained unchanged until 1950, when the Guildhall was cleared and the number of Brethren temporarily reduced to five.


Saltisford Canal Trust
The Saltisford
CV34 5RJ.
Tel: +44 (0)1926 490006
Fax: 01926 490006
Website: www.saltisfordcanal.co.uk

Saltisford Canal

Colourful canal urban fringe park, run by local charity on the Saltisford Arm of the Grand Union Canal. Gardens, picnic sites, day hire canal boats with full disabled access, canal side shop and information centre, refreshments, day fishing and overnight visitor moorings.


Open daily year round, Shop open 7 days a week March to October, Weekdays November to February.

St John's Museum
St John's
CV34 4NF
Tel: +44 (0)1926 412132 or 412021
E-mail: museum@warwickshire.gov.uk
Website: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/museum

Opening Times
St John's -

  • Winter: 10.00am – 4.00pm Tuesdays – Saturdays
  • Summer: 10.00am – 5.00pm  Mondays – Saturdays
  • Bank Holiday: 10.00am – 5.00pm

St John's House Museum, 2007

Please note that with immediate effect St John's Museum will no longer be open to the Public on Sundays during the summer months. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. For further information regarding opening hours please telephone 01926 412500.

tel: 01926 412132/2021
email: museum@warwickshire.gov.uk

Group Bookings
01926 412069

St John's House Museum has its own free car park, although spaces are limited. Alternative parking can be found at St Nicholas Park. The museum has a small shop which offers a range of gifts to suit all ages. Public toilets are located within the house and include an accessible toilet and baby changing facilities.

Wheelchair access to ground floor. Unfortunately we do not have a lift to the Regimental Museum on the first floor, but visitors can get a taste of those galleries through our Virtual Tour facility. BSL signing is available by arrangement for events.

How to Get Here

Map to St John's House Museum, Warwick

On Foot
St John's House is located at the bottom end of Warwick, approximately 0.5 miles from the Market Square and Central Bus Station, and 4 minutes walk from Warwick Railway Station.

By Rail
A direct service from London Marylebone or Birmingham Snow Hill is available from both stations.

Warwick Train Station is 0.2 miles walk from St John's House. Head down Station Road, at the T junction, turn right on Coventry Road. St John's House is directly ahead of you, beyond the traffic lights.

By Road
Warwick is near the M40 and A46 trunk road. Postcode - CV34 4NF.

St John's House Museum has its own free car park, although spaces are limited. Alternative parking can be found at St Nicholas Park. There are also a number of pay and display car parks around Warwick, as well as metered parking on many of the streets nearby. 


St Nicholas Park
Banbury Road
CV34 4QY
Tel: 01926 495353
Website: www.stnicholaspark.co.uk

St Nicolas Park

Includes a crazy golf course, amusement rides, children's play area, pony rides, outdoor paddling pool and boats for hire (summer only), tennis, football courts, recreation ground, indoor swimming pool and leisure centre, sports facilities, cafe, BMX track and Boules rink.

The Mill Garden
Mill Street
CV34 4HB
Tel: 01926 492877

The Mill Garden

At the bottom of Mill Street is the Mill Garden, famed for the quality of its planting in an unbelievable setting. It was created over a period of sixty years by the late Arthur Measures, who made it a personal expression of his love of plants.


On one side are the river and the ruin of the mediaeval bridge, whose roadway once led across where there are now lawns and flowers. In a lucky year, swans nest in its shelter. On the other side, Caesar's Tower looms overhead. The stone walls of the castle give one of the most dramatic backdrops for any garden.


Open: April-October daily 9am-6pm,

Admission £2.00, accompanied young children free, plant sales.

Unsuitable for electric wheelchairs.

Tel: 01926 492877.

The Queen's Own Hussars Museum
The Lord Leycester Hospital, 60 High Street
CV34 4BH
Tel: +144 (0)1926 492035
E-mail: qohmuseum@qrh.org.uk
Website: www.qohmuseum.org.uk

Queen’s Own Hussars Museum

The Cavalry Regiment of the West Midlands – the past to the present
Riding into Battle by Horse and Tank
One of the three Warwick Military Museums.


http://www.qohmuseum.org.uk   For opening times please check on 01926 492797 or on www.thequeen'sownhussars.co.uk and
go to Regimental Museum.

Within The Lord Leycester Hospital no further admission charge. 

Covering over 300 years of service of the senior light cavalry regiment of the British Army, the lives of a few individuals have been chosen to bring to life each era. A chronology board relates the regimental and military events to other national and local historical events.


The Museum starts with the raising of the regiment and early service (1685-1742). The wars against the French (1742-1815) include the Battle of Dettingen and the story of Thomas Brown, the Gallant Dragoon. The Napoleonic Wars cases highlight the Peninsular Campaign and Waterloo.


19th Century and Colonial Wars (1815-1914) are illustrated through life-sized tableaux, one being a scene featuring Captain Walter Unett, a local man, and one and one of a stable and a trooper preparing his horse for review. There are displays commemorating the two Indian Mutiny VCs, photographs of 19th century life, and displays of pre-and post-khaki uniforms and equipment.


The museum has been further redeveloped in 2003/4. The new displays chart the changeover to modern tank warfare during the 1930s, Second World War, and post War highlights including peacekeeping.


An audio-visual experience shows the part played by the Regiment at great cost in the in the closing stages of the Battle of El Alamein, in the 8th Army under command of General Montgomery of the Warwickshire Regiment


The story into the 21st Century includes a large screen display of a Challenger 2 tank, showing all the crew positions and their tasks. There are also a Medal Collection, archives for research and enquiries, handling items, family fun activities, and a small shop.

Warwick Racecourse
Hampton Street
CV34 6HN
Tel: 01926 491553
Fax: 01926 403 223
E-mail: warwick@thejockeyclub.co.uk
Website: www.warwickracecourse.co.uk/

Warwick Racecourse is one of the leading flat and steeple chasing courses and has a regular programme of 22 meetings throughout the year.


The central grandstand incorporates the first stand built in 1808. In 2000 it underwent a £3 million refurbishment, which includes a new restaurant, a betting shop, better disabled facilities, increased viewing steppings and Bar facilities.

Admission Charges 2011
Type Price
Main Enclosure Sat/Sun/BH £20.00
Main Enclosure Weekdays £15.00
Course Enclosure* £10.00
Junior Admission - Premier/Feature £15.00/£10.00
Senior Admission - Premier/Feature


Children aged 16 and under FREE

Warwickshire Museum - Market Hall
Market Hall
CV34 4SA
Tel: +44 (0)1926 412500 or 412501
Website: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/museum

Warwickshire Museum

The Warwickshire Museum contains displays of Archaeology, Geology and Natural History, The Great Fire of Warwick and Sheldon's Tapestry Map.


OPEN ALL YEAR (Closed Mondays) 
10.00am – 5.00pm Tuesdays – Saturdays and Bank Holiday Mondays (all year round)
11.30am – 5.00pm Sundays (April – September only)

ADMISSION FREE (Donations welcome)

Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum
The Court House, Jury Street
CV34 4EW
Tel: +44 (0)1926 492212
Website: http://www.warwickshire-yeomanry-museum.co.uk/


The following is a brief history of the Regiment:

On the 25th June 1794 the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, the Earl of Warwick had raised by public subscription sufficient money to raise a force of Volunteer Cavalry for the defence of the County in the event of invasion by the French, with whom we were at war. This force comprising Gentlemen and Yeomanry of the County was named the Warwickshire Yeomanry Cavalry and its first commanding officer was the 4th Earl of Aylesford. 

The Regiment has had unbroken service since that date and has always comprised men of Warwickshire who have followed normal civilian occupations in peacetime, but have voluntarily trained for war at drill nights, weekends and annual camps. When an internal threat of war has occurred, the Regiment has mobilised to full time service with the forces of the Crown. Over 2000 members of Warwickshire families have served in the Regiment over the past 200 years. 

During the 19th Century the Regiment was frequently called out to help maintain law and order in Birmingham, Coventry and Bedworth - particularly during the Chartist Riots from 1837-1840. A volunteer Squadron of the Regiment served with great distinction in the Boer War for a year and a half. The Regiment was mobilised in the Great War and the Second World War and served with great gallantry throughout them both. In the Great War at Gallipoli and at the battles of Katia, Romani, Rafa, El Arish and Huj in Palestine, the latter the scene of the Regiment's famous cavalry charge. In the Second World War the Regiment served in Iraq, Syria and Persia and then with the 8th Army at the Battle of El Alamein where only seven tanks of the Regiment survived, and later the Regiment fought throughout the Italian campaign. 

In 1956 the Warwickshire Yeomanry amalgamated with the Worcestershire Yeomanry to form The Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry. In 1969 the Regiment was reduced by defence cuts to a Cadre and a Signals Squadron. The Cadre expanded in 1971 to a Squadron of the Queen's Own Mercian Yeomanry which in 1992 became The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry. Today our serving successor Squadrons of the Warwickshire Yeomanry are A(QOWWY) Squadron of The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry and 867 (QOWWY) Signal Troop of 37 Signal Regiment (V). 

The Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum re-opens on 9 August 2014 commencing at 11am.  There will be additional displays in the Ballroom, in Pageant Gardens and in Castle Street, Warwick until 4pm. Admission free - all are welcome to attend.
It is our intention to mark the 100th Anniversary of WW1 with a series of different exhibitions each year between August 2014 and November 2018, commencing with ‘Mobilisation August 1914.’ The Regiment mobilised on 5 August 1914 and all four Squadrons camped in Warwick on 10 August entraining for Bury-St-Edmunds on the 13 August. The rest is history. 

For further information including Museum opening times see  

Donations welcomed

The Court House
Jury Street


Warwick Tourist Information Centre

Court House
Jury Street
CV34 4EW
Tel: +44 (0)1926 492212
Fax: +44 (0)1926 494837
e-mail: touristinfo@warwick-uk.co.uk

Opening Times Daily: 09.30 - 16:30
Warwick Tourist Information Centre

Whilst visiting Warwick make your first stop the Tourist Information Centre situated in the Court House, Jury Street, in the centre of town.

Our knowledgeable staff will be able to help you make the most of your visit supplying information on Warwick and the surrounding area.

If you are looking for a place to stay our staff will be able to assist you with booking accommodation.  Also we can make advanced reservations for your next stop on route. 

Warwick Tourist Information Centre has a wide range of publications, local guides, maps and souvenirs to help you make the most of your visit.

We look forward to welcoming you to Warwick.

If you have any questions or comments then please e-mail us: touristinfo@warwick-uk.co.uk

Please Note:- We will normally reply to e-mailed enquires within 1 working day of receipt.  If you wish to receive information by post, please telephone us on +44 (0)1926 492212.

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