A major Shakespearean anniversary and the King’s Coronation are set to spearhead a bumper year of tourism for south Warwickshire in England.
This year hundreds of thousands of visitors are set to visit south Warwickshire– a county steeped in Royal history – as part of their visit to the UK to mark King Charles III’s coronation.
And as the eyes of the world fall upon the UK, south Warwickshire’s links to Royalty – and the last Charles to hold the throne – have been laid bare.
Walking enthusiasts and fans of the monarchy can re-trace King Charles II’s footsteps through a 30-mile stretch of south Warwickshire as he fled to France following defeat to Oliver Cromwell in the Battle of Worcester in 1651. This is known as The Monarch’s Way and the exact route can be found here.
Billesley Hotel Manor & Spa – which used to be owned by Queen Elizabeth I – features on the route.
Royal enthusiasts can also pay a visit to the grounds of stately home Ragley Hall, where hit Netflix show The Crown was filmed. The venue is open for selected events this year, which can be viewed here.
Warwick and Kenilworth, south Warwickshire has two medieval castles that are within 15 minutes’ drive of each other. Kenilworth Castle was once one of the country’s most formidable medieval fortresses and was later transformed into a spectacular Elizabethan palace by Robert Dudley in an effort to impress his queen.
This year also marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of world-famous playwright William Shakespeare’s First Folio – a collection of 36 of Shakespeare's plays.
To mark the occasion, a new exhibition exploring his work and life in more detail has opened in his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon – a market town with 800 years of history.
The Great Variety of Readers – 400 Years of Shakespeare’s First Folio features an original copy of the First Folio – known as the Ashburnham Folio – forming the centrepiece.
Also on display is a seal ring bearing the initials ‘W.S’ that was found in a field close to Holy Trinity Church dating from Shakespeare’s time and is thought to have been worn by the man himself.
Also on Stratford-upon-Avon’s doorstep is the UK’s largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – the Cotswolds – which boasts an array of rolling hills, river valleys and picturesque
limestone villages. Guided day trips, which include fun, fact-filled commentary, are operated by Go Cotswolds – starting from £55 per adult and £45 per child.
Those wanting to unwind in style and enjoy the picturesque views of Stratford-upon-Avon from the River Avon can do so by hiring their own rowing boat or river cruise, with the option of a gin tasting experience.
Shopaholics can also take advantage of tax-free shopping at luxury fashion destination, Bicester Village, for any goods they order for direct delivery to overseas addresses – making big savings in the process. Visitors can also benefit from multi-lingual concierges and a personal shopping service. Castle lovers can go one step further by stopping in Grade II listed building, Studley Castle, which is set in 28 acres of countryside and offers activities ranging from aerobics classes and beauty treatments, through to archery shooting and bike rides.
Another luxurious alternative is a boutique hotel that has played host to Frank Sinatra, Admiral Nelson and Mark Twain – called the Warwick Arms Hotel – which was established in 1717 and claims to be the oldest hotel in Warwickshire. The region is scattered with luxurious accommodation with hotels such as Mallory Court Country House Hotel & Spa, 16th century country mansion Walton Hall, and Dallas Burston Polo Club.
South Warwickshire and its surrounding areas are around a half-an-hour car and train journey away from Birmingham Airport – which will be offering return flights to Qatar and the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah from July 2023, to complement existing routes to Asia.
Personalised chauffeured transfers from Birmingham Airport to south Warwickshire can be arranged via Prestige Chauffeurs of Warwickshire, who also offer personalised shopping tours to Bicester.
For more information about visiting south Warwickshire and its surrounding areas, visit www.shakespeares-england.co.uk
Members of the media wishing to carry out a press trip to the region can contact Adam Manning via [email protected]
Shakespeare’s England is attending Arabian Travel Market between May 1-4, and can be found in stand EU1860 in pod number 8 on the UKinbound stand.