Leamington Spa is an attractive spa town notable for its fine Regency architecture and parks. Like Bath and Cheltenham, Leamington owes much of its grandeur to its development as a fashionable resort in the early 19th century, catering for those who believed its spring waters could cure or ease their ailments.
Leamington was laid out as a new town in the early to mid-19th century, with features characteristic of modern planned towns including wide streets based predominantly on a north/south aligned grid. It was built on the site of a much smaller and older village called Leamington Priors, from which 2 buildings remain, just east of the parish church.
Modern Leamington serves primarily as a commuter town for Coventry and Birmingham, with its population boosted during term time by students from the nearby University of Warwick.
2 Birmingham Airport (BHX IATA), is larger and not too far away and serves the region with frequent domestic and international flights. There are several direct arrivals a day from all major UK and European destinations, and one or two from more far-flung places such as Delhi, Dubai (twice daily), Islamabad, Luxor, New York and Toronto.
3 Leamington Spa station is on the line between London Marylebone and Birmingham, and is a relatively short distance from Coventry, which is on the main line between London Euston and Birmingham New Street. It is also on the Cross Country Bournemouth to Scotland/Northern England line giving it good North/South connections.
Leamington Spa is well served by buses. The No. 12 bus travels between Sydenham-Leamington Spa-Kenilworth-Coventry, including Coventry City Centre, Coventry Rail Station, the University of Warwick and Kenilworth on its route.
From the centre of Leamington it is only 3 miles to the M40 which links the town to Birmingham (North) and London (south-east). There is also the A46 close by, which links Leamington to Coventry and Stratford-upon-Avon.
The centre of Leamington is compact and easily walkable, but the Parade in particular is well served by local buses.
- 1 The Royal Pump Rooms. A historic building housing an art gallery and museum, library and tourist information center, along with a cafe.
- Art Gallery and Museum. Open Tu W F Sa 10:30AM-5PM; Th 1:30-8PM; Su 11AM-4PM; M closed. Free admission.
- Cafe. Open M-Sa 9:30AM-5PM, Su 10AM-5PM. Self-service cafe with a terrace.
- Leamington Library, ☏ . Open M 9:30AM-8PM, Tu 10AM-8PM, W 9:30AM-5PM, Th 9:30AM-8PM, F 9:30AM-5PM, Sa 9:30AM-4PM, Su 10AM-2PM. Once the large swimming hall of the baths, this part of the building is now home to a modern library.
- Tourist Information Centre. Open M-Sa 9:30AM-5PM, Su Noon-4PM.
- 2 The Royal Spa Centre, Newbold Terrace, CV32 4AA, ☏ . Entertainment venue featuring various shows, from concerts to wrestling.
- 3 Jephson Gardens, Newbold Terrace, CV32 4AA, ☏ . 6AM-9PM.
Jephson Gardens is well worth a visit. There is a large pond, ducks, geese, a cafe, a restaurant, boating and lots of flowers and trees. You could combine it with a walk past the library, through the pump room gardens, over the bridge and into Victoria Park.
Leamington's shopping area is focused on the Parade and consists mostly of the same retail chains found on any other British high street. The elegant facades of the Parade on the eastern side at the northern end conceal Royal Priors, a smart modern indoor shopping centre, with lots of brand name shops.
There is are shops between the Town Hall and the Travelodge Hotel. On the other side of the Town Hall there is a tree-lined avenue with shops, cafes and restaurants.
Park Street and Regent Street have many small independent shops and it is well worth having a wonder round to find out some hidden gems. Also, Bedford Street is home to several small fashion stores.
Leamington has a good choice of moderately priced upmarket restaurants, including a wide choice of British Indian restaurants
- Kismet, 11 Spencer St., ☏ . Very good Indian food at reasonable prices. The "buffet" is really a prix-fixe, but recommended.
- Ali Curry House, 21 Bath Street, ☏ .
- Amors Restaurant, 15 Dormer Place, ☏ .
- Bombay Tandoori, 38 Regent Street West, ☏ .
- Phoenix Chinese Restaurant, 11 Euston Place, ☏ . Upmarket Chinese resataraunt
- Paprika Club, 22 Regent Street West, ☏ .
- Royal Buffet, 16 High Street, ☏ .
- The Restaurant in the Park in Jephsons Gardens
- Food to go, 47 High Street, ☏ . The tastiest baps and baguettes in town with a great choice of filings.
Leamington has a small but vibrant nightlife scene. There are many pubs and bars and 3 small nightclubs. Most of the bars are around Bedford Street and Warwick/Regent street.
Bars and pubs
- Bar 44, 126 Warwick Street East, ☏ .
- Moo, 24 Russell Street. Fairly expensive, trendy bar at the top of town.
- Tavistock Inn, Tavistock Street.
- Voodoo, 35 Regent Street West, ☏ . Kitsch bar popular with young people on the corner.
- TJ's Bar & Bistro & TJ's Sports Bar, 45-47 Bath Street, ☏ .
- Robbins' Well, a Scream Bar associated student pub opposite the Parish Church at the bottom of town, overlooking the river, notable for its impressive high-ceilinged interior.
- The Benjamin Satchwell the local Wetherspoons, in the centre of the parade.
- White Horse, 4-6 Clarendon Avenue, ☏ . Relaxed traditional pub in central Leamington with outdoor courtyard.
- The Old Library, beside the Parish Church at the bottom of town.
- The Clarendon.
- Smack (at the top of Bedford Street and Tavistock Street). Very popular with many student nights. Dingy and cramped. Often there are drinks promotions associated with Moo Bar.
- Evolve. Set in an old-cinema building, this light and airy club caters to the student population.
There are Bed and Breakfasts in Leamington, many clustered together in Warwick less than 2 miles away on Coten End/Emscote Road (the same road).
- Falstaff Hotel, 16 Warwick New Road, ☏ . from £52.
- Holiday Inn, Olympus Avenue, Tachbrook Park, ☏ .
- Thomas James Hotel, 45-47 Bath Street, ☏ . 17 en suite bedrooms, conference facilities, bars and restaurant. pick-up from local airports. £45-90.
- 1 [dead link] 8 Clarendon Crescent, 8 Clarendon Crescent, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire (just a 3 minute walk off the Upper Parade), ☏ . This is a lovely B&B where guests are warmly welcomed by Christine and David. Each room has an en suite bathroom and the breakfasts will keep you going through the day. single £50; double £80.
- 2 Mallory Court, Harbury Lane, Bishop's Tachbrook CV33 9QB, ☏ . Beautiful upscale hotel in Arts & Crafts house with spa. Great comfort, service and dining. B&B double £130.
Trains leave regularly from the station at the bottom of town and go direct to Birmingham, London, (and Edinburgh a few times a day). Anywhere else and your best bet is to go to Birmingham or London (depending on whether you're going north or south) and get a train from there
Take a bus to Warwick and visit Warwick Castle
|Routes through Leamington Spa|
|Birmingham ←||NW SE||→ Banbury → London|
|Stratford-upon-Avon ← Warwick ←||W N||→ Kenilworth → Coventry|