Things to do in Warwickshire

Ardencote is a charming hotel nestled in the heart of the beautiful Warwickshire countryside. Check out our ultimate guide for things to do in the surrounding areas below, all within a 30 minutes travelling distance.

  • The Coventry Transport Museum

    The Coventry Transport Museum

    The Coventry Transport Museum houses the largest publicly owned collection of British vehicles and tells the story of a city that revolutionised transport.

    Fourteen fully accessible galleries showcase the fastest vehicles in the world, pioneering bicycles, transport champions, and many of the most innovative, memorable, and luxurious vehicles from the past 200 years.

    Beyond the collection, the museum offers exhibitions, hands-on family activities, and a wide range of motoring events.

    Coventry Transport Museum is not just for transport enthusiasts; it’s a destination for storytellers and escapists, speed freaks and thrill seekers, history buffs, and families!

    Find out more about Coventry Transport Museum.

  • Faerie Tale Farm Alpacas

    Faerie Tale Farm Alpacas

    Looking for a fantastic fun day out? Faerie-Tale Alpacas is a magical destination where enchanting experiences await you. Nestled in the picturesque countryside, the farm in Kenilworth is home to a charming herd of alpacas and Shetland ponies.

    Visitors can enjoy guided tours to learn about these gentle creatures, their care, and the fascinating world of alpaca farming. Meet and greet the friendly alpacas and ponies, feed them, and even take one for a stroll around the farm.

    Whether you're an animal lover, a nature enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, Faerie Tale Farm Alpacas promises a delightful experience for all ages.

    Find out more about Faerie Tale Alpacas.

  • The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum

    The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum

    The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is the perfect place to delve into Coventry’s history.

    Gain a fresh perspective on the legend of Lady Godiva or explore the story of Coventry and its people from the medieval period to the impact of the Second World War and the boom years of the 1950s and ‘60s.

    Plus, don’t miss seeing Dippy! A 26-metre plaster-of-Paris replica of a Diplodocus skeleton!

    As well as the art gallery’s ever-changing displays, the museum offers a wide range of detailed talks, fantastic events, and inventive workshops for adults and families - encouraging creativity, exploration and fun.

    Find out more about the Herbet Art Gallery & Museum.

  • The Lunt Roman Festival

    The Lunt Roman Festival

    The Lunt Roman Festival is the most spectacular event of the year, where the fort truly comes to life. Marvel at displays from living history re-enactment groups, participate in our interactive Battle Drill, or explore the vibrant Roman village.

    Enjoy refreshments from local food vendors and shop for replica Roman goods in the living history village.

    Guests can also explore this unique reconstructed monument, taking in the sights of the ramparts, the granary building, and the only known Gyrus inside a Roman fort!

    For our youngest visitors, the festival features an early years takeover area, filled with open-ended resources that inspire imaginative play.

    Dating back to the time of the Boudican rebellion in AD60 – AD61, The Lunt is a partially-reconstructed timber fort, that sits on a high plateau overlooking the river Sowe.

    Visitors enter the Lunt Fort through the Porta Principalis Sinistra or, the eastern gateway! Atop the walls that flank the gateway, are the newly re-constructed battle ramparts, where Roman soldiers would traditionally patrol & guards against any potential attacks from nearby tribes.

    Inside, you’ll find the granary, which not only housed the grain for the troops, but also stored valuable equipment! There’s also the iconic gyrus, a feature not found anywhere else inside a Roman Fort!
    This large circular structure measures 34.06m in & was once a cavalry training arena where the soldiers stationed in the base trained horses for combat!

    Make use of an exclusive 10% discount when staying at Ardencote – just contact us for more information.

    Find out more about the Lunt Roman Festival.

  • The Wave

    The Wave

    The Wave, a UK award-winning indoor waterpark, has been making a splash in the heart of Coventry! This state-of-the-art aquatic paradise offers a myriad of attractions designed to delight visitors of all ages.

    From six high-speed slides that send adrenaline soaring to a fun-packed splash zone perfect for younger adventurers, The Wave promises endless excitement. The exhilarating Wave Pool, with its rolling swells, creates the perfect environment for aquatic fun, while the relaxing Lazy River offers a serene escape.

    Whether you're looking to make a splash, catch a wave, or simply relax, The Wave is the ultimate destination for fun and relaxation. Gather your family and friends and get ready to ‘Ride the Wave’—a water wonderland like no other awaits you in Coventry.

    Find out more about The Wave.

Shakespeare's England - Explorer Pass

Experience the best of Warwickshire with the Explorer Pass by Shakespeare's England. The pass allows you save money on standard admission prices and save time by booking all your attractions in one place! To purchase a pass, please CLICK HERE. Take your pick from all of these incredible attractions across the area:


  • Warwick Castle

    Warwick Castle

    Explore over 1,100 years of extraordinary history, world-class show spectaculars and unmissable events at Warwick Castle - Britain's Ultimate Historical Experience. 

    Across the year, visitors can be amazed by a range of stunning shows, from epic live jousting, the UK’s largest Birds of Prey Show, exciting Halloween and festive Christmas events, and musical concerts throughout summer. Warwick Castle is also proudly the home to Zog the lovable dragon and the Horrible Histories Maze, meaning families can immerse themselves in some of their most loved books.


    Find out more about Warwick Castle.


    To purchase a Shakespeare's England Explorer Pass, please CLICK HERE 

  • Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

    Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

    Visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the beautiful 500 year old cottage where Shakespeare courted his bride-to-be.

    See original furniture including the Hathaway bed and uncover five centuries of stories in this picturesque cottage and 13 generations of the family who lived there.

    Anne Hathaway’s Cottage was originally a farmhouse. It was built in 1463 of cruck construction, when the building would have comprised of just three rooms. The kitchen and parlour still remain from the original medieval construction. The first Hathaway to live in the cottage was Anne’s grandfather John Hathaway, who was a tenant sheep farmer. Anne, later Shakespeare’s wife, was born in the cottage in 1556.

    When the site was a farm it was known as ‘Hewlands’ and the Hathaway family were very successful sheep farmers. The garden would have been a farmyard with some livestock and likely a herb garden.

    After the death of Anne’s father in 1581, Anne’s brother Bartholomew inherited the tenancy of the 90-acre farm and later bought it freehold. He went on to make various improvements to the cottage including an extension. The first floor was inserted and the chimneys added at the same time. This work was completed before the death of Bartholomew in 1624.

    Find out more about visiting Anne Hathaway's Cottage.

    To purchase a Shakespeare's England Explorer Pass, please CLICK HERE

  • Shakespeare's Birthplace

    Shakespeare's Birthplace

    Visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace to walk in Shakespeare’s footsteps and explore the house where he was born and grew up.

    Hear tales of Shakespeare’s family life, enjoy live theatre on demand and get up close to rare artefacts from the Trust’s world class collections as you discover how the extraordinary William Shakespeare continues to shape our lives today.

    William Shakespeare was born in this house and grew up here with his parents and siblings. He also spent the first five years of his marriage living here with his wife Anne Hathaway. John and Mary Shakespeare were wealthy enough to own the largest house on Henley Street.

    John Shakespeare lived and worked in this house for fifty years. When he married Mary Arden she came to live with him and they had a total of eight children, William was the third to be born. In 1568 John became the Mayor of Stratford, which was the highest elective office in the town. On Sunday, dressed in his fine red robes, he would have been escorted to Holy Trinity church to attend mass. It was because of his father’s status as Mayor that William was privileged enough to have attended the local grammar school to begin his education.

    John Shakespeare died in 1601 and as the eldest surviving child, William inherited the house. He leased part of the property and it became an inn called the Maidenhead (and later the Swan and Maidenhead). The inn remained until 1847. When Shakespeare died he left the house to his eldest daughter Susanna, and when she died she left it to her only child, Elizabeth.

    Although she married twice Elizabeth had no children, so when she died the house fell to a descendant of Joan Hart, one of Shakespeare’s sisters. The house was owned by the Hart family until the late 18th century, until it went up for sale and was purchased by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in 1847. They have cared for it ever since.

    Find out more about visiting Shakespeare's birthplace.

    To purchase a Shakespeare's England Explorer Pass, please CLICK HERE

  • The MAD Musuem

    The MAD Musuem

    The MAD Musuem (Mechanical Art and Design Museum) does what it says on the tin! This quirky attraction located in the centre of Stratford-upon -Avon, houses around 60 interactive mechanical contraptions and is the only one of its kind in the UK.

    If you’re not quite sure what mechanical art is all about, think of the machines and gizmos used in Wallace and Gromit, Scrapheap Challenge and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In a nutshell, mechanical art is usually beautifully crafted, moving sculptures either made to have an exaggerated purpose or made simply for the fun of it.

    Perfect for the whole family, the museum is a fantastic playground for adults and an exciting treasure trove for inquisitive kids. As well as being highly interactive and a lot of fun, this eccentric museum appeals to those with curious and methodical brains too. If you like art, design, science and/or engineering, then this is the place for you.

    The MAD Museum is a celebration of all things mechanically weird and wonderful. Rolling ball machines, water clocks, interactive light walls, 3D faces, giant rocking birds and much more.

    Find out more about visiting the MAD Museum.

    To purchase a Shakespeare's England Explorer Pass, please CLICK HERE

  • Shakespeare Distillery

    Shakespeare Distillery

    Situated in Stratford upon Avon, Shakespeare Distillery is an artisan carbon-neutral spirit producer, established in 2015. They produce a range of premium, handcrafted gins and rums made entirely onsite, including the award-winning Stratford Dry Gin, Judith’s Pink Gin and Jester Rum.

    Based at the distillery just outside town, they opened their doors as a visitor centre in 2019. Guests can enjoy distillery tours and gin schools, as well as visit their distillery shop.

    Their visitor centre has won several West Midlands Tourism Awards and a Travellers’ Choice Award by Tripadvisor.

    Find out more about Shakespeare Distillery.

    To purchase a Shakespeare's England Explorer Pass, please CLICK HERE

  • Avon Boating

    Avon Boating

    Established in 1898, Avon Boating is one of England’s oldest and largest traditional boating companies, offering boats for hire on one of the finest rivers in the country, the Avon at Stratford-upon-Avon.

    It operates a fleet of classic Edwardian passenger vessels on regular public cruises from the Bancroft Gardens next to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and offers a variety of private cruises for groups.

    Come and relax and enjoy the town’s iconic riverside setting and the tranquil waters of the Avon by boat on one of the 40 minute public cruises, as customers have done for over 100 years.

    Cruise downstream past the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Holy Trinity Church (the site of Shakespeare’s tomb) and upstream passing under the 15th Century Clopton Bridge. Once through the bridge, the scenery changes as we discover peaceful river-banks and meadows with glimpses of large secluded houses and beautiful river-side gardens.

    Included on the 40 minute river cruise is a digital audio guide for your use, free of charge. It will give you information of the famous sights along the river along, and is available in five languages. English, French, Spanish, Italian and German. See the crew onboard the boat for further information.

    Find out more about Avon Boating.

    To purchase a Shakespeare's England Explorer Pass, please CLICK HERE

    Please note: Avon Boating is closed over the winter from November to March.

  • British Motor Museum

    British Motor Museum

    The British Motor Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of historic British Cars; it boasts over 400 cars in its collection which span the classic, vintage and veteran eras.

    Situated in the small village of Gaydon, Warwickshire, just off junction 12 of the M40. The Museum building is a spectacular piece of architecture with an art deco design, whilst the Collections Centre building is a modern contrast. Together they stand proudly in a beautifully landscaped setting of 65 acres, which rolls out onto the Warwickshire countryside.

    The family-friendly Museum offers a colourful insight into the British motor industry.

    Take a walk down the ‘Time Road’ and discover how both motoring and family life has changed through the decades. Travel through ‘Making British Cars’ and see how influential the motor industry has been over the years. Get ‘Under the Skin’ and unravel the mystery of how cars work with interactive exhibits. Enjoy a free guided tours with one of the enthusiastic guides who will help bring the cars to life.

    • Check the British Motor Museum website for great school holiday activities and special weekend motoring events.
    • Onsite café, outdoor play area, free parking.
    • Fun for all the family whatever the weather!


    Find out more about British Motor Museum.

    To purchase a Shakespeare's England Explorer Pass, please CLICK HERE

  • Compton Verney

    Compton Verney

    Step out of the ordinary at Compton Verney with 120 acres of art, nature, and creativity. An extraordinary place filled with inspiration and imagination, outside and in. So, whether you are looking for fine art or forest art, family time or me time – this is a place of endless possibilities.

    Compton Verney - Warwickshire’s award-winning art gallery! Escape the everyday to wander through the historic ‘Capability’ Brown landscape, marvel at the world-class art exhibitions or have fun in the outdoor adventure playground. All ages are welcome – and it’s just 9 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon.

    There is something for everyone to enjoy. 120 acres of stunning parkland and lake surround an award-winning art gallery, with an outdoor adventure playground and a family friendly café and gift shop.

    Compton Verney is home to six diverse collections of nationally and internationally significant art from around the world, including British Folk Art, Chinese bronzes, British Portraits and works from Northern Europe and Naples. You can also find objects of inspiration and original textile designs by Enid Marx in our Marx-Lambert Collection.

    The gallery is set within 120 acres of Grade II listed park, landscaped by Capability Brown, the most eminent landscape architect of the eighteenth-century. Today the grounds still reflect his ‘pleasure grounds’ of sweeping grassland, ornamental lake and Cedars of Lebanon for which Brown is famous. On the walk from the car park you can enjoy Brown’s footpaths through the woodland, stopping off to admire the viewpoints he created, which today make great photo opportunities.

    Families and children are welcome.

    Please note: due to special events, the explorer pass cannot be used at Compton Verney on the following dates in 2024:

    • Tuesday 5th March – Wednesday 20th March (galleries closed)
    • Saturday 1st June
    • Sunday 9th June
    • Friday 21st June – Sunday 23rd June
    • Sunday 8th September


    Find out more about Compton Verney.

    To purchase a Shakespeare's England Explorer Pass, please CLICK HERE

  • Kenilworth Castle

    Kenilworth Castle

    The medieval fortress of Kenilworth Castle is one of the largest historic visitor attractions in the West Midlands and one of the most spectacular castle ruins in England.

    From medieval fortress to Elizabethan palace, Kenilworth Castle has been at the centre of England’s affairs for much of its 900 year history. Today, you can scale the heights of the tower built to woo Queen Elizabeth I and marvel at the mighty Norman keep. Explore the exhibition in the Gatehouse, and imagine the majesty of the Great Hall playing host to medieval monarchs and early Tudor kings.

    Tower Views – for the first time in 350 years you can explore the full height of the tower built by Leicester to court Elizabeth I. Stand at floor level in the queen’s private rooms and soak up the same spectacular views that she enjoyed.

    Elizabethan Gardens – walk in the footsteps of the great Tudor queen through the garden and imagine the opulence and splendour of Elizabethan Kenilworth.

    Leicester’s Gatehouse – visit the fascinating exhibition about the famous royal romance between the queen and her ambitious courtier, Robert Dudley.

    A Castle and it’s People – have fun with the family-friendly displays in our interactive exhibition bringing Kenilworth’s past to life. Housed in the magnificent Tudor stables, see how the castle has changed throughout its 900-year history, and what it looked like in its heyday.

    Castle Keep – admire the mighty keep – the heart of castle life for 500 years. The Norman keep was a defensive powerhouse, built three stories high with walls 14 feet wide. It is still a dominant feature of the castle today.

    Great Hall – John of Gaunt’s Great Hall was one of the finest of its kind and at the cutting edge of 14th century architectural design. Built to reinforce Kenilworth’s position of power and wealth it played host to medieval monarchs and Tudor kings.

    Kenilworth is the perfect place for the whole family to explore where kings and queens once danced and dined!

    Find out more about Kenilworth Castle.

    To purchase a Shakespeare's England Explorer Pass, please CLICK HERE

  • Shakespeare's Schoolroom

    Shakespeare's Schoolroom

    Discover the schoolroom where William Shakespeare was educated and inspired to become the world’s greatest playwright.

    Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall is where it all began for William Shakespeare. It’s where a bright Midlands schoolboy was educated and inspired to become the world’s greatest playwright.

    As the place where William Shakespeare spent his school years and first experienced theatre, the Guildhall and Schoolroom has been described as “one of the most atmospheric, magical and important buildings in the whole of Britain” by historian and broadcaster, Michael Wood.

    Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall attracts both national and international visitors who are able to explore Shakespeare’s childhood and youth in the building that tells the hither to missing chapter in the story of his time in Stratford – his education and the inspiration that led him to become the world’s greatest playwright.

    This interactive and engaging visitor experience including soundscapes, projections, films, interpretive panels and knowledgeable guides on hand with many anecdotes to tell will bring to life the many stories the magical Guildhall has to tell.

    Find out more about Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall.

    To purchase a Shakespeare's England Explorer Pass, please CLICK HERE

  • Shakespeare's New Place

    Shakespeare's New Place

    Discover beautiful gardens and specially-commissioned artworks at New Place, the site of William Shakespeare’s grand family home.

    Visit Shakespeare’s New Place and walk in Shakespeare’s footsteps and meet the man behind the works in a fascinating new exhibition. Discover beautiful gardens and specially-commissioned artworks.

    Shakespeare’s New Place was his family home from 1597 until he died in the house in 1616. The house was demolished in 1759, a registered garden has been designed to commemorate the importance of the site and allow visitors to make their own personal connection with Shakespeare.

    When Shakespeare bought New Place he was an established playwright and it is believed that he wrote his later plays there, including The Tempest.

    Follow in Shakespeare’s footsteps through a new entrance on the site of the original gatehouse and enjoy a contemporary landscape that reveals the footprint of the Shakespeare family home. The re-imagined site gives an impression of the scale of New Place and relationship to the surrounding buildings; such as the neighbouring King Edward VI School and Guild Chapel that were once attended by a young Shakespeare.

    Commissioned artworks and displays throughout the site evoke a sense of family life and hint at Shakespeare’s major works that were written during the 19 years he owned New Place.

    Find out more about Shakespeare's New Place.

    To purchase a Shakespeare's England Explorer Pass, please CLICK HERE

  • Stoneleigh Abbey

    Stoneleigh Abbey

    Visit this stunning Grade 1 listed English Mansion House and explore its beautiful grounds.

    Stoneleigh Abbey was built on a land grant from King Henry II. With humble beginnings as a Cistercian monastic house in 1154, Stoneleigh Abbey was converted at the Dissolution into a comfortable family home. One of the seats of the Leigh family, Stoneleigh has played host to several people of note, including King Charles I, Queen Victoria, and novelist Jane Austen.

    The fine Grade 1 listed English Mansion House is comprised of two halves; the first, made of red sandstone, is a fine example of a Jacobean house, built from the ruins of the monastery. The second, the West Wing, was designed by famous architect Francis Smith of Warwick in the Baroque style.

    The older portion of the house, built from local red sandstone, was started in 1561 and successive generations added to the design. The newest part of the house was completed around 1720 and was designed by Francis Smith of Warwick.

    The Abbey Grounds were designed by Humphry Repton, the most respected landscape gardener of his time. In 1809 he was invited to Stoneleigh Abbey by Reverend Thomas Leigh to advise him on updating the Abbey landscape. Repton created one of his ‘Red Books’, a collection of watercolour images of the house and grounds as they existed with overlays to suggest alterations to the estate. While not all of his suggestions were implemented, the result is a stunning natural landscape with superb views. Enjoy the new Cordelia Leigh Bridge and walks along the Gazebo island, our Victorian Pump House has been restored.

    Find out more about Stoneleigh Abbey.

    To purchase a Shakespeare's England Explorer Pass, please CLICK HERE

    Please Note: Stoneleigh Abbey is closed during January and February.

  • Stratford Butterfly Farm

    Stratford Butterfly Farm

    Enjoy the unique pleasure of watching hundreds of the world’s most spectacular and colourful butterflies flying all around. You can see them feeding and flying in a wonderful tropical environment.

    First opened to the public in 1985, Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm is a unique rainforest environment set within a series of greenhouses. It is landscaped with tropical blossom, fish-filled pools, splashing waterfalls and themed to the ancient Maya civilisation with replicated Maya artefacts throughout.

    You can expect to see hundreds of butterflies and many different species from around the world within the Rainforest Flight Area. Visitor Guides and ID sheets are available from reception.

    It’s not just butterflies! Within the Flight Area there are a couple of free roaming green iguanas called Prudence and Bennie, plus a variety of seed eating birds, as well as all sorts of interesting creatures waiting to be discovered in Minibeast Metropolis!

    Behind the scenes an industrious team works tirelessly not only to bring pupae to Stratford Butterfly Farm but also to export and supply butterfly houses across the globe! To be able to do this we import from a variety of international butterfly farms, providing a sustainable income for the local community and conservation projects.

    Come rain or shine enjoy the unique pleasure of discovering hundreds of the world’s most beautiful butterflies flying in an exotic environment of tropical blossom with splashing waterfalls and fish filled pools.

    Find out more about Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm.

    To purchase a Shakespeare's England Explorer Pass, please CLICK HERE