Once known throughout the country for healing properties of the local river, Leamington Spa was once a location that drew visitors from all across the land. This reputation continues to this day, despite the spa itself being technically “closed”.
The town of Leamington Spa is full of historical significance, and is known as quite the cultural hub, filled with art galleries, history museums, and a fantastic shopping and nightlife scene.
Plan your trip to this fascinating part of England with this complete guide to the best sights and activities in the region of Leamington, from its fantastic museums to the best places to relax and in the town.
List below are all of the spots that will be discussed in detail in this guide –
- Get to Know the City with a Walking Tour
- Tour the Pumphouse Art Gallery
- Enjoy a Show at the Royal Spa Centre
- Shop along the High Street
- Cruise the River Leam by Boat
- Enjoy the Tranquility of the Glasshouse
- Relax in the Jephson Gardens
- Get the Best View of the town from Beacon Hill
- Have a drink in the Old Library
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Top 9 Things to Do in Leamington Spa
This guide contains all of our favourite activities and sights in the beautiful town of Leamington Spa that you simply cannot miss out on during your visit. We also go into detail on other essential information, such as what you need to pack and where is the best place to stay.
Get to Know the City with a Walking Tour
As with any new town or city, we always recommend going on a walking tour to get to know the place and learn all the hidden secrets and quirks straight from the mouth of a local.
You can enjoy a free walking tour with the Leamington History Group, who will take you on a tour of the town centre and teach you all there is to know about the fascinating history of the region.
In addition to the group walkign tours, there is also a collection of self-guided walking tour itineraries available online that are completely free. You can either read about them at the link below, or pick up the maps in person at the visitor centre in Leamington Spa town centre.
Tour the Pump Rooms Art Gallery
Located inside the old pump rooms that once pumped the fabled magic water front he river into the spa pools of Leamington, you will now find the Pump Rooms Art Gallery. Holding over 12,000 items, including artwork, historical items, and exhibitions that showcase the artwork and history of the town.
You can book your visit the the Pump Rooms Art Gallery on their website or just turn up and buy a ticket on the door.
Enjoy a Show at the Royal Spa Centre
In addition to the Pump Rooms Art Gallery, the Leamington Arts Service also manages the Royal Spa Centre, a theatre with a seating capacity of 667 seats. Opened in 1972, this centre for theatrical entertainment has been showcasing the best talent in the area for the past 40 years.
Book yourself a ticket to a show at the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington Spa during your visit to make it a trip to remember.
Shop along the High Street
The town of Leamington has a huge range of modern high street shops that perfectly contrasts the beautiful architecture and history of the rest of the town.
Treat yourself to a shopping spree and check out the latest trends on the high street of Leamington with shops such as H&M, River Island, and even shops for those with a more expensive taste, such as Ted Baker and Jack&Jones.
If the weather isn’ on your side, then not to worry as there is also an indoor shopping centre that you can browse to escape the rain.
Cruise the River Leam by Boat
If you fancy exploring the town of Leamington from a different and rather unique angle, there is no better way than by hired boat. The restored boat shed in Jephson Gardens hires out boats for those wishing to check out the town from the tranquil setting of the River Leam, as well as other modes of warter transport, such as stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes.
If you are feeling uncertain about hitting the water by yourself, you can learn from the best in the Leam Boat Centre’s paddleboarding courses.
Enjoy the Tranquility of the Glasshouse
The Glasshouse in Jephson Gardens is a repurposed nursery building that has been converted into a completely submersive greenhouse garden. As with the Jephson Gardens, the Glasshous is free to enter and enjoy as a perfect place for a wander.
The Glasshouse is filled with tropical plants, trees and flowers, including the beautiful and colourful blossoms of the banana plant, the pink powder puff, and the bird of paradise. There is also a fish pond and an observation beehive that can be enjoyed in this removed paradise in the centre of Leamington Spa.
What is unique about the Glasshouse is that they prefer using natural bug and weed deterrent to the use of any pesticides, making the environment completely toxin-free.
Relax in the Jephson Gardens
Whilst you are in the Jephson Gardens, why not find a quiet patch of grass and have a lie down in the sunshine? We spent about 2 hours in this park, relaxing on the beautifully soft grass, watching other park-goers play and enjoy the sunshine.
If you get peckish then there is a cafe inside the park that serves cold drinks, snacks and delicious ice cream, perfect for any summer day.
Get the Best View of the town from Beacon Hill
Also known as Newbold Comyn, the natural viewpoint of Beacon Hill provides the best vantage point in the region, sitting high up over Leamington Spa and delivering beautiful views of the city.
Located about 1-mile east of the Pump Rooms Art Gallery, directly along theRiver Leam, the top of Beacon Hill is the perfect place to end your day in Leamington Spa with a stunning sunset over the town. Admire the skyline of the town before heading back down to enjoy the nightlife that Leamington Spa has to offer.
Have a Drink in the Old Library
Compared to the quiet nearby town of Warwick, Leamington Spa is bursting with life as the day comes to an end and the night begins. Bustling with party-goers, late night shoppers, and those heading out for a romantic dinner in town, Leamington Spa comes to life as the sun goes down.
There is a huge variety of food and drink locations in the town centre of Leamington, one of the most unique being the Old Library pub that can be found just to the south of the Pump Rooms.
Built at the beginning of the 19th-century, this traditional pub as initially used as a library, before changing to the Theatre Royal, and finally going on to be used as a public house that is hugely popular with locals and tourists alike.
Before You Leave for Leamington Spa
Before you head off on your trip to Leamington Spa, there are certain things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth trip. These include what to pack, where to stay and what travel insurance to book.
How Do I Get to Leamington Spa?
Leamington Spa is a small town that lies just to the southeast of Birmingham, about 33kms from the city centre. It is easily reachable by public transport, including train and bus, with routes that take you from Birmingham directly to the centre of Leamington Spa.
If you are flying into the country, the closest airport will be Birmingham airport, however, you can still easily reach Leamington Spa by bus and train from any other major airport in the country.
What Should I Pack for Leamington Spa?
What you need to pack for Leamington Spa will rely highly on when you make your trip to the capital. During the Spring and Autumn months, temperatures and weather patterns vary wildly between beautiful sunny skies and freezing rain.
The temperatures generally vary from 10 oC to 25 oC during these months, with a mixture between cold, northerly winds and warmer southerlies. There is a small amount of rain, with maybe 1 in 7 days receiving rainfall, which makes it perfect for days out exploring the beautiful city.
During the Summer months in Leamington Spa, temperatures tend to range from 20oC to 30oC, with some days topping 35oC. Summer days in London are perfect for the beach, with many locals and travellers alike sending their day soaking up the sun and playing in the sea. When it comes to toiletries, we recommend that you don’t forget to pack sunscreen. The sun in Leamington Spa can be strong, especially in the summer months.
If you need more inspiration on what to pack for your trip, check out our full packing guides for all-weather conditions over here.
Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you will see in Warwick, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.
Where Should I Stay in Leamington Spa?
There are many accommodation options in Leamington Spa, however, due to how busy this small town is, we would recommend booking in advance.
Luxury – For a stay that you will remember for a lifetime, the best place to stay in Leamington is definitely the Villiers House. As one of Leamington’s finest fully serviced apartments, the Villiers House sits just half a mile from the town centre of Leamington.
Mid-range – For a more affordable choice of accommodation that still delivers comfort and luxury, the Holiday Inn just outside of the town centre of Leamington is guaranteed to deliver. Including breakfast, free wifi, and a comfortable bed, Holiday Inn is an accommodation that we choose no matter where we are in the country.
Budget – For the most affordable option in Leamington Spa, the Thomas James Hotel provides a guaranteed good nights sleep, as well as free wifi and an onsite restaurant. It is also located just a two minute walk from the town centre of Leamington Spa, perfect for those who plan on spending more time exploring the town than in their hotel room.
What is the Best Travel Insurance?
No matter what type of adventure you are heading on, whether it is a mountain adventure or a relaxing beach destination, one thing we all need to be aware of is that accidents can happen. The last thing you want is for an unexpected medical emergency to ruin your trip of a lifetime. Luckily, that is what travel insurance is for.
Whenever we travel abroad, we get covered with World Nomad’s Travel Insurance, a reliable, friendly and extremely affordable method of covering yourself on any adventure. With years of experience working for backpackers around the globe, the service they provide is perfect for whatever type of trip you have planned.
So there you have it, a guide to Leamington Spa. If you have visited Warwickshire recently, let us know what you thought of the activities and beautiful buildings in the area. If you have any suggestions let us know in the comments below.
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