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  • Writer's pictureAmy S.

History and Art in the UK Midlands: A Travel Guide



Just a short ride from London, the central UK regions have some great sites including the world-famous Royal Shakespeare Company and some of the UK’s oldest castles.

Here’s a quick guide to ensure the most culture into your quick visit!

 

Go Back in Time at Warwick Castle

Home to the world’s most powerful catapult, Warwick Castle is bursting with hands-on activities and working replicas that are great for all ages. Dating back to 914 AD, this castle holds much history as well as many upgrades. Make sure to check the schedule in advance to see the catapult launch, jousting matches, and sessions with experts. There have been many updates to this castle experience, so you can expect modern-day amenities and entertainment while exploring a castle older than many countries! We had a chance to meet a baby bald eagle that excited everyone by flying narrowly over the crowd’s heads.

Warwick castle with a grey sky behind it
Warwick Castle

Have a Spot of Tea at Boston Tea Party

As an American, this tea shop caught my eye immediately! Little did I know, they have been regularly voted best cafe, breakfast, and lunch spot. Their menu is bursting with plenty of options for someone looking for vegetarian, vegan, or health-conscious options; or if you’re looking to indulge. Bonus points for being a breastfeeding-friendly and dog-friendly restaurant. And if you love it, they have locations across the UK.

inviting looking outdoor patio with a dozen chairs
Stratford Boston Tea Party Patio @Boston Tea Party

World-Class Shakespeare

This, I promise, is not your average Shakespeare play. Only featuring top talent, actors like Judi Dench, Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren, and more have graced their stages. The UK is known for its reasonable theatre ticket prices, which you’ll need once you have a chance to visit their whimsical gift shop. Visit their website for information on current production, discounts, and other opportunities.


exterior view of the the royal Shakespeare company building along the river
@Royal Shakespeare Company

Princess Diana's Childhood Home

Home to Princess Diana’s family for more than 500 years, Althorp, is the current home of her brother, the 9th Earl Spencer, as well as Princess Diana’s grave. As a current home, this site has a very limited visitation season which makes it an extra special stop for passionate tourists. Highlights include their private collection of furniture, paintings, and ceramics.

Entrance of Althorp, an impressive looking building
Althorp

Hidden Gem Art Collection at Compton Verney

This 18th-century mansion is home to an award-winning art gallery and is a magical escape for those looking to disappear into English artwork for a day. Featuring a world-class collection of Neapolitan art, ancient Chinese bronzes, and the largest collection of British Folk Art in Britain, you’ll be glad you’re spending the day there. The Compton Kitchen onsite has family-friendly options to make your lunch a breeze.

Overlooking the river with swans to the larger building
Compton Verney

Why Travel Inland?

The UK has stunning destinations along the coast, but traveling inland provides unique opportunities to embrace some of England’s finest history and art. Whether you’re a young art lover that wants to jump from destination to destination, or looking for a leisurely trip through the countryside, there’s something for everyone.


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