Ardencote is within easy reach of some of the most fantastic attractions
Warwickshire isn’t short of things to do, and there is something for all the family to enjoy. Whether you want to relive history at Warwick Castle, or head to the RSC in Straford for an evening of Shakespeare, Ardencote is here at the end of the day for the perfect overnight stay. Check out all the local attractions and get planning your weekend away!
- Warwick Castle
Celebrate over 1,100 years of History at Warwick Castle.
A Grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument, Warwick Castle has played a prominent role in English history for 11 centuries. Visitors can explore Mediaeval Towers and Ramparts, roam grounds designed by famous landscaper Capability Brown – 2016 is the 300th anniversary of his birth – marvel at the Great Hall & State Rooms; and enjoy attractions that bring history vividly to life.
Ardencote are delighted to be able to offer Residents discounted tickets to Warwick Castle!
- National Sealife Centre, Birmingham
One of the biggest UK Sea Life centres, the attraction in Birmingham is split over four levels, all contained within an iconic canal-side building designed by Sir Norman Foster, whose inspiration was the gentle contours of a ray.
Visitors climb a gently meandering walkway which leads them past a succession of breath-taking displays, from a huge upright tubular reef tank teeming with colourful coral dwellers, via dozens more tropical and native displays to special themed elevators which take them down again to a subterranean ocean display.
A beautiful Antarctic enclosure complete with real ice and a chilly dive pool is home to a small colony of agile Gentoo penguins, whose beguiling antics are a real show-stopper.
Sharks, turtles, otters, octopus and many, many more fascinating creatures await discovery. An interactive rockpool, 4D cinema and family of Asian otters are among the ingredients which guarantee an enthralling and truly memorable experience.
There are few places further from the sea in mainland Britain than Birmingham…and yet Sea Life has transplanted many of the wonders of the oceans here into the heart of England’s second city.
Ardencote are delighted to be able to offer Residents discounted tickets to National Sealife Centre, Birmingham!
- Shakespeares Houses
Pause to enjoy this gem of Elizabethan architecture and heritage on your journey through Stratford-upon-Avon.
Wealthy merchant Thomas Rogers spared no expense building this striking Elizabethan town house, just up the road from Shakespeare’s New Place. His grandson, John Harvard, was a founding benefactor of Harvard University.
Architecture & Design
The elaborately carved oak exterior is a sign of Rogers’ wealth and status. Look out for 14th-century stained glass and hand-painted panels.
Admire the luxurious Jacobean home of Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and her husband Dr John Hall.
How The Other Half Live
Explore the wealthy, luxurious home of Shakespeare’s daughter and her husband, Dr John Hall; Flemish painting and fine furniture.
A Doctor’s Paradise
Rest in the beautiful walled garden, a fragrant oasis of medicinal herbs.
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
Savour the history of a 500 year-old thatched cottage and relive Shakespeare’s love story where he courted his bride-to-be, Anne Hathaway.
A House With History
Relive Shakespeare’s Tudor love story where he courted Anne his bride-to-be and see original furniture, including the Hathaway bed. Uncover five centuries of stories in this picturesque cottage and 13 generations of the family who lived there.
Woodland, Orchards, Listed Gardens
Walking nine acres of grounds, every season holds something new. From the cottage garden bursting with life in spring, to sculptures and stunning autumn colours in the orchard.
Mary Arden’s Tudor Farm
(Open March – November)
Meet the animals, talk to the Tudors, explore the woods and try Tudor food in the café at Shakespeare’s mother’s farm.
Living Tudor Life
Meet the Tudors who run the farm just as Shakespeare’s mother would have done. You can see them prepare and eat their Tudor dinner every day.
Explore & Play
Enjoy the farmyard, playground and historic buildings. Play hide-and-seek in the willow tunnels, meet rare-breed animals.
A Busy Daily Schedule
Falconry, geese-herding, Tudor Dinner, craft demonstrations, horse-grooming, milking demonstrations… there’s so much to do!
Shakespeare’s New Place
Visit Stratford-upon-Avon’s newest and most exciting attraction. Walk in Shakespeare’s footsteps and meet the man behind the works in a fascinating new exhibition. Discover beautiful gardens and specially-commissioned artworks.
Ardencote are delighted to be able to offer Residents discounted tickets to Shakespeare’s Houses!
- Hatton Adventure World
Set in the beautiful Warwickshire Countryside, Hatton Adventure World offers families a full day of adventure, activities and fun.
Between Easter and the end of October get involved in feeding and handling the animals, watching the children’s entertainer in the theatre, riding on a tractor safari (a tractor and trailer ride that takes visitors around Hatton Estate) and enjoying themed summer events. You can also be wowed by the amazing Falconry Demonstrations, place your bets at the Hatton Grand National (sheep racing) and for the children there are bouncy castles and slides, a JCB track, panning for gold as well as Fort Hatton, zip wire, swing boats and build and play, all included in the price. Hatton Adventure Farm has the largest soft play centre in the Midlands and for children 8yrs+ they have outdoor laser combat. Every child over 8yrs (and an accompanying adult) can enjoy 1 free adrenaline-fuelled game and if you’ve got stamina additional games can be booked for a small additional charge.
Over the winter Hatton Adventure Farm offer an equally exciting programme but they concentrate on events and activities indoors so no need to worry about the weather!
- Hatton Shopping Village
Nestled amongst rolling hills lies one of Warwickshire’s truly hidden gems – Hatton Shopping Village. Built in the 1830’s as a model Victorian farm, the buildings once housed granaries, dovecotes and cows and are now home to a Garden Centre, 20 shops and 2 restaurants.
It is a place where you are assured of warm welcomes, those old fashioned courtesies that we all miss and a rural tranquillity that contrasts with the stresses of everyday life.
Stroll around the Sweet Shop, Antiques and Interiors Centre, speciality gift shops, Farm Shop and a charming selection of specialist shops as well as The Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Brantano Footwear.
Don’t forget Ransons Garden Centre where you can enjoy a morning coffee, lazy lunch or afternoon tea at the Cafe Lavender Blue, Spinning Jenny Restaurant, Bar and Tea Rooms or combine with a leisurely waymarked walk across the Hatton Estate to the Hatton Arms pub.
- West Midlands Safari Park
Are you ready to go on Safari and come face to face with some of the fastest, tallest and cutest animals around on our Safari Drive-through? Visit the African Plains, Wild Asia, Carnivores and Elephant Valley.
‘Land of the Living Dinosaurs’ is the newest attraction and the Uk’s largest animatronic Dinosaur exhibit and can be found in the pedestrianised Discovery Trail, with Penguin Cove, Sealion Theatre, Lorikeet Landing and much more close by. The wonderfully themed area is made up of 38 life size dinosaurs situated within a sympathetically planted landscape. The dinosaurs cover 4 periods of the dinosaur reign –Permian, Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. With realistic movements and sound effects it has proven to be a very popular addition to visitors to our attraction.
West Midlands Safar Park also offers and Adventure Theme Park with dozens of rides to choose from, there are rides suitable for all the family, young and not so young! From traditional rides of ‘all the fun of the fair’ to a pirate ship and roller coasters! The Adventure Theme Park also has games and an arcade full of all your favourite amusement machines. Or maybe you would prefer to test your skills on the Dodgems, whizz down the slides, trundle along in the ghost train, plummet 30m towards the earth, spinning high above the ground or round and round whilst swinging to and fro! (Wristbands must be purchased from the park for the Adventure Theme Park).
Ardencote are delighted to be able to offer Residents discounted tickets to West Midlands Safari Park!
- Hatton Locks
Just 3.5 miles for Ardencote is Hatton Locks, a beautiful canal walk.
Hatton’s flight of 21 locks provides an excellent example of how our canal heritage has adapted to meet the needs of a changing society.
From a highway of the Industrial Revolution it has become a much valued recreational resource and a vital green corridor for wildlife.
Today, this stretch of waterway is part of the Grand Union Canal, but when it opened in December 1799 this was the Warwick & Birmingham Canal, built to carry locally mined coal to the power stations and factories of the Black Country. It was also a vital trade link in a chain of waterways connecting London with the Midlands.
- Yarningale Aqueduct
Yarningale Aqueduct is approximately a 1 mile walk from Ardencote, and provides a beautiful setting for a country walk along the canal.
Yarningale is part of a trio of aqueducts on the South Stratford Canal. Whereas Edstone is the longest in England this diminutive structure must rank as one of the shortest – a runty 42 feet, so short that even Wand’ring Bark can’t be contained within its cast iron trough.
This is the second single span aqueduct to be built on the site, crossing a small stream near Preston Bagot. The first was a wooden affair, built in 1812 and washed away by a flood in 1834, caused by a surge from the Grand Union. It’s replacement, the aqueduct we see today, was erected in an astonishing 27 days in 1834, having been cast at the Horsley Ironworks, whose output graces much of the BCN.
The aqueduct comes as something of a surprise, with its 9 foot wide channel leading directly into the top of Bucket Lock (number 34) and appears for all the world to be an extended narrows. Boaters therefore find themselves coming to a stop just before the top gates and unexpectedly looking down at a stream passing through a densely wooded valley.
Like its counterpart at Wootton Wawen, the cast iron trough was made without an expansion joint and this resulted in the inevitable split, this time over one of the abutments. Yarningale aqueduct formed part of the “three aqueducts” project in 2003, when major repairs were undertaken to the brick buttresses and the trough, where years of frost damage and corrosion was corrected and the structure rendered safe for many years to come.
- Royal Shakespeare Company
The RSC create theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world.
They produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.
Everyone at the RSC – from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians – plays a part in creating the world you see on stage. All RSC productions begin life at their Stratford workshops and theatres and they bring them to the widest possible audience through their touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. So wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work made in Shakespeare’s home town.
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon is situated on Waterside, alongside the River Avon. It is a Grade II listed building which retains many of the art deco features of the 1932 Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, it re-opened in November 2010 after a three-year transformation project.