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Help - England

Hi everyone, I'm travelling over to Merry Olde England in later September/early October to visit two friends who are at school there. I've been looking at somewhere to make a base from for travelling - one friend is in Birmingham the other is in Oxford. I've been thinking about staying in a place next to Warwick called Leamington Spa - does anyone know anything about this town or if there are better places to stay so that I'll be equidistant from my friends?

Thanks for your help,


Posted by
144 posts

Hi Alex. Actually the city of Coventry is close to both of those cities and makes a good place from which to explore. We were there a few years back and used Coventry as home base and from there we went to Oxford and parked in the car park area and rode the bus into the city centre. We took the train to Birmingham from Coventry too and that was a fast trip. Coventry is east of Birmingham and north of Oxford.

Posted by
591 posts

That's a good choice. I've stayed at the Holiday Inn in Leamington - decent rates for a tourist area.

Posted by
1829 posts

A typical English town, not thatched roof sort but Georgian and Victorian buildings. Apparently Nathanial Hawthorne, Napoleon Bonaparte and Queen Victoria stayed there when it was a popular Spa town. Mostly off the foreign tourist radar and with a life of it's own, so really back door!

Has good links to London, Oxford, Birmingham etc and is near to the Cotswolds for trips out.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for the suggestions, it seems like an interesting place. I will have to have a look at the holiday inn, although I will be there for 3 weeks (my gf was born in England and has long lost relations in Birmingham that we're visiting too).

I've heard bad things about Coventry... a friend went there and said it wasn't really very nice. Leamington looks interesting - the Napoleon Bonaparte stayed there??? Is there a museum or something?

How different are small English towns like that to the bigger cities? Will it have all the normal stuff there like a cinema, shops etc?

Posted by
1829 posts

I think we have a good example of two nations divided by a single language. For us the term city has a specific meaning and places cannot call themselves a city without, believe it or not, the permission of the Queen. There are 50 official cities in England, the rest are towns and villages. To add to the confusion there are some towns larger than some cities.

To answer your question, it depends on the size and location of the town eg whether in an economically depressed area. Most have a website which will tell what there is in the way of shops, eating places etc.