Hello everyone I will be traveling to England 5/22-6/5/13 with my mother. The general plan is to spend the first week seeing London and the second week doing day trips. I have purchased the Britrail London Plus Pass (extremely expensive, but I purchased peace of mind more than anything else). We are looking to do Warwick Castle one of the days and I know the pass covers me to Stratford-Upon-Avon, but I do not think it covers Warwick. So my question is- anyone know how to get from Stratford-upon-avon to Warwick castle? Hopefully without spending a small fortune or high chance of getting lost? Thanks!
Stagecoach bus route 16 runs from Stratford upon Avon to Warwick in about twenty minutes. Timetable at http://www.stagecoachbus.com/PdfUploads/Timetable_21987_16.pdf. The bus stops in Stratford are in the centre of town a short walk away from the railway station. I'm afraid I don't know exactly where the bus stop in Warwick is in relation to the castle, but I don't think the castle is far from the town centre.
Alternatively the trains from London to Stratford actually pass through Warwick. It's possible, however, that if your pass specifically only covers Stratford you may not be allowed to get out at Warwick! Check the information on your pass.
Looking at the Britrail Map for passes (http://www.britrail.com/images/stories/britrail-map.pdf) there shouldn't be a problem as Warwick is only one station north of Leamington Spa, although it is kind of interesting that they don't mark it. The castle is about 1 mile from the station. If travelling from Stratford do not get out at Warwick Parkway station. This is on the outer western edge of Warwick and is primarily a commuter station.
Kristin, if you are going to Warwick, it is a shame to miss the numerous other attractions either on the way, or in very close proximity. I would suggest staying a couple of nights somewhere in the area and renting a car. On the way are Oxford and Blenheim. In very close proximity are Stratford, Coventry, and Kennilworth. Kennilworth and Coventry cathedral are ruins, but very impressive. There is a free auto museum which has perhaps the best Blitz exhibit that I have seen in Coventry. Stratford is picturesque but Anne Hathaway's cottage and Shakespeare's mother's farm are in the area, but not walking distance, and very worthwhile. And, if you extend a day or so, the Cotswolds are in the same general neighborhood. However, if you are reluctant to drive, while the other areas I mentioned are a piece of cake, the Cotswolds can be a bit more frightening. There are many VERY NARROW, TWISTING roads in that region.
If you look at the map so graciously provided by Marco, find Stratford-upon-Avon and just to its right Leamington Spa. There is a bit of a left-handed curve between them. All that spur is included, including the stations not shown on the map. Along that curve are, in order, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Warwick Parkway, Hatton, Claverdon, Wilmcote (for Shakespeare's birthplace) and Stratford-upon Avon. They are all included on the London Plus Pass. They are at the edge of the coverage area but ARE included. Nearby places like Coventry are NOT included.
Thanks a lot everyone for the advice. The map provided with my tickets doesn't show that in depth, which is why I thought Stratford-upon-Avon was as far as I could go. First chance I get I'll check out that map!
Kristen, my advice would be to go on Chiltern Railways, they run between London Marylebone to Stratford-Upon-Avon and Birmingham. Warwick is a stop on that line. Its about 75 minutes from London Marylebone. From the Station its about a 15 minute walk just turn right out of the station and follow the High Street up the Hill that takes you right to the Castle Ticket booth.