Warwickshire is a mostly rural county situated in the West Midlands. Although the town of Stratford-upon-Avon is the second-most visited place after London, due to links with William Shakespeare (and it’s believed by experts that he did write most or all of the plays, despite controversies by some scholars). Believed to be our greatest-ever living playwright, he was born into a wealthy family, yet was very left-wing politically and likely would have become an MP, had he not been a writer (he was also a property developer but for the good of the people, not like modern-day versions). Shakespeare’s children all died without heirs, so he has no direct living descendents. Nearby Nuneaton was the birthplace of Victorian novelist George Eliot.
Also born here was beloved TV presenter Larry Grayson, who remained in his home town until he died. After retirement, he lived with his pet poodle in a bungalow in the town centre. A tribute to him was always on the cards. It’s just a shame that the soon-to-be-launched ‘Grayson Place’ will feature a Hilton hotel, multi-storey car park, five-screen cinema and ‘leisure attraction’. He’s probably turning in his grave.
The town of Royal Leamington Spa is one of the few (along with Bath and Tunbridge Wells) to have its own ‘healing waters’ where Victorians would travel to, back in the day to ‘take the waters’. Set on the River Leam, it features beautiful regency architecture, its own pump rooms, a tropical plant glasshouse and flowersbeds in Jepshon Gardens.
As the name suggests, the town of Rugby was indeed the birthplace of one of the world’s favourite sports. The story goes that a senior student broke the rules of football (not running with the ball when you catch it) and a new alternative game was born!