Leamington Spa is a small spa town in the middle of Warwickshire - some claim it is the dead centre of England. There are a few tourist attractions, such as the Royal Pump Rooms, Jephson Gardens and the Spa Centre. The Royal Pump Rooms is home to the town's art gallery, museum, tourist information centre and library. It was renovated recently to bring these four services together, under one roof. Before this, the art gallery and library were near to Victoria Park, along York Road, the TIC was by Jephson Gardens and the museum was incorporated into the art gallery. It also includes a large assembly room. The assembly room is frequently used for classical performances, and also for TV filming. The Jephson Gardens are nice, but frequently full of skateboarders, which can be annoying. They are currently renovating them since the town was flooded in April '97. The Spa Centre is the town's theatre, with an annual pantomime, and regular performances. People come around from the local areas to shop, as it has a relatively good range of shops. The main shopping area for tourists is Regent Street, as that has the most unique shops. Along the Parade are all of the department and chain stores, such as House of Fraser, Burtons and Woolworths. There is a large shopping centre, the Royal Priors, which is home to a lot of chains, such as Electronics Boutique and Miss Selfridge. At Christmas time, there are spectacular lights, which are turned on in November by the town mayor, and the local radio station, Mercia FM. There is also late night Christmas shopping on Thursday nights throughout November and December. Most small shops close early, or are closed all day on Thursdays. There are plenty of banks in Leamington Spa, such as HSBC, Coventry Building Society, NatWest, Abbey National, Royal Bank of Scotland etc., and plenty of Link Cashpoints. There is a lot of town history. For this, visit the town's web sit
e at http://www.royal-leamington-spa.co.uk/, as there is far too much to mention here! --- LeamUpdate - 050101 --- Jephson Garden renovations are going well.... more on this soon!
Royal Leamington Spa. A decadent society An affluent spa town in the middle of Warwickshire, Leamington spa is my home town. Popular with the tourist passing through, maybe on the way to Stratford-upon-Avon, the town has much to offer. The whitewashed Regency buildings gracing the Parade are a shopper’s paradise with major chain stores having outlets in either of the two shopping malls. The leafy avenues house many a minor celeb. With formal gardens occupying a large amount of acreage in the town centre, the town has a tranquil feel to it. There are many pubs and churches and sites of great historic importance. Queen Victoria loved the sulfureous saline water so much she gave the town a royal prefix. On the whole the place is almost idyllic; good schools, good housing, easy to get to and away from. Skirting the town to the east is Newbold common a haven with hills that allow a panoramic view of the town and the outlaying villages, on a clear day the windmill out near Chesterton can be seen. All this paints a very pretty picture of middle England. But the facades of the Parade hide more than crumbling brick work. The town has a higher proportion of subversive and cosmopolitan people than it does upstanding pillars of society. The people of Leamington make the town. Once upon a time, the famous black magician Alister Crowley was alleged to have cursed the town. Anyone who was born within the town is doomed to return should they ever get away. If you ever visit, head south of the river to the old town. Here you will find fantastic Indian restaurants, the best being the Punjab, friendly cheap pubs and encounter the sub culture. If you are the sort of person that likes live music then Kelly’s is the pub for you, established bands play there Monday nights and for a nominal entry fee you can drink till midnight. There exists a music collective based in the Bath Place community centre this is also the best gig venue, with many act
s starting out on the route to stardom having once played there, like Chumbawumba and Reef, not to mention unpublicized napalm deth gigs! Leamington is a marvellous place and comparing it to Norfolk where I now live it appears the an oasis in a desert. If you don’t quite feel like a respectable member of society then Leamington is the place for you. To paraphrase the sixties icon Timothy Leary, the town is a perfect place to tune in, turn on, and drop out.