“ Address: Brinklow Road / Binley / Nr Coventry CV3 2AB / England „
Combe as been an old favourite of Coventrians and surrounding area for years and years! I can remember going as a child with the old boating lake and deer in the bit near the back of the house! those were the days!
Well where do I start, it's changed almost beyond recognition but there are still bits that are just the same! The main part of the hotel was the original abbey it has now been brought back to life and looks stunning as you drive down the entrance road towards it - you can imagine back in the good old days how it must have been coming down that road in a horse and carriage - anyway I've got carried away!
As you come down the main drive/road towards the hotel the main car parks are on the right, if you drive a little further you reach the hotel car park which by warning you can drive into but you can't get out of without a code from the hotel - so don't try it unless you are actually going into the hotel!
The car park last year was £4 for the day which actually I suppose is fairly reasonable for the whole day, the downside is if you pop for just an hour to pass some time it's still £4! In the summer it gets absolutely packed on lovely days.
From the car park head straight towards a more modern looking building to the left of the main hotel. This is where the shop, cafe and a little nature centre are located. They also have various things on here in the holidays like making bat masks or badges - usually costs around £2 per child. Also here they sometimes have wood turning and bird of prey demonstrations. There is also a bar but to be honest I've never been in there and I don't even know if it's still open (never take any notice!).
Right by this building is the younger children's play area it has loads of bits to play in although unfortunately for the amount of children that can be there at times there aren't enough swings!
On the field near this building and opposite the car park there is often events going on, dog shows, cars, kite festivals etc.
From the play area you can walk down towards the water where you can feed the ducks, all around the park are picnic benches where you can have a nice picnic. The path actually crosses the water - it wasn't like this when I was a child, this is because you used to enter the whole park through what is now the hotel and that is reserved for hotel users only.
Across the water you can go a number of ways round if you take the path to the left and then go over the bridge to the left you can go on up the hill and into a huge field suitable for picnics and big enough for a number of groups to play rounders/cricket with ample space around them! you can enter the wooded area which surrounds the wrautumns field from anywhere which takes you onto an outer path which if you follow it round should always bring you back to your starting point - but it would take a long time! best to have a map really!
From the entrance to the Wrautumns field if you were to walk round to the right of it around to the next entrance you would find in the wooded area there a new play area for older kids probably 6/7+ age. From here you can carry on round over a sort of bridge and to the right which brings you round by the hotel past some what I call 'proper fairy tree's' just like the ones you see in the fairy tales, tall fir trees with red/brown bark! Also hidden in this area is a little secret! well it's not really but when I was a child we used to find it and say it was a fairy ring, it's just a little round structure I think it has mushrooms with a little wire fence round it! I guess it may have been a fairy ring for the children living in the house many many years ago.
Eventually - hopefully at some point you'll end up back at the place where you cross the water! If you look back at the hotel it's a lovely view.
I have had the priviledge of attending two weddings here, one of which I was a bridesmaid for and I can say that they were both really lovely, the hotel was fabulous the bride I was bridesmaid for took me to her bridal suite as she was staying the night, it looked over the water - it was an amazing view and you wouldn't believe you were in Coventry!! Some of the hotel rooms are just like normal hotels rooms but there are others like the brides suite that are just amazing, designed to be like they were originally with four poster beds set up high and an amazing bathroom with a toilet like a throne! obvsiously these are pricey but if you're looking for something a bit unusual then this is the place. They also have medieval banquets in the hotel.
I have also been into the hotel to have a cream tea which is a nice thing to do. I think it was about £6 but wow you should've seen the size of the scones!!!! It feels very grown up and grand!! ha! if you like that kind of thing, I don't think I'd feel like taking the children in with my trainers or wellies on if I'd just gone for a stroll round the park bit!!
Going back to the park, as you head back towards the car park and play area there is often donkey rides available on your left. Again I think it's about £1.50 or £2.
It is a great place to take the kids and their bikes as many of the paths are good paths to ride on - except maybe near the water! there aren't any railings so you do need to watch the children around that area. I do like it without the railings I think it would spoil the look if it had to have railings so please becareful because I guess the moment someone has a bad accident they are going to have to put them round.
Also if you're planning a BBQ there are designated area's right by the car park which is handy because you don't have to carry your stuff too far. There are quite a few BBQ's already there for you to use.
Warning - because it is a popular place you will probably find when you come to feed the ducks that they are not interested - they are so full they couldn't face another crumb! if you want to feed them choose a time of year when it's cold, wet and frozen!! mind you I've even been then and they're not interested - they are well fed by lots of little people!
Lastly if you go towards the Wrautumns field but instead of going up to it take the flat path to the left you will walk along the rivers edge and at the end there is a bird hide from there you can somehow I can't remember exactly how - find your way into the back of the Wrautumns field.
Toilets are suitated at the beginning by the young childrens play area and also near the older children's play area but other than that you've got quite a walk in between!
I think that about somes it up - I love the place but I would avoid it at busy times.
Coombe Abbey Country Park is located on the eastern edge of Coventry. It has been open to the public since 1966, after it was purchased by Coventry City Council. The main landmark of the park is a 12th Century cistercian abbey, which is where the park gets its name. The abbey has now been converted into a hotel.
The country park itself is set over 500 acres with land use ranging from open fields and woodland to a large 1km long lake. There are constructed footpaths which hug the fringe of the park, taking visitors through woodland and along the lake. There is a small wooden hide at the western edge of the park which overlooks a small woodland clearing and over the lake itself. There are a wealth of bird species which can be seen at the park, and these are listed on a board in the bird hide and updated accordingly. The woodland surrounds the large opening of Wrautums Field is ideal for BBQs, picnics and games and is often very popular during hot summer days. There used to be a play are here, but for some reason or another, probably health and safety, this has since been removed.
The grounds immediately surrounding the hotel consists of gardens and parkland, and there is also a large outdoor children's play area. There is also a newly built visitors centre which features a cafe, shop and activity/education room.
Despite being in a rural location, the 585 service operated by Travel De Courcey runs from Coventry to Rugby, via Coombe Abbey. But for those who want to walk there and live close enough, I would recommend the northern entrance to the park which can be accessed via Farber Road in Walsgrave-on-Sowe. It features half a mile of farm track which climbs a small hill. The top of the hill provides breathtaking views of the city, one of the greatest hidden secrets of Coventry in my opinion. Just before the track deteriorates to a muddy trail, take a right turn into a field, with a hedge on your left. This is not sign posted and is often missed by first timers!
I had the wonderful plesure of staying at the Coombe Abbey hotel during a business trip 3 years ago, I was tasked with manning a stand for my employer at a conference at the University of Warwick just outside Coventry and had to stay over night for a few days.
I discovered that my manager had booked this hotel the week before the trip and was a little surprised that he hadnt booked anything closer or more convenient, at the time I was very annoyed as it dawned on me I would have to rely on taxis to get me around during the 3 days I was away for (I dont drive - yet)
The second my taxi pulled up to the gates outside the estate and made its way down the long drive to the hotel I instantly cheered up and realised why my boss had made the booking, this place was stunning and not unlike a small stately home. I later learned from the staff that the hotel was originally a monastry which is reflected in the decor throughout the building and in the staff uniform. A nice touch too was the wake up call, my phone rang at the appointed time during my first morning and I was slightly taken aback to hear chanting monks down the line! it made me smile and certainly got me a in a good mood for the day to come.
I didnt make use of the restaurants in the hotel simply as I didnt have the time due to my tight schedule, having to be at the uni for the conference each morning for 8am and then not getting back to my room until 10pm didnt leave much time for fine dining, I did however manage to order some room service one evening. I ordered a tuna sandwich as I didnt fancy a full meal, it was delivered quickly by a very polite member of staff and was delicious, fresh tuna wonderfully seasoned on home made bread with an assortment of crisps and salads.
My room was on the 2nd floor and had a beautiful large bay window overlooking the gardens - which are made up of 500 acres - the room was decorated in a gothic style, dark but not overbearingly so with thick lucious carpets, sweeping drapes, and an enormous king sized four poster bed. It was so large I could have down with a ladder to reach it. (I'm only 4,11!) The room was larger than my old studio flat back in Southend and easily the most comfortable I have ever stayed in.
I plan to return one day soon with my partner for a weekend break, this time for pleasure. I had no time to take in the whole hotel during my business trip or any of the grounds which I hear are a worth a visit in their own right.
I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a romantic beautiful hideaway with their loved one, in a word it's simply stunning.
Coombe Abbey Country Park is in Binley, around 5 miles from Coventry. It is easily accessable you can get a bus from Coventry or rugby and it takes around 20 mins from Rugby on the bus. It stops outside the park and is hourly. Driving is easy there is plenty of parking and the parking costs £2.50 (good value for a family day out).
There is no enterence costs to get into coombe abbey, although occasionally they close off one of the fields and charge entrance for special events. There is a hotel at Coombe Abbey and it is outstanding, you feel like you have gone back in time when you stay there! I have done a seperate review on the hotel. Coombe Abbey offer lots of corporate and group events.
When you arrive at coombe abbey you will see the visitor centre, in here there are notices, a shop, cafe, and leaflets for the local area, its also here where you can book trails and tours.
To the left of the visitor centre there is a fabulous play area in stages from suitable from baby's to around 10yr olds. There are lots of fields in which to play football and picnic in, plentyful picnic tables throughout the park and even stands for disposable bbq's available. There are plenty of rubbish bins and doggy poo bins available throughout the park and this is one place where the majority of people actually do clean up after themselves.
You can follow lots of nature trails, walk through the woodland, fly a kite on the open fields or if the weather is great just sunbathe! At the other side of the park there is another play area, this is based for older children and is in amoungst the woodland and has rope bridges etc.
All in all its a great bargain family day out
I have experienced the corperate days side of Coombe abbey twice now and both times they have been a pleasure to deal with.
I organise four trips a year for our company (its what we call our '' teamtogether days'') and commbe abbey has been our venue choice for two events ..... one being a treasure hunt and the other being a medevil banquet.
The treasure hunt was brilliant, i never actually realised how many beutiful things there were to see at coombe abbey and i have been going there every since i was a little girl myself, for eg. they have a lot of great tree carvings, they are absolutly gorgeous and so much work must have gone into them, there is also some great sculptures and i must admit we had such a laugh with the stocks that are behind the banquet hall.....our managers were put in them quite a few times.
We had a wonderful bbq, and when i say wonderful that does not even begin to describe how good it was;
for 17 gbp per head they provided
about seven different salads
corn on cob
juice and water
and the quality of the meat was fantastic.
The second event has been our favourite as a department, we all dressed up in costume and the whole medevil experience was so great, the actors, the music, the food, the staff, the venue absolutly everything, i think this cost 34 gbp per head for our company as there was quite a few of us.
I have never had the pleasure of using the hotel and services other than for buisness use, but it a beautiful place, really dark, romantic and cosy...
But i have used the grounds to take the children for walks and to the park probally about 15 times a year and its great, everything you could ask for, loverly equipment, great gift shop, cafe and ammenities...... fantastic day out for all.
Coventry has a bit of a bad reputation as a grey, concrete-based, industrial city without much colour or prettiness to boast of. But this is not necessarily true, and nothing proves this more than a trip to Coombe Abbey Country Park, which is just a few miles east of Coventry and boasts 450 beautiful acres of woodland, grassland, lakes and gardens.
The park is open daily from 7.30am until dusk, and entry is free, though there is a £3 cost to use the pay and display carpark. If you have a carload of 4 people this makes it less than a pound each for the day, which is hard to complain about!
The park has lots to offer. As soon as you leave the carpark there is a huge area of grass and trees, which is usually dotted with people picnicking or playing frisbee. There are a few picnic tables where you can eat lunch whilst watching the sheep in the adjoining field or your children playing on the nearby adventure playground (which is small to medium sized, but high quality with lots of different activities). Next to the playground there is a visitors' centre which includes a restaurant, a gift shop, a discovery centre to teach children about the park's different creatures and habitats, and a video and small exhibition about the history of Coombe Abbey.
Beyond the visitors' centre the park really opens up and you can explore the woodlands. A lovely path through the woods (which is not paved but still would be possible to take a pram or pushchair along) takes you along next to the huge lake which is home to many ducks, swans, etc. After about 20 minutes you come to a wooden shelter where you can watch the herons across the lake, or the birds eating at the nearby bird table. There are various pictures in the shelter to teach you about all the different birds and animals that you may spot, and a blackboard on which people note down which ones they have seen that day. I would recommend a pair of binoculars if you like this sort of thing.
Another 20 minutes or so of walking through the rest of the woodland will bring you back towards the visitors centre. You can now admire the beautiful scultped formal gardens in front of the abbey (an imposing and attractive building that is now a hotel - you are likely to see a wedding party if you go on a Saturday). These gardens, along with the ornamental lake, are really stunning and filled with bright flowers and detailed topiary.
If you wish to spend longer in the park you can also explore the arboretum with its 100-year old trees, or children can participate on a ropes course through the trees (I imagine there is an extra charge for this, though we did not investigate this). There are also places to get icecreams, hotdogs, burgers etc if you so desire.
You could easily while away a few hours or a whole day here - it is beautiful, relaxing and big enough not to feel too crowded, even on a hot summer's day.
500 acres of beautiful gardens, woodland, lakeside walks, and bird watching.