Warwick and Leamington Spa
Known for not actually being in the city of its name (but that’s where we’ll focus along with Leamington Spa for this city guide - see Coventry and Birmingham too), Warwick is a world-class campus-university with around 24,000 students. Campus itself is commonly referred to as “The Bubble” and acts as a sort of mini-village within your first year.
In the Bubble
Since Warwick uni is a bit more than a stone’s throw from a larger city, the Bubble has been transformed into a student city with pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants including Dirty Duck, Le Gusta, Xananas, Fusion Bar, Curiositea whose prices are appropriately student-y. A full list of eateries can be found here. There’s also a farmers’ market every two weeks on campus, plus a monthly street-food market.
It’s not just a hub helping out the hungry student community, there’s also the Warwick Art Centre, one of the UK’s largest multi-artform venues. For music, art exhibitions, workshops, seminars, theatre, dance, the list goes on and you’ll find yourself there A LOT during your stay.
The Bubble will also host a number of festivals throughout the year including the Summer Party (previous line ups have included Noah and the Whale, and Foxes) and the Warwick Art Festival - expect free-to-play pianos dotted around campus and a mass of theatre, operas, and dance.
Beyond The Bubble - Culture and Daytime Playtime
One of the best places to visit in Europe according to Lonely Planet you’ll be met by Castle and cobbled streets crammed with beautiful buildings dating as far back as the 11th Century. Independent shops, galleries, and antique centres, the town is an eclectic emporium in itself. Meandering rivers and rolling green fields, you’ll find yourself escaping here again and again. It holds an abundance of festivals throughout the year including Folk, Thai and Literary Festivals.
The chances are you’ll be living here in your second year. A 20 minute bus journey from Campus, this place is crammed with fine Victorian town houses, shopping streets, culture hives, and of course their famous Baths. Top of the list of things to do is to browse the exciting exhibitions at the Royal Pump Rooms Art Gallery and Museum, see up and coming musicians at Clarendon’s Thursday night Jam Sessions, and see a production at the Loft Theatre Company. The Arte Cafe is a great way to spend a uni-fam day. It’s a pottery painting and craft shop with a cafe to fuel your creativity.
Meet and Eat
Tomas Oken Tea Rooms - As quintessentially British as it gets, set in a beautiful 500 year old house.
Wylie’s Cafe - Always buzzing with happy well fed people.
Pastelaria Portuguêsa - Brunch, lunch, and dinner, this Portuguese power house serves up delicious plates all day.
The Steamhouse - Home to the best handmade bagels.
Coffee Architects - ‘Coffee, Teas, and everything in-between’ (the in-between part is fresh, flavourful food).
Spa Town Coffee - whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or after a cuppa and a cake, you’re in good hands.
Swirls - Authentic slow-churned gelato.
Oscar’s - ‘A corner of France in the heart of Leamington Spa’.
La Coppola - The ultimate Italian experience.
Getting about campus is as you might expect, easy. Biking and walking are very popular. In your first year you’ll find nights out to other towns and cities are organised by the university. There are buses that run from campus to nearby Leamington Spa where you can use the national rail services to get further afield.