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11 Fascinating Museums In Warwickshire You Must Visit On A Weekend Adventure

12 January 2022

If you live in Warwickshire, you’ll feel confident you know where all the tourist hotspots and off-the-beaten track places to visit are.

But how much do you actually know about the county’s mesmerising history?

For those who want to learn, there’s never far to look as Warwickshire is peppered with museums that showcase its rich and breathtaking heritage.

British Motor Museum

The motor industry is a big part of that heritage and nowhere is this more celebrated than under the expansive roof of the British Motor Museum in Gaydon.

Also a firm favourite with families, there’s always plenty to explore at both the Museum and Collection Centre on site.

You’ll find more than 300 British cars from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and Jaguar Trust collections to keep you busy throughout the day.

Depending on what time of year you visit, you may get to attend some wonderful events including The Gaydon Jaguar Show, Retro Truck Show, National Metro and Mini Show and Large Model Aircraft Show.

But if military history is more your thing, there are plenty of places to roam in your pursuit of the past.

The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum

Here, you’ll discover the story of 350 years of history of the County Regiment, from its raising in the mid to late 1600s, to the Fusiliers today.

The story of the ‘Warwickshire Lads’ from Private to Field Marshal, is revealed through an exciting mixture of real objects and interactive displays.

The building that houses the museum is worthy of the visit in itself!

Warwick’s Yeomanry Military Museum

A hidden gem in the nearby Court House, it tells the story of the Warwickshire Yeomanry since its formation in the late 1700s through to its amalgamation with other yeomanry units in the 1950s.

The aim of the museum, which is run by volunteers, is to safeguard the heritage and collective memory of those who served for the Yeomanry.

It’s free to enter but gift aid welcomed to help maintain the museum’s upkeep.

Battle of Edgehill Exhibition

Another one of Warwickshire’s best kept secrets is in St Peter’s Church in the tiny village of Radway, neighbouring the battle site.

You’ll uncover intriguing insights and information from this permanent exhibition about the historic battle of 1642 and its effect on the local population.

It was the first major battle of the English Civil Wars between Royalists and Parliamentarians.

The church is open during daylight hours and entry to the exhibition is free of charge, but if you’re happy to leave a donation it’ll certainly be welcomed!

This is a hidden gem in every respect and is not the easiest to find – but worth the effort if you’re a bit of a military or local history buff.

The Lord Leycester Hospital

This is regarded as one of the best preserved examples of medieval courtyard architecture in England.

During your visit you will step back over 700 years when the Guilds of Warwick built these half-timbered buildings as the centre of their activity.

The tour includes exploration of medieval buildings and the 500-year-old garden and maybe even the opportunity to meet one of the Brethren or Master who still live within these walls.

Whatever did the Romans do for us, some might ask. Well, the Roman Museum in Alcester will reveal the answers.

This delightful – and free – exhibition is home to pottery, jewellery, maps and other artefacts from the time as well as a range of hands-on activities.

It’s a great choice to bring the whole family – and highly educational.

Alcester is one of the most investigated Roman small towns in the country, with more than 100 archaeological digs in the last 80 years.

So few places more fitting when it comes to displaying some of the finds.

Tudor World

The focus is on Tudor times over at Stratford-upon-Avon’s Tudor World fun family interactive museum.

Explore the outdoor Elizabethan theatre or take a lantern-lit ghost tour of the historic building.

You’ll love learning about what life was really like during the time of William Shakespeare, Francis Drake and Henry VIII.

Here you’ll gain a rare glimpse into many aspects of Tudor life as well as the history of this fascinating town.

Step back more than 700 years for a historically fascinating visit which will include the exploration of the buildings and garden as well as the chance to enjoy the delightful Kitchen Café and small gift shop.

Private conducted tours can also be pre-arranged if you’d like to take a group of friends or family on future trips.

The museum is suitable for all ages and offers lots of interactive elements. You can even take part in a written witch trial, go in the stocks or try your hand at quill writing in the school room.

Just think of all the awesome photo opportunities!

 

MAD Museum

Another of Stratford’s educational gems.

A truly unique attraction, MAD is the country’s only permanent museum for mechanical art and automata.

You’ll witness a collection of beautifully crafted moving sculptures sourced from artists around the world.

And interaction is definitely encouraged!

This fantastic playground of paraphernalia for adults and inquisitive kids is a hive of fun and inspirational creativity which also makes STEM learning a joy.

Rugby Museum

Perhaps you’re an avid follower of sports? Not many people realise that the famous Rugby School houses a fascinating museum celebrating the home of the game.

Rugby Museum highlights include the first written rules of Rugby Football and examples of early balls and caps.

You can see The Close where the game began, The Old Quad where Tom Brown played and walk in the footsteps of Lewis Carroll.

Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum

South Warwickshire is also rich pickings for art and culture lovers.

An interesting stop-off while in this neck of the woods is The Royal Pump Rooms and Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum.

This award-winning attraction boasts an impressive array of collections, from fine art, exhibition of the history of Royal Leamington Spa, and even a restored Victorian Turkish Baths room.

There’s also a changing programme of visual arts, history and local interest exhibitions and events so worth checking out what’s on when you’re in the area.

Be sure to take some time for a stroll around part of the beautiful Grade II 55-acre Pump Room Gardens that surround it while you’re there.

 

Compton Verney

You’ll discover a similar vibe at Compton Verney, near Stratford-upon-Avon, popular among those who enjoy art as well as the great outdoors.

A host of collections span the world, from British Folk Art and British Portraits through to Naples and Chinese Collection.

Plus, there’s changing exhibitions and tours, talks and workshops.

Pick up one of four free grounds trails to explore the 120 acres of Compton Verney’s parkland with fun hands-on activities and don’t miss the Moore Rodin trail designed to guide you around the sculpture park.

If they have any energy left, younger visitors can then wear themselves out in the children’s adventure playground or hide away in the willow tunnels.

Stratford Butterfly Farm

If minibeasts are more your thing, then a visit to here is a must.

As well as being the UK’s largest tropical butterfly paradise, this fascinating attraction allows you to get up close to African snails, millipedes and a variety of stick insects.

In one of the exhibitions you can also learn about the connection that the Butterfly Farm has to the rainforests of Belize and the ancient Maya civilisation.

Keep an eye on their website for events, plus there’s an educational area and impressive nature-inspired gift shop.

So, if you reckon you know all about the history of your area, think again.

There's so much more to know than you could ever imagine – and so many fascinating places in which to learn.