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MIsty Morning by Matthew Sugars Photography

The Great Romance

A day dedicated to spending together, whether love is in the air or you simply have someone you love spending time with, Kenilworth has just the ticket for you!

There’s a couple of key rules for a day together enjoying Kenilworth, savour the moment and take inspiration from some of the great romances that have graced our story. In that vein there’s no need to start early, in fact kick off you day with a leisurely brunch! You’ll find fantastic options at Pomeroy’s or the Modern Kitchen near Warwick Road, or if Old Kenilworth is more to your taste the Old Bakery is a great choice.

Although we’d suggest a stop at one of our excellent bookshops first to read up further on the great romances. Both Kenilworth Books and Treehouse Books are on Warwick Road and both are worth a peruse to hunt down copies of “Kenilworth” by Sir Walter Scott (for the original fictionalisation of Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley) and “Katherine” by Anya Seaton (recounting the romance of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford).

Kenilworth Castle & Elizabethan Garden stars as the setting in both novels and its only a short stroll away across Abbey Fields. While both books are fiction, the Castle did indeed host both couples over its illustrious history. You’ll be able to admire the great hall built by John of Gaunt (from a dizzying height if you choose) and the lengths to which Robert Dudley went to impress Elizabeth with the reconstructed Elizabethan Garden and the entire building dedicated for her personal use.

If you want to delve further into that story we’d recommend walking the first part of the Castle and Abbey Trail which takes you out across the Mere to the Pleasance and back through the Chase to the castle (and explains more of the reality of the romance).

After all that fresh air, some sustenance beckons, you’ll find plenty of options around Castle Hill, with Harringtons on the Hill possibly the pick for a cosy meal together, alternatively Deli-on-the-hill offers fab street food, just perfect for a picnic overlooking the lake in the peace of Abbey Fields.

You could quite easily soak up an afternoon wandering the Fields, but if you fancy more of the great romances, Stoneleigh Abbey is just a short drive away. Owned by her family, Jane Austen visited Stoneleigh at the turn of the 19th century and based many of her novels on locations in and around the house (particularly the chapel). Today its spot oozing with imposing grandeur and some truly wonderful gardens to wander.

Afterwards head back to Kenilworth and depending on the timing you could slip in a pre-dinner cocktail (or even partake in a cocktail masterclass) at The Kenilworth. Sunsets in Kenilworth can be spectacular and you’ll get a great view from Abbey Fields, the Mere beyond the Castle or even up on Parliament Piece, all three are great venues for an amble as the sun goes down.

There are plenty of great choices for dinner, but for those splashing out there is only one option; The Cross, our Michelen starred gastropub, where Head Chef Adam Bennett and team will wow you with seasonal and exciting cooking. Of course there are plenty other options, but whether you choose to live your day as Elizabeth and Dudley or John of Gaunt and Kathryn Swynford, it’ll be a day well spent…