It’s stuffed with history – but this pretty town is full of bars, restaurants and places to shop. Kenilworth has been revealed as among the 50 most desirable places to live in England – and it’s easy to see why.
In new research by The Telegraph, towns were ranked against several factors such as cost of homes, the state of health, the jobs people have there, housing prices and the qualifications they hold.
Kenilworth is within striking distance of Coventry, Leamington, Warwick and Birmingham with a small town charm which has lots to offer for both residents and visitors.
Read more: Historic local market town named one of UK’s most stylish places to live
We have broken down a list on why Kenilworth is seen as a desirable place to live.
The history and heritage
Kenilworth is steeped in history like the Old Town which is a great example of English history with listed buildings on the High Street all in impeccable condition..
Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden
Kenilworth Castle is one of the UK’s most spectacular castles, which once stood at the heart of a vast hunting ground and surrounded by a man- made lake. It has over 900 years of history and stands as the UK’s largest ruined castle, and represented a rich prize to the generations of great men who owned and embellished it from John of Gaunt to the Earl of Leicester.
Located near Kenilworth Castle, just off Castle Hill lies a charming group of thatched cottages called Little Virginia. The claim to fame of these picturesque cottages is the tradition that the first potatoes brought to England from America were planted in this location by Sir Walter Raleigh in the 16th century. He planted them in various places, but the crop failed except in Kenilworth where they blossomed. It was assumed that the soil has similar properties to Virginia, hence the area was re-named.
These cottages are private property, but can be viewed from Castle Hill. Look out for the decorative ‘R’ on the wall of Robsart Cottage, part of Robert Dudley’s (The Earl of Leicester) initials in the stonework.
St Nicholas’ Church
Kenilworth’s oldest church, situated in the grounds of the Gothic and Norman Ruins of St Mary’s Abbey within the Abbey Fields. It is a Grade I listed building with the instantly recognisable local red sandstone which has been a place for prayer and worship for more than 700 years.
Kenilworth Clock Tower
Kenilworth clock tower was unveiled in 1906 which was funded by local businessman, George Marshall Turner to construct the clock in memory of his wife, which was passed onto Kenilworth council. The surrounding buildings like the Globe Hotel was destroyed in the blitz in 1940. But, the clock was reinstated with a stone crown and weather vane in the 70s.
Enjoy the charm of Castle Hill and High Street with its variety of independent shops, as well as major high street brands, a short walk across the Abbey Fields in the centre of the town. Warwick Road and Abbey End also host a lot of independent stores, whilst Talisman and Millar Court offer further shopping opportunities.
Talisman Square is also home to some of the more visible work of the Kenilworth Arts Festival whose volunteers have been working hard to make the space more vibrant, biodiverse and greener. You’ll find beautiful planting in the Talisman garden, butterfly murals and other art installations.
Here are some worthwhile shops to visit in the town:
- Antigo – independent boutique selling silver and fashion jewellery and seasonal clothing.
- The Artibus Yard – sells luxury home fragrances and bespoke handcrafted gifts and home décor.
- The Tree House bookshop – second hand bookshop and live music venue
- Marian Shaw – sells ladies fashion, clothing accessories, gifts and more.
Bars and Restaurants
There’s lots to choose from in Kenilworth from a range of cuisines, locations and venues. The town has traditional, historic and contemporary, and even some quirky places, all serving delicious food with great service.
The town also has luxury fine-dining experiences, like Michelin-starred pub, The Cross, which offers guests a tasting menu experience for £105 per person.
Here are some other amazing restaurants you can try:
- Harrington’s on the Hill – located in a bow fronted cottage opposite Kenilworth Castle, Harrington is the perfect venue for a memorable lunch, afternoon tea or dinner, and serves a European influenced menu.
- Indian Edge – traditional Indian restaurant that serves high-quality contemporary pan-Asian cuisine in a boutique environment in the heart of the town.
- Milk and Mocha – a family run dessert business serving fresh cakes, waffles, crepes and other delicious treats.
- Raffles Malaysian Restaurant – Britain’s first Malaysian restaurant bringing varied cuisines of Mandarin, Malays, Chinese and Tamil under one roof.
- Queen and Castle – premium pub, bar and restaurant with a courtyard and garden offering delicious pub grub whilst taking in the breathtaking views of the castle.
- Virgins and Castles – one of Kenilworth’s oldest pubs dating back to 1563 and is celebrating its 460th birthday this year.
There are nine schools in Kenilworth, 8 which are state funded and one independent, Crackley Hall School which has 294 students with fees per term up to £3,991.
According to Snobe, the schools within the area surpass the UK average of 9.95% with 15.6% of pupils receiving a strong pass in reading, writing and maths. The top ranked schools in Kenilworth are St John’s Primary School, Clinton Primary School, and St Nicholas CofE Primary School.
Leader of Kenilworth Council, Councillor James Kennedy, told us why Kenilworth is a town which is worthwhile to visit.
“Kenilworth is one of the greenest towns of its size with four local nature reserves and the Abbey Fields – a huge park beloved of residents.
“There are excellent schools, a great community feel, and lots of eating and drinking places from independent coffee shops through to Michelin-recommended restaurants. With good transport links in every direction and the best ruined castle in England it is a great place to live, work and visit.”
Here is The Telegraph’s Top 50 most desirable towns to live in:
- Cobham (Surrey)
- Hale (Trafford)
- Gerrards Cross
- St Albans
- Virginia Water
- West Bridgford
- North Ascot
- Cheadle Hulme
Sign up to our newsletter for all the latest Warwickshire news.