This Saturday I'm going to Royal Leamington Spa. I've never heard of it before, but checking on the train map, I learned it is on the way to Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespear's home town), which is a sweet little town not too far away from London. Shame on me, living in London for almost 2 years now and I haven't been to any town outside London (oh, except Brighton, two weekends ago).
I think I might take the opportunity to travel more around the UK, since there are trains to everywhere (I love short trip trains - 3 hours maximum) and I can get discount on the ticket. And there is something really interesting here: if you are a group of 3-4 people, you can get a big discount as well. Oh, just remembered that I went to Maidenvale (where? Yeah, I know - but it's on the way to Reading - Reading Festival, does it ring a bell? - and Oxford) three weeks ago, but it doesn't count as it was a business trip and I didn't have time to explore the place.
So, here is a text about Leamington I've copied from some website that I am too lazy to credit. I'm going there to eat. Oh dear, and I complain that I can't lose weight...
Leamington, A small village until the early 1800s, when the mineral spa waters found locally were used to develop a tourist trade and the Royal Pump Rooms were constructed. This generated a profitable local business environment and much of the fine regency architecture dates from this era.
The town is still well presented with good shopping based around the Parade and Warwick Street, plus The Royal Priors Shopping Centre off the main Parade.
The town planners also had the foresight to plan some good parks and right in the center of town is Jephson Gardens, a well laid out formal park with the river Avon passing through on its way to Warwick and Stratford.Also not far away is Newbold Commyn, a lovely large area of park land still in the town, and one of the most picturesque public golf courses in the area, with spectacular views over the town and across to Warwick Castle. Here also can be found the local sports center and swimming pool.
Leamington has a lively arts and entertainments centre, The Royal Spa Centre with a full programme of art and entertainments, and the recently refurbished Royal Pump rooms now houses the art gallery.