Saturday, 10 September 2016

Travel - Leamington Spa

I always do a ‘Travel’ post on Sunday but as I’ve got a busy Sunday coming up, I thought I might as well post this now instead of waiting another whole week.


Headed towards the Midlands last weekend, Leamington Spa to be precise. It’s a direct train ride from Bournemouth, just under 3 hours. The weather wasn’t very good; it was raining when I got there but at least it was still warm. Thanks to the weather, headed for cover. Checked out the church, which was hosting a historical exhibition ... 














Then walked to the museum/library/information centre/café. The building used to be the Royal Pump Rooms. The Museum is to the right of this main building ...


In the Museum, next to the exhibit room, is the Hammam or Turkish bath, which had been part of the Royal Pump Rooms, restored after being closed for many years.






The view outside the Museum, and the path leading to a riverside walk ...







I’ve refrained from doing my usual write-up; there isn’t much about it from a historical perspective. I did like the town, it’s small-ish, compact and pretty, and parts of it reminded me of Bath. The whole place had a very nice feeling, from walking around the town to spending time in the gardens. I didn’t realise that the hotel – The Regent Hotel – had had its fair share of famous guests. Officially opened in August 1819, it had its most famous visitor in 1830 when, aged 11, Princess Victoria stayed overnight with her father.

The photos are a mix of some taken during the day and in the evening when the rain let up. It was a very pleasant walk from the hotel to the gardens and back again ...








The hotel is the cream building at the extreme left of the picture ...







Refers to the base of the Queen Victoria statue:



A famous circus man and elephant trainer, Sam Lockhart, kept 3 of his Ceylonese elephants - 'The 3 Graces' - at Leamington Spa ...




One thing that struck me about Leamington Spa – the number of restaurants! Every road seemed to have at least one; a couple seemed to be filled with nothing but eateries!









Entrance and interior of the hotel ...










Again, as in in Arundel, I was most taken with the gardens. The Jephson Gardens are named after Dr. Henry Jephson who had built houses for the town’s poor and had also helped promote the healing properties of the town’s spa waters.













This Temple contains a very large marble statue of Dr Jephson ...













 Walking back to the hotel ...


Looking across the green to the museum building with the church behind it ...


The next morning, had a light breakfast at the most delightful tea room next door to the hotel, called Rosie’s – everything was vintage; none of the crockery matched and I loved the whole experience!












Decided to spend more time in Jephson Gardens, which is the largest public garden I’ve been in and it is gorgeous. I was struck by the copious number of benches! Usually, you’re lucky if you find one. There are fountains, a glasshouse, tea rooms, a clock tower and so much green! Not to mention the river. Just the sort of place to spend a lazy Sunday with a book and a coffee …




Inside the glasshouse...










This is called 'pink powder puff'! Never heard of it but I like it.





Back out again ...