Nuneaton, in northern Warwickshire, lies at the very heart of England. The Royal Geological Survey and the Ordnance Survey have pinpointed the exact centre of the country to be on the Watling Street, about a mile away from the town. Nuneaton is therefore a natural choice when choosing a base to explore the area.
The town is famous as the birthplace of the Victorian novelist George Eliot, who lived there from 1819 to 1841. Many visitors make pilgrimages to the ancient churchyards of Nuneaton and Chilvers Coton, where monuments to people immortalised in her novels can be found. It is even possible to stay in George Elliot’s house – which is now a Premier Inn, with a heritage of which it is very proud.
One feature of Nuneaton not to be missed, is the bustling street market, which dates back to the 13th century. The market operates on Wednesdays and Fridays and continues to attract people from across the Midlands with its fresh produce and array of goods for sale.
The town is also blessed with a splendid public park which was laid out in 1907. Situated right in the town centre, the park is the result of an endowment by local businessman and colliery owner – Edward Ferdinand Melly. Edward Melly left money, not only to landscape the park but to create an art gallery and museum. Visitors interested in history will also be intrigued by the fine terracotta features which adorn many of the buildings (hint: remember to look upwards!). These are a legacy of the town’s many skilled brick and tile manufacturers.
The town’s central position provides it with outstanding transport links, which make it especially attractive to both visitors and the growing number of small businesses which call Nuneaton home. The M1, M6, M40 and M69 are only a short drive away, while excellent rail services radiate across the country, offering fast services to London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leicester and Coventry to name but a few.
However Nuneaton is not all about speed. Should you be looking for a leisurely way to travel, the Coventry Canal runs through the town and if you would rather not leave town, watching the colourful boats float by is a very pleasant way to spend a few hours on a sunny day.
Those wanting to get close to nature and unwind are spoiled for choice as Nuneaton is close to many places of outstanding natural beauty such as the superb Arbury Estate and its George Eliot connections. Nearby Hartshill Hayes Country Park is another beautiful location with relaxing walks whilst there are rolling vistas across the fields of Leicestershire to Bosworth Battlefield and Charnwood Forest.
Picture curtesy of Graham Beale
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