Leamington Spa is an attractive spa town notable for its fine Regency architecture and parks. Like Bath and Cheltenham, Leamington owes much of its grandeur to its development as a fashionable resort in the early nineteenth century, catering for those who believed its spring waters could cure or ease their ailments.
Leamington was laid out as a new town in the early to mid-nineteenth century, with features characteristic of modern planned towns including wide streets based predominantly on a north/south aligned grid. It was built on the site of a much smaller and older village called Leamington Priors, from which 2 buildings still remain - situated just East of the parish church.
Modern Leamington serves primarily as a commuter town for Coventry and Birmingham, with its population boosted during term time by students from the nearby University of Warwick
Coventry Airport (IATA: CVT) is about 10 miles / 20 minutes journey by car, though was closed to commercial traffic in December 2009.
Birmingham International Airport (IATA: BHX) (ICAO: EGBB),  is larger and not too far away and serves the region with frequent domestic and international flights. There are several direct arrivals a day from all major UK and European destinations, and one or two from more far-flung places such as Delhi, Dubai (twice daily), Islamabad, Luxor, New York and Toronto.
Leamington is on the line between London Marylebone and Birmingham, and is a relatively short distance from Coventry, which is on the main line between London Euston and Birmingham New Street. It is also on the Cross Country Bournemouth to Scotland/Northern England line giving it good North/South connections.
Leamington Spa is well served by buses. The No. 12 bus travels between Sydenham-Leamington Spa-Kenilworth-Coventry, including Coventry City Centre, Coventry Rail Station, the University of Warwick and Kenilworth on its route.
Visitors by car beware: the centre of Leamington features a perplexing traffic system which forbids turns onto or off the high-street. This can make navigating the centre of town by car very tricky to those unfamiliar with the town's layout.
The Pump Rooms, . A recently renovated historic building housing an Art Gallery and Museum, Library and Tourist Information Center, along with a cafe.
Art Gallery and Museum. Open Tu,W,F,Sa 10:30AM-5PM; Th 1:30PM - 8PM; Su 11AM - 4PM; M closed. Free admission.
Cafe. Open M-Sa 9:30AM-5PM, Su 10AM-5PM. Self-service cafe with a terrace.
Leamington Library, +44 1926-742721. Open M 9:30AM-8PM, Tu 10AM-8PM, W 9:30AM-5PM, Th 9:30AM-8PM, Fr 9:30AM-5PM, Sa 9:30AM-4PM, Su 10AM-2PM. Once the large swimming hall of the baths, this part of the building is now home to a modern library.
Tourist Information Centre. Open M-Sa 9:30AM-5PM, Su Noon-4PM.
The Royal Spa Centre, +44 1926334418, . Entertainment venue featuring various shows, from concerts to wrestling.
Jephson Gardens is well worth a visit. There is a large pond, ducks, geese, a cafe, a restaurant, boating and lots of flowers and trees. You could combine it with a walk past the library, through the pump room gardens, over the bridge and into Victoria park.
Leamington's shopping area is focused on the Parade and consists mostly of the same retail chains found on any other British high street. The elegant facades of the Parade on the eastern side at the northern end conceal Royal Priors, a smart modern indoor shopping centre, with lots of brand name shops.
There is a new development of shops between the Town Hall and the Travelodge Hotel. On the other side of the Town Hall there is a tree lined avenue with new shops, cafes and restaurants.
Park Street and Regent Street have many small independent shops and it is well worth having a wonder round to find out some hidden gems. Also, Bedford Street is home to several small fasion stores.
Hogshead, 41 Warwick Street West, +44 1926 339885.
Moo, 24 Russell Street. - Fairly expensive, trendy bar at the top of town renowned for its strange videos on huge wall screens which seem, somehow to be bizarely in time to the music (often strange mixes or alternative versions of popular indie songs and classics). The screens and videos CAN kill conversations as people stare fixatedly
Tavistock Inn, Tavistock Street.
Voodoo, 35 Regent Street West, +44 1926 422685. - kitsch bar popular with young people on the corner
Smack, (at the top of bedford street / tavistock street). Very popular with many student nights. Dingy and cramped despite recent refit, underage girl hangout, hot spot for cheap cocaine. Often there are drinks promotions associated with Moo bar and The Dukeedit
Evolve. Set in an old-cinema building, this light and airy club caters to the student population.edit
Courtyard Hotel, Olympus Avenue, Tachbrook Park, +44 1926 425522, fax 881322, . Part of the Marriott chain of hotels.
Thomas James Hotel, 45-47 Bath Street, +44 1926 312568. 17 en-suite bedrooms, conference facilities, bars and restaurant, . pick-up from local airports. From £45 - £90.
8 Clarendon Crescent, 8 Clarendon Crescent, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire (just a 3 minute walk off the Upper Parade), ☎ +44 1926 429840, . This is a lovely B&B where guests are warmly welcomed by Christine and David. Each room has an ensuite bathroom and the breakfasts will keep you going through the day. single £50; double £80. (52.294098,-1.541348)edit
Trains leave regularly from the station at the bottom of town and go direct to Birmingham, London, Manchester (and Edinburgh a few times a day). Anywhere else and your best bet is to go to Birmingham or London (depending on whether you're going north or south) and get a train from there