Here are five hidden gems that every Warwick fresher should know about

No gatekeeping here.

With great diversity in student populations comes great responsibility for Warwick to provide as generous a range of activities as possible. I could just cheat off the catalogue and tell you about the societies and events that everyone talks about in fresher’s week – but where’s the fun in that? Instead, here are some of the less talked-about places and things to do as a Warwick student.

Newbold Comyn

If you’re looking for the ideal spot for a romantic sunset picnic or a place to destress and take in the views of south Warwickshire, I recommend Newbold Comyn. Situated on the outskirts of Leamington Spa, Newbold Comyn offers great views, a skate park, football pitches and a designated model aircraft flying zone. And for the history nerds who have thriving romantic lives, Newbold Comyn was first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and was also bombed in World War II – so that’s a history date just waiting to happen.

Kenilworth Castle

For the campus dwellers who cannot be bothered to fight for their lives trying to get a U1 to Leamington Spa, Kenilworth Castle offers a proximity-friendly alternative to Newbold Comyns. Drenched in history, the Kenilworth Castle is an hour away from central campus on foot and makes for the perfect mental health expedition. There are a ton of fields, parks and sites to see on your way there and the views of the castle and its gardens are well worth the walk. The visit there might also convince you (or massively deter you) from considering Kenilworth as a potential place to live in the years of uni to come.

University House

Now I know what a lot of people are thinking: “Why is this random building near Westwood on a list of hidden gems?”. Personally, I believe University House is an underrated study spot because it’s a random building that is slightly out of the way of everything happening on central campus. If you need to buckle down and really grind out that essay you left for the last minute or that coding assignment that needs your full attention, the University House’s Learning Grid is the perfect getaway from all distractions. There is physically no way you bump into any friends who’ll tempt you with a cheeky drink that turns into a night out at Smack and undue hangxiety the next morning. And if you’re trying to live your artsy campus life keep a lookout for David Batchelor’s art installation “Against Nature” embedded into the central wall of University House.

Stoneleigh Abbey

Downton Abbey who??? Stoneleigh Abbey is where Warwick students can go to truly live out their posh British aristocrat fantasies (if you’re into that sort of thing). Just a stone’s throw from campus, Stoneleigh Abbey has regal tea rooms where you can order sandwiches and pastries served to you on one of those fancy tea stands. You can even take a little stroll through the grounds like you’re a character out of Bridgerton (but I’ve already called Kate Sharma so you’re going to have to be someone else). Be warned though you need to buy a £7 ticket to access the grounds if you want to visit the tea room and its better to reserve a table beforehand. And don’t expect the tea room prices to be… student-priced.

The fields behind Claycroft

Another controversial pick but this is a personal one. I lived in Claycroft when I was a fresher and the fields behind the accommodation were where my friends and I would always hang out. Regardless of the time of day, the fields were always worth a visit. We had picnics, played frisbee, bounced on the trampolines built into the activity area, watched quidditch practice and even had comfortable lie-downs under the stars at night. And yes any field serves the same purpose but the perimeters of these two fields are dotted with trees that afford a higher level of privacy. Every Warwick student has their favourite field and these two adjacent fields are mine (and if your pick is anything near Cryfield you’re wrong).

At the end of the day, part of the Warwick University experience is mining for the hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered and rediscovered. Campus and the places nearby make up a sandbox waiting to be explored – so what are you waiting for?

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• Here it is: The official University of Warwick bucket list