A county of contrasts. In the north, the urban sprawl of modern-day Birmingham dominates, while elsewhere, it is very much Shakespeare country, a gentle green landscape rich in history. Warwickshire is regarded as the heart of England, with the village of Meriden claiming to be the geographical centre. The River Avon forms much of the county's character; edged with willows, it meanders in a broad peaceful valley through delightful pasturelands. Although little now remains of the thickly wooded Forest of Arden, which in Shakespeare's day covered some 200 Square miles, there are, nevertheless, many wooded walks and quiet picnic spots alongside the flowing Avon. A number of these are nearby the various places associated with Shakespeare' life. Through the centuries the county has suffered the ravages of warfare - Saxon and Norman invasions, the Wars of the Roses, the English Civil War, all have left historical imprints for us to discover.
Huge fortresses, such as those at Warwick and Kenilworth, intrigue us with memories of a more troubled past.