Tucked away in the little village of Radford Semele, just a hop, skip and a jump from the historic town of Royal Leamington Spa is the 16th-century White Lion pub. Its thatched roof, open fireplaces and original oak beams create a romantic, welcoming atmosphere.
Just east of Leamington Spa, on the main A425 running through the heart of Radford Semele, the White Lion is the quintessential country village pub. The building has stood for almost 500 years, its iconic thatched roof straight from a watercolour painting.
Today it is a warm and friendly gastropub whose décor is fresh and elegant while managing to retain the charm and history of its heritage. Original features are everywhere, and there is even a priest hole, a small hidden nook used to hide priests during a time when they faced persecution.Read more...
In 2006, a fire swept through the White Lion demolishing the fragile thatched roof. Yet from the ashes came a new lease of life, and in 2011, the pub once again opened its doors to welcome guests to its homely yet sophisticated interior. In the evenings, candles flicker invitingly on the tables, the bar area is abuzz with friendly chatter and a chalk specials board lists an ever-changing array of tantalising food options. In summer, guests can dine alfresco to the sounds of nature. There is no loud music or TVs to spoil the ambience, just good food, real ales, fine wines and friendly service.
Just one mile from the White Lion is the elegant and trendy city of Royal Leamington Spa. Its noble title does it justice, for the city’s grand boulevards are lined with Regency architecture and Georgian and Edwardian buildings. There are pretty parks and gardens to make green-fingered visitors swoon, plus a flurry of independent shops and cutesy boutiques. One of the must-sees in the city is the award-winning Jephson Gardens, a Grade II-listed haven of immaculate blooms and fragrant flowers. Just opposite the gardens are the Royal Pump Rooms, today home to the Art Gallery and Museum, a library and tourist information.
The White Lion has some of South Warwickshire’s most impressive sights on its doorstep. Only 4.5 miles away is Warwick, a little town made famous by its vast medieval castle. There are few castles in all the land as impressive as Warwick’s, its turrets and stout defences perched high on a cliff. The original wooden fortification was built by none other than William the Conqueror in 1068, and rebuilt in stone in the 12th century. It played a key role in great battles and saw many tumultuous times until it was converted to a country house in 1604 by the Earls of Warwick. It remained their seat until 1978 when it opened to the public. Today, it is popular destination with families and history buffs alike.
While the castle is the star attraction, the town itself has plenty of appeal too. Set on a sweeping bend in the Avon River, Warwick has a central market square lined by vintage and modern shops. It is so picturesque, in fact, that it has featured in many television period dramas from ‘Pride and Prejudice’ to ‘Dangerfield’.
If you want to work up an appetite before visiting the White Lion, Foundry Woods is the place to do it. Just 2.6 miles away, the small triangular-shaped woodland is a little natural paradise. A path weaves through the two acres of woods, past a wildlife pond and small outdoor classroom. Regular events are held here, from craft sessions and nature talks to low-key music gigs and environmental-themed movies.Show less...