LEAMINGTON SPA The journey to Leamington Spa is much quicker than it used to be, making it a viable commuter’s haunt. In the past the people who chose to live in this spacious spa town, with its Georgian and Victorian houses and attractive riverside walks, often came because of the development of light industry between Leamington and Warwick. The delightful Royal Pump Rooms, where rich and poor once took baths and needle showers, have been restored as an arts centre, and the town now teems with designer boutiques. One of the nicest parts of the town is the tree-lined Beverley Road, offering a mix of Fifties’ and Sixties’ detached houses which sell from around £300,000, unmodernised, up to £425,000, restored. Northumberland Road is the most prestigious street, in which the price for a good-sized Twenties’ house is £500,000, rising to £980,000 for the best.
Those who are willing to drive across five miles of farming landscape to Leamington station settle in Harbury, a lively village with a good community of mixed ages and a cosy, clustered centre near the church and pubs, with frills of modern housing around it. Small modern houses start at £240,000; larger period cottages go for £560,000.
Neighbouring Bishop’s Itchington is known in estate agency terms as Harbury’s poor relation – a three-bedroom end-of-terrace here goes for £162,000; a detached house for £229,000. Bishop’s Tachbrook has a little row of shops, but the few thatched houses are well outnumbered by Sixties’ and Seventies’ red-brick estates. A three-bedroom semi will be in the region of £190,000; a semi-detached timber-framed cottage with three bedrooms costs £375,000. The higher price reflects the bonus of easy access to the extended M40, which tends to attract young professionals.
|Journey time:||90 mins|
|Peak trains:||2 per hour|
|Off-peak trains:||2 or 3|
|Notes:||*Also valid to Paddington via Oxford, but there are hardly any through trains - changing at Oxford takes 20 mins longer than to Marylebone|