A Day Out in Rugby
PUBLISHED: 11:18 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:05 20 February 2013
As might be expected the tourist sights in Rugby include the birthplace of the great game, but there's more to the town than an odd-shaped ball, as Debbie Graham finds out.
Little did William Webb Ellis realise that when he picked up a ball and ran with it during a game of football he was creating something that would be played all over the world. Rugby, and in particular the school, has been a place of homage for the sports fans ever since.
There is a Rugby Pathway of Fame which begins at the Rugby Visitor Centre and follows a series of bronze plaques that are dedicated to a famous player or moments in the sports development. Visitors can also see the statue of Ellis that stands in Rugbys centre.
The Webb Ellis Football museum is situated on the site of where the first rugby footballs were produced by James Gilbert and shows rugby memorabilia spanning over 100 years.
Tel: 01788 533217; www.enjoyrugby.info
Tours of Rugby School, which counts Lewis Carroll and Rupert Brooke as former pupils, are also available and take in the schools museum. Visitors can also stand at the supposed spot Ellis ran with the ball in The Close (playing field) at Rugby school.
Tel: 01788 556169; www.rugbyschool.net/commercial/
Make time to visit the nearby village of Dunchurch, which is a pretty little place, designated a conservation area. Look out for the stocks and maypole on the village green, surrounded by buildings that date back to the 16th century.
One famous Dunchurch building is the Old Red Lion Inn, now a private house known as Guy Fawkes House. In 1605 the Gunpowder plotters waited here for news of Guy Fawkes attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. The house is not open to the public.
The local Tourist Information Centre has more information about Dunchurch. Tel: 01788 533217 or visit www.enjoyrugby.info
Just a mile from Dunchurch, is Draycote Water, a 650 acre reservoir that has been named by Heart of England one of the top 10 visitor attractions in the West Midlands.
There is sailing, windsurfing, bird watching and walking available. Sailing races are also held by Draycote Water Sailing Club which can mean an exhilarating day out, either competing or watching.
For more information on Draycote Water Sailing Club tel: 01788 811153 or visit www.draycotewater.co.uk
For information on walking and bird watching tel: 01788 811107 for the visitor centre.
Keen gardeners should head to Ryton Organic Gardens, eight miles away. There are delightful gardens to visit on the ten acre site including a wildflower meadow, allotment garden and cooks garden. There is also a play area for children and restaurant.
For more information tel: 024 7630 3517 or visit www.gardenorganic.org.uk