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Published August 15th 2012
Visit an area of outstanding beauty
Coombe Abbey and Coombe Country Park in Coventry provides visitors with a range of activities for the whole family to enjoy. The grade I listed building is full of history and dates back to the 12th century where it was once a Cistercian Abbey. In the 16th century the abbey became a royal property, and in recent years it has been restored as a luxurious hotel and restaurant. The picturesque abbey is located within 500 acres of parkland with beautiful gardens, a woodland area and a large lake which hundreds of people come to visit on a summer's day.
When arriving at the abbey take a walk around the exterior of the building and admire the beautiful architecture - you can get some perfect pictures here so don't forget your camera. You can then explore the inside of the abbey and view the beautiful furniture and some original artefacts on show. The interior of the abbey is almost like a museum and is definitely worth a look around.
Surrounding the abbey are beautifully maintained gardens and a large lake. There are plenty of walks around the lake where you can discover lots of wildlife and see beautiful views of the abbey. As you walk further along the lake you will come across a wildlife area where you can sit and look out for different species of birds in the parks bird hide. From this spot you can easily view one of Warwickshire's largest heronries. Fishing is also allowed in the lake.
Within Coombe Country Park there is a climbing forest, a children's play area and many educational programmes to keep the kids amused. In the summer the fields and glorious gardens are filled with people having picnics and BBQs overlooking the lake and the abbey. Coombe Country Park also has a range of facilities by the abbey such as a visitor and discovery centre, history room, information desk, cafe and gift shop. This area is worth a visit in order to learn more about the building and the landscape. There is also so much history around the abbey such as statues and graves of those who had lived there in the past.
Afternoon tea in Coombe Abbey is a must if you have a sweet tooth. You can find a range of special offers online, and you must book before you visit as it can be very popular. During the afternoon tea you will be offered a selection of teas, desserts and sandwiches to choose from whilst you get served on hand and foot. This is perfect for a special occasion or for someone special. The hotels restaurant also offers lunch and dinner menus. Events such as medieval banquets and balls also run throughout the year which should be booked in advance through the website to avoid disappointment. With its fairytale setting, Coombe Abbey is also perfect for a wedding venue.
Coombe Abbey and its Country Park are open all year round from 7.30am to dusk and entrance into the park is free. There is however a pay and display car park which is in operation. If you're staying at the hotel or are visiting for afternoon tea, you can park in the hotel car park free of charge. The pathways and visitor centre are accessible for everyone and manual wheelchairs can be hired for a £5 deposit which is refundable.
Overall Coombe Abbey's history and enchanting setting attracts visitors all year round come rain or shine. Whether you are visiting Coombe Abbey for a special occasion or Coombe County Park for a day out with the family there is certainly something here for everyone to explore.