Have you ever felt the need to take a break from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine and just go out to explore nature? Well, look no further as Coombe Abbey has got you covered. If you’re wondering whether you can still walk around Coombe Abbey, then the answer is a big YES! Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and weather changes, the historic park remains open for visitors to explore.
Coombe Abbey Park is a beautiful 500-acre landscape that is well known for its stunning scenery and rich history, with a history that dates back to the 12th century when it was founded by Cistercian monks. For centuries, the park has provided a serene environment for visitors to wander around and enjoy the fresh air. From the sight of lush greenery to the chirping of the birds, there’s plenty of things to experience as you take a stroll within the park’s majestic landscape.
With the arrival of spring and summer, it’s the perfect time to take a walk through the park with family or friends. Whether you’re there to enjoy the natural beauty or looking to learn something about the park’s history, Coombe Abbey has it all. So gear up and prepare for a day filled with adventure, exploration, and history as you take a walk around Coombe Abbey.
The History of Coombe Abbey
Coombe Abbey is a beautiful historic country house located in Warwickshire, England. The house was founded as a 12th-century Cistercian monastery and was transformed into a royal residence during the Tudor period. It was then renovated and remodeled during the 17th century by Sir John Harrington. Later in the 19th century, the house was returned to the ownership of the Harrington family after it was used for various purposes like a school or a hospital. Until finally, in 1992, Coombe Abbey was opened as a hotel and country park.
This stunning edifice has a fascinating and varied history, and there are many interesting facts and stories about its past. Here are a few:
- During the English Civil War, Coombe Abbey played a pivotal role as both Royalist and Parliamentarian forces used the estate as a base. Eventually, the Parliamentarian forces held Coombe Abbey, and it became a hospital for soldiers.
- The first Lord Harrington of Exton bought the house in 1622, and he went through extensive remodeling and redesigning to transform it into a proper Jacobean manor house. He changed its name to Ashby’s alias Coombe Abbey, after the market town near the house.
- Coombe Abbey is home to the largest Mulberry tree in Warwickshire, which is more than 300 years old and about 8 meters wide. Legend has it that Queen Elizabeth I planted the tree herself during her stay at the house. However, it is more likely that it was planted by one of the Abbots.
- The house is reputedly haunted by several ghosts, including that of Dame Mary, wife of the 5th Lord Harington, and the Grey Lady, who is said to be a nun forced to leave the abbey during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century. The abbey’s original chapel was saved, and it is now the Abbeygate, a decorative feature with Victorian statues.
There is no denying the rich and diverse history of Coombe Abbey. Its evolution from a Cistercian monastery to a luxurious hotel is a testament to both the grandeur of the past and the innovation of the present. Visitors to Coombe Abbey can enjoy a unique glimpse into the complex history and architecture of this beautiful property.
The Architecture of Coombe Abbey
Coombe Abbey is a stunning example of English architecture. With its rich history dating back to the 12th century, the building has undergone many changes and renovations over the years, resulting in a unique blend of styles and influences.
Here are some of the architectural features that make Coombe Abbey a must-visit destination:
- The Main Entrance: The grand entrance to Coombe Abbey features a large gatehouse with a portcullis, a drop-down gate used for defense. The gatehouse is flanked by two towers and has a central archway leading into the courtyard.
- The Courtyard: Once inside the courtyard, visitors can admire the stunning medieval architecture, including the original Great Hall, which dates back to 1150.
- The Cloisters: The cloisters are a beautiful example of Gothic architecture and feature a stunning vaulted ceiling and intricate stone carvings.
In addition to these features, visitors can also admire the building’s stunning staterooms, including the Library, the Saloon, and the Marbled Hall. Each room features unique decor and architecture, including ornate plasterwork, marble columns, and exquisite fireplaces.
For a deeper look into the history of Coombe Abbey and its architecture, guests can take part in a guided tour led by knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides. The tour takes visitors through the history of the building, showcasing its fascinating architectural features and the stories behind them.
The Restoration of Coombe Abbey
Coombe Abbey has undergone several restorations over the centuries, with the most significant happening in the early 19th century. The building was in a state of disrepair when it was purchased by the 1st Earl of Craven, who employed architect Edward Blore to oversee its restoration.
Blore’s extensive work on the building included the addition of the east wing and the Italian Garden located outside the main building. The restoration work was carefully done, ensuring that the original medieval features of the building were preserved while also adding new additions that complemented the existing architecture.
|12th – 17th century
|16th – 18th century
|18th – 19th century
Today, Coombe Abbey stands as a testament to the skills of the architects and craftsmen who have worked on the building over the years. Its unique blend of architectural styles, from medieval to neo-classical, makes it a fascinating destination for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts.
Coombe Abbey as a Wedding Venue
Coombe Abbey is a stunning country house hotel which boasts of its rich history and idyllic surroundings. A vast part of the estate is covered with beautiful greenery which makes it an ideal location for weddings and other special events. Here are some factors that make Coombe Abbey a top wedding venue:
- Beautiful setting for photos: The picturesque location of Coombe Abbey provides wedding photographers with plenty of spots to capture memories. From the stunning gardens to the grand hallways, there is no shortage of perfect backdrops to complement a wedding day.
- Versatile function rooms: Coombe Abbey offers a range of function rooms which can cater to different wedding sizes. Whether you need a grand room that can accommodate up to 500 guests or a more intimate space for 40 people, you can find it here.
- Flexible packages: The venue offers a variety of packages that are designed to cater for different budgets and requirements. Whether you choose an all-inclusive package or opt for a bespoke one, you can be sure that your wedding day will be designed with your needs in mind.
Furthermore, Coombe Abbey also provides comfortable and luxurious accommodation for the wedding couple and their guests. After celebrating your big day amongst the scenic beauty of the estate, you can retire to one of the hotel’s opulent rooms which boasts of its architectural elegance. Here, you can relax and reflect on the memories you have made.
|The Knight’s package
|This package includes a 3-course wedding breakfast, a glass of prosecco, and evening buffet for guests, as well as a DJ and dancefloor among other amenities.
|The Royal package
|This package includes a 3-course wedding breakfast, an arrival drink for guests, an evening buffet, as well as a DJ and a dancefloor. The package also offers overnight accommodation for the wedding couple, among other amenities.
|The Ultimate package
|This package includes a 4-course wedding breakfast, a Champagne afternoon tea, canapés, arrival and toast drinks for guests, a self-serve candy cart, a photobooth and DJ among other amenities. Furthermore, it offers overnight accommodation for the wedding couple in the bridal suite, as well as complimentary spa treatments and a late checkout the following day.
In conclusion, Coombe Abbey is a spectacular wedding venue that can cater to a range of styles and requirements. With its stunning surroundings, versatile function rooms, and flexible packages that can be tailored to individual needs, it is no wonder that it has remained a popular choice for couples for many years.
The Wildlife and Nature Surrounding Coombe Abbey
If you enjoy nature and wildlife, Coombe Abbey is a great place to visit. Situated in the heart of Warwickshire, Coombe Abbey is surrounded by stunning countryside. You can find a variety of wildlife in the area, from small birds to larger animals. Here are some of the highlights:
- The park has a variety of wildlife to see, including Canada geese, swans, ducks, and moorhens.
- If you’re lucky, you may even see deer in the park. The deer are most active in the early morning and late afternoon.
- The park is home to a range of birds including kingfishers, woodpeckers and herons. Birdwatching is popular here and there are plenty of opportunities to spot rare breeds like the golden eagle and red kite.
Nature Walks and Trails
There are plenty of walking trails to explore around Coombe Abbey. If you’re up for a longer walk, try the three-mile Coombe Country Park Trail. This trail takes you through woodlands, parkland and around the lake. If you’re looking for something shorter, try the one-mile Deer Park Walk. This trail takes you through the deer park and is great for spotting wildlife.
If you want to explore the area on two wheels, there is a four-mile cycle trail that takes you around the park. Bike hire is available from the park.
Coombe Abbey Parkrun
Every Saturday at 9 am, Coombe Abbey hosts a parkrun. This is a free, timed 5k run, which is great for fitness and for exploring the park.
The park holds a range of events throughout the year, including guided nature walks and birdwatching sessions. There are also seasonal events, such as the Christmas trail, which takes you through the park in search of Santa.
|Guided birdwatching session
|Summer nature trail
|Autumn wildlife walk
No matter what time of year you visit, Coombe Abbey is a great place to enjoy nature and spot wildlife. With events throughout the year and plenty of walking and cycling trails, you’re sure to have a great day out.
Ghost stories and legends of Coombe Abbey
As an ancient building filled with rich history, Coombe Abbey is also known for its various ghost stories and legends. Here are some of the most fascinating ones:
- Abbot Geoffrey – This is perhaps the most famous ghost story associated with Coombe Abbey. According to legend, Abbot Geoffrey was murdered in the 14th century. His ghost is said to haunt the monastery, and visitors have reported seeing his apparition in different parts of the building.
- The Green Lady – This is another popular ghost story at Coombe Abbey. The Green Lady is believed to be the ghost of a woman who died tragically in a car accident near the abbey. Witnesses have claimed to see her ghostly figure wandering around the grounds.
- The White Monk – This ghostly figure is said to appear in the abbey’s chapel. The legend goes that the White Monk was a previous member of the monastery who was unjustly accused of a crime. He was executed and buried under the chapel’s floor, and his ghost has been seen wandering around the area.
Aside from these ghost stories, Coombe Abbey is also home to several legends that add to its mystique:
One of the most popular legends is the tale of the ghostly horse and carriage. According to the legend, a carriage carrying a noblewoman was thrown into a moat during a storm. The woman and her horse drowned, but it is said the horse and carriage still gallop around the estate on stormy nights. Another legend tells of a tunnel running from the abbey to a nearby pub, where the monks used to stop for a drink. The tunnel was supposedly used to smuggle secret goods in and out of the abbey.
|Ghost of an murdered abbot who haunts the monastery
|The Green Lady
|Ghost of a woman who died in a car accident, seen wandering around the grounds
|The White Monk
|Ghost of a monk who was executed and buried under the chapel
|Horse and carriage
|Ghostly horse and carriage still gallop around the estate
|Tunnel running from the abbey to a nearby pub used by the monks to smuggle goods
Visitors who are fascinated by ghost stories and legends will surely enjoy a trip to Coombe Abbey, where the mystery and intrigue of the past still live on.
Activities and events held at Coombe Abbey
If you’re looking for a fun and unique experience, Coombe Abbey has plenty to offer. Here are some of the exciting activities and events you can enjoy:
- Medieval Banquets: Travel back in time and indulge in a four-course feast while being entertained by jesters, musicians, and medieval dancers.
- Afternoon Tea: Enjoy a traditional British afternoon tea in Coombe Abbey’s stunning surroundings.
- Ghost Tours: Discover the eerie history of Coombe Abbey on a guided ghost tour.
But that’s not all – Coombe Abbey also offers a range of outdoor activities:
- Archery: Take aim and try your hand at this ancient sport.
- Falconry: Get up close and personal with birds of prey and learn how to handle them.
- Outdoor Cinema: Enjoy a classic movie under the stars in Coombe Abbey’s picturesque parkland.
And if you’re planning a special event, Coombe Abbey has plenty of options:
From weddings and conferences to private dining and team building, Coombe Abbey can cater to your needs. They have a range of function rooms and packages to suit any occasion. Plus, with their stunning medieval architecture and beautiful grounds, you’re sure to impress your guests.
Don’t forget to also check out their calendar of events for seasonal activities such as Easter egg hunts and Christmas markets.
|Easter Egg Hunt
|Summer Garden Party
|November 28th – December 20th
There’s no shortage of things to do at Coombe Abbey, so why not plan a visit today?
Accommodation options at Coombe Abbey
Located in Warwickshire, UK, Coombe Abbey is a beautiful historic hotel that was originally a Cistercian abbey. The building’s rich history, stunning scenery, and luxurious amenities make it a popular destination for weddings, special occasions, and weekend getaways. Here we will explore the different accommodation options that Coombe Abbey has to offer.
- The Crown – This is the main building of Coombe Abbey and offers a variety of rooms ranging from standard doubles to suites. All rooms are individually decorated and come with a range of amenities such as flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, and tea/coffee making facilities.
- The Courtyard Mews – These rooms are located in a separate building from the main hotel and are perfect for those who want a bit more privacy. Each room has its own entrance and is decorated in a contemporary style with modern amenities such as underfloor heating, power showers, and Nespresso machines.
- The Gatehouse – This is a separate building that has been converted into a luxurious self-contained apartment. The Gatehouse features a fully equipped kitchen, a spacious living room, a master bedroom with a king-size bed and an en-suite bathroom, as well as a second bedroom with two single beds and its own en-suite bathroom.
- The Abbeygate – This is a stylish annexe to the main building that offers 6 beautifully appointed rooms. Each room has its own unique character and features such as exposed wooden beams and antique furniture. All rooms are en-suite and come with a range of modern amenities.
- The Falconer’s Lodge – This is a charming self-contained cottage that is perfect for families or small groups. The Lodge features a fully equipped kitchen, a cozy living room with a wood-burning stove, two double bedrooms, and a bathroom. There is also a private garden with a BBQ area and outdoor seating.
- The Victorian Garden Lodges – If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, these lodges are the perfect choice. They are located in a secluded area of the parkland and feature a king-size bed, a Jacuzzi bath, a flat-screen TV, and a private terrace with stunning views of the abbey and lake.
- The Stable Cottage – This is another self-contained cottage that has been converted from the original stables. It features a fully equipped kitchen, a cozy living room, two double bedrooms, and a bathroom. There is also a private garden with outdoor seating and a BBQ area.
No matter which accommodation option you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy all the fantastic amenities that Coombe Abbey has to offer. From the stunning parkland and lake to the 2 AA Rosette restaurant and afternoon tea in the Garden Room, there is something for everyone.
From the elegant rooms in the main building to the secluded lodges and self-contained cottages, there are plenty of options for those who want to stay at Coombe Abbey. With its rich history, stunning setting, and amazing amenities, Coombe Abbey is truly a special place to stay.
|Individually decorated rooms with modern amenities
|The Courtyard Mews
|Private rooms with contemporary style and modern amenities
|Self-contained apartment with fully equipped kitchen and luxurious amenities
|Unique rooms with exposed wooden beams and antique furniture
|The Falconer’s Lodge
|Charming self-contained cottage with private garden and BBQ area
|The Victorian Garden Lodges
|Secluded lodges with stunning views, Jacuzzi bath, and private terrace
|The Stable Cottage
|Converted cottage with fully equipped kitchen and private garden
With its range of accommodation options, Coombe Abbey is the perfect choice for a weekend getaway or special occasion.
Can You Still Walk Around Coombe Abbey?
Are you planning to visit Coombe Abbey and wondering if you can still walk around? Here are some frequently asked questions to help you plan your visit.
1. Is Coombe Abbey open for visitors?
Yes, Coombe Abbey is open for visitors. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, some areas may be closed or have limited access.
2. Do I need to pay to walk around Coombe Abbey?
No, you don’t need to pay to walk around Coombe Abbey. The park and gardens are free to access.
3. What are the park and garden opening hours?
The park and garden are open every day from 8 am until dusk.
4. Can I bring my dog to Coombe Abbey?
Yes, dogs are allowed in the park and gardens as long as they are kept on a lead and you clean up after them.
5. Are there any guided walks available at Coombe Abbey?
Yes, there are guided walks available, which can be booked at the visitor centre or online.
6. Can I have a picnic in the park?
Yes, you can have a picnic in the park and gardens, but please dispose of your litter responsibly.
7. Are there any restrictions on photography at Coombe Abbey?
No, there are no restrictions on photography, so feel free to take as many photos as you like.
Thanks for reading our article about walking around Coombe Abbey. We hope we were able to answer your questions and help you plan your visit. Don’t forget to follow us for more travel tips and inspiration.