Getting to Kenilworth
Kenilworth is in South Warwickshire, UK, between Coventry and Royal Leamington Spa, near to the A46. The train line from London Euston to Coventry, Birmingham and onwards runs through the town, but since the 1960s there has been no station in Kenilworth. Probably the best way to get to Kenilworth is on the bus. Services calling in Kenilworth are the X12, X14, X16-18, 539, 12 and 112. Buses between Coventry (Pool Meadow Bus Station except for the last two, which connect to Coventry Rail Station) and Leamington run about 10 an hour each way during weekdays. If those don't appeal, there is now also a service 555 from Warwick Station and Warwick town centre, through Kenilworth and on to Birmingham International Airport and Station. Further information is available on transport at the Warwickshire County Council site.
What's in Kenilworth
Kenilworth is a town with a large(ish) town centre, mostly built post-World War Two, and not hugely attractive. There's loads of charity shops, plenty of places to buy furniture, a couple of small supermarkets and all the usual chemists and dry cleaners you'd expect in a town of 25,000 people. Also, at the top of Warwick Road (the main shopping street), are the library and police station, and a huge ugly hotel, the De Montfort, which a fair portion of the population would love to see demolished.
Beyond that, it's mostly houses and a huge park, Abbey Fields, where the ruins of an Abbey can be found. Further out, behind that, lie the remainder of the old town, mostly a few art galleries, a couple of hotels and a pub, and the better of the town's butchers. The only other particular area of note is Castle Hill, because it leads down to the Castle.
While gaining only a brief mention in the Edited Entry, Some Great Castles of England, (probably due to the fact that an average visitor to South Warwickshire will visit Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon, and so the wonderfully preserved Warwick Castle and its grounds will get most of the attention), Kenilworth Castle is well worth a visit. Built from fine red sandstone, the castle is sadly now in ruins. This is because of a historical dispute that resulted in Oliver Cromwell's men dismantling the whole place.
However, what remains of it is pretty extensive, with a large tower and fragments of many buildings several storeys high, along with a considerable amount of wooden decking, courtesy of English Heritage, where the floors have fallen away.
There's also a restored set of outbuildings, with the usual gift shop, café and ice-cream vendor. One major advantage is that the castle won't be that crowded, and it isn't expensive to visit, unlike the much grander, complete castle at Warwick. It's best not to visit when it's raining, though.
Kenilworth is well catered for as far as eateries go. It doesn't have any particular fast food outlets of note, but instead a vast number of fish and chip shops, the best of which is probably on School Lane.
Moving swiftly past the various pubs, and upmarket into restaurants, there are a few notable experiences to be had. The Coconut Lagoon, serves some particularly good South Indian food, and provides a warm welcome and a large, but not overly filling, meal. It isn't cheap though, and nor is Raffles, a Malaysian restaurant under the same ownership. However, if you're into paying lots of money, head for Simpson's. It's a great meal, but by no means cheap. Further along Warwick Road is La Cucina, a slightly overpriced Pizza-Pasta place. If it's Chinese food you want, the Jade Restaurant in Abbey End is highly recommended for eating in.
Living in Kenilworth
House prices in Kenilworth are quite expensive, and so is the cost of living, but it's a fairly pleasant place to live. Unfortunately, Warwick District and Warwickshire County Councils always seem to treat Kenilworth as the less important neighbour of Warwick and Royal Leamington Spa, which can be very frustrating.
The local paper, the Kenilworth Weekly News, is largely an opportunity to praise schoolchildren, to be disgusted at teenagers, and generally to grumble about how Kenilworth gets left out. It's the usual thing, the usual grumbling pensioners, and the usual mundane update on Kenilworth life. If you really want to, you can take a look at the KWN online.
TV and Radio
Being outside of Birmingham, the choice of terrestrial TV and radio isn't huge. There are no regional or local TV stations, although the BBC does a fine job of regional news with Midlands Today. For radio news and travel, alongside the excellent BBC WM, there's Heart FM, and Mercia FM. Also, if you're close enough to the University of Warwick, there's always RaW. The University of Warwick is, however, in Coventry, not Warwick.
So there we have it, that's about it. There isn't much more to say about this town - but there isn't much to say about so many places. Why not pay a visit sometime? More info, along with a vast amount of photo material, including the Castle fireworks display, can be found at Kenilworth Castle and the History of Kenilworth.