Warwick, the heart of the country!
The job situation in Lancashire in 2011 was pitiful to say the least. Doc had been awarded his phD but there were just no jobs to be found. After trying for months, he decided that we would have to look further afield, with the possibility of moving. By chance he applied for a job at Jaguar Landrover in Gaydon, Warwickshire. Being the genius he is, he was offered two jobs and a move to the midlands was on the cards. It was a stressful time to say the least, heightened by the fact that Doc is an Aerospace Engineer and had never worked in the motor arena before. I had total faith that he would be fine, but Docs doubts left him pondering for hours what the future would entail.
Doc, true to his name, is a very high level thinker, thinking macro rather then micro. Therefore all the finer details of the move were left to me, like where to live. I started with the task of finding an area where we could live. I looked at all the towns and villages around Gaydon. As a non driver, on a normal day you will see me with my double pushchair and rucksack with our little adventurers in tow. As a result a village like Kineton or Bishop H would have been idyllic but are rather secluded if you don’t have a car. We had whittled down the choice to Leamington Spa, Warwick and Kenilworth.
I am of Asian background and extended family plays a HUGE role in all of our lives. I would be taking my adventurers to an unknown place with no family, friends and no idea where we were. Next I decided to see what activities were available and try and make a list of potential rental properties that would be walking distance to local, toddler based activities. After this and extensive google searches we chose Warwick and that’s where my love affair with Warwick begins. or the year we lived there we were easily recognisable and made many friends.
With the huge recruitment drive and the time of year November, rental properties were few and far between. We visited and looked at 3 properties, the third was only seen for literally two minutes as it hadn’t been on our initial list. Yes, you’ve guessed it, we ended up living in the third house. Sod’s law and all that, but alls well that ends well.
Prior to this move we used to live with Doc’s mum and grandma. So Warwick was the place we had our first family home. Our Raihan learned to walk and talk and Maya’s personality flourished and sparkled! But enough of the soppiness and back to Warwick!
Warwick is lovely, historic town with many facilities of a town but still has a village feel. Two things that really stood out for me were:
People in Warwick were genuinely lovely. The type of lovely that you can start a conversation with at any play groups or the park and it’s not condescending or judgemental. It reminded me of the good, old fashioned sense of community. It was a truly refreshing experience.
Things to do
Given the size of Warwick, I had been concerned about things to do with the children. But on arrival we realised there was loads and loads to do. There is a real emphasis on engaging and inspiring ideas for families to have fun together and also with others. A special mention here goes to<a href=”http://www.wccns.org.uk/index.php?subsite_id=2″>Warwick Children Centre & Nursery School</a> I thought the staff, activities and facilities were great. Cute things like lunch time club where you bring lunch in and have a picnic with other parents/kids. At the end of each play and learn session, they had fruit time. Each family were requested to bring in a piece of fruit and to the end of the session, the children had snack time together. Another good idea was the nurture play group where you can leave the children from age of 2 for 2 hours, it was excellent for my daughter so the move to going to nursery wasn’t so great.
There were also tons of other church groups, playgroups, paid activities that were open to all and easily accessible. I was always greeted with huge smiles and people went that extra mile to make you feel settled.
Another great idea is a free magazine called Toddle About. It provides interesting features on all things children related and has extensive pages detailing all the activities in Warwick and the surrounding areas. If you are considering a move to the area, do not hesitate. Warwick is in the heart of the country and despite having moved back to Lancashire a year ago it still holds a special place in my heart.