Rugby, the birthplace of the game

Rugby is known throughout the world as the birthplace of the game. It was here, in 1823, while playing football at his school that the young William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran. This moment, which took place on The Close at Rugby School, is the origin of today’s games of Rugby Union, Rugby League, and American Football and today, you can visit the momentous spot and a dedicated museum.

Rugby is in a great central location to get out and explore the heart of England. Shakespeare’s birthplace is less than an hour away in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Things to do in Rugby

Kelmarsh Hall

Kelmarsh Hall is a Grade I listed country house built in 1732.  The gardens are largely inspired by Nancy Lancaster who extended her interior style of shabby chic charm into the gardens.  From the sophisticated pastels of the sunken garden through to the showier shades of the 60m long border, the garden leads you on a tour around the perimeter of a triangular walled garden.

Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens, Kelmarsh, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN6 9LY

(Sat nav, enter NN6 9LX)

Tel: 01604 686543

Althorp House

Charles, Ninth Earl Spencer has been in charge for just 23 of the House’s 500-year history.  Visitors are invited to explore this wonderful house, by guided tour, discovering beautiful interiors and one of Europe’s finest private collections of furniture, pictures and ceramics. Explore the magnificent park, take a stroll through the remodelled gardens and perhaps take the opportunity to reflect by the peaceful Round Oval Lake.

Althorp Estate, Northampton NN7 4HQ

Tel: 01604 770107

Coton Manor Gardens

This peaceful ten acre garden occupies a hillside position extending down from the 17th century manor house, constructed of mellow Northamptonshire stone. Landscaped on different levels, it comprises a series of distinctive smaller gardens, providing variety and interest throughout the season, and enhanced by flowing streams, fountains and ponds. Beyond the confines of the garden, there is a magical five acre bluebell wood and a colourful wildflower meadow.  As well as enjoying the garden, many visitors will want to explore the extensive nursery, take a light lunch or tea in the Stableyard Café, or visit the garden shop.

Coton Manor Garden, Coton, Northamptonshire

Tel: 01604 740219

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