Walcote is a small hamlet consisting of less than 20 dwellings, ranging from a Victorian rectory to humble cottages and farms. The cider press in the garden of one of the houses is an interesting feature.
Aston Cantlow has a church where Shakespeare’s parents were married, a pub where they reputedly had their wedding breakfast, an ancient Guild hall and the Aston Cantlow Club.
Haselor is adjacent to Walcote, The parish church is remote from the present houses, the old village having been demolished after an epidemic of plague. It has an ancient cross in the grounds. The village has a primary school, and a Women’s Institute.
Great Alne, is a village of around 500 persons, and was known as Round Alne in the Middle Ages. It is situated on the road between Alcester and Wootton Wawen about 2 miles from Aston Cantlow. The name Great Alne takes its name from the adjacent River Alne. First chronicled in the charter of King Ethelbald (723-737) “near to the river which our ancestors used to call, and which is called to this day, ‘Alwine’.” The Celtic word Alwine meaning bright or clear. In 1969 Warwickshire County Council formally designated an area within Great Alne as a Conservation Area, including most of the village east of the Memorial Hall and has within its curtilage twelve listed buildings of local architectural and historical value. The recently restored Huff Cap pub and restaurant is a favourite eating and drinking venue, and the church has an interesting set of modern paintings in the interior.
Wootton Wawen is about 3 miles from Wilmcote heading towards Henley-in-Arden. It has a very old catholic church (St Peter’s), a shop and Post Office, 2 pubs (The Bull’s Head and the Navigation), a caravan site behind the impressive Wootton Hall and an interesting craft centre a Yew Tree farm. The Straford canal crosses the A3400 here on a small viaduct which then takes you to Wootton Wawen Marina – a hiringpoint for Canal boats. The extensive entry on Wikipedia is worth a look to get more information.
Alcester is an old market town of Roman origin at the junction of the River Alne and River Arrow in Warwickshire about 4 miles from Wilmcote. It has a good range of shops, pubs and everything else you are likely to need to meet your needs while staying in the area. Alcester has two nearby local stately homes, Coughton Court, a National Trust property, and to the south-west, Ragley Hall, the home of the Marquis of Hertford.
Henley in Arden
Henley in Arden is 4 miles from Wilmcote on the A3400 road from Stratford upon Avon to Birmingham. It is a pretty market town with a many historic buildings, some of which date back to medieval times, and wide variety of architectural styles along the one mile High Street. It has the remains of a motte and bailey castle constructed in the 11th century by a Thurstan de Montfort, 2 churches, a library and a museum which is well worth a visit. It has many shops, pubs and restaurants, a Post Office, a health centre and the local secondary school. It is the home of Henly ice cream which can be purchase from their shop on the High Street. It has two competing websites Henley-in-Arden.org and Henley-in-Arden.co.uk which between them give you all you need to know.
Stratford upon Avon
Stratford upon Avon is around 5 miles South of Wilmcote. Famous as the birthplace and burial place of William Shakespeare and the home of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Dirty Duck pub opposite, it is a very busy tourist town situated on the River Avon. The canal basin where the Stratford Canal joins the River Avon and adjacent Bankcroft Gardens are a great place to relax and enjoy the sights as the world, and what seems to be most of its tourists, go by.