There are so many great places you and your group can visit with LNBP, all depending on your length of trip with us. And with the Rugby World Cup currently in progress here’s a look at one to think about visiting with that in mind.
The town of Rugby is one of the more local places to consider exploring from our base at Braunston, and one with considerable appeal and worldwide interest. Why? It is amongst other things the birthplace of rugby football.
From Braunston, heading west the Oxford Canal meanders slowly through lush, peaceful countryside into Warwickshire, passing Hillmorton – officially the busiest set of locks in the country according to Canal and Rover Trust – and through Brownsover and Newbold before heading out towards Coventry. The boats can be moored and the crew can jump off at Hillmorton, Brownsover or Newbold, and either catch the bus (which is regular, a short journey and cheap) or better still walk into Rugby (15-20 minute walk).
Rugby town centre itself is compact and therefore easy to get around with many of the town’s attractions – and ‘selfie spots’ – all within easy walking distance.
Prepare to find yourself delving into the origins of the sport, to where and how it all started, the history of the characters that shaped the game we know today, and the profound uniqueness of the town’s connections.
The game of rugby which is now played and appreciated by millions all began at Rugby School way back in 1823. It was here during a football match on The Close that one of its pupils, William Webb Ellis, broke with tradition and ‘with a fine disregard of the rules’ picked up the ball and ran with it, in doing so creating the game of rugby football.
Tours of Rugby School and its fascinating small Museum are available every Saturday or on other days by prior arrangement.
William Webb Ellis statue
A short walk away from The Close is the elegant statue of William Webb Ellis, which stands in the shadow of Rugby School. It was commissioned after a worldwide appeal and is a fitting tribute to Rugby’s most famous son. If there is ever a photo opportunity – or chance for a ‘selfie’ – this is it.
World Rugby Hall of Fame.
If there is one place you ‘must-see’ when in The Rugby Town, it has to be the World Rugby Hall of Fame.
Having opened its doors in November 2016, this state-of-the-art museum is a celebration of those individuals and moments that have inspired and developed the game, right from its humble origins around the corner at Rugby School to the worldwide sport we know today.
The latest HD touch-screen technology that allows you to really get ‘hands on to find out about the great players, personalities and pioneers of the game who have been inducted so far into the World Rugby Hall of Fame. Each inductee is celebrated and profiled within a physical experience that is fully interactive, immersive and delivered in multiple languages.
There is chance to learn about all 121 World Rugby national unions, understand more about the variations of the sport, and discover the moments that created professionalism, Olympic inclusion and the values that unite the sport from the elite and professional arena right down to community level.
The World Rugby Hall of Fame also showcases a collection of fascinating objects associated with the game of rugby, many of which of them donated by unions from across the globe and many of the players themselves.
Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum
The Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum is situated opposite Rugby School in the original building where boot and shoe makers William and then James Gilbert, made the first rugby footballs in 1842. As a result, the museum has the distinction of having longest continuous association with the game of rugby in the world.
The delightful collection here is displayed in four themed areas which include the origins, the players, the game and the ball. Visitors to the museum can find out about the traditional manufacture of the rugby ball from its origin as a pig’s bladder to its highly advanced and technical production which today serves rugby nations and clubs worldwide. The Museum is also home to a vast collection of rugby-related items and memorabilia including a wealth of photos, match programmes, ties and artefacts of every description from all over the globe.
Whilst the game of rugby is understandably a key theme, there is more to Rugby than just rugby.
It is a great place to eat and drink with a wide range of different cafes and eating outlets available in and around the town centre. Why not lunch or picnic in the fabulous Caldecott Park.
And there is the Rugby Art Gallery and Museum which has an interesting social history gallery and is based in the same spot as the World Rugby Hall of Fame.
These are just two suggestions. For more, head to The Rugby Town tourism website at https://www.therugbytown.co.uk/
The town of Rugby and all its attractions can be reached inside half a day’s travel from Braunston, returning the same day or visiting as part of a longer trip; in particular the well-known and very popular ‘Warwickshire Ring’.
For more information about routes and places to visit, group bookings and availability, contact Nigel our Bookings Officer here