On December 19th, Students from the Streetly Academy in Sutton Coldfield spent the day in Warwick to prepare assignments for their GCSEs in Travel and Tourism.
They divided into two groups of eighteen. Their teachers had arranged for one group to go to the Castle to study a major tourist attraction and the other group was to study what makes the town of Warwick an attractive tourist destination.
They began at the Court House, where Unlocking Warwick’s Paula Fletcher gave them a quick history of Warwick from its founding in the tenth century to its development as a medieval walled town, and she related the story of The Great Fire of Warwick in 1694 which led to the rebuilding of the town centre in the elegant ‘Georgian’ style.
Inside the Visitor Information Centre, Trudy Ashmore explained how in recent years the role of the ‘Tourist Offices’ had changed significantly. With more and more people finding attractions online, and booking their tickets or hotels themselves, the Information Centre now needs a very good, up-to-date online presence, and in Warwick the Court House/Town Hall had become an attractive venue in its own right, with regular craft fairs in the Visitor Centre, a small exhibition about Warwick’s history, and many community events or private functions in the Council Chamber and the Ballroom on the first floor.
The students had plenty of questions, including ones on the ethnic, cultural and age profiles of people using the Visitor Information Centre, types of entertainment in the local area, transport availability, disabled access, country walks, hotel and B&B availability, and the numbers of cafes, restaurants and pubs, (answer – lots!).
After the Court House, the group moved off to see two of the most visited locations in the town – St. Mary’s Church with its famous Beauchamp Chapel, and the medieval Lord Leycester Hospital, formerly the Guildhall, which narrowly escaped the Great Fire.
We hope they all found the visit illuminating, and that they all get A* results for their coursework.