Updated: Jun 18, 2021
This week's Postcard is from Rugby, the birthplace of rugby football and a tourist drawcard for rugby fanatics around the world. In this episode, we hear from longtime Rugby resident John Hunter who describes a life of country pursuits in the heart of England, and walks on rolling hills, followed by good farm-to-fork food.
According to legend, the game of rugby was invented in 1823 at the Rugby School when schoolboy William Webb Ellis picked up the football and ran with it. These days, rugby diehards can tour the historic school, which was founded in 1567, and look upon the hallowed fields where the first rugby games were played, then visit the Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum or the World Rugby Hall of Fame.
John, above, points out that the Rugby School also has a link to the founding of the modern Olympic Games.
But when you've had your fill of sporting history, there are plenty of good places to eat - as well as options for live music and good beer - in this east Warwickshire market town that's just 130km north of London.
One of the attractions of the area is boating on the Oxford Canal, pictured top, which was completed in 1790 to connect the River Thames at Oxford with the Coventry Canal and form the main canal trade artery between London and the Midlands.
These days, colourful narrowboats carry weekend and holiday visitors through broad valleys and gently rolling hills with plenty of quaint villages and country pubs to stop at along the way.
Some of John's favourite Rugby food and drink haunts include:
Titash Restaurant for great Indian food
CV22 for live music on the weekends
The Merchants Inn and old world pub featuring real ales and continental beers
Bacco Lounge for a chilled brunch venue or a pint with friends
Café Vin Cinq for French fare and cocktails, and
The Tuning Fork in Houlton for locally-sourced farmhouse breakfasts.
I hope you enjoy this Postcard From Rugby. Let us know if you think a Rugby pilgrimage might be in your future or maybe messing about in narrowboats is more your speed. Click here to listen and find out more from a Rugby local.