Trains to Rugby

For most of the world, the word “rugby” means just one thing – the sport that’s named after the Warwickshire town (OK, two things if you count league and union). But it’s much more than that. It’s home to one of the UK’s oldest and most prestigious schools (founded in 1567), and it was actually there, on the playing fields, that William Web Ellis is said to have first picked up the football and invented the game sometime before 1850. The origins of the game are something of a legend, though, with much debate about whether it actually happened as described, or indeed if it was even all that original an idea. Still, the association with the town stuck.

Rugby was actually a tiny town until the mid-1800s. The school was pretty much all there was here, and most of the residents had some connection to it. However, it became a boom town when the railways arrived, partly because five separate tracks met here, as it was on the main line between London and Birmingham. Railway workers followed, and then other industries, such as cement, turbines and electric components, set up here to take advantage of the state of the art transport links. The world’s first jet engine was built and tested in Rugby in 1937, and the first hologram was made here. There’s still a lot of industry going on, but there are plenty of other reasons to visit this wonderful town.

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Blue Plaques Trail

This tour of over 30 plaques takes visitors to famous buildings and notable sights in and around Rugby town centre. They include the place of Gilbert's original workshop, the original Town Hall, the town’s medieval moat and the first site of Rugby’s girls’ high school.

Rugby’s Blue Plaques also pay homage to some of Rugby’s famous personalities and characters. They include Lawrence Sheriff, the Elizabethan gentleman and grocer to Elizabeth I; antiquary and amateur archaeologist Matthew Bloxham, physicist and Nobel Prize winner Dennis Gabor, the curiously named ‘Woodbine Willie’, and boxer Jonny Williams. Events such as the Centenary of Caldecott Park, Queen Victoria’s Jubilee and the last reading of the Riot Act are also featured.

Rugby Town

Public Art Trail

A fascinating combination of murals, sculptures, statues, and carvings set in various locations around the town centre and surrounding areas. This trail gives a history of artwork, the artists involved and the idea behind each piece, and encourages individuals to discover their own creative surroundings.

The statues of William Webb Ellis and Rupert Brooke form part of the trail, along with a collection of unique rugby ball sculptures which are displayed in various locations around the town and come with their unique take on the sport and the birthplace of the game.

Guided Walking Tours with the Rugby Town Guides

Our very own Rugby Town Guides take visitors on a journey of discovery through the town centre, revealing fascinating facts about the history of the borough. Our guides are all experts in the history and heritage of the town and love to share their unique knowledge. Tours will be resuming for the spring and summer every Saturday from 16 April. They are free but must be booked in advance.

Tours will be resuming for the spring and summer every Saturday from 16 April. They are free but must be booked in advance.

For further details on guided tours and all the themed tours in The Rugby Town, contact the Rugby Visitor Centre on 01788 533217 or visit RugbyTown

Caldecott Park

Please visit the website for more information: Caldecott Park. This award-winning park caters for all tastes. It offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the shopping area with mature trees and beautiful flower displays plus a children's adventure playground, tennis courts, a band stand and Hatty Bakewell’s coffee shop.

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Rugby Station Information

To find out about the station itself, including parking, toilets, accessibility and other amenities, have a look at the Rugby Station information page.