There is much to see and do in Abbey Fields, but the demolition and planned rebuild of the swimming pool beginning in late 2022 has caused significant disruption. Gone are the swimming pools, tennis courts, exercise stations, and some footpaths. Visitors are greeted by hoardings, albeit decorated with officially sponsored street art.

During the construction of the foundation for the new building, remnants of medieval buildings were discovered (the Abbey Fields is the site of an Augustinian Abbey). This led to an interruption in the development, revised plans, increased costs, and an extended timetable.

The discovery of medieval ruins was greeted with excitement by some in the community and consternation by others (because of the delay it imposed on construction). The upshot is that these historical artefacts have been chronicled and carefully covered to protect them for future generations. The important local recreational facilities will eventually be restored – perhaps by 2026. See our news item for more information.

Keep up to date on the Warwick District Council website.


A recent survey of our members showed that 95% used Abbey Fields primarily for walking or dog walking. The beautiful and historical landscape lends itself well to this activity. A leisurely 15-minute walk around the lake provides views of Finham Brook, veteran trees, and plentiful waterfowl.

Dogs must be under control, and you must pick up after them. Although there are plans to designate some areas as “on-lead only”, currently, dogs can be let off lead so long as they are not a nuisance to wildlife or other users of the Abbey Fields.


The first swimming pool in Abbey Fields was opened in the summer of 1896. It was rebuilt in the 1930s and extended in the 1960s and 1980s. Today, we are in the middle of a major redevelopment of the site, which means that Kenilworth will be without a public pool until 2026.


Fishing is not allowed!


The tennis courts are closed during the extensive works associated with the swimming pool construction. In fact, the area currently serves as a depot for the project. The 5 courts were originally free to use and did not require booking. Once the construction work is completed, the tennis courts will be reestablished but it seems likely that commercial arrangements will apply.


There are two small areas containing play equipment. One of these is designed for young children and is fenced in for security. Several picnic benches are available in the vicinity of the play area making it ideal for a family visit. At the time of writing (Dec 2023) the nearby construction work forces the closure of some of these facilities from time to time.


Sledging is a popular winter pastime on the north-facing slopes of Abbey Fields. A heavy snowfall draws crowds from Kenilworth and its surrounds. These photos (copyright John Brightley) are of Abbey Fields in 2010:

Duck Race

A “Duck Race” is held each year to raise funds for Kenilworth Lions Club in support of charitable and community causes. Finham Brook is the usual venue, and it is held on Boxing Day or sometimes New Year’s Day. The “ducks” in question are plastic and sponsored by local townsfolk keen to back the winner.

According to local historian, Robin Leach, the event began in around 1990 and in a quarter of a century has raised over £80,000. See The Robin’s book, The Abbey Fields, to read about the notable race in 1997!


Cycling is not allowed anywhere in Abbey Fields but the matter is under review, and in March 2023, a shared pedestrian/cycle route was proposed by Warwick District Council. Friends of Abbey Fields has been party to the discussions. While recognising the benefits of cycle use, we have also been able to share some of our members’ concerns. See our cycling survey.

Exercise Stations

Officially named the “Trim Trail”, outdoor gym equipment was installed in 2016 (funded by Friends of Abbey Fields) but closed in 2022 when work began on the new swimming pool.

Park Permit

Historically, if you wanted to provide organised group fitness activities in Abbey Fields, you had to apply for a permit from Warwick District Council. However, at the time of writing (Dec 2023) the policy is being reviewed so it is not possible to make such an application. Check here for updates.


Visit the Abbey Museum and Heritage Centre to learn more about the history of Kenilworth Abbey and that of the town itself. The museum is open every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday afternoon between Easter and mid-September, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. Entrance is free of charge – any donations are gratefully accepted.