The constituency of Kenilworth and Southam is geographically one of the largest in the West Midlands.
The constituency forms a reverse ‘C’ shape encircling Warwick and Leamington and was created for the 2010 election from parts of the oversized constituencies of Rugby, Warwick and Leamington, and Stratford and covers mostly rural and semi-rural parts of the local government districts of Rugby, Warwick and Stratford.
Its largest town is Kenilworth, with a population of around 23,000. The only other town in the constituency is Southam.
It covers many villages though, including Baddesley Clinton, Rowington, Kingswood, Lapworth, Lowsonford, Shrewley, Little Shrewley, Beausale, Chessetts Wood, Five Ways, Rowington Green, Turner’s Green, Pinley Green, Waste Green, Haseley Knob, Haseley Green, Honiley, Mousley End, Copt Green, Holywell, Wroxall, Burton Green, Leek Wootton, Hill Wootton, Stoneleigh, Stareton, Cubbington, Old Milverton, Blackdown, Ashow, Bubbenhall, Baginton, Ryton, Stretton and Bourton on Dunsmore, Frankton, Dunchurch, Thurlaston, Princethorpe, Draycote, Eathorpe, Kites Hardwick, Wappenbury, Birdingbury, Marton, Weston under Wetherley, Leamington Hastings, Broadwell, Willoughby, Grandborough, Hunningham, Offchurch, Nethercote, Flecknoe, Long Itchington, Radford Semele, Stockton, Ufton, Bascote, Lower Shuckborough, Napton, Harbury, Ladbroke, Bishops Itchington, Deppers Bridge, Chesterton, Ashorne, Moreton Morrell, Moreton Paddox, Little Morrell, Newbold Pacey, Wellesbourne, Kineton, Little Kineton, Combrook, Chadshunt, Temple Herdewyke, Northend, Gaydon, Lighthorne, Lighthorne Heath, Lighthorne Rough, Priors Marston, Marston Doles, Priors Hardwick, Wormleighton, Knightcote, Fenny Compton, Burton Dassett, Farnborough, Avon Dassett, Radway, Edgehill, Ratley, Warmington and Shotteswell.
While the area might at first glance appear to be a mix of dormitory towns and commuter villages, it is an area of diverse interests and activities. Agriculture is very significant, not only in terms of local farming but also because the constituency is home to the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) at Stoneleigh and the headquarters of the National Farmers Union.
Vital transport links criss-cross the constituency, with the M40 motorway snaking from north to south and the Grand Union Canal crossing from east to west. Baginton airport is in the north of the constituency. The constituency is also home to key research and development sites, in particular Jaguar and LandRover at Gaydon, which is also home to Aston Martin, and Warwick University’s administrative and research facilities north of Kenilworth.
Southam cement works is a landmark which can be seen for miles around, and the area has a rich history, with many historic houses, including four National Trust properties- Baddesley Clinton, Packwood, Upton and Farnborough; the nationally-acclaimed art gallery at Compton Verney, beautiful old churches and pubs and, of course, Kenilworth Castle, all of which make it a popular destination for tourists and day trippers and a desirable area to live.