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England: knowledge/advice on Leicestershire area


England: knowledge/advice on Leicestershire area

Old Oct 19th, 2002, 12:30 AM
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England: knowledge/advice on Leicestershire area


My husband and I have been offered the use of a house in Leicestershire, England.But do not know if we should take up the offer as we know nothing about the area.

The home belongs to a friend of a friend and we would be able to stay there (Free) for up to 2 weeks in the summer 03, we have to decide whether to take up this offer soon (We would get the use of the house for free but would have to pay for flights and so on)
we would be gratful for all suggestions of things to do in this area - Would it work as a base for exploring much of England? - I have never visited the England before - Hubby visited London about 10 years ago so we are keen to see as much of Engalnd as possible. However everyone we know who has visted England knows little sbout the Leicestershire area. Please help
Old Oct 19th, 2002, 12:56 AM
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JulieBR>What an wxcellent opportunity! I strongly recommend you take up this generous offer!
Leicestershire itself, like most of the East Midlands, is a relatively anonymous area which doesnt really make it onto the tourist trail. That;s not to say it doesn't have its attractions.
Leicester is an ancient city (Roman) but you'll need to look hard to find any signs. For shopping its fine but it's only 25 miles from Nottingham which is one of the premier shopping destinations in the UK (despite its relatively small size). Like all cities in the UK both of these places have their good and bad areas but unless you start visiting rundown inner city sink estates it'll not effect you at all.
The countryside around Leicester is pretty enough but also quite non-descript. The county has a tradition of fox hunting (which of course is a top news story at the moment) and you may well encounter the red-coated brigade atop their horses as you drive down the many country lanes.
But the real attraction of Leicestershire is it is so Central. You can get a fast train to London KingsX and be in town within 80 mins. You can drive by car to Oxford or Cambridge in about an hour. Warwick castle and Stratford are a similar distance away and York is less than a two hour drive. Beyond Oxford lie the Cotswolds and Stamford (one of the most beautiful towns in the UK) is only 40 mins away.
And, since you're saving on accommodation, you'll be able to afford to spend a couple of nights on hotel stays for a trip up north taking in the Lake District and Edinburgh and maybe Northumberland and Durham on the way back.
Definitely do it... Leicestershire is not a tourist destination but is an excellent central base for seeing so much of the country!
Old Oct 19th, 2002, 01:17 AM
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try also the Tourism link on the county council's website www.leics.gov.uk

No doubt www.visitbritain.com has a lot of relevant information
Old Oct 19th, 2002, 04:04 AM
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Julie, Dominic has already told you a lot and additionally, you would be in the "Heart" >>www.hetb.co.uk<< and near to the "Backbone" >>www.the-peak-district.net<< of England".
Check out the two addresses for what to see and do.
Some of the Leicestershire and Derbyshire countryside is breathtaking, although towns are sometimes a bit scruffy.
(The city of Derby is famous for having more ghost-sightings than anywhere else in the UK.)
The fast train to London takes just over an hour.
I wish I was going with you!
Old Oct 19th, 2002, 11:24 AM
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Definitely go for it. It is just about in the center of the country and all of the previous hints are good. In addition you will be near Rutland Water, Burghley House, Chatsworth, and not that far from N Wales.

But perhaps let us know what town or village the house is in/near - Leicester city center is one thing, a village in the country quite another. If we know waht part of the county you will be in we can give specific recommendations for places in the neighborhood.
Old Oct 19th, 2002, 01:08 PM
Ben Haines
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I join the queue to say you will enjoy yourself. Quick rail journeys takes you from Leicester to Warwick for the castle and medieval buildings, Stratford upon Avon for the pourists, Birmingham for the city museum and theatre, Coventry for a smashing twentieth century cathedral, Oakham for a proper county town, and Stamford for a fine town of churches and coaching inns.

Welcome to England.

Ben Haines
Old Oct 19th, 2002, 01:09 PM
Ben Haines
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Postscript. Rutlandshire has fine churches the way a cherry cake has cherries.

Old Oct 19th, 2002, 08:48 PM
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Another postscript: Stamford has one of the best theatre companies outside of London. They perform open air Shakespeare all summer and it is a treat!
Old Oct 20th, 2002, 03:35 AM
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And a PS from me, too. Go to Buxton, a beautiful Regency spa (a bit like Bath)in the Peak District of Derbyshire. You might catch the annual Gilbert and Sullivan Festival there. Not everybody's cup of tea perhaps - but an eccentric tradition that is typically British.
Old Oct 20th, 2002, 04:07 AM
I eat spam
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Depending on when you are coming, you may be able to catch the Burghley Horse trials at Burghley House, Stamford. A big international cross country, show jumping, dressage event, with loads of shopping etc. A very English affair.

Go to Rutland (not Rutlandshire, sorry Ben). Very nice area. Cycle around Rutland Water for the day (bike hire available). Loads of nice places to eat, tucked away in the villages and small towns.

Old Oct 20th, 2002, 12:59 PM
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I'm SO glad you asked this question!!! I was an American grad student there for 2 yrs. in the '80's. I loved it. I consider it a jewel undiscovered by tourists. Old Melton Mowbray is known as the home of great pork pies. There are great little villages that can be visited on bike or by car, w/ lovely pubs, Norman and Saxon churches: Husbands Bosworth, Welford, Ashby de la Zouch, Cannons Ashby, Visit Bosworth Field where Richard the 3rd met his end (he left from Leics that day) Naseby where another battle was fought between Cromwelland Chas, the 1st I believe (help, Ben!); Kenilworth Castle, Market Harborough, Hallaton,Rothely, Breedon, Queniborough, Wistow, Foxton Locks, the birthplace of D H Lawrence outside of Nottingham, the live theatre in Leicester where many London plays are tested out, the New Walk museum in town that has wonderful German Expressionist art and who knows what 20 yrs later!, and the estate, covered w/ bracken fern and red deer and the ruins of Lady Jane Grey's family home: Bradgate park. There are very few tourist in leics; I liked that. Being a "Yank" is (or was) rare. Check out the above and all the sights in surrounding counties; some also mentioned above. There's a big Indian/ Pakistani pop. there, and some of the best Indian food anywhere, as well as great pubs. You'll have a great time! And if you want to email me for more opinions, feel free.
Old Oct 20th, 2002, 01:02 PM
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PS, I think the countryside is quite lovely there.
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 11:40 AM
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Leicestershire is a great base for seeing most of the country,but it has some hidden gems.

Leicester has a very large market (I think it is the largest in Europe),plus a cattle market & farmers market in Melton Mowbray on Tuesdays.Also Leicester has The National Space Centre too.

As you will hopefully be visiting during the summer,it is well worth visiting little villages for fetes,open garden days ect.The villages around where I live could give the Cotswolds a run for their money any day,but tourists rarely visit them,so they have not been spoilt.

There is also The Great Central Railway,a restored steam railway,where you can take a trip on a steam train and have dinner aboard,Foxton locks,with trips on canal boats,Twycross zoo where they specialize in breeding chimps,Belvoir Castle,Ashby de la Zouch castle (Ivanhoe),The Battle of Bosworth & Naseby Field.I have lived around here all my life,so if I can help at all,just email me.Hope you decide to visit.
Old Oct 23rd, 2002, 07:27 AM
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I live in Leicestershire, and it's quite large so it all depends on where abouts you are and how much travelling you want to do. We are very central and have lots of towns around us. London would take 90 mins by car and then 25mins in on the tube, or you could go by train but it's not cheap. Feel free to email me for info then perhaps I can help you further.
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