You might think you know a lot about the geography of England but some of these facts about Leicestershire might surprise you. Did you know that the expression ‘paint the town red’ is said to originate from an event that took place in Melton Mowbray in 1837? Some rather merry aristocrats were celebrating a successful day of hunting and decided to put red paint on various houses and pub signs. Traces of the paint can still be seen on some of the older buildings in the town. Melton Mowbray is also famous for it’s wonderful pork pies, Stilton cheese and of course, Red Leicester.
Loughborough is home to the John Taylor Bell Foundry and made the largest bell in the country, Great Paul, which weighs 17 tonnes and rings out from St Paul’s in London. The foundry also made Great George, a 14 tonne bell and Britain’s next largest in Liverpool Cathedral.
Thomas Cook organised the first package holiday from Leicester in 1841. It didn’t go far, only by rail to Loughborough but food was supplied to the travelers for only a shilling each.
Leicester is famous for it’s great diversity. It hosts the largest diwali celebrations outside of India every year. It also hosts a Caribbean carnival and Leicester Pride events. It is also the home of local radio as the first station was Radio Leicester which started broadcasting in 1967.
The very centre of England is in Leicestershire and is marked by a sign just outside a village called Fenney Drayton.
Leicestershire also boasts fascinating towns such as Market Harborough. Visit Market Harborough and you will find unique staircase locks called Foxton Locks, the Harborough Museum and Rockingham Castle. For more information see http://www.marketharborough.com/ .
If getting out in the fresh air is more you cup of tea, then head for the National Forest for miles of nature trails or for cyclists and horse riders, follow the bridleways and cycleways. Leicestershire also has a network of waterways and canals where you can enjoy boat trips. As you can see Leicestershire has much more to offer than just cheese and pork pie (although they are pretty tasty!).