Countyfile: Leicestershire - The stage is set for an all-action summer in the Midlands
Kate Simon is the Travel Correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. She was Travel Editor of The Independent on Sunday from 2005 to 2011. Kate is also the co-founder of Little Black Book Creative (www.lbbcreative.co.uk), which offers editorial services, media relations consultancy and travel-writing training.
Sunday 10 June 2012
Leicestershire's struck gold. At least it has in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2012. At last month's prize-giving ceremony, Leicester Theatre Trust, the body behind the city's performance space, Curve (0116 242 3595; curveonline.co.uk), picked up a gold Access for All Tourism Award for its commitment to theatregoers with disabilities. You can take a closer look at Curve on one of its fortnightly guided tours (the next one is on 23 June, adults £3, under-18s £2), while, front of house, this month's performances include the family favourite Horrible Histories, performed by the Birmingham Stage Company on 11-13 June (tickets £14).
There's more to Melton Mowbray than pork pies. It's also the home of Twinlakes (01664 567777; twinlakespark.co.uk; admission from £12.39), which styles itself as an "all-action theme park". And that reputation was confirmed in May with the opening of its Wet and Wild Land, half an acre of splash-play, featuring waterfalls, and lagoons, water flumes and slides.
A different kind of Wetlands opened last month at Twycross Zoo (0844 474 1777; twycrosszoo.org; family ticket, two adults and two children, £48). In the new attraction, visitors follow a trail around 19 ponds where the resident wildlife includes butterflies and beetles, bats and shrews, coots, snipes and tufted ducks.
Fashion in the 1940s is remembered in a new exhibition at Snibston (01530 278444; snibston.com), a museum and historic railway set in a country park on the site of a former colliery at Coalville. The Forties might have been a time of war, but that didn't inhibit the style-conscious. See for yourself at the "Utility Clothing 1942-1949" show, which remains is on display here until 1 May 2013 (adults £7.50; family £22.50).
A celebration of British and South Asian fashion, "Dress The World: Suits and Saris" (0116-225 4900; leicester.gov.uk/suitsandsaris; free), is on at Leicester's New Walk Museum and Art Gallery until 7 October, exploring the influence that fashion from South Asia has had on the local area.
Go down to the National Forest Wood Fair (01476 581111; nationalforest.org; family ticket, two adults and three children, £19) at Beacon Hill on 26 and 27 August for a two-day celebration of all things arboreal. Woodcraft sessions, lumberjack competitions, eco art and more will be on the agenda.
Finally, get on your bike at the National Forest Cycle Centre (01530 274533; nationalforest.org; free) at Hicks Lodge. There are a variety of trails to follow through the forest, graded according to ability. Bring your own bike or hire one from the centre.
For more ideas: goleicestershire.com
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