Midlands – Rutland and Leicestershire

Rutland and Leicestershire
1. Belvoir Castle and Gardens
Belvoir Castle was completed in the early 19th century after previous buildings were damaged during the Wars of the Roses, the Civil War and a major fire in 1816. Tour some of the most stunning interiors of the period, from the elegant Elizabeth Saloon and majestic State Dining Room to the military splendour of the Guard Room. The Old Kitchen and Bakery recreate below stairs life in 1825, while the School Room and Nursery allow children to experience lessons and games from Regency times.

2. Donington Grand Prix Collection
The Donington Grand Prix Collection contains the largest collection of Grand Prix racing cars in the world. Five halls, with over 130 exhibits, illustrate the history of motor sport from the turn of the 20th Century. Notable exhibits include the 1936 twin engined 500 bhp Alfa Romeo Bimotore which has a top speed of 200mph, Jim Clark’s World Championship winning Lotus 25, the ‘howling’ flat 12 Ferrari 312B, and Stirling Moss’s Lotus, in which he defeated Ferrari in the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix.

3. The National Space Centre
The National Space Centre is the UK’s largest attraction dedicated to space. See space rockets, satellites and capsules and take a look at how we use space in a multitude of ways to enhance life on earth. Lunar Base 2025, is an interactive exhibit which will test your mental and physical ability to survive a long and dangerous voyage into deep space, and culminates in a stunning 3D mission to the ice moon Europa! Facilities include a gift selling space themed products shop and a cafe.

4. Authentic Stilton Cheese at Long Clawson and Colston Basset
Stilton Cheese is produced in the counties of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and derives its name from the village of Stilton in Cambridgeshire, not because it was made here, but because it was sold to coach travellers on the Great North Road, journeying between London and Scotland. Two of the most famous and best known dairies are based at Long Clawson and Colston Basset, which were founded just before the first world war.

5. New Walk Museum and Art Gallery
Leicester’s oldest museum has wide-ranging collections spanning the natural and cultural world. There are five main areas; Wild Space, The Mighty Dinosaurs, Ancient Egyptians, The Art Galleries – which contain an outstanding collection of 20th century German Expressionism, and Leicestershire’s Rocks. New Walk Museum has been the inspiration for many people, including Sir David Attenborough, who pursued his love of natural history as a result of regular visits to the galleries as a child.

6. Rockingham Castle
Rockingham castle features examples of architecture from every period of its 950 year history. Surrounding it are eighteen acres of grounds, including a 19th century rose garden and recently re-developed outdoor spaces. Tour the Great Hall, built on the instruction of William the Conqueror in 1086, and the Old Kitchen – restored to how it would have looked in 1895 showing the preparation of a grand dinner. Events in summer include jousting tornaments, Civil War re-enactments and a game fair.

7. The Battlefield Line
The Battlefield Line Railway runs from Shackerstone to Shenton in Leicestershire, and is the last remaining stretch of a line that opened in 1873. Set off from Shackerstone Station, which also has a shop, a tea room and a fascinating museum containing historic railway artefacts and memoribilia. Step inside an old fashioned carriage and journey through countryside, villages and farms, pulled along by a beautiful steam locomotive such as the classic Mayflower, built in 1946.

8. Snibston Discovery Park
Take a fascinating journey around Snibston where you can discover 500 years of technological innovation and its impact on our everyday lives. From the earliest mining tools, proto-type jet engine to the largest fashion display outside London, there is plenty to explore at this must see museum! Snibston Discovery Park is set in the heart of the National Forest on the site of a former colliery, with indoor and outdoor interactive exhibits, including historic colliery buildings, the Century Theatre, and a one hundred acre country park and nature reserve. Facilities at Snibston include a cafe and gift shop.

9. A Pork Pie Evening Experience!
Dickinson and Morris have been baking pork pies at Ye Olde Pork Pie Shop in Melton Mowbray since 1851. They are firmly established as one of Leicestershire’s favourite tourist attractions and are the oldest pork pie bakery and last remaining producer of authentic Melton Mowbray pork pies based in the town centre. Why not try a ‘Pork Pie Evening Experience” where groups can try for themselves the art of ‘hand raising’ a pork pie. Demonstrations of how pies are made can also be arranged at the shop.

10. Leicester Tigers
Founded in 1880 Leicester Football Club, or Leicester Tigers as they are more commonly known, has gone on to become one of the most successful and well-known rugby clubs in the world. If you are new to rugby or are interested in the game, then why not see this awesome contact sport first hand by attending a match? As well as rugby matches Leicester Tigers organise coaching clinics and courses for young people.

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