A patchwork of green fields, rolling hills, picturesque market towns and thriving villages, Leicestershire is a landlocked county, slap-bang in the middle of the UK.
With a strong rural heritage, the jewel in Leicestershire's (countryside) crown is generally considered to be Bradgate Park and the surrounding area of Charnwood Forest: a great expanse of moorland, hills, woods and rivers. The Vale of Belvoir, meanwhile, next to Melton Mowbray, literally translates as ‘beautiful view', and lives up to its name. There's also the new National Forest, with 8 million trees planted to date, slowly taking shape across the north-west of the county.
And while Leicestershire may be about as far from the sea as you can get, it's not short of watery attractions, with canals criss-crossing the county, making for some lovely ambles along the towpaths (especially at Foxton Locks). There's also Market Bosworth's water park, and Stoney Cove, one of the foremost places in the UK for scuba-diving.
The hands-on, science-based Snibston Discovery museum transforms the area's mining heritage into family fun, while a heritage steam railway runs from the famous sporting town of Loughborough. There's a great zoo at Twycross, specialising in monkeys (and dinosaurs), and the friendly family theme park Twin Lakes. You can also visit the exact spot where Richard III died, at Bosworth Battlefield (before being taken to that car park…).
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