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Fly to East Midlands – the heart of England with a huge variety of landscapes and places to enjoy and explore.
- City Guide
The East Midlands is the heartland of England – a region with royal castles, historic gardens, prehistoric sites, dales, famous cities, market towns and pretty villages. The regions proximity to London and it’s location as a meeting point of several national motorways have led to the East Midlands becoming an economic hub for the UK as a whole.
Nottingham is the home of the legend of Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest and, of course, the Sheriff of Nottingham. The famous Robin Hood statue is located just outside the city’s imposing Nottingham Castle. Today it’s a dynamic city, full of atmospheric historical sights, a buzzing music and club scene thanks to its student population.
Leicester has plenty to offer from culture, shopping and entertainment. Visit the Highcross Shopping Centre. See the famous Golden Mile must be visited which has an array of Indian clothing and jewellery shops, as well as fantastic Indian curry houses. If you’re into history, then visit the exhibition of Richard III at the Guildhall centre or for a theatrical experience, try a play at the Curve Theatre.
Reaching high into the sky, you can see the three towers of Lincoln’s cathedral from miles around. As the home of the Magna Carta, as well as a number of historic remains, notably several chunks of Roman wall, and medieval stone houses, the city has lots of historic sights to catch your interest.
Derby has an incredible industrial heritage, as it is considered one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution. The mill sits at the southern end of the Derwent Valley, a UNESCO Heritage trail of cotton and silk factories in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For those into shopping, the Westfield Derby offers over 190 shops and attracts over 25 million shoppers each year. The city is also renowned for advanced transport manufacturing companies such as Rolls- Royce and Toyota.
East Midlands is also a world of beauty, with moors and dales, rivers and springs in the Peak District known and loved by millions for its breath-taking views, relaxation, inspiration and adventure.
Where to stay
Set on the banks of the River Trent, the Priest House has a fearsome reputation for luxury. Business travellers are catered for with free wifi and meeting facilities, while the hotel’s restaurant has earned two AA rosettes. www.handpickedhotels.co.uk
Just five minutes from East Midlands airport, Donington Manor Hotel is set in an 18th century building, but offers all the comfort expected by modern travellers. www.doningtonmanorhotel.com
Breadsall Priory is part of the Marriot hotels and is one of the oldest hotels located just outside of the city centre. The hotel also has a fantastic pool and spa area as well as a nice hotel restaurant.
Where to eat and drink
Leicester has many fantastic Indian restaurants based near the city centre and on the famous Golden Mile. One of the best is Chutney Ivy based in Leicester’s cultural quarter and near the Curve Theatre. There are plenty of restaurants based in the Highcross Shopping Centre in the city, with cuisine such as Italian, Japanese, Mexican and Caribbean.
Nottingham’s Lace Market is an area in the city centre with a range of bars and restaurants. If you’re looking to splash out, try Sat Bains restaurant which has two Michelin stars, and is located on the banks of the River Trent.
Derby has a busy city centre with bars and restaurants based around Friar Gate. Outside of the centre of Derby is Breadsall Priory – a hotel where a great restaurant is based.
The East Midlands offers a fantastic diversity of places. Indeed, it is an irony that the key image associated with the Midlands is more industrial, whereas the region is amongst the most rural of regions. There are vast tracts of rich agricultural land which feeds farms and the market towns, the parks, forests, wetlands, waterways and lakes.
Some of the highlights include:
• Chatsworth – one of the country’s greatest country estates
• The Derwent Valley Mills a UNESCO World Heritage Site
• Stamford – the finest market town in England
• Melton Mowbray – ancient market town now synonymous with the eponymous pork pie and Stilton cheese.
Start with the Peak District, which is easy to reach from Derby. Walk around and explore the natural beauty, moors and dales. It’s also a great place to stay in one of the many B&B’s or hotels and enjoy the stunning views and a relaxing break.
In Leicester, visit the Richard III Visitor Centre in the city centre where you can learn about the king’s life and death. The visitor centre is located next to Leicester Cathedral. Bradgate Park, on the outskirts of north Leicestershire, is a fantastic place to walk amongst hills and take in the fresh air.
Wollaton Hall is a beautiful Elizabethan mansion based near Nottingham in a large deer park, Wollaton Park. Based in the hall is the city’s Natural History Museum whilst the Industrial Museum is housed in an outbuilding. Set in acres of beautiful parkland with formal gardens, playgrounds, a large lake with beautiful walks, a café and a shop.
Getting to and from East Midlands Airport
East Midlands airport has great public transport links which can take you to the city centres of Leicester, Nottingham and Derby. The Skylink bus services depart from the airport up to every 20 minutes. There are also taxis and car rental companies based at the airport. Try Arrow Taxis – based at the airport itself.
East Midlands Parkway railway station is located near the airport – it is about a £10 cab ride away and takes about 10-15 minutes from the airport.
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