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Published: July 27th 2017
One of our many reasons for visiting the Midlands was to visit the city of Leicester and catch up with Richard III. It is a sunny Saturday morning and it all looks good for our visit. It is a relatively short drive but it often takes longer than we think. We have a plan but like all flexible plans it might change. Once we have visited Leicester we hope to drive north to Nottingham, back through Derby, and “home”.
The drive into Leicester is straight forward until we need to find a car park. Jane is no good with deviations and other peculiarities of inner city streets. Fortunately the car parks are well sign posted and we find a very good park in a large modern shopping centre. Shopping can come later. Richard is waiting.
We take a short walk through some very interesting streets that will soon fill with Saturday shoppers. The Richard III Visitors Centre offers a great deal on tickets. They are valid for a year but we have to sign them so they can’t be passed on to family or friends. The visual effects are amazing, especially the first exhibit where you are introduced to
the players of this intriguing episode in the story of the Royal Family in the 15th century. There is a lot of information displayed in a time line of the events leading to the death of Richard. Further exhibits tell the story of how the remains of Richard were discovered. We thoroughly enjoyed the visit and came away with a better understanding and knowledge of the events so long ago. In the cathedral nearby is the tomb of Richard.
Visit over we wander through narrow streets that contain many restaurants and cafés. The retail area is becoming quite busy. We find Muffin Break cafe with very friendly staff. We don’t have our New Zealand loyalty card but that doesn’t matter. We are treated like long lost cousins. The Polish barista stops for a chat. We relive our 2011 visit to Poland. Everyone is treated like regulars, a refreshing feeling in a busy centre.
Back at the car we rethink our plans. Nottingham can wait for the next trip. Derby is on our way back to Measham so we drive across from Leicester. The rain starts as we arrive in Derby. It is gloomy. Not a great first impression.
We do a drive through and carry on. We are not sure what to expect from this city. On a sunny day it may have a lot to offer.
Tonight we have nibbles and a light dinner. We plan for tomorrow a visit to Birmingham. We go to sleep with the sounds of the local pub on one side and neighbours entertaining guests on the other. Wonder how we’ll feel in the morning.
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