Sunday, 20 October 2013

Doing Loughborough

Looking for something to do in Loughborough?

Then look no further than Loughborough itself, where there’s certainly plenty going on and plenty to do! So, here are a few suggestions you might like to follow-up if you’re looking for somewhere to visit or something to do, either on a regular basis or a one-off event,  in Loughborough. I’ve tried to include something for everyone, and although I’m concentrating on Loughborough, there are a few suggestions included for things nearby too, but sticking to Leicestershire!

Shopping, places to visit and things to do in Loughborough

There are plenty of independent shops, cafés and bars to visit- have a look at my very first blogpost for a list of some of these.

If it’s museum’s you’re after, you’re in luck - we’ve got at least five:

Charnwood Museum – based in a building originally called The Memorial Baths which were opened in 1897 for public bathing, in celebration of Queen Victoria’s jubilee, the Charnwood Museum opened in 1997 after an extensive re-fit. Immediately prior to this, the space had been used for craft, antique and book fairs as well as for the Friday morning bric-a-brac market, which is now held in the Market Place. Today in the museum you can see the Barrow Kipper, a suspended airplane, an old shop, information on Beamanor Hall and its inhabitants, and learn about the geology of the area. There are regular changing displays in the area to the side, the Charnwood Gallery. The current display is one of black and white photographs from the East Midlands Monochrome group: This goes on until January 2014. 

Special events for the Autumn/Winter seasons are included in the printed What’s On guide which is also available as in pdf  

If you can’t get to the museum but want to see some of its treasures online, have a look at the objects that were used in the Leicestershire Revealed exhibition.   

The museum also has an independently run café, which displays and sells the work of local painters.

The Carillon tower – is a war memorial and houses the wonderful musical instrument, the carillon, as well as a museum exhibiting material related to the armed forces, to the world wars, and to the American forces. Unfortunately, the museum is now closed until Easter 2014, but there is a website depicting information about Loughborough’s military history, and including a list of all those people who are listed on the Carillon memorial. The borough carilloneur, Caroline Sharpe gives recitals throughout the year.          

The Old Rectory Museum – is a small museum in what was the rectory for All Saints church. It houses some local artefacts and is open on Saturdays from April to October 11am to 3pm. Unfortunately, the official website is a little out-of-date but the museum is well worth a visit.  

Taylor’s BellfoundryTaylors are the company that made the Great Paul bell, the casing of which is now situated in Queen’s Park. The museum is open Tuesday-Thursday, 10-12 and 2-4 but it’s best to check before turning up. They also offer tours which take place on days that bells are being cast so you can see the process in action.  

The Great central Railway - situated on Great Central Road, this is the only mainline steam train in the country! For the railway enthusiast, it has everything you could possibly want! Events here are many and varied and there is a small museum

Cinemas, theatres and other venues

The Odeon cinema – is in Cattle Market and the building itself has an interesting history. It has been modernised, whilst keeping some of its beautiful art deco features, and is now part of the Odeon chain, housing about six screens showing a variety of films. 

The Town Hall – is a major venue for events, which range from plays, musicals and panto to cake baking competitions, vintage fairs and wine tastings! Here’s the full programme.  Throughout the day and evening there is free access to the Sock Gallery, the exhibition area, where there are regularly changing displays of artwork. Upstairs is a small café area.

Emmanuel Church – on Forest Road often hosts concerts by both local artists and those from further a-field.   

Trinity Methodist Church – on Royland Road also hosts events, ranging from choral concerts to archaeological talks (although the forthcoming talk by Richard Buckley is being held at Barrow).   

All Saints Church - also known as the Parish Church, also hosts concerts and events and coffee mornings. 

The Public Library – you can borrow books and DVDs, or use a computer, or delve into local or family history, but the library is also a great place for events: They recently staged a comedy stand-up evening and their current programme of events includes the regular things, like children’s events, but also events specific to October, well-being month.  

John Storer House - a venue which offers meeting facilities, a small shop and a cafe, also hosts events

Loughborough University - this large campus hosts arts events, public lectures and provides meeting space for local societies 

Looking for an event?

Here are some links to websites that list events in and around Loughborough:
Looking for something more active?

Our town has probably the best sporting university in the country, and is home to many prestigious sporting people and institutions. But for townsfolk, here are a few suggestions for sporting (well loosely) activities:

Charnwood active together – for walks, geocaching etc.  
Charnwood Golf Range - a golf driving range on the A6 towards Hathern    
Shelthorpe Golf Course - pitch and put for all
Longcliffe Golf Club - members only club
Charnwood Leisure Centre - I believe this is now fully re-opened
Merlin Archery - Merlin Archery have moved their warehouse and shop from the Bull in the Hollow Farm (formerly the Needless Inn) to Great Central Road, although the associated archery club still meets at the farm. 
Looking for a club or society to join?

Activity in the town is so varied there is probably a club or society for every possible interest, but I can only list a few here. We have:
As you can see, I could go on forever about what there is to see and do in Loughborough, but it is now time for me to publish!

See you next week.

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If you have found this post interesting or have any questions about any of the information in it do please leave a comment below. I might not be able to answer immediately, but I will reply as soon as possible. Thanks for reading the blog.