Facebook round icon with transparent backgroundTwitter round icon with transparent backgroundYouTube round icon with transparent background

 
 

England Travel Tips 
Discover the Real England   

      

   

  By Mike Valeriani
   
 
Regions: N West N East Yorkshire W Midlands E Midlands East S West S East

East Midlands

 

East Midlands map. The East Midlands is formed by the following counties: Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

On the flat Lincolnshire Fens, man made features take on a special significance.

Every church spire is a landmark, windmills stretch their arms on far off horizons and the red brick tower of Tattershall Castle is visible for miles.

Below the ever changing skies the landscape wears a coat of many colours – the shimmering gold of cornfields, the rich green of vegetable crops, the vivid yellow of oilseed rape and in spring, the many hued patchwork of the tulip fields.

Lincolnshire (and the East Midlands) is not all fenland, however.

In the west runs the limestone ridge of Lincoln Edge and above a gap pierced by the River Witham stands Lincoln – a queen of cities with a cathedral as its golden crows. 

To the east are the peaceful hills of the Wolds, beloved by Lord Tennyson whose model for his poem Maud lived at Harrington Hall.

East Midlands traditional village.The Wolds descend to marshland and a breezy coastline, with wildlife havens at the Gibraltar Point and Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Nature Reserves and the historic seaport of Boston whose famous “Stump” has guided fenland travellers, sailors and the airman of the Second World War.

The romance of outlawry still clings the Castle Rock in Nottingham, among the remains of the great medieval fortress that housed the Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John, opponents of Robin Hood; one of the legends of the East Midlands. But though the city below the castle and the county around it, still cherish their legends, they are built on the realities of a textile industry that dates back to the 13th century.

The history of Nottingham lace, hosiery and knitwear and of other local industries, can be traced in museums in Nottingham and at Wollaton Hall and Ruddington.

East Midlands countryside.The writer D.H. Lawrence, raised in the pit village of Eastwood, reflects one aspect of the country in his novels.

In contrast, Lord Byron, writing poetry and spending beyond his means amid the decaying splendour of Newstead Abbey, has become a figure of romance to rival the hero of Sherwood Forest.

The rocky grandeur of the Peak District seems to dominate Derbyshire, but this county of the East Midlands is softened by ravishing stretches of green, such as Dovedale with its sparkling river.

The harnessing of water power gave Derbyshire a leading role in the Industrial Revolution and this is recalled today at Cromford Mill – where Richard Arkwright built his cotton town – and at Derby Industrial Museum. Trains and trams have their own shrines at the Midland Railway Centre and the National Tramway Museum.

Nottingham in the East Midlands.Out in the countryside, natural wonders range from the heights of Black Rock and High Tor grounds to the depths of fantastic caverns such as Blue John and Treak Cliff, where the beautiful translucent mineral called Blue John is found.

Above ground, stately homes such as Hardwick Hall and Melbourne Hall maintain their grandly aristocratic atmosphere.

The East Midlands is home to the shire called the Heart of England: Leicestershire, a county of broad, rich, rolling landscapes. It is a small county, but packed with surprising and varied number of attractions, including four castles, three railway museums, a zoo and a famous battlefield.

It includes the county of Rutland that was incorporated in Leicestershire from 1974 to 1997, when the local Government Commission decided it was to be and independent county again.

Fox hunting is associated with the East Midlands.Rutland always refused to lose its identity and still gave its names to attractions such as the Rutland Railway Museum, Rutland Farm Park and Rutland Water Narure Reserve.

Leicester is the county town and an industrial city, but its ancient roots can still be seen in the 14th century Guildhall and at the Jewry Wall, built when Leicester was the Roman city of Ratae Coritanorum. In contrast Oakham is a quiet little market town with a noble 12th century hall. In a county still renowned both for farming and for hunting, it is not surprising to find in Northamptonshire an abundance of great houses and estates. Rockingham Castle has weathered the passage of time as royal Norman fortress, medieval castle, Tudor mansion and Victorian country house.

The university of Nottingham.Southwick Hall and Boughton House are also medieval survivors, while the prosperity of Elizabethan times gave rise to Althorp, Canons Ashby, Kirby Hall, Holdenby House and Sulgrave Manor.

Fine hides produced in the county made Northampton England’s shoemaking centre, as the town’s Museum of Leathercraft shows.

The shire’s rural beauty is the setting for recreational parks at Lilford and Wicksteed. As a central English shire, Northampton had its share of ironstone to feed its once thriving steel industry, which are recalled at Hunsbury Hill Industrial Museum. It was also at the hub of England’s inland waterway system, whose story is told in the Waterways Museum at Stoke Bruerne.

 

 

 

 

<-- Previous

Next -->

   

[You are in the East Midlands. Go back to England Travel Tips]

  
Share |

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

free hit counters