What is there to discover outside bars and clubs in Loughborough town? George Reed talks about the hidden gems he found in and around Loughborough town. From FREE historical museum exhibits to parks surrounding the university, George discusses the rich history he stumbled across.

You’re probably familiar with the Loughborough campus: whether it be the photogenic fountain, the lovely beanbags in the LSU building, or fish (or vegan sausages) and chips available on Friday! I was challenged to explore further afield and discover what gems lie in Loughborough town.

Charnwood Museum in Queen’s Park does a brilliant job of compacting the local area’s history into a few exhibitions. One concerns natural history: Charnwood’s ancient and modern geology and wildlife exhibit. A replica of the ‘Barrow Kipper’, a skeleton of a marine predator known as the Rhomaleosaurus megacephalus (meaning ‘strong lizard with a big head’), lies in a glass case set on the floor. As well as a real skull and femur of a woolly rhinoceros discovered in Quorn sit nearby.

Another museum highlight is an exhibition telling the story of Ugandan Asians in Loughborough who arrived seeking asylum in the 1970s. There were family photos, a dress and kitchenware that they had brought to the UK with them. There is a space where visitors can leave their thoughts on post-it notes featuring the remark, ‘We are refugees from Ukraine, and we are glad to be in Loughboro, in safety place’ (sic). Queen’s Park itself is a pleasant place designed to hide the world. Well-placed trees expand the park’s seeming size, and there is very little litter. In the centre is The Carillon Tower, a tribute to local soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War. The carillon is a vast musical instrument from the Low Countries where many bells, here forty-six, are struck by pressing a keyboard.

Loughborough Town Hall contains an art exhibition on its ground floor which is free to view; whilst I was there, a pantomime was underway, although, of course, this was ticketed.

The Old Rectory is the ruins of a 13th-century manor house. I recommend taking the opportunity to see this building that was constructed around eight hundred years ago since it is just a few minutes walk away from the Town Hall. Adjacent is the Rectory Wildlife Garden, a peaceful space laid out just a couple of years ago. When I visited, wicker polar bear sculptures sat on the lawn nearby a wicker giant holding a staff.

I wandered into All Saints Church next to the garden to find many Christmas trees decorated by various local community groups scattered throughout the building. My favourite more resembled a rose bush than a traditional Christmas tree and was crafted by LGBT+ members.

Edited by Caitlin Phillips: Lifestyle Editor

Header designed by Sarim Mangi: Head of Design


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