THE MOST ROMANTIC BENCHES IN LEICESTER
Leicester is a city steeped in history but comparatively a dream for star-crossed lovers galore with it’s romantic historical past. I mean even the mere fact that it is a Roman city with a Roman name (Ratae Corieltauvorum) is two reasons why it was destined to be Roman-tic!! See what I did there?!
Now, I admit, I’m not so romantic, but I do love a sunset, which to me is one of the world’s most romantic natural occurrences. The well-balanced colours of the sky interrupted by a technicolour egg-yolk eruption cannot be missed nor ignored. Cue my hunt for spots in Leicester city to enjoy this sight and here I share some of the loveliest spots right in the heart of this Roman city.
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Thank me later for your date night romancing spots and brownie point tally folks!
St Mary de Castro Church
Situated within the fortified remains of Leicester Castle, St Mary de Castro (St. Mary of the Castle) church has a romantic position in medieval Leicester. Founded in 1107 by Robert Beaufort the church or chapel as it were then was exclusively for Leicester Castle.
King Richard III’s father Richard Duke of York was knighted here at the age of 15 and it is where Richard III would take mass when he visited Leicester Castle.
It is also thought Geoffrey Chaucer, author of the great Canterbury Tales, married his second wife here in 1306.
Take a pew on one of the benches outside the church and let the scene take you back to medieval times and where once stood kings and noblemen.
Back in 1068, the first Leicester Castle consisted of a motte with timber building surrounding the castle during the Norman Conquest. During the 19th century the motte was lowered to form a bowling green and today the area has wonderful views of the gardens of Newark houses museum, the tower of St Mary de Castro church, and the surrounding Castle Gardens.
This beautifully green and quiet spot is not only a peaceful haven in the centre of the city, but has a number of benches to enjoy the views from as well as knowing you’re sitting on a plot of land the Romans and Normans called a prestigious part of town.
Once the home of Leicester’s Abbey, with a history dating back to the times of King Henry VIII and guarding the statue to the great Cardinal Wolsey, this park is as romantic as they come.
Acres of beautiful grass land, boating lakes, bridges, beautiful topiary, home to a variety of flora and fauna, a Chinese garden and so much more, you’ll be spoilt for choice for benches here.
My personal favourite has a stunning view set above the lake on a manicured mound of evergreen trees. At sunset the only sound you’ll hear are the ducks and swans amidst a technicolour sky of nature’s improvisations.
Welford Road Cemetery
Yep I hear you, cemetery’s can seem pretty spooky, but Welford Road cemetery has many tombs of the aristocrat and famous folk of Leicester.
It’s a great place to walk in a tranquil setting and give yourself a little history lesson in the process. After all it is a Grade II listed site. Some great and utterly romantic views can be had from the benches along the University road end, where the memorial stones are. Oh and of course the views are made utterly beautiful at sunset too!
Trinity House & Chapel
Heading back to medieval Leicester, Trinity House is located on Castle View and was the old Trinity Hospital many moons ago. It is now owned by De Montfort University (DMU) and has the most stunning herb garden, which is open very occasionally on certain dates throughout the year.
One of my favourite secret spots in Leicester to read, is on the bench beneath the tree, a quiet spot next to the lavender and chive bushes.
DMU are undertaking a sustainability initiative here to encourage biodiversity to the campus with the planting of herbs. It gives a beautiful picture of what the area was used for to grow and collect herbs for medicinal purposes to treat the infirm in the former hospital. It is also overlooked by the motte I previously mentioned.
The River Soar is a year-round location and runs through the length of the city, adjoining to the Great Central Union Canal waterways network.
It’s length is fringed with numerous benches and is another great spot to scope out wildlife, especially the bevy of swans that are resident on this stretch. There are a number of walking routes with many benches for regular break spots and you guessed it, sunset is a pretty good time for a walk
The reinterment site of King Richard III, Leicester Cathedral set in the historic heart of Leicester city, is another calm spot to relax and watch the day go by surrounded by beautiful old architecture. The manicured cathedral grounds have purpose made wooded seats around the flower beds and gravestones, which have a lovely view of the Cathedral, and iconic landmark of Leicester, the statue of the Plantagenet king. This is a great lunch or reading spot in the summer months too if you happen to be hanging in the city.
So whether you’re looking for a romantic spot for the one you love, or maybe the one you’re about to make your love or maybe even a touch of solo escape time, you have plenty of options and let me know your favourites!