Leicester Cardiff Train
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The development of the city of Leicester is strongly linked to the completion of the Grand Union Canal in 1790 which linked Leicester to London and Birmingham, and also to the arrival of the railways in 1832. This process of industrialisation continued throughout the reign of Queen Victoria with the appearance of factories along the canal and the River Soar and of mills in districts such as Frog Island and Woodgate.
The city is the county town of Leicestershire in the East Midlands of England. Lying at the edge of the National Forest and on the River Soar, the city has a number of historical monuments including the 15th century Belgrave Bridge and the 12th century Leicester Abbey and medieval Leicester Castle.
Shopping in the city is divided between the Haymarket Shopping Centre, Highcross Leicester, St Martin's Square and Leicester Lanes. Leicester is also home to the largest outdoor covered marketplace in Europe. Leicester Market sells fruit, vegetables, fresh fish and meat and also hosts festivals which are organised by Leicester City Council. The market was given royal consent in 1229 by Henry III. Other markets in Leicester include Beaumont Leys Market. There are other markets, including the farmer's market and the continental markets usually held on Humberstone Gate or Gallowtree Gate.
Cardiff is the capital of Wales and is located on the south coast of Wales. The city has undergone a dramatic transformation over recent decades transforming it from an industrial city into a modern, lively, capital city. Cardiff's industrial past, where it was once one of the most important ports in the world, has been transformed by developments like Cardiff Bay (sometimes called Tiger Bay) which is home to landmarks like the National Assembly for Wales and the Wales Millennium Centre.
Although popular with visitors all year round the summer months may be the best time to visit as the city hosts festivals and the visitors and residents alike can relax in the many cafes and restaurants that offer al fresco dining. Cathays Park is perhaps one of the worlds most beautiful civic centre, comprising expensive white Portland stone buildings in a range of classical styles, all surrounding the formal gardens of Alexandra Gardens whose center contains the beautiful national war memorial of Wales. Most people stop at the first 3 buildings facing the city center (City Hall, National Museum and Law courts) and fail to experience the architectural beauty and tranquility of the park and surrounding buildings.