Leicester Derby Train
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Leicester is a city in the East Midlands of England and county town of Leicestershire which lies on the River Soar. The city also lies at the edge of the National Forest which is an environmental project run by the national Forest Company. It is an attempt to blend ancient woodland with new plantings in order to create a new national forest. Leicester has a number of scheduled monuments which include the 15th century Belgrave Bridge, the 12th century Leicester Abbey and medieval Leicester Castle.
The city has two main shopping centres which are the Haymarket Shopping Centre and Highcross Leicester. In additional there is the smaller St Martin's Square shopping centre and Leicester Lanes where there are a number of designer and specialist shops. Leicester has a large multi cultural population and the Golden Mile is a stretch of Belgrave Road known for its authentic Indian restaurants, sari shops and jewellers.
Leicester also hosts many cultural events including the annual Pride Parade, a Caribbean Carnival which is the largest in the UK outside London, the largest Diwali celebration outside of India and one of the largest comedy festivals in the UK, the Leicester Comedy Festival. The city also has a film festival, the Leicester International Short Film Festival, which is an annual event which is held every November.
The Derby Playhouse, located in the East Midlands city of Derby, has received critical acclaim in the national press for the productions it hosts, particularly for its staging of shows by Stephen Sondheim. The theatre closed its doors in 2008 following a period of financial instability but was later purchased by Derby University and renamed the Derby Theatre. The theatre along with the Assembly Rooms and the Guildhall Theatre are the main venues in the city.
Markeaton Park is Derby's most used leisure facility and is the venue for the city council's annual Guy Fawkes Night firework display and contains its own light railway. Other major parks in the city include Allestree Park, Darley Park, Chaddesden Park, Alvaston Park, Normanton Park and Osmaston Park.
The Friar Gate area of the city contains clubs and bars, making it the centre of Derby's nightlife. Derby is also well provided with pubs and is renowned for its large amount of real ale outlets.
As home to Lombe's Mill, the first factory in the world, Derby is considered a birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. With the arrival of the railways in the 19th century, and due to its strategic central location, the city grew to become a foremost centre of the British rail industry.