Leicester Stirling 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.
Located in Central Scotland, the city of Stirling is the county town of Stirlingshire. The city is sometimes referred to as "The Gateway to the Highlands" which has led to it having a significant position in Scotland's history. Major battles for Scottish independence took place in and around Stirling.
A major new regeneration project is underway on the site of the former port area and former Ministry of Defence site, adjacent to Stirling Railway Station. Known as Forthside, it has the aim of developing a new waterfront district linked to the railway station via a new pedestrian bridge. The development comprises retail, residential and commercial elements, including a conference centre, hotel and Vue multiplex cinema, that will ultimately expand the city centre area, linking it to the River Forth, which has been cut off from the city centre area since the construction of a nearby road in the 1960's.
In summer there is a sightseeing bus which is a cheap way to get to the sights, as you can "hop on and off" at any time. There are regular coach services to Stirling from all over Scotland run mainly by Scottish Citylink, with regular departures from Glasgow (Buchanan Bus Station) and Edinburgh (St Andrew's Bus Station) calling en-route to either Inverness or Aberdeen.