Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Enjoying Retirement

I gave a talk recently at Leicester Adult Education Centre, on how to enjoy retirement.

The Centre is in a splendid building in Belvoir Street, part of which is known as the Pork Pie Chapel, having been built as a Baptist chapel by Joseph Aloysius Hansom, inventor of the Hansom cab, while he was living at Hinckley.

This is part of a course that the Centre runs a few times a year. The idea is to prepare people who are coming up for retirement age to make what is clearly a significant change in life.

It includes talks by experts on health, pensions, legal matters – subjects which are of increasing concern as one grows older.

But there is also the question of filling one’s time in an interesting and enjoyable way, without it necessarily costing the earth.

That’s where I come in.

I give course members an idea of some of the interesting places that can be found in Leicestershire and Rutland, and most people are surprised at the wide range to be found, sometimes free and sometimes at little cost.

To start with, of course, there are courses, on practically every imaginable subject. These are run at the Centre itself, but also at other colleges in Leicester and other towns around the county.

And of course there are my Guided Walks and Coach Trips! Walks in the near future include Waterside Market Harborough and Richard III, while excursions by coach, all from St. Margarets Bus Station, include Tissington in Derbyshire(for the annual Well Dressing) and John Clare Country Tour (around the borders with Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire).

We talked about the parks. Leicester has some lovely ones, such as Abbey Park and Victoria Park, and there are others around the county, notably at Loughborough and Melton Mowbray.

Leicester has some splendid museums, including the New Walk Museum, the Jewry Wall Museum and of course the iconic National Space Centre. There is also Snibston Country Park at Coalville, and most towns have their own museum, including Loughborough, Market Harborough and Oakham.

In a similar vein there’s the Bosworth Battlefield Visitor Centre, giving an insight into the fateful battle where Richard III lost his crown and his life in 1485.

Then there’s the Great Central Railway, running from Leicester North to Loughborough Central, and the Battlefield Line, near Market Bosworth.

If you like walking, there are splendid opportunities, especially around Charnwood Forest, home to some of the world’s oldest rocks.

Of course, this is just skimming the surface. There’s loads of history, Leicester being one of the oldest towns in the country.

I also pointed out the free bus travel in one’s own district, half price travel all around the country, and to places over the county boundary such as Nottingham, Derby and Stamford, as well as the savings to be made on railway journeys by purchasing a Senior Railcard.

If you are yourself approaching retirement age, you could do worse than enrolling one of these courses.