Wildlife and landscape artist Francesca Simpson is originally from rural Northumberland but has lived in Leicestershire for the past two years. When she’s not busy painting and creating wonderful works of art, she’s out exploring and seeking inspiration from her surroundings. Here are a few places she lives to visit in her downtime.
As an artist with an interest in British wildlife, Bradgate Park has been invaluable to me. I go there regularly to get reference photos of the deer for my artwork and it’s always the first place I show friends when they come to visit. It’s just a short drive from my house in Cossington to I feel very privileged to live so close.
I find Rutland Water a lovely relaxing place to go for a walk. There’s something quite soothing about the views there and watching the boats and birds on the water.
The Badger’s Sett in Cropston
I don’t tend to eat out very often, but I’ve been to the Badger’s Sett with friends and family several times. The pub/restaurant is styled beautifully and I particularly love to eat outside in their beer garden which overlooks a meadow. The food has always been very good too!
Belgrave Hall and Gardens, Leicester
The walled garden at Belgrave Hall is beautiful in the spring. It’s a real hidden gem in the centre of Leicester. I love that it’s not too well kept but a little bit overgrown and old, like the Secret Garden!
The Eyebrook Gallery, Uppingham
This is a place I like to shop. I can always find a quality, unique gift to buy here or a quirky handmade card.
The Hope and Anchor, Wanlip
A nice place to stop for a drink on a walk along the Grand Union Canal. They have a few picnic tables close to the water’s edge where you can sit and take in the view. I sometimes like to stop here on a walk from Cossington to Watermead Country Park via the canal.
My Studio in Cossington
My studio in Cossington is my cosy little space to paint and relax. It’s a garage conversion on the front of my house that was built at the end of 2016 and I started using it as my studio in the spring of last year so it’s still very new and exciting. It’s a fantastic space to work in and surprisingly peaceful despite being on a busy main road. My studio is open to visitors most days and by appointment in the evenings too.