Tamsin Winter: My Favourite Places
Ms Winter recently released her debut novel, Being Miss Nobody. She loves living in Market Harborough so is the perfect person to tell us where to shop, relax and drink in and around the area.
Market Harborough Library, The Symington Building
I’m starting, of course, with my local library. Reading has always been an enormous part of my life, and one of my fondest memories from primary school was the little library mini bus visiting us. This library is in a converted Victorian corset factory, and includes a lovely little museum where you can see everything from ancient Egyptian pottery to leopard print pants. I edited Being Miss Nobody in this library, so it will always be a special place to me. There’s also a rather awesome retro ice cream parlour next door.
Shambala Festival, Kelmarsh
I confess I’m more of a glamper than a camper, so I found my perfect summer festival at Shambala. It’s a small family-friendly festival, with a gorgeous mix of music, arts, spectacle, food and workshops, and absolutely delicious vegetarian food. Two of the most memorable experiences for me were a proper old-fashioned barn dance, and exploring the lamp-lit forest at night. There’s something rather magical about this festival. And it has warm showers.
Samyama Yoga, East Farndon
I discovered the healing power of yoga about six years ago, and I’ve found the perfect place here. Lulu’s beautiful little studio is hidden away in the countryside, where you can take part in small, empowering yoga, meditation, gong baths, and massage. I find meditative yoga such a beautiful and calming way to rebalance my energy, dispel negative thoughts and reconnect myself with the earth. It’s also shaped my planking up let me tell you.
Vintage on Abbey Street, Market Harborough
I am a true vintage lover and that means I am completely addicted to vintage shopping. One of my favourite possessions is a 1950s blue typewriter. Vintage on Abbey Street is my favourite local place to shop vintage. They have a lovely range of furniture, homeware and little curiosities.
Nagarjuna Kadampa Meditation Centre and World Peace Café, Kelmarsh
This place holds a really special place in my heart. It’s where I always go any time I feel in need of a little peace. I took meditation classes here while I was pregnant, and I’ve stayed for one of their weekend meditation courses. I’m naturally an energetic person, always busy either writing, teaching or looking after my toddler. Visiting here always reminds me how important it is to reconnect with my inner self and enjoy a bit of calm. They do amazing cakes too.
It’s so sad when I hear of schools devaluing or dropping funding altogether from arts-based subjects. Creative expression is enormously important for all of us, especially young people and it’s fantastic to have such brilliant arts venues in our community. Phoenix offers a diverse range of film, live-streaming of theatre, art, and arts-based education. And it’s a charity. I’m planning on taking my son to watch his first ever film here soon.
The Langton Brewery, Langton
I really am rather partial to a bit of real ale! And I very much enjoy a beer festival now and again, so the annual one at the Langton Brewery is lovely. There’s nothing quite like sitting on a hay bale and drinking a beer in the sunshine, surrounded by friends and beautiful countryside. Although I love the buzz of the city, I’m definitely a country mouse at heart.
Wistow Maze, Wistow
I’m actually quite terrified of mazes. I have literally no sense of direction, and used to frequently get lost before the dawn of sat navs. In fact, I still get lost even with my sat nav. So, I really should not enjoy Wistow Maze. Maybe it’s because it’s a maize maze, and not one of those tall tree ones you see in films. But, this place has a mysterious charm. It’s such an historic place, and I absolutely love the old stories surrounding Wistow, like the one about human hairs growing in the grass of the churchyard. It’s a bit spooky really.
Bradgate Park, Leicester
If there’s a perfect place for a picnic, this is it for me. I love the natural ruggedness of Bradgate, and seeing deer up close is always wonderful. Exploring the ruins of the house and climbing the hill to the little folly at the top fires the imagination, and sitting by the river or gazing out across the Leicestershire countryside is beautifully peaceful. I never used to be much of an outdoorsy type, but as I’ve got older, I’ve really become a massive fan of any place where you can acceptably wear wellies.
Find out more about Tamsin on her website, Tamsin Winter