Alison Moore: My favourite places
Author Alison Moore has written a string of successful novels and is working on her first children’s book, due to be published next year. She’s grown up exploring all the nooks and crannies in and around Leicestershire and shares with us some of her favourite spots covering everything from ghosts, good food to fab shoes…
The Carnegie Library, Loughborough
This listed Edwardian building has been the children’s section of Loughborough Library since I was little. It’s a gorgeous baroque building with distinctive stained-glass skylights in the domed ceiling. I grew up in Loughborough and always loved going to the library, and did a week of work experience there when I was sixteen. When my son was a baby, it was a pleasure to take him along to the weekly Wriggly Readers sessions and get him his own library card.
Loogabarooga Festival, Loughborough
On the subject of children’s books, there is a new festival that I’d like to give a mention to: the Loogabarooga Festival of illustrated children’s literature, established in 2015 to celebrate the centenary of Ladybird Books, based in Loughborough until the 1970s. Now in its third year, the festival takes place in October.
The Globe, Leicester
In my youth, Saturday nights out alternated between Leicester and Nottingham, and in Leicester The Globe was one of our regular pubs before going on to a club. These days it’s more likely to be Sunday lunch than pre-club drinks, so fortunately the food is good too, and it’s family friendly. Most recently, we were in the snug with a game of Jenga, and I had a fab nut roast with all the trimmings, even parsnips, and a pint of Leicestershire’s own Tiger. The building has an interesting history too, and ghosts!
The Globe, 43 Silver Street, Leicester LE1 5EU
New Walk, Leicester
I was probably twenty-one when I attended a life-drawing class with a friend, and enjoyed the walk there as much as the evening class. The half-a-mile of pedestrianised walkway is lined with trees and old-fashioned lamps and stretches from the city centre to the university buildings and Victoria Park. Midway is the excellent New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, to which we have been many times as a family; as well as exploring the exhibitions, we have taken part in activity sessions, handling and learning about fossils and making creatures out of scrap.
New Walk Museum 53 New Walk, Leicester LE1 7EA
Stoney Cove, Stoney Stanton
When I was 23 and learning to SCUBA dive – through Loughborough University where I was working at the time – I made my first open-water dive at Stoney Cove. It was January and must have been freezing but I loved it, being ‘face to face with fishy beauties’ as my diving log book records. I dived there many more times after that, and although I subsequently went on to dive in the warmer waters of the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and most recently the Red Sea, Stoney Cove will always have a special place in my heart.
Tinfish Shoes, Leicester
I love a hearty pair of boots and over the years I’ve had a few from the independent Tinfish. My most recent purchase was a smashing pair of red boots for my sister’s birthday – we’re twins so I can try them on and know they’re right.
Tinfish Shoes, Royal Arcade, 3 High Street, Leicester LE1 5YW
The Y, Leicester
This is a really attractive small Victorian theatre. We’ve been to the Y for gigs – Ryan Adams’s acoustic set in near darkness was memorably atmospheric. www.leicesterymca.co.uk/y-theatre.php
The Y Theatre, 7 East St, City Centre, Leicester LE1 6EY
The Bookshop, Kibworth
When my second novel came out, I was invited by Debbie James (owner) to do an author event at her bookshop. It’s a lovely, friendly bookshop which regularly appears on Bookshop of the Year lists and has recently opened a second storey. The bookshop is also home to Kibworth BookFest each June.
The Bookshop, 52 High St, Kibworth, Kibworth Beauchamp, Leicester LE8 0HQ
As a kid, I remember being majorly excited when tea was going to be a picnic on Beacon Hill. Many years later, it’s a favourite place for a walk, with trees to climb and rocks to clamber over, and at the top of the hill a sense of achievement and views right across Leicestershire.
The Windmill, Wymeswold
Living with my family in Wymeswold, we’re lucky to have this smashing local, which is great for food and beer (I’m fond of Charnwood Brewery’s Vixen) as well as having a big garden for the kids to play in. The Windmill has three sister pubs in Leicestershire, including The Curzon Arms in Woodhouse Eaves. Visiting recently with family after going up Beacon Hill, I had mushrooms on toast and apple crumble, as well as a very tired dog under the table.
The Windmill, 83 Brook St, Wymeswold, Loughborough LE12 6TT