Whilst you may not necessarily associate Loughborough with tourism, particularly when compared so some of the more famous UK towns and cities, it was in fact the destination of the first ever package holiday, arranged by Thomas Cook in 1841. Even today, the town continues to offer plenty for its visitors to see and do.
Loughborough has a rich heritage, and is famous for the John Taylor Bellfounders - the largest bellfoundry in the world. Some of the world's most iconic bells were cast here including those at St Paul's Cathedral and York Minster. The museum charts its history from the 14th Century up until the present day. The town is also home to Brush Engineering, who have been making locomotive engines since 1867.
The city is also home to some fascinating examples of Victorian and Art Deco architecture, and merely walking around the town is to immerse oneself in its history. It also boasts the UK's only double track, mainline heritage railway.
Loughborough has a strong sporting bent, and the University is one of the most respected sports-focussed academies in Europe, with more than 250 international athletes studying and training at the centre. For more sedate sports fans, the city has a strong cricketing heritage - who could resist going to watch the wonderfully-named Old Contemptibles hit a few boundaries?
Loughborough is very much a 21st Century town too, and with plenty of shopping, leisure activities and places to eat and drink, there's always something to do. Further afield, the town is also an ideal base from which to explore the rest of what the Leicestershire region has to offer, from the pies of Melton Mowbray to the history of Nottingham.