Loughborough is a town in Leicestershire, England. Part of
the borough of Leicestershire, it has a population of more than 59,000, and is
one of the biggest settlements in Leicestershire. It shares a border with Nottinghamshire
and is located close to Derby. The River Soar passes close to Loughborough, and
covers most of Leicestershire and Warwickshire. Loughborough is twinned with
the following places: Épinal (France), Gembloux (Belgium), Schwäbisch Hall (Germany)
and Zamość (Poland). The town also has friendship link with Bhavangar (India). The
town has a maritime climate characterised by cool summers and mild winters.
The history of Loughborough dates back to the 11th
century. The town appeared in the 1086 Doomsday Book, and was also mentioned in
a charter from the reign of King Henry II. The name Loughborough loosely
translates to “Luhhede's burgh” or “fortified palace”.
During the early 19th century, Loughborough’s
industrial status grew. In 1809, inventor John Heathcoat patented a twisted
lace machine which went on to become known as the Loughborough Machine. The
machine was developed at a factory just outside of Loughborough and spawned a
product known as English net. Other famous factories of the time included the
Falcon works, and Robert Taylor’s bell foundry, John Taylor Bellfounders.
As Loughborough’s population grew, so too did its reputation
as a tourist hub. In the 20th century, the town acquired a number of
new suburbs which helped transform its reputation. Popular landmarks include
Beacon Hill Country Park, Charnwood Museum, and Great Central Railway. Other
sites worth seeing include Manor Farm & Woodlands, Queen’s Park, and the
Loughborough train station is the town’s main train station
and offers regular services to London via East Midlands Trains. The town is
located close to the M1 motorway, which can be accessed at Junction 23. There
are various buses which run through Loughborough and connect to Leicester and
Nottingham. The closest airport to Loughborough is East Midlands Airport at
roughly nine miles away.