/ Where to live in Leicester?

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napoleon_dynamite on 15 Apr 2019

Hi,

I have recently had an offer for a new job in Manton - about half an hour east of Leicester.  It would be great to get a climbers perspective on a few things regarding where to rent a room.

I am thinking of the East suburbs of Leicester.  It would be great to get some beta on:

1 - the climbing.  I'm guessing it's "Social Climbing" weekdays and drive up to the Peak on weekends.  Any clubs?  Any crags or outdoor boulders within driving radius for evenings?

2 - fun areas for young (un)professionals.  I'm late 20s and happily single so somewhere social is ideal.

3 - where to avoid if I don't want my cams nicked.  Whilst I hate to stereotype areas, I'd rather avoid the rougher parts.

4 - traffic - everywhere has their share of horror stories, anything major to be aware of east side of Leicester?

Thanks!

Post edited at 20:32
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SouthernSteve on 15 Apr 2019
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

Melton Mowbray looks the obvious choice to me.

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tjdodd - on 15 Apr 2019
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

Following with interest.  I've just looked on the UKC crag map as have just applied for a job in Leicester and am worried about climbing.  Looks like a number of crags between Leicester and Nottingham.  Worth a look and makes me think after work climbing in the summer should be ok.

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SouthernSteve on 15 Apr 2019
In reply to tjdodd:

A quick look at climbing in Leicestershire will leave you sadly in need of a list of buses to Derbyshire. This is where I live and the granite gives great atmosphere and 'wild' places, but the climbing is grim. Live as far north as you can!

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the sheep - on 15 Apr 2019
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

Sorry but climbing wise there is not much east of Leicester apart from Slawston Bridge which is surprisingly good

north west Leicester is best for climbing with places like The brand being esoteric gems well worth seeking out

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Neil Williams - on 15 Apr 2019
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

If you can handle the longer drive, I'd choose Nottingham or Loughborough instead.  Admittedly my only experience is as a visitor, but Leicester really isn't to me a very nice city, whereas the other two can be quite pleasant (but quite different from one another).  The centre is particularly scummy but all of the bits I've seen seem rather run down.

All three are university cities, though, so I'd expect all of them probably have their fair share of young professionals living there.

You'd also be nicely near the M1 for a trip to a good bit of Peak gritstone.

Post edited at 22:41
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Blue Straggler - on 16 Apr 2019
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

If you don't want to live in Leicester itself, and the job is in Manton, and you also don't want to live in Manton, I'd consider Syston, Barrow upon Soar, or Loughborough. I don't actually know Syston at all aside from knowing that it's nice and "low crime", and quiet, but geographically well located for easy travel to Leicester and probably easy travel to Manton without battling morning city rush hour traffic. 
Barrow is a bit more "rural" but has the bit where the Grand Union Canal joins the River Soar, if you like paddling around in canoes. 

I live in Loughborough and have done so since 2004. 10 minute by train into Leicester, also reasonable into Nottingham and Derby by car or public transport. My work is in a north-west satellite town of Leicester. Between my house and my work, is all the decent rock climbing in Leicestershire. It's all good for the occasional evening but definitely "for locals" in terms of "you wouldn't get your mates to drive 2 hours to climb it"

I don't know you but I think Loughborough might be a good bet. There is a good bouldering wall there and as mentioned, it's in reasonable reach of three cities each of which has two climbing walls. 

I've never heard of Manton. There are a lot of pretty villages out to the east of Leicester between Leicester and Manton but as a singleton in your late twenties, I think they wouldn't suit you (again, I don't KNOW you so...)
When I was buying a house in the area in 2004, at 28-29, single, I looked at villages and small towns and they were nice but struck me as places for couples settling in. It's why I ended up in Loughborough, a bigger town, admittedly not a huge amount going on but certainly more than some of the smaller places I'd looked at, and it is a surprisingly effective transport hub. East Midlands Mainline train runs through it, Super easy to get to London for example. 
I worked for some years in Melton Mowbray and, no offence to the town, I would not wish living there on anyone. Because it is an isolated provincial shit hole full of townies. So, yes, actually, offence to the town.  

Loughborough is a 75 minute legal-speed drive to the parking at nearly all Eastern Grit in the Peak. 

Post edited at 00:35
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TheDrunkenBakers - on 16 Apr 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

All of this.  Leicester is a dump although does have some nice villages on the north side, which is the part I know best.

I have a good friend who lives in Mountsorrel but its a small place with little nightlife although has nice pubs and a fab Michelin starred restaurant.

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arch - on 16 Apr 2019
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

Manton is out near Rutland water and apart from the A47 it's not an easy journey into Leicester.  There's lots of small nice villages between Manton and Leicester, but they are some of the more affluent parts of Leicestershire to live. Syston is a good call, (I played rugby there) but no major road between the two, although the South Croxton - Tilton - Loddington road is a nice drive.

If your money stretches far enough, I'd suggest Oakham or Stamford areas. A bit posh, but not the  riff-raff of Leicester, or failing that, look for somewhere East of the city centre, around the Syston -Thurmaston - Scraptoft area. Leicester also has a large Asian community and they've settled in the eastern areas of the city, good for all your Asian cooking supplies.

Melton and Corby are the nearest towns. I quite like Melton.

Post edited at 08:07
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toad - on 16 Apr 2019
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

I used to live in Highfields, but i hear its a bit more unwelcoming than it used to be. Round the queens rd is nice, but studenty. My wife worked there for 20 odd years, but tellingly most of her colleagues lived in surrounding villages, much more so than nottm, where she now works 

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wercat on 16 Apr 2019
In reply to arch:

And of course there's nothing wrong with Rutland Weekend Television.

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spidermonkey09 - on 16 Apr 2019
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

Contrary to the above, Leicester is not a dump! Its a great city with excellent bars and restaurants and is far from unreasonable for getting out at the weekends.

1) I understand Social Climbing is a good solid wall despite the bang average name, and the Station in Loughborough is good as well. Slawston Bridge is a great training venue on summers evenings and not far from Manton at all; as good as a trip to the wall depending on what you're training. (disclaimer, I'm the crag mod!) The rest of the climbing is granite and pretty esoteric, but fun for the odd weekend exploring. 

2) Eastern Suburbs; I lived in Oadby as a student in my first year which I understand is quite pricy as a member of the public. As per other suggestions, also look at Loughborough, Wigston, Clarendon Park (very nice area, a mixture of students, young families and pensioners from memory). Good bars and will be lots of rooms available I'd have thought. 

3) Crime wise I never had any problems living over in the east. Was a bit dodgier when I lived near the station although still not exactly the Bronx. 

4) I used to go on weekends away every Friday evening and traffic was occasionally grim but mostly fine. Once you're on the ring road its normally OK and if you can drive at non peak times that also obviously helps! Southern Peak is pretty speedy , under 1.5 hours, and around 2 to Hathersage. 3 hours to North Wales, not as far as you'd think to Pembroke or the Lakes. Its a very convenient city!

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SDM on 16 Apr 2019
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

Your best after work options are all slightly North West of Leicester, rather than to the East. 

Forest Rock is the pick of the bunch, a steep quarried cave in the middle of the village with enough hard bouldering to keep you going for many years. It starts to get good at about 6C-7A and has plenty to go at right up until 8B+. The climbing is generally very burly on quite good holds. There is a few easier things on the less steep walls at the entrance and there is a handful of trad routes/solos too. No lamps and keep the noise down: the entrance is about 5 metres from the nearest house and access has been an issue in the past. 

Cademan Woods and Broad Hill has a jumble of boulders dotted around the woods. It has by far the most variety of low to mid grade bouldering in the area. It can't compete with the best of the peak district but there's a few hidden gems. 

Windmill Hill is a micro-edge/boulder in the woods at the other end of the same village as forest rock. There is only about 15 problems there, made up of about 5 tight lines plus a number of eliminates. The vertical crimpy style is a nice way to finish after your core and biceps have had enough of forest rock or when the daylight has run out. 

Beacon Hill is OK for an evening potter but the rock is quite slippery and I don't particularly enjoy the climbing there.

The climbing on Slawston Bridge is better than you would expect and is worth trying if you are nearby but you are still climbing on a bridge, I wouldn't go out of my way to go there.

There is also a number of quarries with trad and the occasional isolated (often hard) boulder problem. A number of these come with the usual access and loose rock issues.

It's no Sheffield but your after work choices could be much worse. I'm an hour South of Leicester and Forest Rock is still my best (only) afterwork option.

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Michael Hood - on 17 Apr 2019
In reply to SDM:

Sounds like you're bouldering too hard if Forest Rock is the only place for you

Slawston (as frequented by Jerry Moffatt and Johnny Dawes) is excellent training for the mid-grade climber especially if you're not into all things overhanging.

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toad - on 17 Apr 2019
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

Can't remember what they were called but a couple of the good ( for leics) 80s climbing quarries are now landfilled

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Michael Hood - on 17 Apr 2019
In reply to toad:

Whitwick is underground except for maybe 5 foot bits sticking out (not even sure they're still there) and a lot of the best bits of Huncote will be under some tarmac somewhere since the working Croft quarry joined up to it. Parts of Huncote are still there and can't be blasted away but access is problematical. Has anyone climbed there in the last ten years?

Both had some excellent routes, only the locations were lacking (since they were quarries).

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SDM on 17 Apr 2019
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Sounds like you're bouldering too hard if Forest Rock is the only place for you

I wish! It's more that I can't bring myself to travel that far to climb on a bridge when I could save the drive and train at home or the wall. If I was closer, I probably would go to Slawston Bridge on a summer's evening. 

I suppose I could do Cademan on an evening, but I have to drive past Forest Rock to get there. Could be good for darker evenings when Forest Rock isn't an option. 

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toad - on 17 Apr 2019
In reply to Michael Hood:

Huncote i was thinking of, ta

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Michael Hood - on 17 Apr 2019
In reply to SDM:

Slawston is very pleasant on a sunny evening, as long as you can cope with the walk-in

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Blue Straggler - on 17 Apr 2019
In reply to toad:

Never got to find out if Granitethorpe was any good, only climbed there once, two easy routes. It's now filled in with old mattresses and human excrement. 

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Tim Davies - on 17 Apr 2019
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

Tbh Rutland and all that area is a great place to live if you like the outdoors. If it’s nightclubs and bars you want it’s prob not the best but for quality of life it’s very good indeed. 

The peak is only 90 mins away and you might be more motivated to drive there if not commuting every day. 

Melton, oakham, uppingham all quality towns 

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Blue Straggler - on 17 Apr 2019
In reply to Tim Davies:

Good point on the "more inclined to drive somewhere for leisure if you've not been driving loads all week" although in fairness I find <= 30 mins each way to work to have felt negligible, relative to living exactly where I want. Longer than that, or 30 mins mostly sitting still in traffic, would be a bit much. 
Forgot about Oakham and Uppingham , could be nice but as per my first post on this thread, is there a chance they might be a bit TOO quiet or out of the way? That would depend on the OP's wishes of course. 

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TheDrunkenBakers - on 17 Apr 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Forgot about Oakham and Uppingham , could be nice but as per my first post on this thread, is there a chance they might be a bit TOO quiet or out of the way? That would depend on the OP's wishes of course. 

No mention of budget either. These are, together with Stamford, very costly. I personally love Stamford and would like to live there as it would suit me perfectly. 

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Tim Davies - on 17 Apr 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I’m biased as I grew up round there and didn’t miss what I didn’t have .....

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SouthernSteve on 18 Apr 2019
In reply to Michael Hood:

Whitwick has gone - it's a little hill with a few boulders on top to sit on. In the area, they have build houses in front of Whitwick Rocks (low grade) on Cademan Street so that is really no go now. However since the recent drier summers bouldering problems up in Cademan woods have become much less wet and lichen covered and there is consistent chalk marks around. 

Looking down on the quarry on Spring Hill (next to the old Whitwick Quarry) there are some good looking walls, but as an active quarry I can't say how stable the rock is and access is prevented by razor wire for good reason. It would be good to think some this might be left for use in a few decades when the work has gone and everything has settled.

Post edited at 08:57
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the sheep - on 18 Apr 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

That’s a shame, enjoyed the slabs at Granitethorpe. Nice on a sunny evening with the carp cruising around below you.

Surprised no one has given Charnwood Quarry a shout yet. Some monster routes with plenty of adventure potential

Charnwood Quarry#maps

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napoleon_dynamite on 19 Apr 2019
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

Thank you to everyone who has take the time to respond.  There are some incredible posts here with an extremely helpful amount of beta.  It's our my mind to rest about moving to the area.

I'm going to try and rent somewhere between Evington and Syston.  Easy Uber into town, easy commute and not too far from the climbing spots NW of the city as mentioned. 

I'll be keen to get involved with any clubs or meet some fellow climbers when in a couple of weeks

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Blue Straggler - on 19 Apr 2019
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

Good luck. Evington is a nice bit of Leicester and kind of walkable into the centre if you have time and inclination 

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brownie mike on 08:58 Sat
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

I live in Rutland, have done 90% of my life.

Uppingham and Stamford are the nicest towns in the area, although Uppingham is very small - Stamford is great, like a mini York in terms of architecture. Oakham is a dying town, independent shops are being replaced by charity shops fairly quickly, Melton is a dive, to be avoided if possible - national centre for rehoming released (non dangerous!) paedophiles on the quiet, huge crack and heroin problems, and quite a lot of crime - there's a reason it's cheap. But people like pork pies... 

Climbing wise, closest wall to Manton would be the Corby bouldering wall, which is quite new, but not bad at all. There is a tiny wall in Peterborough, but there are plans for a much bigger complex in the works in Peterborough - otherwise Loughborough, Notts and Leicester are the closest. Peaks are 90min, Matlock slightly less - and there is a quite active core of climbers in the area, (wideBoyz 3rd silent partner lives here, the crack volumes are built here, etc, Black diamond/Royal Robbins/icebreaker distribution points are here) and quite a few home boards through the county. Slawston Bridge gets fairly busy on lighter/warmer nights, and can be made as hard as you want by eliminates. Most crags Leicester way, other than the brand and forest rock are only really worth a visit to be disappointed and not go back in my opinion. Its perfectly possible to maintain a decent standard living here, depending on motivation (I rarely add to my profile) 

Rutland has no speed cameras, always a bonus, and low crime, lovely rolling countryside - apart from no crags, and the reservoir is beautiful. I know Manton well, have a fair idea of where you've been offered a job as well. I'd say, if you can afford it, move to actual Rutland, what extra you pay in rent, you'll recoup in travel expenses, especially if you don't mind cycling to work - it's a small county! 

If you have any further questions, feel free to message me directly. 

Thanks! 

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