What I Love About Leicestershire, Chapter 1: New Walk & New Walk Museum

Hello dear readers. Our apologies for not blogging on Monday. We were all returning home from a fun weekend in Kentucky at our family reunion where the three of us were all together for the first time in about five years. We’re getting back on track now. Enjoy!

If you’re a regular reader, then you probably already know that I moved to Leicester, England from Michigan in 2009. I’d have to say that I’ve definitely gone through a love/hate relationship with this city. It started out feeling like a constant vacation because everything was so new. After our first baby came along, I was extremely homesick. We waited almost the entirety of 2012 to discover that my husband’s spouse visa for the US was denied.  We learned that we may never be able to relocate to Michigan and even if we do get to move, it won’t be until 2016. I was sick, heartbroken, and bitter. I thought that as long as living here was a temporary thing, it was an awesome experience and one I would look back on with joy. The bitterness settled in when I discovered that living here might be a permanent thing. If my husband couldn’t go to the US, I couldn’t go to the US. I was asked once if I had known this would be the outcome, would I have still wanted to meet Chris. The answer to that is absolutely. I can’t even fathom it being a question. Leaving him has never been an option and I would move anywhere I had to for us to be together.

Once I had time to adjust to the idea of having to stay here on a permanent basis, I made some important changes to come to terms with living here. I talk a lot about those changes in my post about overcoming social anxiety, so I won’t revisit them here. I realized that it isn’t the place I don’t like. Quite the opposite; all my life I wanted to visit England and never thought I’d get the opportunity to.  Now that I live here and get to see all different parts of the country, I am in love with it as I always thought I would be. I love England. I just miss family, friends, and the familiarity of home. Now that I’m taking steps to make a better life for myself in England (rather than living like a hermit in the house with the kids until the weekend when Chris is off work), I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time. I still miss home, but it’s not a constant ache in my heart like it was in the past.

With that, I’ve decided to do a series of posts about all the things I love in Leicester and Leicestershire. If you’re unfamiliar with England, Leicestershire is a large county and Leicester is the city at the heart of it. I live in Leicester, but I’m sure some of these posts will cover things in Leicestershire. These things and places that I love will be in no particular order. I hope these posts will be helpful to prospective visitors or just entertaining to people who love seeing things about other places (I know I do!). Whichever of those people you may be, I hope you enjoy!

Chapter 1: New Walk & New Walk Museum.

A portion of New Walk

A portion of New Walk

New Walk is a pedestrianized pathway just over half a mile long right in the city. It is lined with beautiful trees and historic buildings which are mostly used now for houses or offices. When I first moved to Leicester we lived just under half a mile from New Walk and would take evening strolls down there quite a bit. It’s awesome to see this place in the middle of a bustling city full of history and beauty and only for walking. It’s so peaceful there.

Among the many buildings that line New Walk, there is one in particular, New Walk Museum, that I’ve always enjoyed. It’s free to enter and they have several interesting exhibits and there are often new ones added. Just recently we went to view their current Magic Worlds exhibit.

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This is the witches area you see when you first step off the elevator.

This is the witches area you see when you first step off the elevator.

One of many display cases of old magic tricks.

One of many display cases of old magic tricks.

Jude modeling one of a few different costumes that were available for kids to wear for photo opportunities.

Jude modeling one of a few different costumes that were available for kids to wear for photo opportunities.

Chris and Jude looking at wooden boards that had pictures on either side. You spin the board and the image becomes one. One of them had a bird on one side and a cage on the other and when the board is spinning it appeared that the bird was in the cage.

Chris and Jude looking at wooden boards that had pictures on either side. You spin the board and the image becomes one. One of them had a bird on one side and a cage on the other and when the board is spinning it appeared that the bird was in the cage.

Jude having a tea party at the Alice in Wonderland area of the exhibit.

Jude having a tea party at the Alice in Wonderland area of the exhibit.

Jude loved this part where he could crawl through the “rabbit hole” in the Alice in Wonderland area of the exhibit.

Jude loved this part where he could crawl through the “rabbit hole” in the Alice in Wonderland area of the exhibit.

Hansel & Gretel area of the exhibit.

Hansel & Gretel area of the exhibit.

The Lord of the Rings section of the exhibit.

The Lord of the Rings section of the exhibit.

As you can see, there are a lot of exciting things to see there. What I’ve shown you here is just a temporary exhibit (it runs until September of this year). There are permanent parts of the exhibit including an area about the Egyptians, animals of the world, and a kids discover section. New Walk Museum is a fun day out; even better when you consider that it’s totally free!

This is just one of many things I love about Leicestershire that I will be sharing with all of you. I hope you enjoy reading about these interesting places as much as I enjoy experiencing them.

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2 thoughts on “What I Love About Leicestershire, Chapter 1: New Walk & New Walk Museum

  1. I’m quite enjoying your blog. Your story about meeting your husband is heartwarming. I met my boyfriend through an iPhone app when neither of us were looking for someone. He lives in Nottingham and I in Utah. It’s nice to read your story and not feel so alone in the situation. Hopefully one day I will get to live in England as well.

    About your husbands visa getting declined, have you considered Canada? You could be in driving distance to your family then 🙂 that’s something I’ve considered as I have family in Michigan.
    Thanks for writing about your experiences :]

    • Thank you, Susan! There’s an entire community of American women (and men) living here in the UK, for work, love, or study. I know several women even here in Leicestershire who moved here to be with their husbands, so you are definitely not alone! 🙂

      We have considered Canada, but we’re actually quite happy here in the UK right now, so we’re not sure what we’re going to do at this point. I have heard that Canada is as difficult to get a visa for as the UK.

      My pleasure! Thank you for reading. Good luck with your long distance relationship!

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