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Trail encourages children to discover city’s hidden gems

Published on Wednesday, September 28, 2016

FANTASTICAL creatures, mythical beings and mysterious people feature in a new children’s activity trail which aims to highlight Leicester’s architectural gems.

Dragons, unicorns, angels and cherubs feature in the city centre walking trail, which has been created by Leicester City Council in partnership with the University of Leicester.

Young sleuths are being encouraged to investigate the city's historic buildings as part of the 'Look at Leicester' initiative.

Designed to capture their imagination and appeal to their inquisitive natures, the i-spy trail invites youngster to turn detective, and score points for spotting specific historical features in the city centre.

Cllr Piara Singh Clair, assistant city mayor for culture and leisure said: "We are so used to looking at things at eye-level, but if you look up and around, there is a secret Leicester, full of hints of a forgotten past and hidden gems.

"This is a really great project and will help young people to find out more about the city they live in."

Colin Hyde of the Centre for Urban History at the University of Leicester said: “Looking at your local environment in detail is a first step towards appreciating and valuing the people and places around you.

“We are delighted to be partners with the city council in developing this trail, which we hope will be a fun way for young people to learn more about Leicester.”

The Look at Leicester trail activity book can be purchased for £1 from the Visit Leicester shop in Gallowtree Gate, or is available free of charge at visitleicester.info

The trail asks participants to search for a number of clues and rewards them with a special certificate on completion.

The city council has also teamed up with a number of city schools that will be using the trail as a resource to teach pupils more about local history and heritage.

Twenty-eight pupils from Bridge Junior School, in Mere Close, Leicester, helped launch the new trail.

Rachael Cox, a teacher at the school, said: "By taking our children outside the classroom, often with their parents, they can learn a lot about their city and develop a sense of pride and belonging in Leicester.

"We're hoping that the skills the children learn from the trail will help them to go on and discover all about the history of their own neighbourhood in Highfields."

Ismail Dale, local heritage education manager for Historic England East Midlands, added: "Our beautiful built heritage can teach us all about our historic past and this trail is a fantastic resource for schools.

"Leicester has wonderful buildings that go back as far as Roman times and these places are a valuable resource to help children understand about their past and Leicester's important role in the history of Britain."