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Professor Sir Robert Burgess - My Leicestershire

08:37 02 August 2010

Professor Sir Robert Burgess

Professor Sir Robert Burgess

The University of Leicester's Vice Chancellor, Professor Robert Burgess, was knighted earlier this year for services to higher education. He talks about his favourite aspects of the county...

Favourite place

The village of Wistow
Wistow is a truly beautiful and compact hamlet which encapsulates all the best rural qualities of Leicestershire.

Despite being just a few miles south of the centre of Leicester, it feels much further away and that is all part of its charm. Theres an impressive country house at the heart of the village and I always find it a pleasure to visit the Rural Centre.

Favourite walk

Bradgate Park. Quite apart from wandering around the countryside surrounding Wistow, I hold Bradgate Park in great affection.

Its wonderful in any season but I greatly enjoyed some walks there last winter. The atmosphere of the place combines with the historical connections with Lady Jane Grey to make it a special place. Whenever friends come to visit, Bradgate Parks always one of the places I take them to.

Favourite restaurant or pub

The Tiffin and The Belmont Hotel.
The city of Leicester is blessed with a whole range of fabulous restaurants and the cuisine reflects the multi-ethnic population here.

Ive long been a fan of the superb Indian food served at The Tiffin restaurant in De Montfort Street.

But I also greatly enjoy the English cuisine thats available at The Belmont Hotel, which is also in De Montfort Street.

They are both very popular restaurants among the University of Leicesters staff as well as the students... and an enjoyable experience.

Favourite building

The National Space Centre, Exploration Drive, Leicester.
This is a tricky question to answer given some of the fabulous architecture found throughout the county.

But Ive always found the thoroughly modern appearance of the National Space Centre particularly stunning. It somehow seems to draw the eye towards it.

The 42 metre tall tower can be seen from miles around even from the top of the main university building in the heart of the city.

Favourite museum or art gallery

Newarke Houses Museum, in Leicester
Its a terrific museum which also possesses one of my favourite paintings Bryan Organs picture of Richard Attenborough.

One of the things that I found remarkable about the painting is the way the artist captures the style and dynamism of Lord Attenborough.

Hes a frequent visitor because of his links to the University of Leicesters arts centre called Embrace Arts and he has been very active on its advisory board.

Bryan Organ somehow manages to capture Lord Attenboroughs energy it never fails to strike me.

Favourite memory of Leicestershire

Rural walks
Ever since I moved to Leicestershire in 1999, Ive derived great pleasure from visiting some of the outlying villages, market towns and surrounding countryside. For a long time after first moving here, I used to visit a different location every weekend.

I think that the market towns particularly tend to give you a flavour of the countys character.

But if Im pushed I suppose that some of my favourite memories consist of long walks through the beautiful Leicestershire countryside.


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