Thanks to the famous song written about 85 years ago, Route 66 is the best known road through the USA.
That got us wondering what the equivalent might be in Leicestershire. Which would be the best road to “get your kicks”?
The A47 has some pretty scenery and a few beautiful villages, the A50 – which starts as the A5199 in the south and becomes the A511 in the north – has all the Charnwood Forest landscapes but if it can’t stick to a name, no one’s going to write a song about it.
That leaves the most obvious one – the A6.
Running from Market Harborough in the south up through Leicester and Loughborough to Hathern in the north, it also has the most when it comes to tourist attractions, shops, pubs and interesting stuff in general.
So here are 10 places that might feature in a song about the A6, if anyone fancies having a go at writing it:
1. Foxton Locks
Just to the north west of Market Harborough is one of the county’s most iconic spots, which is a popular place for visitors.
It is home to the longest and steepest staircase of locks in the UK and also the site of the an “inclined plane” boat lift, for the Victorian canalboat captains who couldn’t be bothered with pushing and pulling their way through 10 separate locks.
2. Windmill Farm Park
The farm in Langton Road, Kibworth, has animals, play areas and a café selling all sorts of treats.
As well as the indoor play barn, there is an outdoor adventure playground and there are also several outdoor picnicking areas. The animals include goats, sheep and donkeys.
Famous for the Wistow Maze – which is cut in the maize field each summer – the rural centre just over the road is also a very popular spot with a wide range of shops and a model village.
As well as places to eat and a deli to buy food, there are shops selling art, plants, ornaments and useful and bizarre things for the home.
4. University of Leicester Botanic Garden, Oadby
Just off the A6 near Leicester Racecourse is the university’s gardens, where you can learn about plants from all over the world from alpine succulents to tropical species.
The gardens have 16 acres of cultivated grounds and greenhouses, set around a restored Edwardian garden.
5. Abbey Park
Partly on a island formed by the Grand Union Canal and the River Soar, the park is a great place for messing around on the boating lake, wandering around the Chinese garden and looking around the various ruins.
As well as the 17th century Cavendish House ruins, there are the remains of Leicester Abbey, which dates back to the 12th century.
6. Abbey Pumping Station
For a building built to pump human waste, the pumping station is surprisingly elegant, as well as being an impressive sight on the days they get any of the four huge beam engines running.
The museum at the pumping station is full of informative things about science, industry, transport, health and hygiene. There are various old vehicles including a fire engine and some classic buses, plus a functioning narrow-gauge railway to have a ride on.
7. The National Space Centre
The space centre is well known for its unusual looks as well as its exhibits, which include two rockets, a space module and a whole range of interactive displays all about space.
8. Stonehurst Family Farm, Mountsorrel
Stonehurst is a working farm that welcomes visitors to meet the animals, feed them and also hold the little ones.
There is also a museum with classic cars and motorcycles, a farm shop and a tea shop.
9. The Great Central Railway, Loughborough
The heritage railway also has a stop near Rothley, not far from the A6.
As well as being a very popular attraction for days out, it has featured in many films and TV shows over the years and is the only rail route in the UK where heritage steam trains can run in two directions on the double tracks.
10. Whatton House and Gardens
A large Victorian manor house, with some buildings dating back more than 200 years, the house is famed for its Chinese gardens and parkland full of beautiful vistas and some very old trees.
The Grade II Listed house is privately owned but open to visitors.
If you have any other suggestions for Leicestershire’s Route A6, leave them in the comments section below.