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ABOUT THE SYMPOSIUM

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LOUGHBOROUGH

Loughborough is a thriving market and university town in the heart of Charnwood's rolling countryside. It offers a wide range of shopping, tasty eating out experiences, fun family attractions, fascinating heritage, vibrant events and plenty of places to explore.

The town is home to the highly acclaimed Loughborough University and its thousands of students add a lively buzz to an already bustling community. With a compact shopping centre, the main pedestrianised Market Place boasts a thriving and varied range of markets and events. Independent stores are clustered around Churchgate and the Mews whilst larger retailers can also be found in the Rushes development. There is a great mix of vibrant and eclectic bars and clubs as well as more relaxed, laid-back restaurants, cafés and tearooms.

Proud of its heritage, visitors to the town will also discover the iconic Carillon war memorial and bell tower, the country's last remaining working bell foundry – Taylor's - and the only double track main line heritage railway, the Great Central Railway. Find out about the amazing stories of the rocks and fossils of Charnwood Forest in the town centre museum.

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OUR VENUE: TOWN HALL

Originally built as a corn exchange and ballroom in 1855, the now Grade II listed building has subsequently become the municipal building and theatre for Charnwood Borough.

Our scientific sessions will be held in the Main Hall. Next door is the Victoria Room, where the poster sessions will be hosted, as well as the Symposium Dinner. There are a number of breakout spaces in the venue, and there is the possibility to book meeting spaces, should groups of delegates require a separate space.

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THE MEETING

A simple outline of the meeting, including the three full days of Symposium events, can be found below. We recommend delegates arrive in Loughborough on Sunday 8th October, as the meeting will begin at 9am on Monday 9th October.

You can view the full and detailed schedule HERE

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GETTING HERE

Loughborough is well served by transport links, with a variety of ways to reach the town:

ROAD

There are three main car parks near the Town Hall.  The closest is the Sital House car park, adjacent to the venue, where there are also a number of disabled parking bays. There is also The Beehive Lane multi-storey car park located on Woodgate (P1), or the Granby Street car park (P2).

From M1 exit the motorway at J23.  Follow the A512 into the centre of Loughborough at Sainsbury's traffic lights turn right onto Frederick Street/Browns Lane, go past the Leisure Centre on your right. At the traffic lights turn left then take the right hand lane along Woodgate. After 300 yards you will pass ‘The Print Room’ bar on your left. The Sital House car park is the next left. Please be aware that this car park does not belong to the Town Hall and you will be required to pay and display.

The Beehive Lane multi-storey car park is also situated on Woodgate.  This car park is pay on exit/pay on foot.

For the Granby Street car park, at the traffic lights after the Leisure Centre
turn left then keep in the left hand lane onto Wards End.  Follow the road
round and the car park is on the left.  This car park has a barrier, you can pay on exit.

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ROAD - INTERNATIONAL

Those delegates driving to the UK from abroad can consider a number of different international connections, including:

  • Calais (France) to Folkstone - Eurotunnel Train

  • Calais (France) to Dover - Ferry

  • Dieppe (France) to Newhaven - Ferry

  • Dunkirk (France) to Dover - Ferry

  • Rotterdam (Netherlands) to Hull - Ferry

  • Hook of Holland (Netherlands) to Harwich - Ferry

  • Dublin (Ireland) to Holyhead - Ferry

  • Dublin (Ireland) to Liverpool - Ferry

Other routes are available.

COACH

Loughborough is served by a number of coach companies that provide affordable long distance transport around the country. Providers include National Express, and Megabus.

RAIL

Loughborough is served by its own dedicated railway station, Loughborough Railway Station (LBO). The station has direct services to London St Pancras, Leicester, East Midland Parkway, Nottingham, Sheffield, and many other towns. Train times can be checked via the National Rail website: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/.

Bookings should be made through the website of a train operating company, such as East Midlands Railway.

With connections through London St Pancras, delegates can easily travel to Loughborough from around Europe via Eurostar services. London St Pancras has direct connection to Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam. Transfers to the Loughborough train in St Pancras are just a few minutes walk away in the same station. For delegates in western and central Europe, international rail may be the quickest, and most sustainable way to travel to the meeting.

AIR

Being situated in the heart of England, Loughborough is well served by a number of airports:

East Midlands Airport (EMA) is our closest airport, just a 30 minute bus ride away, with these bus connections running up to every 20 minutes. With over 80 destinations, this is the easiest airport to use, particularly for those delegates from Europe. For more details on the Skylink bus service from East Midlands Airport to Loughborough, see the timetable here.

London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is the UK's primary airport, with direct connections around the world to more than 180 airports. London Heathrow has rail connections into London, from where delegates can board the direct train service to Loughborough from London St Pancras. This rail connection takes around 2:45 hrs.

Birmingham Airport (BHX) is situated within the Midlands, and has over 140 direction destinations. Birmingham Airport has a dedicated railway station - connections to Loughborough take around 1:30 hrs. Airlines at Birmingham mainly serve European destinations. However, delegates from around the world can easily connect in through a number of hubs:

  • Emirates service with connection in Dubai

  • Lufthansa service with connection through Frankfurt

  • Turkish Airlines service with connection in Istanbul

  • KLM service with connection in Amsterdam

London Luton Airport (LTN) serves mainly European destinations, and has rail connections to Loughborough through Leicester.

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ACCOMODATION

Loughborough has a number of large town-centre hotels that are just a few minutes walk from the Town Hall - meaning delegates will not need to use public transport each day. We strongly recommend delegates book accommodation at the earliest opportunity - there is limited availability in the centre of Loughborough. Delegates who book late will likely need to use hotels further from the destination, necessitating the use of buses/taxis to access the venue.

The two main hotels in the town centre are:

Loughborough Premier Inn

Loughborough Central Travelodge

There are also a number of smaller hotels in Loughborough, as well as larger hotels further out in Loughborough. Delegates may wish to compare accommodation options via websites such as Booking.com and Kayak.co.uk. A number of accommodation options are also available via Airbnb.co.uk.

Those with a car, who are happy to travel a few miles each day to Loughborough, might like to consider the option of accommodation within the beautiful countryside of Charnwood Forest. The Geopark works closely with the following accommodation providers:
Charnwood Forest Wigwams
Horseshoe Cottage Farm Bed & Breakfast

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