Things to Do in and Around Smisby
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There is much to do and see in and around Smisby. Walking around this small and ancient settlement you can look for signs of its interesting past evident from its layout, its houses, the Church and the lockup. Spend awhile at one of the pubs, the Smisby Arms in the centre of the village on Main Street, and the Tap House at Annwell place (see map page).
Check out the Smisby history pages and reflect on the setting which inspired Sir Walter Scott to write the historical novel, Ivanhoe.
Along the Annwell Road from Smisby a short walk takes you to the Smisby Arboretum run by Robert and Suzette Vernon. For the more energetic there are many footpaths through the countryside to neighbouring settlements, to Hartshorne, Foremark, Calke Abbey Park & Gardens (National Trust 3 miles), and Staunton Harold, the Ferrers Centre and Staunton Harold Church, though you may want the car to travel to the Staunton Harold Reservoir.
Ashby Camera Club meets most Wednesday evenings at Smisby Village Hall. The meetings begin at 7.15pm with the formal part of the evening commencing at 7.30pm prompt and finishing at 9.30pm. See www.ashbycameraclub.co.uk for details. The Winter programme usually starts early September through to the following May and is a mix of visiting lecturers, practical evenings, talks, competitions and social events. In the summer months the club has a series of informal evenings when members and friends meet at local photogenic venues to take photographs and perhaps have a beer later in a local pub.
Ashby Art Club holds weekly meetings throughout the year. The Club is closed on Bank Holidays and closes for about 4 weeks in July/August. The club meets on Monday evenings at Smisby Village Hall, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m, and Wednesday mornings second and fourth in the month 9:30 am until 12:00. More information about the club can be found at www.ashbyartclub.org.
The landscape of Smisby is changing with several sites planted as part of the National Forest scheme. These are pleasant opportunities for a stroll within Smisby but away from such traffic as there is. Smisby is at the heart of the National forest and about 3 miles away the National Forest Centre and Moira Furnace are well worth a visit.
The ancient market town of Ashby de la Zouch is just a couple of miles away. There are plenty of places to eat and drink, some interesting shopping and a wealth of heritage to explore (Ashby-de-la-Zouch Castle and small welcoming museum with displays on the town's history). Ashby Castle is the setting for an important scene from Walter Scott's novel, "Ivanhoe". In a tournament held there Ivanhoe and Robin Hood both won fame. Occasional re-enactments are still held in the remains of the Castle.
Other local attractions include:
Swadlincote Ski Centre 3 miles
Donington-le-Heath Manor House 4 miles
Melbourne Hall & Gardens 5 miles
Snibston Discovery Park 6 miles
Castle Donnington Race Track and Museum 10 miles
and much, much more.