Walking Leicester’s new Richard III trail – 530 years in the making

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A walk threading through the city follows in the footsteps of the Yorkist king vanquished in 1485, whose remains were found – beneath a car park – in 2012

Standing on a frozen ridge at Bosworth Field, my feeling is that there are certainly less attractive places to draw one’s last breath. On this frigid December afternoon, I’m looking out at a mist-shrouded hinterland of crisscrossing fields as a milky orange sun sinks behind a distant smudge of cloud. Somewhere out there on that bleak horizon in August 1485, King Richard III died a violent death, made all the more visceral by the gaudy array of spiked weapons hanging on a wall inside the nearby Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2024.

It’s one of several upcoming anniversaries related to the last English king to die in battle, and the next morning I’m tackling the new King Richard III Walking Trail around the epicentre of Richard lore, Leicester. After the headline-grabbing discovery of Richard’s skeleton beneath a council car park in Greyfriars in August 2012, Leicester now seems entirely inseparable from the last Plantagenet king, as if a long-lost lover had returned in a blaze of glory after 500 years.

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