My sister got married in Leicester UK last week, so for I left North America for the first time to go to what turned out to be an incredible wedding and a great time. While I was there, I figured I'd visit some of the GamesWorkshop locations. I forgot my camera, but luckily, my father had his.
I made a couple discoveries. My sister's place, as well as the apartment my family stayed in, was within an easy walk of the Leicester GW store. I've never been to a GW store in the US, I think the closest one is in Maryland or something, so that in its self was an experience. I don't think I saw any models I'd never seen in a store before, but I've never seen them all in one place either. (Added plus, NO Magic cards and the children that seem to go with them in too many stores).
The other discovery was that the Nottingham store, which is in the center of Nottingham, maybe a 10 minute walk from Nottingham Castle, is not the main or best thing to see GW-wise, in Nottingham. On the outskirts of Nottingham, in a section of the city called Lenton, is the entire GW facility, design, production, sales, and even a bar done up as a dwarven tavern.
I love the stores... the GW staff was nice, interested in the customers, and ironically, the guy in the Nottingham store who gave me the address for Warhammer World was actually from Indiana (it's also worth noting that his wife works in the design department, which I thought was cool). I really enjoyed the experience of spending time in the two retail stores (probably an hour total in Leicester and maybe 30 minutes in Nottingham), but the experience of going to Warhammer World was just, well, an experience. I had a good time and I was SO thrilled to be able to see their museum-quality displays of painted models, the life-sized Space Marine that I've found out online must have been or GamesDay 09 and the game room. The terrain is FANTASTIC. My dad went to Nottingham with me and even he was impressed with the displays and gaming tables. Here are a few pictures - hopefully I'll get some more of them cleaned up enough to post soon. (Oh, and for the record, having seen a painted Contemptor in person, and gotten to hold the unassembled model... I'll DEFINITELY be getting one when I can afford it.