Leicester, a vibrant city located in the heart of England’s East Midlands, offers a rich blend of history, culture, and entertainment. From its magnificent cathedral to its fascinating museums and vibrant markets, Leicester is a city that captivates and delights visitors. In this article, we will explore the top 10 places to visit in Leicester, each offering its own unique charm and allure.
Whether you are a history buff, a science enthusiast, or simply looking for a place to unwind amidst nature, Leicester has something to offer everyone. So, let’s dive in and discover the best that this vibrant city has to offer.
Top 10 Places to Visit in Leicester
Below is a list of the top 10 places to visit in Leicester. Each of these places offer a unique experience for travel lovers:
- Leicester Cathedral
- King Richard III Visitor Centre
- National Space Centre
- New Walk Museum and Art Gallery
- Jewry Wall Museum
- Bradgate Park
- Abbey Pumping Station Museum
- Leicester Guildhall
- Belgrave Road (Golden Mile)
- Leicester Market
Let’s get into the details of each of these places now.
1. Leicester Cathedral
Leicester Cathedral, also known as St. Martin’s Cathedral, is a breathtaking Anglican cathedral that holds a significant place in English history. Dating back to the 11th century, the cathedral is renowned for being the burial place of King Richard III. Visitors to Leicester Cathedral can marvel at its stunning architecture, including the soaring spire and majestic stained glass windows.
Inside, the atmosphere is one of tranquility and reverence, with highlights including the beautiful choir stalls and the intricately designed tomb of King Richard III. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an admirer of architecture, or simply seeking a place of quiet contemplation, Leicester Cathedral is a must-visit destination that offers a glimpse into the city’s rich past.
2. King Richard III Visitor Centre
Located just a stone’s throw away from Leicester Cathedral, the King Richard III Visitor Centre is a state-of-the-art museum dedicated to the life and legacy of one of England’s most enigmatic kings. The center is situated on the site where the remains of King Richard III were discovered in 2012, following a centuries-long mystery surrounding his final resting place.
Visitors can explore the exhibition, which takes them on a journey through Richard III’s life, from his early years to his reign and eventual defeat at the Battle of Bosworth. With interactive displays, informative videos, and a wealth of artifacts, the King Richard III Visitor Centre provides a fascinating insight into the medieval history of Leicester and the dramatic story of this infamous monarch.
3. National Space Centre
Journey into the furthest reaches of outer space at the National Space Centre, an award-winning attraction that combines education and entertainment to provide an out-of-this-world experience. Located on the outskirts of Leicester, this unique attraction boasts an impressive collection of exhibits and interactive displays that dive into the wonders of space exploration and the mysteries of the universe.
Visitors can embark on a virtual mission to Mars, explore life on the International Space Station, and even witness a rocket launch. The center also houses a planetarium, where visitors can gaze at the stars and learn about the wonders of the night sky. Whether you are a science enthusiast or simply curious about the cosmos, a visit to the National Space Centre is an awe-inspiring and educational experience that is not to be missed.
4. New Walk Museum and Art Gallery
Immerse yourself in art, history, and culture at the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, a captivating venue that houses an impressive collection of artwork and historical artifacts. Located on New Walk, one of Leicester’s most beautiful pedestrian streets, the museum is housed in a majestic Victorian building and offers a journey through the city’s past.
Visitors can admire the extensive collection of art, ranging from Renaissance masterpieces to contemporary works, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The museum also features exhibits on archaeology, natural history, and ancient Egypt, showcasing artifacts that span thousands of years. With its diverse range of exhibits and ever-changing temporary exhibitions, the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery is a cultural gem that will delight art lovers and history enthusiasts alike.
5. Jewry Wall Museum
Uncover the story of Roman Leicester at the Jewry Wall Museum, located near the site of the ancient Roman town of Ratae Corieltauvorum. The museum takes its name from the impressive Roman wall that still stands today, said to be the second-largest free-standing piece of Roman masonry in Britain. Inside the museum, visitors can explore a range of exhibits that shed light on Leicester’s Roman past, including artifacts such as pottery, coins, and jewelry.
One of the highlights is a reconstructed Roman kitchen, where visitors can learn about the culinary traditions of the time. The museum also offers activities and workshops for children, making it an educational and engaging experience for the whole family. For those with an interest in history, the Jewry Wall Museum provides a fascinating glimpse into Leicester’s Roman heritage.
6. Bradgate Park
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and discover the natural beauty of Bradgate Park, a stunning 830-acre country park located just a few miles north of Leicester. Home to roaming herds of deer and a variety of flora and fauna, this picturesque park offers a tranquil oasis for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can explore the park’s network of walking trails, which wind their way through ancient woodlands, across streams, and up to scenic viewpoints.
One of the park’s most notable attractions is the ruins of Bradgate House, a Tudor mansion that was once home to Lady Jane Grey, the “Nine Days’ Queen.” History and nature combine in perfect harmony at Bradgate Park, making it an idyllic destination for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or simply a moment of serenity.
7. Abbey Pumping Station Museum
Step back in time and explore Leicester’s industrial heritage at the Abbey Pumping Station Museum. Located on the outskirts of the city, this fascinating museum is housed in a restored Victorian pumping station and offers a glimpse into Leicester’s history as an industrial powerhouse. Visitors can marvel at the intricate machinery that was once used to pump sewage and water throughout the city, including the impressive steam engines that powered the pumps. The museum also features exhibits on Leicester’s transport history, with a collection of vintage buses, trams, and even a steam-powered fire engine.
Throughout the year, the museum hosts special events and steam days, where visitors can witness the historic engines in action. Whether you are a history buff or simply curious about the city’s past, a visit to the Abbey Pumping Station Museum is a unique and engaging experience.
8. Leicester Guildhall
Step into the past and discover the oldest surviving example of a medieval Guildhall in the country at Leicester Guildhall. Dating back over 600 years, this historic building has served as a meeting place, a courtroom, and even a prison throughout its long and storied history. Today, the Guildhall is open to the public, offering a fascinating insight into Leicester’s medieval past.
Visitors can explore the building’s grand halls and atmospheric chambers, adorned with historical artifacts, including weapons, armor, and historical documents. The Guildhall also hosts a range of events and exhibitions, showcasing the city’s vibrant arts and cultural scene. Whether you are interested in history, architecture, or simply appreciate the charm of a bygone era, Leicester Guildhall is a must-visit destination that encapsulates the city’s rich heritage.
9. Belgrave Road (Golden Mile)
Experience the vibrant culture and flavors of Leicester’s South Asian community at Belgrave Road, affectionately known as the Golden Mile. This bustling street, lined with colorful shops, restaurants, and temples, provides a lively and diverse atmosphere that reflects the multicultural fabric of the city. Visitors can indulge in a sensory feast, exploring the myriad of shops selling vibrant saris, intricate jewelry, and exotic spices. The street is also home to a variety of authentic South Asian restaurants and sweet shops, where visitors can sample delicious cuisine from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Throughout the year, Belgrave Road comes alive with festivals and celebrations, including Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and flavors of South Asia at Belgrave Road, a vibrant destination that showcases the cultural richness of Leicester.
10. Leicester Market
No visit to Leicester is complete without a trip to the vibrant and bustling Leicester Market, where history and culture blend seamlessly with the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Dating back over 700 years, this vibrant market has been the heart of the city for centuries, offering a colorful array of stalls selling fresh produce, clothing, crafts, and more. Visitors can wander through the covered market, breathing in the intoxicating aromas of street food and browsing the eclectic mix of goods on offer. The market also hosts a variety of events, including live music performances and themed markets, making each visit a unique and exciting experience.
Whether you are a foodie looking to sample local delicacies, a bargain hunter in search of unique finds, or simply seeking a vibrant atmosphere, Leicester Market is a must-visit destination that showcases the city’s vibrant spirit.
Leicester is a city that captivates visitors with its rich history, cultural diversity, and vibrant atmosphere.
From the awe-inspiring Leicester Cathedral and the intriguing King Richard III Visitor Centre to the educational National Space Centre and the beautiful Bradgate Park, Leicester offers a diverse range of attractions that cater to all interests and preferences. The city’s museums, such as the New Walk Museum and Jewry Wall Museum, provide insight into Leicester’s past, while the Abbey Pumping Station Museum offers a unique glimpse into the city’s industrial heritage. Leicester Guildhall showcases the city’s medieval charm, while Belgrave Road and Leicester Market immerse visitors in the vibrant culture and flavors of Leicester’s multicultural community.
With its wealth of attractions, Leicester is a destination that offers something for everyone, making it a must-visit city for all travelers.