Things To Do in Leicestershire, UK
Leicestershire, located in the heart of England, is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by visitors to the UK. However, this county has so much to offer, from picturesque countryside to bustling market towns and historic landmarks. If you’re looking for a break from the city, Leicestershire is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway or a longer holiday. With a rich cultural heritage, there are plenty of places to visit in Leicestershire that will take you on a journey through England’s history. You can explore medieval castles, visit ancient Roman ruins, or wander through quaint villages and market towns that offer a glimpse into England’s past. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or simply looking for a relaxing break, Leicestershire has something for everyone. Let’s dive into some of the top places to visit in Leicestershire and discover what makes this county such a special place.
Historical places to visit in Leicestershire
Leicestershire has a rich history that is reflected in its many historical landmarks and attractions. One of the most popular historical sites in the county is the Leicester Cathedral, which dates back to the 11th century and is the final resting place of King Richard III. The cathedral features stunning Gothic architecture and intricate stained-glass windows, and visitors can take a guided tour to learn more about its history.
Another must-visit historical attraction in Leicestershire is the Ashby de la Zouch Castle, a medieval castle that was built in the 15th century. The castle is now a ruin, but visitors can explore its grounds and learn about its fascinating history, including its use as a royalist stronghold during the English Civil War.
For those interested in Roman history, the Jewry Wall Museum in Leicester is a must-visit attraction. The museum features exhibits on the Roman occupation of Britain and includes a section of the original Roman wall that once surrounded the city.
Natural attractions in Leicestershire
In addition to its historical sites, Leicestershire is also home to many beautiful natural attractions. One of the most popular natural attractions in the county is the Bradgate Park, an 830-acre park that is home to herds of red and fallow deer. Visitors can explore the park’s walking trails, picnic areas, and historic landmarks, including the ruins of Bradgate House, the childhood home of Lady Jane Grey.
Another natural attraction worth visiting in Leicestershire is the National Forest, a 200-square-mile forest that spans across several counties in central England. Visitors can explore the forest’s many walking and cycling trails or take a guided tour to learn about its history and conservation efforts.
For those interested in birdwatching, the Rutland Water Nature Reserve is a must-visit destination. The reserve is home to a variety of bird species, including ospreys, and visitors can take a guided tour to learn more about the reserve’s wildlife.
Cultural events and festivals in Leicestershire
Leicestershire is home to many cultural events and festivals throughout the year. One of the most popular events is the Leicester Caribbean Carnival, which takes place every August and features colourful parades, live music, and Caribbean food and drinks.
Another popular cultural event in Leicestershire is the Foxton Locks Festival, which takes place every June and celebrates the county’s canal heritage. The festival includes boat rides, live music, and food and drink stalls.
For those interested in arts and culture, the Curve Theatre in Leicester is a must-visit destination. The theatre hosts a variety of productions throughout the year, including plays, musicals, and dance performances.
Family-friendly places to visit in Leicestershire
Leicestershire is a great destination for families, with plenty of family-friendly attractions to explore. One of the most popular family-friendly attractions in the county is the Twycross Zoo, which is home to over 500 animals from around the world, including monkeys, giraffes, and elephants.
Another family-friendly attraction worth visiting in Leicestershire is the Conkers, an outdoor adventure park that features play areas, rope courses, and a treetop walk.
For those interested in history, the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre is a must-visit destination. The centre features exhibit on the Battle of Bosworth, one of the most important battles in English history, and includes interactive displays and re-enactments.
My Favourite Attractions in Leicestershire, UK
Leicester Cathedral is a beautiful medieval building that is steeped in history. It is home to the tomb of King Richard III, who was famously found buried beneath a car park in Leicester in 2012. The cathedral is open to visitors every day, and there are guided tours available if you want to learn more about its history.
The cathedral is also home to a stunning stained-glass window that was designed by the artist Tom Denny. The window depicts scenes from the life of King Richard III and is a must-see for anyone interested in medieval history. If you’re lucky, you might also be able to catch one of the cathedral’s regular concerts or events.
Leicester Cathedral is a fascinating attraction that will appeal to history buffs, and anyone interested in architecture and art. It’s also a peaceful and tranquil place to spend some time, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The National Space Centre
If you’re interested in space and science, the National Space Centre in Leicester is a must-visit attraction. This award-winning museum is home to a range of interactive exhibits and displays that explore the history of space exploration and the science behind it.
One of the highlights of the National Space Centre is the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium, which offers immersive shows that take you on a journey through the universe. There’s also a 42m high Rocket Tower that houses the Blue Streak and Thor Able rockets, which are some of the most impressive exhibits at the museum.
The National Space Centre is a fantastic attraction for families, and anyone interested in science and technology. It’s a fun and interactive way to learn about space and the universe, and there’s plenty to keep visitors of all ages entertained.
Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre
Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre is a fascinating attraction that tells the story of the Battle of Bosworth, which took place in 1485 and was a pivotal moment in English history. The centre is located on the site of the battle, and there are plenty of exhibits and displays that explore the events of that day.
One of the highlights of the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre is the re-enactments that take place throughout the year. These lively and informative shows bring the history of the battle to life and are a great way to experience what it was like to be a soldier on the battlefield.
The Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in English history, and it’s a great way to learn more about this important period in our nation’s past.
Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood Country Park
If you’re looking for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood Country Park are both excellent options. These beautiful parks offer stunning views of the Leicestershire countryside and are home to a range of wildlife, including deer, foxes, and birds of prey.
Bradgate Park is a popular spot for walking and picnics, and there are plenty of trails to explore. The park is also home to the ruins of Bradgate House, which was once the home of Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Days’ Queen.
Swithland Wood Country Park is a great place to explore if you’re interested in nature and wildlife. There are plenty of trails to follow, and you might even spot some of the park’s resident badgers if you’re lucky.
Both Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood Country Park are beautiful attractions that offer a peaceful and relaxing escape from the city. They’re perfect for families, couples, or anyone looking to spend some time in the great outdoors.
King Richard III Visitor Centre
The King Richard III Visitor Centre is a fascinating attraction that tells the story of the last Plantagenet king of England. The centre is located on the site where King Richard III’s remains were found, and there are plenty of exhibits and displays that explore his life and legacy.
One of the highlights of the King Richard III Visitor Centre is the chance to see the king’s tomb and learn more about the discovery of his remains. There are also interactive exhibits that allow visitors to explore the history of the Wars of the Roses and the Tudor period.
The King Richard III Visitor Centre is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in medieval history and the Tudor period. It’s a fascinating insight into the life of one of England’s most controversial monarchs.
Belvoir Castle is a stunning stately home that is located in the heart of the Leicestershire countryside. The castle has been home to the Duke of Rutland’s family for over 1,000 years and is open to visitors throughout the year.
One of the highlights of Belvoir Castle is the chance to explore the magnificent state rooms, which are filled with beautiful artwork and furnishings. There’s also a fascinating collection of military memorabilia, including weapons and uniforms from the Napoleonic Wars.
Belvoir Castle is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in history, art, and architecture. It’s a beautiful and fascinating attraction that offers an insight into the lives of the aristocracy.
Foxton Locks and the Grand Union Canal
Foxton Locks is a beautiful attraction that is located on the Grand Union Canal. The locks are a feat of engineering and are an important part of the UK’s canal system. There are plenty of walking trails to explore in the area, and you can even take a boat trip along the canal if you want to see more of the area.
One of the highlights of Foxton Locks is the chance to see the canal boats in action as they make their way through the locks. There are also plenty of pubs and cafes in the area where you can stop for a bite to eat or a drink.
Foxton Locks and the Grand Union Canal are a beautiful attraction that offer a peaceful and relaxing way to explore the Leicestershire countryside. It’s a great way to spend a day out with family or friends.
The Great Central Railway
The Great Central Railway is a heritage railway that runs between Loughborough and Leicester. The railway is home to a range of steam and diesel locomotives, and there are regular services throughout the year.
One of the highlights of the Great Central Railway is the chance to travel on a steam train and experience what it was like to travel on the railways in the past. There’s also a museum at the railway that explores the history of the line and the locomotives that have run on it.
The Great Central Railway is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in trains and railways. It’s a fun and nostalgic way to explore the Leicestershire countryside.
Twycross Zoo is a fantastic attraction that is home to a range of animals from around the world. The zoo is known for its collection of primates, including chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans.
One of the highlights of Twycross Zoo is the chance to get up close to the animals and learn more about their habitats and behaviour. There are also plenty of talks and shows throughout the day that offer an insight into the lives of the animals at the zoo.
Twycross Zoo is a great attraction for families, and anyone interested in animals and conservation. It’s a fun and educational day out that you won’t want to miss.
Food and drink experiences in Leicestershire
Leicestershire is known for its delicious food and drink, with many local specialties to try. One of the most famous local foods is the Melton Mowbray pork pie, a savory pie made with seasoned pork and a hot water crust pastry.
Another local specialty is the Stilton cheese, a creamy blue cheese that is made in the village of Stilton and is protected by a designation of origin.
For those interested in trying local beers and ales, the Everards Brewery in Leicester is a must-visit destination. The brewery offers tours and tastings, and visitors can learn about the brewing process and the history of the brewery.
Shopping destinations in Leicestershire
Leicestershire is home to many great shopping destinations, from high-end boutiques to charming independent shops. One of the most popular shopping destinations in the county is the Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester, which features over 100 shops and restaurants.
Another great shopping destination in Leicestershire is the Market Harborough, a historic market town that is home to a variety of independent shops, including antique stores and art galleries.
For those interested in finding unique gifts and souvenirs, the Foxton Locks Gift Shop is a must-visit destination. The shop features a variety of handmade crafts and gifts, including pottery, jewellery, and textiles.
Accommodation options in Leicestershire
Leicestershire offers a variety of accommodation options, from quaint bed and breakfasts to luxurious hotels. One of the most popular hotels in the county is the Stapleford Park Country House Hotel, a luxurious hotel set in a historic country house that dates back to the 17th century.
Another popular accommodation option in Leicestershire is the Bosworth Hall Hotel, a historic hotel that is set in a beautiful 17th-century mansion. The hotel features a spa, a swimming pool, and a variety of dining options.
For those looking for a more affordable option, the Premier Inn Leicester City Centre is a great choice. The hotel is located in the heart of Leicester and offers comfortable and affordable rooms.
Transportation options in Leicestershire
Leicestershire is easily accessible by car, with several major motorways running through the county. The M1 motorway connects Leicestershire to London and the south, while the M6 motorway connects the county to the north.
Leicestershire is also well-connected by public transport, with regular train services to London, Birmingham, and other major cities. The county is also served by several bus companies, with regular services to towns and villages throughout the county.
Leicestershire is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by visitors to the UK, but it has so much to offer. With its rich cultural heritage, natural attractions, and family-friendly activities, there is something for everyone in this beautiful county. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or simply want to relax and enjoy some delicious food and drink, Leicestershire is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway or a longer holiday. So why not plan your trip today and discover the many wonders of Leicestershire for yourself?