Best Places to Visit in Leicester
While Leicester has always been a historic city like the rest of the UK, until 2010 the city was mainly known for Vaux chips and former football player and TV personality Gary Lineker. The East Midlands city has been on the radar twice in four years. The first was in 2012, the long lost and forgotten King III. That was when Richard’s grave was found in a parking lot. The second is when Leicester City won the league, losing to the Premier League in 2016.
Since then, the city has experienced a cultural renaissance. The city center has been revamped to make it easier for pedestrians to access, adding an even more incredible 2000 years of history to the map. Many areas of the city are considered ancient, with historical buildings, ruins, and battlefields from the Roman era. The city perfectly represents a modern British city filled with history on every corner.
Leicester tours have something for everyone, whether it’s history, shopping or family fun. Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Leicester and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Leicester
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Leicester:
1. National Space Center
The National Space Center in Leicester’s incredible science museum with six interactive galleries and the UK’s largest planetarium. It also has a 42m (137.8ft) high rocket tower that houses an upright rocket. Among the many items on display are the Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft and the impressive Organ DMA EVA spacesuit.
Zvezda made the suit for the Soviet space program in 1987 and used it for thermal vacuum testing until 1989. It was then sent to the United States for further testing at NASA. Inside the rocket, the tower is the Thor Able, an American two-stage rocket that was first used as a flying test rocket in 1958. The National Space Center is located at Exploration Drive, Leicester, LE4 5NS.
2. King Power Stadium
Watching Leicester City games is one of the most fun things to do in Leicester City today. King Power Stadium has been home to Premier League football club Leicester City since 2002. Currently, King Power Stadium has a capacity of 32,261 and there are plans to increase it to 40,000, with plans to develop the area surrounding the stadium.
3. Leicester Cathedral
Visiting the beautiful cathedral is a free activity in Leicester. Leicester Cathedral or St Martin’s Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Leicester. The cathedral is one of six cathedrals in England mentioned in the Domesday Book, which dates back to 1086. It’s unclear exactly when construction work on the cathedral began, but over the centuries, elements were added to the structure, most recently in 1867.
Victorian additions to the cathedral included Spiers and a 220 feet (67 meters) tower. Raphael Brandon designed the additions. King III. Richard’s remains were rediscovered in the foundations of the lost Greyfriars Church and are now buried in the cathedral. The cathedral is undergoing interior and exterior renovations and will reopen in the fall of 2023. Leicester Cathedral is located at St Martin’s House, 7 Peacock Lane, Leicester, LE1 5PZ.
4. King Richard III. Richard Visitor Center
King George III, is long known for Shakespeare’s play “Richard III”. Richard’s remains appear in the annals of history. In August 2012 the local council bought a former schoolhouse and found the king’s body in the parking lot built over the ruins of the long-lost Greyfriars church in Leicester’s old town.
To preserve the king’s burial site and the history associated with it, the city council bought the old school building and began converting the 150-year-old building into a visitor centre. Visitors can learn from King III through numerous exhibits and interactive exhibits. He can explore Richard’s life. The King Richard III Visitor Center is located at 4A St Martins, Leicester, LE1 5DB.
5. Grand Union Canal
The Grand Union Canal stretches 137 miles (220 kilometers) from London to Birmingham with 166 locks. The Leicester branch of the canal is 41.2 miles (66 kilometers) long and has 41 locks. Spend a relaxing day wandering along the canal or head to Foxton Locks. The locks here are adorned with colorful narrow boats navigating the waterways. Along this canal are many family and dog-friendly bars and cafes to extend your day.
Located at Grand Union Canal, Abbey Meadows, Leicester, LE4 5FP.
6. Bradgate Park
Exploring Bradgate Park is one of Leicester’s outdoor activities. Bradgate Park’s most famous inhabitants are herds of wild red and deer, numbering more than 400, that roam freely in the park. The park is the only fully enclosed deer park from the Middle Ages.
Inside the park is the birthplace of Lady Jane Gray, Queen of England in the 16th century. Explore the ruins surrounded by 500-year-old oak trees, ancient rocks and numerous historical monuments. Bradgate Park is open year-round.
7. St. Church of Mary de Castro
One of the must-do things for history buffs in Leicester is to explore St Mary de Castro’s Church. Robert de Beaumont replaced an early Saxon church in 1107 by St. Mary de Castro built the Church. The Catholic Church was founded with a college president and twelve secular balls. Aisles were added in the 14th century to allow the church to serve as a place of worship within the congregation.
8. Abbey Park
Abbey Park sits along the Rising River north of the city. The parks offer a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park has a boating lake with the possibility of renting boats and pedalos. Many sports activities are also available, such as orienteering, tennis and lavender labyrinth.
The ruins of Leicester Abbey and Cavendish Manor are also in the park. The monastery closed during its dissolution in 1538. Be sure to drop by Pets Corner, a favorite with kids and adults alike, offering opportunities to interact with pets, including exotic birds, rabbits and pygmy goats.
9. Phoenix Cinema
Phoenix Cinema is the birthplace of independent film, art and culture in Leicester. Films ranging from small independent films to the latest Hollywood blockbusters are shown on two screens in the cinema. The cinema is closely associated with the local community and offers a regularly changing arts program featuring works by local and international artists.
They also offer educational jobs promoting film and art to those who want to create their own business. The cinema’s coffee bar offers freshly prepared food and drinks that can be enjoyed at the bar or at the cinema.
Phoenix Cinema is located at 4 Midland Street, Leicester, LE1 1TG.
10. Great Central Railway
Things to do in Leicester with children’s old suitcases on the train platform with red traditional cars in the background Riding the Great Central Railway is one of the fun things to do with kids in Leicester. The Great Central Railway is the UK’s only dual-track mainline heritage railway.
Today, the railroad runs 8.25 miles (13.28 km) north of Leicester to Loughborough. Trains operating on the railway are steam trains. Trains run every weekend throughout the year, with special weekly services during the summer months. The First Class dining car also offers a freshly prepared five-course meal for a more luxurious journey through the countryside surrounded by old-world charm.
Located on Great Central Railway, Great Central Road, Loughborough, LE11 1RW.
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Leicester. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Leicester, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.