The ultimate guide to visiting Leicester

Tuesday, 1 August 2023

Located in the East Midlands, Leicester is an internationally diverse city just over 100 miles northwest of London.

In the second century BC, Leicester served as a Saxon fortress, a Roman garrison, and a city that supplied the coal that fuelled the Industrial Revolution. Today, it is a popular tourist destination renowned for its welcoming residents, successful football team and rich history.

From days out to places to eat and drink, we’ve got the ultimate guide to Leicester for all types of tourists, so be sure to book your train to Leicester today.

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Things to see and do in Leicester

If you’re planning to visit Leicester to soak up all its culture and history, then you won’t be disappointed as there is plenty of the exciting things see and do. Find out our top tips on some of the very best things to do during your visit to Leicester below.

Days out for solo travellers

Abbey Park

This premier park lies approximately 1 mile north of the city centre. This lovely park is divided into two sections by the River Soar.

The intriguing Abbey Grounds – which include the remnants of the 17th-century palace Cavendish House and the ruins of Leicester Abbey from the 11th century – are located on the western bank of the river. On this side of the park is the Abbey Park Café with a pets’ corner.

The highly ornamental Victorian section of the park (east of the river) is home to evergreen shrubberies, trees, a boating lake and a model railroad. Find out more about Abbey Park.

King Richard III Visitor Centre

Located where the King's ashes were buried more than 500 years ago in the Grey Friars' ancient friary. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the King's life and death and the significant circumstances that resulted in his hurried burial and subsequent rediscovery. Book your ticket to King Richard III Visitor Centre.

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Travelling with friends

King Power Stadium Tour

Football fans can go behind the scenes at King Power Stadium and see the home of Leicester City Football Club. The tour will take you into the depths of the King Power Stadium and allows you to get a real look at how some of the Premier League’s top players prepare for matches on the biggest stage. The tour also gives you access to the dressing room, for a first hand look at the fantastic facilities Leicester City Football Club have on offer.

Just the Tonic Comedy Club

This terrific comedy venue is at Hansom Hall in Leicester's downtown. The venue has a variety of pub-style meals and travelling comedians, some of whom are well-known figures such as Johnny Vegas. The club also functions as a bar. You can take advantage of the compact location that guarantees a genuinely stunning view and outstanding acoustics throughout the show. View upcoming shows.

Escape Leicester

Get locked in a mysterious room with 60 minutes on a timer to try to figure out how to escape! This particular location has various escape experiences all under one roof, including Witch craft and Wizardary inspired escape rooms, along with a classic escape the cabin room, among many more. Book an escape room.

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Days out for couples

East Street Lanes

Ready to get bowled over by your significant other? Head down to East Street Lanes , a bowling alley with a gaming arcade. There are eight lanes to pick from, and the arcade features all the retro favourites. You can also take advantage of their bowl and golf package, and enjoy a round of minigolf to truly decide who is reigning champion in your couple!

The University of Leicester Botanic Garden

This stunning garden is 16 acres in size and around 3 miles from Leicester city in Oadby. Free to visit, you can learn about the different plants in the area, ranging from native species to tropical plants. There are also several sculptures to admire. Sit here with your partner and enjoy a picnic surrounded by beautiful scenery. Find out more about The University or Leicester Botanic Garden.

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Day trips for families

Treetop Adventure Golf Leicester

Created to look like the heart of a South American jungle, this 18-hole minigolf course features a Cave Canyon and a Birdie Boulevard. Great for explorers of all ages, you'll have a fantastic time at this animated golf course. Book Treetop Adventure Golf.

Boost Trampoline Parks

Let your youngsters burn off steam at this trampoline park packed with entertaining games and fascinating gadgets. Kids will love playing on the battle beam or diving into the foam pits. There are over 40 trampolines, so there’s plenty of room if it gets busy. For kids under 5 years, the Minis Explore sessions offer space for your little one to jump and bounce in a safe and supervised area. Book Boost Trampoline Parks.

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Where to eat and drink in Leicester

Leicester provides diverse culinary delights, including independent bars, classic real ale pubs, lively nightclubs, ambience-filled coffee shops and award-winning restaurants.

Curry fans will be spoiled for choice in this city, formerly known as the UK's curry capital, as many restaurants serve Indian food. The city will also please cheese enthusiasts. The county produced Red Leicester for the first time in the 17th century; the rich colour indicated its superior quality.

Steak and Lounge

One for the carnivores (although there are vegetarian and vegan options on the menu, too), Steak and Lounge uses fresh ingredients and provides great quality and service. Serving 100% Angus beef, you’ll find a selection of steaks and burgers to choose from.

Herb Restaurant

Exclusively vegetarian and vegan, Herb Restaurant offers aromatic spiced food from Kerala, India. They pay attention to the principles of healthy cooking and incorporate the healing components of herbs, spices and vegetables. The main feature of their cuisine is the tempering of curry leaves and mustard; they always fry with coconut oil.

33 Cank Street

Leicester's first table-service cocktail bar is ideal if you’re looking for somewhere cool to hang out with a beverage. 33 Cank Street serves classic cocktails and an ever-changing collection of boutique in-house creations.

The Globe Pub & Kitchen

Since 1720, The Globe has been associated with offering fine ales and food in Leicester. Back then, quality ales were created using spring water from the pub's own well, which is still there today. This welcoming public house has a cosy interior plus outdoor seating for when the weather is nice.

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Where to stay in Leicester

Leicester offers a selection of accommodations to suit all tastes, whether you are travelling on a budget or want to pamper yourself and reside in style.

St Martins Lodge

St Martins Lodge is the ideal lodging for visitors to the city, and it’s located right next to Leicester Cathedral. The corridor with its chandelier and magnificent staircase were both preserved during the comprehensive renovation of this Grade ll-listed Georgian building. Each room's unique design complements the original building's historic architecture and personality.

Showcase Apartments – Kimberley House

Kimberley House offers studios and apartments with one, two or three beds, sleeping up to eight people. It is ideally suited to accommodate families, friends and individuals looking for a pleasurable, convenient stay in the centre of Leicester.

The City Rooms

This stunning Georgian Grade I-listed building in the heart of Leicester city centre now contains four opulent hotel suites after undergoing a refurbishment. The standard amenities of a flatscreen TV, fridge, Wi-Fi access, tea and coffee maker, hairdryer and iron are included in every bedroom, along with a king-size bed. Due to The City Rooms’ prime location, it’s easy to walk to all of Leicester's facilities, including bars, restaurants and shops.

The Belmont Hotel

Not only is The Belmont Hotel a great family friendly hotel, it’s located in walking distance of most main attractions the city has to offer, and only 5 minutes walk from Leicester train station. The great location this hotel offers is perfect when travelling as a family, as you don’t want to ever be too far away from things when you have little ones in tow!

Leicester is a fantastic place to visit at any time of year, and really does have something for everyone. We can’t wait to see you onboard during your next trip to Leicester!

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