Over the last couple of years, Leicester has established itself on the map as a place to visit thanks to its team’s unanticipated Premier League glory and the discovery of King Richard the Third. But it’s also one of England’s oldest cities, and there are many more reasons to visit Leicester than just its recent triumphs. For starters, there are history trails that explore Leicester’s fascinating past, and the surrounding county of Leicestershire has an abundance of encapsulating sights to see and adventures to experience.
It’s the huge variety of things to see and do that makes a visit to Leicestershire so worthwhile, and if you intend to make your visit truly memorable, you should consider staying in a quaint hideaway located in one of Leicester’s close-by small towns. Being the heart of this historical county, Leicester boasts an almost uncountable number of amazing attractions, but the county itself has so much to offer – it will undoubtedly unlock more mind-broadening opportunities if you choose to enjoy a truly local experience in a town that provides easy access to the wider area.
Despite its metropolitan population of 500,000, making your way around some of the greatest local sights doesn’t require the need to travel for long and arduous periods of time. Many tourist hot spots located in the city of Leicester are within walking distance of each other, and surrounding must-see sights are easy to reach by taxi. In addition, Leicester is easily accessible from most major cities in the UK thanks to both convenient connections to the M1 and its close proximity to East Midlands Airport.
If you’re planning a visit to Leicester, this article will tell you the places you simply need to visit. But first, let us give you a few ideas for places to stay so you can give yourself a trip with a difference.
A True British Market Town
Loughborough is a fascinating market town that takes about 30 minutes to reach by car from Leicester. Though largely famous because of its university, its shopping experiences are what makes it a great experience for visitors. A recent redevelopment programme has conjoined two major shopping districts to make its consumer allure undeniable, and the 125 stalls that display products every Thursday and Saturday provide tourists with all the collectables, souvenirs and local products they could wish for.
If you’re planning a stay in Loughborough, you might benefit from booking a couple of night’s stay from Thursday until Saturday so you can browse marvellous antiques on display at the Friday Vintage Market. In addition, three shopping centres provide all the famous brands in case you need any extra essential purchases from a well-known name. Aside from taxis, you can reach neighbouring towns easily using public transport, and you can reach Leicester via a one-hour train journey, though a taxi ride will usually prove to be the quickest option.
A Scenic Experience
If a shopper’s version of heaven isn’t your idea of an eye-opening experience, a stay in Oadby or Wigston might be a good alternative. These villages offer the chance to escape high-street bedlam with more relaxing and informative experiences being their major tourist appeal. You can walk around 16 acres enjoying the sights of herb gardens, tropical plants and several national collections at the University of Leicester Botanical Gardens. If you plan your stay at the right time, you can also enjoy a bit of gambling at the nearby horse races.
Wigston is another small village that personifies local life in Leicestershire that’s only a 10-minute taxi ride from Oadby. The Framework Knitters Museum conveys the historical roots of this county’s textile-industry based blossoming, offering you the chance to re-live the past by learning and testing your knitting skills.
Reaching Leicester from either village is achieved via a short train ride or by taxi, the latter option being the most convenient due to the number of Wigston taxis offering their services. In normal traffic, the journey takes around 15 minutes, but it’s a good idea to plan ahead if you’re planning to use travel by road during peak periods. The best way to find a dependable taxi service is to search using an online directory. The leading websites such as Thomson Local might have good reviews to analyse, and you’ll find all the contact details you need in one place with ease.
What you need to do in Leicester
Staying in a neighbouring local village or town bursting with local culture is arguably the best way to create a trip atypical to the norm, but a visit to Leicestershire certainly requires a visit to the city that represents its heart. Here’s a short list of sights you shouldn’t miss:
- St Nicholas Church – This mind-blowing architectural masterpiece was first erected over 1200 years ago, and you can enjoy a guided tour between the hours of 2.00pm and 4.00pm every Saturday. Conveniently, the UK’s largest piece of Roman masonry – The Jewry Wall – is located next door.
- Leicester Cathedral – This place of worship was only granted its status as a cathedral in 1927, but being able to view the tomb of King Richard the Third seals its importance as a national treasure.
- The National Space Museum – Leicester’s rich history takes nothing away from its modern marvels, and the National Space Museum is a hotspot that proves it. The museum has lots of activities for kids, and its collection includes rockets used by British and American agencies.
Leicestershire has so many things that appeal to so many different demographics. It has an exuberant mix of old and new, and the local life and atmosphere will make it a destination you’ll never forget. It’s a county that has impressively managed to maintain its historical roots while simultaneously boasting a knowledgeable apprehension for future developments. With convenient taxi services and transport routes, it’s a place that gives you the chance to explore without dealing with the frustration of life in a busy metropolis.