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Leicester is a city and unitary authority area in the East Midlands of England, and the county town of Leicestershire. The city lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the National Forest.
In the 2011 census the population of the City of Leicester unitary authority was approximately 330,000 making it the most populous municipality in the East Midlands region. The associated urban area is also the 11th most populous in England and the 13th most populous the United Kingdom.
|POPULATION :||• City and unitary authority area 337,653 |
• Urban 836,484
• Metro 1,035,249
|FOUNDED :||Founded AD c.47 as Ratae Corieltauvorum, by the Romans|
City status Restored 1919
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone GMT (UTC)|
• Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
|AREA :||28.31 sq mi (73.32 km2)|
|COORDINATES :||52°38′N 1°08′W|
|SEX RATIO :|
|ETHNIC :|| 50.5% White (45.1% White British)|
3.5% Mixed Race
|AREA CODE :||0116|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+44 116|
Leicester is the largest city in the East Midlands region of England, the capital of the traditional county of Leicestershire, with a population of some 330,000 in the city area and nearly 500,000 in the metropolitan area.
Leicester is one of the oldest English towns, having been founded by the Romans as Ratae Corieltauvorum in 50 CE. Its role as a Saxon town is less certain, but the medieval town walls and street plan retain exactly those of the Romans. It was rarely centre stage through the middle ages, so lacked political impetus nationally. While other such towns acquired cathedrals and grand civic functions, Leicester gradually built up a small scale industrial prosperity based around framework knitting. This used semi-automated, leased machines, operated in peoples own homes, to make stockings. Automation and factory building in the nineteenth century, enabled Leicester to grow in population, land area and prosperity, with both knitwear and machine manufacturing providing the bedrock of its economy. In the 1920s its size and significance was reflected in being granted city status. Presently, it is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the United Kingdom. It is also Britain's first environment city. Leicester continued to grow rapidly throughout the 20th century. From the 1960s arrivals from the West Indies and Asians from east Africa and the Indian subcontinent added to that growth and more recently Somalia, west and southern Africa, and Poland have been some of the larger of many different national communities. The two universities also both have very high overseas student intakes, and Leicester now sees itself as a cosmopolitan city with friendly people from all races, backgrounds and cultures creating a culturally diverse city.
Leicester is one of the oldest cities in England, with a history going back at least two millennia. The native Iron Age settlement encountered by the Romans at the site seems to have developed in the 2nd or 1st centuries BC. Little is known about this settlement or the condition of the River Soar at this time, although roundhouses from this era have been excavated and seem to have clustered along roughly 8 hectares (20 acres) of the east bank of the Soar above its confluence with the Trent. This area of the Soar was split into two channels: a main stream to the east and a narrower channel on the west, with a presumably marshy island between. The settlement seems to have controlled a ford across the larger channel. The later Roman name was a latinate form of the Brittonic word for "ramparts" (cf. Gaelic rath & the nearby villages of Ratby and Ratcliffe ), suggesting the site was an oppidum. The plural form of the name suggests it was initially composed of several villages. The Celtic tribe holding the area was later recorded as the "Coritanians" but an inscription recovered in 1983 showed this to have been a corruption of the original "Corieltauvians". The Corieltauvians are believed to have ruled over roughly the area of the East Midlands.
It is believed that the Romans arrived in the Leicester area around AD 47, during theirconquest of southern Britain. The Corieltauvian settlement lay near a bridge on the Fosse Way, a Roman road between the legionary camps at Isca (Exeter) and Lindum(Lincoln). It remains unclear whether the Romans fortified and garrisoned the location, but it slowly developed from around the year 50 onwards as the tribal capital of the Corieltauvians under the name Ratae Corieltauvorum. In the 2nd century, it received a forum and bathhouse. In 2013, the discovery of a Roman cemetery found just outside the old city walls and dating back to ad 300 was announced. The remains of the baths of Roman Leicester can be seen at the Jewry Wall; recovered artifacts are displayed at the adjacent museum.
Knowledge of the town following the Roman withdrawal from Britain is limited. Certainly there is some continuation of occupation of the town, though on a much reduced scale in the 5th and 6th centuries. Its memory was preserved as theCair Lerion of the History of the Britons. Following the Saxon invasion of Britain, Leicester was occupied by the Middle Angles and subsequently administered by the kingdom of Mercia. It was elevated to a bishopric in either 679 or 680; this see survived until the 9th century, when Leicester was captured by Danish Vikings. Their settlement became one of the Five Burghs of the Danelaw, although this position was short-lived. The Saxon bishop, meanwhile, fled to Dorchester-on-Thames and Leicester did not become a bishopric again until the Church ofSt Martin became Leicester Cathedral in 1927. The settlement was recorded under the name Ligeraceaster in the early 10th century.
Following the Norman conquest, Leicester was recorded by William's Domesday Bookas Ledecestre. It was noted as a city (civitas) but lost this status in the 11th century owing to power struggles between the Church and the aristocracy and did not become a legal city again until 1919.
Geoffrey of Monmouth composed his History of the Kings of Britain around the year 1136, naming a King Leir as an eponymous founder figure. According to Geoffrey's narrative, Cordelia had buried her father beneath the river in a chamber dedicated to Janus and that his feast day was an annual celebration.
During the C14th the earls of Leicester and Lancaster enhanced the prestige of the town. Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster and of Leicester founded a hospital for the poor and infirm in the area to the south of the castle now known as The Newarke (the "new work"). Henry's son, the great Henry of Grosmont, 4th Earl of Lancaster and of Leicester, who was made first Duke of Lancaster, enlarged and enhanced his father's foundation, and built the collegiate Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady of The Newarke. This church (a little of which survives in the basement of the Hawthorn Building of De Montfort University) was destroyed during the reign of King Edward VI. It became an important pilgrimage site because it housed a thorn said to be from the Crown of Thorns, given to the Duke by the King of France. The church (described by Leland in the C16th as "not large but exceeding fair") also became, effectively, a Lancastrian mausoleum. Duke Henry's daughter Blanche of Lancaster married John of Gaunt and their son Henry Bolingbroke became King Henry IV when he deposed King Richard II. The Church of the Annunciation was the burial place of Duke Henry, who had earlier had his father re-interred here. Later it became the burial place of Constance of Castile, Duchess of Lancaster (second wife of John of Gaunt) and of Mary de Bohun, first wife of Henry Bolingbroke (Henry IV) and mother of King Henry V (she did not become queen because she died before Bolingbroke became king). John of Gaunt died at Leicester Castle in 1399. When his son became king, the Earldom of Leicester and the Duchy of Lancaster became royal titles (and the latter remains so).
At the end of the War of the Roses, KingRichard III was buried in Leicester'sGreyfriars Church, whose ruins are now located beneath a car park. There was a legend that his corpse had been cast into theriver, while some historians argued that his tomb and remains were destroyed during the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII. However, in September 2012, an archaeological investigation discovered a skeleton which DNA testing helped verify to be related to two descendants of Richard III's sister. In 2015 Richard III was reburied in pride of place near the high altar in Leicester Cathedral.
Leicester was a Roundhead stronghold during the English Civil War. In 1645, Prince Rupert decided to attack the city to draw the New Model Army away from the Royalist headquarters of Oxford. Royalist guns were set up on Raw Dykes and, after an unsatisfactory response to a demand for surrender, the Newarke was stormed and the city was sacked on 30 May. Hundreds of people were killed by Rupert's cavalry and reports of the severity of the sacking were further exaggerated by the Parliamentary press in London.
The construction of the Grand Union Canal in the 1790s linked Leicester to London and Birmingham. In 1832, the railway arrived in Leicester. in the form of The Leicester and Swannington Railway which provided a supply of coal to the town from nearby collieries. The Midland Counties Railway (running from Derby to Rugby) linked the town to the national network by 1840. A direct link to London St Pancras Stationwas established by the Midland Railway in the 1860s. These developments encouraged and accompanied a process of industrialisation which intensified throughout the reign of Queen Victoria. Factories began to appear, particularly along the canal and river, and districts such as Frog Island and Woodgate were the locations of numerous large mills. Between 1861 and 1901, Leicester's population increased from 68 000 to 212 000 and the proportion employed in trade, commerce, building, and the city's new factories and workshops rose steadily. Hosiery, textiles, and footwear became the major industrial employers: manufacturers such as N. Corah & Sons and the Cooperative Boot and Shoe Company were opening some of the largest manufacturing premises in Europe. They were joined, in the latter part of the century, by engineering firms such as Kent Street's Taylor & Hubbard (crane makers & founders ), Vulcan Road's William Gimson & Company (steam boilers & founders), and Martin Street's Richards & Company (steel works & founders).
The politics of Victorian Leicester were lively and very often bitter. Years of consistent economic growth meant that living standards generally increased, but Leicester was a stronghold of Radicalism. Thomas Cooper, the Chartist, kept a shop in Church Gate. There were serious Chartist riots in the town in 1842 and again six years later. The Leicester Secular Society was founded in 1851 but secularist speakers such as George Holyoake were often denied the use of speaking halls. It was not until 1881 that Leicester Secular Hall was opened. The second half of the 19th century also witnessed the creation of many other institutions, including the town council, the Royal Infirmary, and the Leicester Constabulary. It also benefited from general acceptance that municipal organisations had a responsibility to provide for the town's water supply, drainage, and sanitation.
Leicester became a county borough in 1889, although it was abolished with the rest in 1974 as part of the Local Government Act. The city regained its unitary status apart from Leicestershire in 1997. The borough had been expanding throughout the 19th century, but grew most notably when it annexed Belgrave, Aylestone, North Evington, Knighton, and Stoneygate in 1892.
Early 20th century
In 1900, the Great Central Railway provided another link to London, but the rapid population growth of the previous decades had already begun to slow by the time of Queen Victoria's death in 1901. World War I and the subsequent epidemics had further impacts. Nonetheless, Leicester was finally recognised as a legal city once more in 1919 and, in 1927, again became a cathedral city on the consecration of St Martin's. A second major extension to the boundaries following the changes in 1892 took place in 1935, with the annexation of the remainder of Evington, Humberstone, Beaumont Leys, and part of Braunstone. A third major revision of the boundaries took place in 1966, with the net addition to the city of just over 450 acres (182 ha). The boundary has remained unchanged since that time.
Leicester's diversified economic base and lack of dependence on primary industries meant that it was much better placed than many other cities to weather the tariff wars of the 1920s and Great Depression of the 1930s. The Bureau of Statistics of the newly formed League of Nations identified Leicester in 1936 as the 2nd-richest city in Europe and it became an attractive destination for refugees fleeing persecution and political turmoil in continental Europe. Firms such as Corah and Liberty Shoes used their reputation for producing high-quality products to expand their businesses. These years witnessed the growth in the city of trade unionism and particularly the co-operative movement. The Co-op became an important employer and landowner; when Leicester played host to the Jarrow March on its way to London in 1936, the Co-op provided the marchers with a change of boots. In 1938, Leicester was selected as the base for Squadron 1F, the first A.D.C.C (Air Defence Cadet Corp), the predecessor of the Air Training Corps.
Leicester experiences a maritime climate with mild to warm summers and cool winters, rain spread throughout the year, and low sunshine levels. The nearest official Weather Station was Newtown Linford, about 5 miles (8.0 km) northwest of Leicester city centre and just outside the edge of the urban area. However, observations stopped there in 2003. The current nearest weather station is Market Bosworth, about 10 miles (16 km) west of the city centre.
The highest temperature recorded at Newtown Linford was 34.5 °C (94.1 °F) during August 1990, although a temperature of 35.1 °C (95.2 °F) was achieved at Leicester University during August 2003. More typically the highest temperature would reach 28.7 °C (83.7 °F) – the average annual maximum. 11.3 °C (52.3 °F) days of the year should attain a temperature of 25.1 °C (77.2 °F) or above.
The lowest temperature recorded at Newtown Linford was −16.1 °C (3.0 °F) during January 1963. Typically, 54.9 air frosts will be recorded during the course of the year.
Rainfall averages 684.4 mm per year, with 1 mm or more falling on 120.8 days. All averages refer to the period 1971–2000.
Climate data for Newtown Linford
|Record high °C (°F)||13.6|
|Average high °C (°F)||6.3|
|Average low °C (°F)||0.5|
|Record low °C (°F)||−16.1|
Leicester has the largest economy in the East Midlands. A recent study by emda/Experian estimated the GVA to be £15.3 billion. Companies that have their principal offices or significant sites in Leicester and the surrounding area include;Brantano Footwear, Dunelm Mill, Next, Shoe Zone,Everards brewing and associated, KPMG, Mazars,Cambridge & Counties Bank, HSBC & Santanderbanking, Hastings Insurance, British Gas, British Telecom, Caterpillar (Inc.), Topps Tiles and DHL.
The city has historically had a strong association with the production of textiles, clothing and shoes. While important companies such as Corah, Liberty Shoesand Equity Shoes have closed, companies such as Next and Boden are still active in the city. Moreover, in recent years the higher transport prices and longer lead-times associated with globalised production in Asia mean that some textile manufacturers are locating to the city.
Engineering is an important part of the economy of Leicester. Companies include Jones & Shipman (machine tools and control systems), Richards Engineering (foundry equipment), Transmon Engineering (materials handling equipment) and Trelleborg (suspension components for rail, marine, and industrial applications). Local commitment to nurturing British engineers includes apprenticeship schemes with local companies, and academic-industrial connections with the engineering departments at Leicester University, De Montfort University, and nearby Loughborough University. Leicester was also home to the famous Gents' of Leicester clock manufacturers.
Leicester is divided into several administrative wards, that correspond to many historical suburbs, villages and districts in the unitary authority area:
|Ward||Suburbs, villages and districts|
|Abbey||Abbey Ward, Frog Island, Mowmacre Hill, Stocking Farm|
|Aylestone||Aylestone, Aylestone Park, Saffron|
|Beaumont Leys||Beaumont Leys, Heathley Park|
|Braunstone Park & Rowley Fields||Braunstone, Rowley Fields|
|Castle||City Centre, Blackfriars,Clarendon Park, Southfields|
|Coleman||Crown Hills, North Evington|
|Evington||Evington, Goodwood, Rowlatts Hill|
|Eyres Monsell||Eyres Monsell, Saffron|
|Fosse||Newfoundpool, West End,Woodgate|
|Freemen||Knighton Fields, Saffron|
|Humberstone & Hamilton||Hamilton, Humberstone,Humberstone Garden Suburb,Netherhall|
|Knighton||Stoneygate, Knighton, South Knighton, West Knighton|
|New Parks||New Parks|
|Rushey Mead||Rushey Mead|
|Spinney Hills||Spinney Hills, St. Matthew's, St. Peter's|
|Stoneygate||Highfields, Horston Hill, Evington Valley|
|Western Park||Western Park, Dane Hills|
Prices in Leicester
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.35|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€8.40|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€30.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€55.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€7.20|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€3.90|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€3.60|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€11.50|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€9.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.05|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€9.60|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€67.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M.)||1||€34.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€74.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€3.00|
76 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
205 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
- The city is close to East Midlands Airport situated in the county of Leicestershire and a drive should take around 35 minutes depending on the traffic situation. The airport is served by a 24/7 SkyLink bus from St Margaret's Bus Station in Leicester (£6.10 single, December 2012). Taxi is about £30 one way.
- Birmingham International Airport is within a 45-minute to 1 hour drive from Leicester. It can be reached by train - a ticket to Birmingham is valid for the Birmingham airport as well - or coach
- There are also a limited number of flights available from Coventry Airport about a 45-minute drive away.
- London Stansted Airport and Luton airports are linked directly to Leicester by regular train services (see links to CrossCountry and East Midlands Trains above).
- Manchester Airport can be reached by train, changing at Sheffield.
- Gatwick Airport can be reached by train changing at Luton, Bedford or London.
- Heathrow Airport, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Birmingham airports can also be reached by direct 24/7 National Express coach services
- There is a small airfield for private planes at Stoughton to the east of the city.
Leicester is on the main London to Leeds rail route operated by East Midlands Trains from St Pancras International station. There are up to four trains to and from the capital every hour. The journey takes up to 1:30h on slower trains. As with all British trains, an open return valid for one month bought on the day of travel is just marginally more expensive than a single ticket. Tickets bough in advance are often significantly cheaper.
Often cheaper, but also significantly longer time-wise travel from London can be done via Nuneaton, Warwickshire, with London Midland trains. In Nuneaton, change for a Stagecoach bus 48 or Arriva bus 158 both going to Leicester directly (very limited service in the evening and at the weekends). A bus station in Nuneaton is ten minutes walk from the railway station, buses to Leicester depart from platform C; the journey takes just over one hour and costs just over £3.00 single (December 2012). Also, there is a train from Nuneaton station to Leicester which costs about £10 single. Tickets specific to the London Midland services are cheapest (London to Nuneaton off-peak return £21.00, December 2012).
Cross country services (Cambridge, Stansted, Nuneaton, Coventry and Birmingham) are operated by Cross Country Trains.
The suburban services to Sileby, Barrow-on-Soar, and Lougborough are operated by East Midlands Trains; and towards Wigston and Narborough - Cross Country Trains.
Leicester station is five minutes walk from the very centre of the city and another five minutes to the coach station (St Margaret).
Train passengers are entitled to discounts for local bus travel in many British cities, also in Leicester (£3.50 for a day ticket, January 2013); student railcards give access to even greater savings. A PlusBus ticket can be purchased simultaneously with the train ticket online or at the station, incl. many vending ticket machines.
- Leicester is adjacent to the M1 Motorway, allowing speedy road access south to London and north to many other major English cities.
- The M69 motorway provides good access from the south of the city at M1 junction 21 towards Birmingham, Coventry, Nuneaton and Hinckley.
- As noted below, for non-motorised road users, there is good access to the city for cyclists, from all points of the compass.
- First-time visitors to the city coming by car may find the inner ring road and associated one-way systems confusing and somewhat daunting. Plan your journey well in advance, be patient, and look for signposts for the many car-parks close to the city centre; or use the Park & Ride services (see below under 'Bus').
- The city is served by Park and Ride services from Meynells Gorse in Braunstone to the West, Birstall to the North, and Enderby to the South.
- National Express couches arrive to St Margaret's Bus station, a short walk to the city centre. There are regular services to and from London, Birmingham and Nottingham where connections are available to most of the UK
- Eurolines services to continental Europe.
- Megabus connects Leicester with London and from there - other British cities, as well as Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.
There are also services operated by local companies which serve the Asian communities in West London (Southall), Bradford, and other areas. These services are not generally well advertised, they may be short-lived, but can be cheap, and get you to out-of-the-way areas.
Transportation - Get Around
- All city centre locations are easily reachable within walking distance.
- The city supports an extensive bus network. Services are operated mainly by First Leicester and Arriva. First Leicester services cover the more local (city) destinations, those operated by Arriva can also be useful for reaching areas just outside Leicester, as well as city destinations. First Services leave from a variety of points in the city centre; most Arriva services depart from St Margaret's Bus Station.
- Stagecoach run a regular service (Route 48) from St Margaret's to Hinckley and Coventry
- There are services operated by other companies: some are one-route-only operators; you may find that a different company will run the same service on a Sunday (or during evenings) to the day-time operator.
- Advice on bus travel can be obtained from travel shops within St Margaret's Bus Station (Arriva) and at the Haymarket Bus Station in Charles Street (First Leicester). You should be able to get a map of local bus routes from the Tourist Information Centre in Town Hall Square.
- You will find stops for most services in the City Centre streets. These stops can be confusing, even for locals!
- Tickets are not interchangeable between different companies; However, there is a day ticket for all buses in the Leicester area called the Flexi Day. These can be bought on any bus in central Leicestershire for £5.00. Day tickets can offer significant savings over single, and even return, tickets: ask the driver for advice. Fares are expensive for very short journeys, but can be remarkable value if travelling to the suburbs or further.
- There is a Park & Ride service that runs Monday-Saturday from Meynells Gorse that is, at Braunstone Cross Roads, just off the A47 Every 12 minutes and is run by Paul James Coaches. This service is well-signposted on the A47 and the M1 (leave at junction 21A). This serves the city centre with a reliable, regular, fast service from a large car park. Newer park & ride services run from Enderby to the South of the city and Birstall to the North. You MUST be a car user to use the Park & Ride services, but as prices are generally per car, this can be a cost-effective way of travelling.
- Cycling in and around Leicester is generally pleasant with there being a good road network and generally well-mannered car and bus drivers. Previous city council policies led to the development of well signposted, well designed cycle-tracks: some of these are now in need of repair and upkeep, but the network remains. Sustrans Route 6 bisects the city North/South, with Route 63 going north-west toward Charnwood Forest.
- The city centre Bike Park provides a handy place to park your bike with complete security during the week, daytime. The Bike Park is situated in one corner of the Town Hall (in Town Hall Square) right in the city centre. The friendly staff can help with repairs and local knowledge. There are changing facilities here if you require them.
- Remember that Leicester is effectively in a 'bowl', so whichever way you enter the city (except along the river/canal) you are likely to have to climb to leave it! As a cyclist you may wish to avoid routes leading directly to the local M1 junctions (21, 21A, and 22)as these carry heavy and fast motor traffic.
- There is free signposted motorcycle parking in the city centre: Abbey Street and behind the Town Hall.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
The city centre of Leicester has a vibrant and friendly atmosphere along with many department stores and a large shopping centre called Highcross(formerly 'The Shires'), off High Street. Shoppers can expect to find the majority of items and services offered within a main city in the UK.
The Haymarket centre has also recently undergone changes and has improved within the last 10 years.
Leicester also has some interesting independent shops around the 'Lanes' area leading from Loseby Lane. The St Martin's area also has interesting small boutiques, delicatessens and specialist shops, although St Martin's Square has several empty units. The Shires has recently undergone a transformation and expansion, changing its name to Highcross. Highcross opened in September 2008 and features many new shops and restaurants including John Lewis, Topman, Next, Hugo Boss, and an Apple store amongst others.
Leicester is a fantastic place for Indian food. Laguna has existed since the late 70's and operates a traditional tandoor oven, on Narborough Road and the Good Food Guide listed The Rise of the Raj is on Evington Road.
Leicester's large Gujarati community - centred in the Belgrave area - has led to the opening of many excellent Indian vegetarian restaurants in that part of the city. Sharmilee, Sayonara and Phulnath, come highly recommended by local residents. The Chaat House is also a great places for Masala Dosas and other light meals.
The choice of fine restaurants in Leicester is limited and sadly there has been a recent closure of two fine restaurants namely Entropy and The Opera House, however the City is in the grip of major renovation and regeneration which is likely to spur on a greater choice and profusion of fine dining experiences. However excellent food can be had at Watsons Restaurantwhich is a refined and tasty experience (near the Phoenix Theatre) and The Case near St. Martins, the lunch menu is excellent as are the wait staff, a distinctly French feel is on offer and The Case has the joy of being connected to the delightful Champagne Bar on its ground floor. Dinos on Garrick Walk, Haymarket has an excellent reputation and a very Italianate, exciting menu. A more recent addition with an excellent menu is The Quarter, housed in the former wholesale vegetable market building on Halford Street and close to the Curve theatre, Leicester's new theatre which opened in 2008. This Restaurant/Bar is a beautiful open space with a great menu and superb cocktails!
Some good, mid range restaurants/ bars with menus can be found near the City on Braunstone Gate, the best of these being the ever popular Left Bank, which is cheap, spirited and tasty. Across the road, Mobius is interesting with a lively bar to the ground floor and restaurant upstairs. The Sultan, one of a number of Turkish restaurants along the Narborough Road, has very good value authentic Turkish meals: donor, shewarma, pide and meze.
Mid priced food can also be found easily at decent chains such as Ask, Zizzi, Las Iguanas, La Tasca and three Pizza Express restaurants around the city.
For those with even tighter budgets, Leicester offers a wide array of different takeaways. Leicester takeaways range from Indian food to Italian, American, Turkish, Chinese, Thai and other types of food. Generally, a takeaway meal for two can be purchased between £10 and £15.
Tea rooms and Coffee Shops/Bars abound, most notable are Mrs Bridgeson Loseby Lane and Bossa close to the City Gallery, if you want to avoid the usual Starbuck and Costa chains, Fenwicks also houses a pleasant old school style cafe, steeped in the 60's/70's, on its top floor, with excellent food on offer at reasonable prices.
A trend from 2014-15 has been the arrival of Gelato bars, offering a range of non-alcoholic drinks and puddings. Madisons Cafe Bar & Gelateria on London Road, Gelato Village on St Martin's Square, Whipee Gelato and Bru, both on Granby Street, offer daytime and evening opening, as do similar places further out from the centre, such as Narborough Road,
Places in the City Centre:
- Roma Café Bar, 11 Halford Street, Leicester LE1 1JA, . daytime: Mon to Sat, evenings: Wed to Sat. Pizza, Pasta and other Italian food, family-run café/restaurant since 1996
- The Case Restaurant and Champagne Bar, 4-6 Hotel St, .
- Red Hot World Buffet, 87-91 High St, Leicester LE1 4JB, . 'foods from all around the World and an all you can eat menu'
Sights & Landmarks
- St Nicholas Church. The oldest (over 1200 years) place of Christian worship in Leicester. Open for visitor every Saturday, 2PM - 4PM, as well as for worship - see the website for details.
- St. Mary de Castro Church. One of the most ancient buildings in Leicester (from the early 12th century). The name means "St Mary of the Castle". It stands on the grounds of Leicester Castle, from which it gets its name and of which it was once the chapel. Open: Monday to Friday 12PM - 2PM; Saturday 2PM - 4PM.
- The National Space Centre, Exploration Dr (2km north of the city centre.), . is also a popular tourist attraction with tourists visiting daily from all over the world. It is the nation's only Space Centre of its kind and features a space theatre.
- The National Gas Museum, 195 Aylestone Rd, .
- King Richard III: Dynasty, Death and Discovery, 4A St. Martins, LE1 5DB, 0300 300 0900, e-mail: [email protected]. Life and times of King Richard III; Events surrounding the battle in 1485, when he was killed; The discovery in 2012 of his remains, the archaeology, identification, DNA and other tests in confirming the identity of the remains. The museum includes the original burial site, within the Greyfriars Priory, now viewed through a glass floor. £7.95/£4.75.
- Leicester Cathedral, Peacock Lane, LE1 5PZ, . Medieval church of St Martin, substantially rebuilt in the 1860s, made a cathedral in 1927. Since March 2015 the remains of King Richard III are buried there, under a massive stone tomb. Additional display includes the ceremonial pall which covered the coffin during the reburial period.
- Leicester Guildhall, Guildhall Lane, LE1 5FQ, . 11.00-4.30 daily. One of the best preserved timber framed halls in the country, dating back to the 14 century, also used as a performance venue. Do not miss a prison cell on the ground floor. From 2015 it includes new Medieval Leicester Galleries, showing items from Leicester in the middle ages.
- Jewry Wall Museum (near the city centre). Those who wish to visit historic sights can visit this 2000 year old remains of the Roman Bath House, the second largest such survival in the UK. The adjacent Museum tells Leicester's history since ancient times. The City had a Roman name, Ratae Corieltauvorum.
- New Walk Museum and Art Gallery. A comparatively small, but exciting place. Its Dinosaur, German Expressionist and Picasso Ceramics galleries are well worth seeing. The fine art gallery re-opened in March 2013. Free group tours take place every other Saturday at 2PM - consult the website for the dates.
- Newarke Houses Museum and Gardens. The best place to learn about the city's 20 century history. The garden is particularly beautiful. Take a walk along the
- Abbey Pumping Station museum of science and technology(2km north of the city centre.). Four working steam-powered beam-engines in their original location. Also, exhibitions on light and optics, historic transport and public health,including an 'interactive toilet'.
- The Golden Mile. A stretch of the Belgrave Road renowned for its authentic Indian restaurants, sari shops, and jewellers.
- New Walk. A late 18th century urban public walk a street, it was a pedestrian street for over 200 years.
- Kirby Muxloe Castle, Off Oakcroft Ave, Kirby Muxloe, LE9 2DH (4 miles west of Leicester off B5380; close to M1 junction 21A), . adults £3.60, children £2.20, concessions £3.20.
Things to do
- Curve Theatre, Rutland Street, LE1 1SB, .State of the art, 2008, theatre facility for touring and local productions.
- Phoenix Cinema, 4 Midland Street, LE1 1TG, . Independant Cinema with Art exhibition programme. Two modern cinema screens show micro-budget independent films through to Hollywood mainstream, plus festivals and events.
- Great Central Railway, The Sidings, LE4 3BR (off the A563, near Redhill roundabout), , e-mail:[email protected]. A preserved steam mainline railway running on the line of the Great Central Railway from Leicester North to Loughborough.
- Abbey park (Car parks off Abbey Park Road and St Margaret's Way.).An award winning public park owned and managed by Leicester City Council. It contains the remains of the 12th century Leicester Abbey and the ruins of Cavendish House. It has formal gardens, a sensory garden, a boating lake and model boat lake, a miniature railway, visitor centre, cafe, children's play area with paddling pool, pets corner, tennis courts, sports fields, a bowling green, and a bandstand.
- Bradgate Park (located 8km northwest of the city, at Newtown Linford). encompassing 850 acres of land. A good place to take a walk or a picnic, there is also a visitor's centre on site, the ruins of the former home of Lady Jane Grey (Queen for 9 days) Bradgate House, are within the park as is Old John, a hilltop folly in the shape of a beer tankard built in 1784. Both structures were built by the Grey family (Lady Jane's family) of Groby from the 15th Century onwards. The park is also a protective zone for many bird, deer and plant species.
Ticket prices shown are those for one adult ticket and are subject to change.
- Leicester City Football Club, Filbert Way (King Power Stadium (formerly Walkers Stadium)). Football (Soccer) Tickets: £23-30.
- Leicester Tigers, Welford Rd (Welford Road Stadium). Rugby UnionTickets: £10-40.
- Leicestershire County Cricket Club, Grace Rd (County Ground).Tickets: £12.
- Leicester Lions, Beaumont Leys (The Lions). Speedway Tickets: £15.
- Leicester Riders, De Montfort University, The Gateway (John Sanford Sports Centre). Basketball Tickets: £10.
- Leicester Rowing Club, Upperton Rd.
- Leicester Blue Sox, Park View (Western Park). Baseball
With two universities, Leicester boasts a good number of bars, pubs, and clubs offering a wide variety of alcoholic drinking experiences, offering everything from traditional pubs to champagne and vodka bars.
Leicester also has a small number of bars and a nightclub catering for the lesbian/gay communities.
For those that prefer their drink without alcohol there are also a good number of coffee shops in the city centre, but these usually tend to only open during shopping hours.
Safety in Leicester
The city is quite safe other than the usual beggars with false stories about being robbed and those drunkards looking for trouble. The inner city areas of St Matthews and Highfields should be avoided at night. New Walk, leading from the city centre up to Victoria Park, is a very attractive footpath during the day, but should not be used after dark due to the presence of prostitutes, drunks and beggars towards the upper end of it. Likewise, Victoria Park should be completely avoided after dark as it is well known for muggings.