Historic Roman ruins, multicultural festivals and superb museums welcome visitors to this lively city in central England.
With colorful festivals, medieval landmarks, modern museums and art galleries, Leicester is a vivacious city with wide-reaching attractions. Founded by the Romans, Leicester is one of England’s oldest cities. It’s also one of the country’s most culturally diverse, evident at the turn of almost every corner.
Leicester’s city center hosts an interesting collection of attractions within walking distance of each other. Visit the medieval Leicester Cathedral, set amid a busy shopping district. Near to the cathedral is the site of a fascinating archaeological discovery. The skeleton of King Richard III was found here in 2012. Tour the King Richard III Visitor Centre that has been built around the site to learn about the excavation and the life and death of the king. Join a ghost tour at the Guildhall, said to be the city’s most haunted building.
See more of Leicester’s history at many free museums. Explore Iron Age and Roman ruins at the Jewry Hall Museum. Relive Leicester’s 20th-century life at the Newarke Houses Museum. See a re-creation of Victorian customs at Belgrave Hall Museum and Gardens. Spot Egyptian artifacts, dinosaur displays and 20th-century art at the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery.
Stroll along the Grand Union Canal to picturesque Abbey Park. Relax with a picnic on the manicured lawns or cruise around the lake on a rented paddle boat. Explore the remains of two historic buildings, Leicester Abbey and Cavendish House.
Visit the National Space Centre to learn about astronomy, the solar system and British space missions via interactive exhibits. Watch space-themed movies at the center’s planetarium.
Leicester’s multicultural customs are visible in its architecture, cuisine and festivals. Visit the Guru Nanak Gurdwara temple, which also has a museum on Sikh culture. Discover the ancient religion of Jainism at the Jain Centre. Go to Belgrade Road and walk along the Golden Mile to visit sari shops, jewelers and a collection of Indian restaurants. Be part of colorful Hindu celebrations such as Holi and Diwali.
Less than an hour’s drive from two international airports and just a 90-minute train journey from London, Leicester is a great base for daytrips to fascinating English attractions, including Belvoir Castle and Bosworth Battlefield.