Skip Navigation

edit

Introduction

Leicester is a city in the East Midlands region of England. It is 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.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

  • St Nicholas Church - The oldest (over 1,200 years) place of Christian worship in Leicester. Open for visitor every Saturday, 2:00pm - 4:00pm, as well as for worship - see the website for details. St Nicholas' Church, Leicester on Wikipedia edit
  • 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 12:00pm - 2:00pm; Saturday 2:00pm - 4:00pm.
  • The National Space Centre, Exploration Dr, LE4 5NS (2 kilometres north of the city centre.), ☎ +44 845 605 2001. 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. National Space Centre on Wikipedia edit
  • The National Gas Museum, 195 Aylestone Rd, LE2 7QJ, ☎ +44 116 250-3190, e-mail: nationalgasmuseum@gmail.com.
  • King Richard III: Dynasty, Death and Discovery, 4A St. Martins, LE1 5DB, ☎ 0300 300 0900 (non-geographic number), e-mail: info@kriii.com. 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, ☎ +44 116 261-5200. 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, ☎ +44 116 253-2569. 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.

Top

edit

Weather

Leicester experiences a maritime climate with mild to warm summers and cool winters, rain spread throughout the year, and low sunshine levels.

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

East Midlands Airport (EMA) is the main gateway, located about 20 miles from Leicester. Ryanair flies to Alicante, Belfast, Bergerac, Berlin, Budapest, Bydgoszcz, Carcassonne, Dinard, Dublin, Faro, Girona, Granada, Ibiza, Knock, Krakow, Lanzarote, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Limoges, Lodz, Málaga, Marrakech, Milan, Murcia, Nantes, Palma de Mallorca, Pisa, Reus (Barcelona), Riga, Rimini, Rome, Rzeszów, Tenerife-South, Turin, Valencia and Wroclaw.
Many more budget airlines and charter airlines fly to places throughout Europe, including Bmibaby, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways.

To/from the airport
The airport has excellent connections to the motorway network by using the M1 and M42. The closest railway station is East Midlands Parkway, which is 6 kilometres away. If you book a taxi in advance you can have a reduced price getting to the railway station, as buses don't go here anymore. Skylink branded bus services operate to and from Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Loughborough and Coalville.

By Train

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.

Leicester also offers direct rail access to Stansted Airport, East Midlands Airport, Luton Airport, Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby, Peterborough, Cambridge and Birmingham.

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).

By Car

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.

By Bus

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.

Top

edit

Getting Around

By Car

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.

By Public Transport

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.

By Foot

All city centre locations are easily reachable within walking distance.

By Bike

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.

Top

edit

Eat

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 Restaurant which 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 Bridges on 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.

Top

edit

Drink

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.

Top

edit

Sleep

There is no shortage of overnight accommodation in Leicester at almost all budget ranges: the tourist information people can help.

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafés can be found in many cities and towns. All UK public libraries provide access, often branded as "People's Network", usually at no or little charge, though there is usually a time limit. Some hotels/hostels also offer internet access, including wifi, but most times at a cost. Using the internet on your personal phone can become expensive very quickly, with carriers charging 100's of times the local rate for data. To avoid these expensive roaming charges, you can hunt for wifi at a local cafe or hotel, or rent a mobile hotspot via several providers including DATAPiXY, and XCOM Global.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to the United Kingdom is: 44. To make an international call from the United Kingdom, the code is: 00

In case of emergency, call 999 or 112 from any phone. Such calls are free and will be answered by an emergency services operator who will ask you for your location, and the service(s) you need (police, fire, ambulance, coastguard or mountain rescue). You can call this number from any mobile telephone as well, even if you do not have roaming.

Although the number is declining, you can still find payphones in many public areas, especially stations, airports etc. You can usually pay with cash and sometimes by creditcard or, for international calls, special phonecards are still available.

Mobile phones are heavily used. The main networks are T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and O2. 3G data services are available, usually priced per megabyte and coverage is usually very good in the UK, however it may lack in rural areas. Roaming on your personal phone plan can be expensive. To manage costs, consider purchasing a local UK SIM card for your phone. Several companies offer local SIM cards including Telestial, and CellularAbroad.

Post

The Royal Mail provides postal services in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mail's store fronts are called Post Office and offer services ranging from sending letters and packages to foreign currency exchange. Use the branch locator to find the nearest Post Office branch. There will be at least one post office in any town/city and there are quite often post offices in larger villages. It's common for a post office to be incorporated into a grocery store, where there will be a small counter located at the back of the store for dealing with post related matters. All post offices are marked with signs that say 'post office' in red lettering. Post boxes can be found at any post office and standalone large red post boxes on the streets or red boxes in the sides of public buildings.
For sending packages overseas, it might be a good idea to check prices and services with international companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.

Top

Accommodation in Leicester

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Leicester searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Leicester and areas nearby.

Leicester Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Leicester

This is version 5. Last edited at 8:28 on Jun 26, 17 by Utrecht. 8 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License