Places to visit in Leicestershire
Things to do and days out in Leicestershire
There’s more to Leicestershire than its famous football team and red cheese. Here, you can sample dishes from around the world, get your heart pumping with extreme sports like blindfolded axe throwing, and discover the city’s comedy and live music scenes.
Places to eat in Leicestershire
Considered one of the top food destinations in the UK, Leicestershire has a large number of different cuisines to choose from. Tuck into mouth-watering South Asian curries at local favourite, Paddy’s Marten Inn on Martin Street. First opened in 1996, it has won several awards and has featured on cookery shows with chefs including Jamie Oliver. Its huge menu primarily specialises in vegetarian dishes, however, meat and fish eaters won't be disappointed - you will also find Chinese and even Mexican influences among its offerings, so there is something for everyone to enjoy.
More places to eat and drink
Karamay is the UK’s first authentic Uighur restaurant, with food that takes Chinese, Turkish and Middle Eastern influences from along the Silk Road. For something from the Western hemisphere, try pan-South American dishes from Mexico, Peru and Brazil at Bodega Cantina. Fiery Caribbean jerked chicken, rice and peas and filling dumplings can be found at Greedy Belly, while French patisserie lovers can indulge at Chloe Gourmet. If you fancy English fare, opt for The Berkeley Arms in Wymondham, where the regularly changing menu features local game and other delicacies. And don’t leave Leicestershire without tucking into a Melton Mowbray pork pie. Head to Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe to see why Leicestershire is fiercely proud of this tasty snack.
Tours and tastings in Leicestershire
Everards Meadows, Leicestershire
Find out how Leicester’s heritage ale is brewed on a tour and tasting experience at Everards Brewery in Glenfield. Established in 1849, you can find Everards' beers in more than 150 pubs across the East Midlands. The tour takes place in the brand's sustainable brewery at Everards Meadows, set within 90 acres of peaceful landscape. After your 90-minute tour, quench your thirst with a sample of three beers in the Beer Hall.
More food tours and tasting sessions
For wine drinkers, instead of turning to your favourite bottle of pinot grigio or merlot, join a wine-tasting session at Rothley Wine Estate, to try the different vinos named after past English monarchs. For choccie fans, try crafting sweet treats in Cocoa Amore’s chocolate workshop on Leicester's Silver Street.
Places to stay in Leicestershire
For an upmarket getaway, the 16th century, Grade-I listed Stapleford Park Hotel in Melton Mowbray has it all. Luxury rooms feature classic finishing touches by Mulberry and Wedgwood while the 2 AA Rosette restaurant, Grinling Gibbons, serves traditional afternoon tea and à la carte meals. Head to the 1899 Baroque Revival Stable Block for indulgent spa treatments or the main house for the jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and indoor heated pool.
More places to stay
Escape the rat race for a countryside break in the grounds of Belvoir Castle. Located eight miles from Grantham, choose from four holiday lodges, one of which is next to a lake. The four-star Kilworth House Hotel offers a touch of Victorian-era class on a 38-acre estate and if you want to get closer to nature, Brook Meadow is a peaceful spot for glamping, camping and caravanning on a working farm. If you prefer to stay in the city, St Martin's Lodge is a luxury 26-room boutique hotel in the Cathedral Quarter and boasts uninterrupted views of the magnificent thousand years-old structure.
Outdoor activities in Leicestershire
Both for the young and young at heart, Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre offers a huge range of fun and challenging activities such as archery, paddleboarding, abseiling, kayaking, climbing, bushcraft skills – you name it, there’s something for everybody in your tribe to try their hand at.
More activities in Leicestershire
If you prefer a bracing open-air swim or taking scuba-diving lessons, plunge into Stoney Cove in Leicester, formerly a large granite quarry. Petrolheads and thrill junkies should check out Avalanche Adventure in Market Harborough for quad biking, Hovercraft rides, and even blindfolded archery.
Filming locations in Leicestershire
Eagle-eyed fans of The Crown may have spotted Belvoir Castle standing in for Windsor Castle for several key scenes. Built in the 19th century, several of the castle’s richly decorated rooms were also used in the 2010 film, The Young Victoria. Not to mention The Da Vinci Code and Victoria & Abdul. Don’t forget to head outside to admire its gardens and views of the Leicestershire landscape from atop the hill.
More famous filming locations
Loughborough Great Central Station has provided a quaint backdrop for various films and TV series, including The Crown, Enigma, The Hours, Ripper Street and even Top Gear. You can drive one of the old steam or diesel locomotives or follow the rural branch line on footpaths past the Grand Union Canal and to pretty villages like Quorn and Woodhouse Eves.
Elsewhere in Leicester, the Old Town was featured in The Lost King, which tells the story of the discovery of the remains of King Richard III under a car park in 2012. The car park is now a visitor’s centre where you can discover more about the formerly missing monarch.
Known as the “Golden Mile”, Belgrave Road was the filming location for the film of the same name, following the feud of two brothers who ran rival Indian restaurants. While you’re there, be sure to sample a curry at Bobby’s Restaurant.Find more filming locations
Star attractions in Leicestershire
Calling all space enthusiasts and aspiring astronauts; your mission to the stars awaits at The National Space Centre, the home of British space exploration. For an interactive space mission experience, report to the new Tetrastar Spaceport exhibit for a “low Earth orbit cruise”. Take a seat in the plush Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium for a range of exciting shows like We Are Aliens (ages five and up); learn about the Moon landing missions in CAPCOM GO!; or if you enjoy stargazing with music, relax while watching Tour of the Night Sky.
More big attractions
Marvel at the newly-renovated Leicester Cathedral which reopened in November 2023. Dating back to the 13th century, this beautiful cathedral also features influences from the Victorian and Arts and Crafts eras, and is the final resting place of King Richard III. Explore your wild side at the award-winning Twycross Zoo in Atherton, where 100 acres feature animal exhibits, lots of indoor and outdoor play areas and a nature reserve. Younger visitors can even go on a Gruffalo-themed walk!
Live music and festivals in Leicestershire
One of the biggest events on the UK's comedy calendar, Leicester Comedy Festival’s eclectic bill features a mix of newcomers and established veterans trialling new material, spread over two and a half weeks each February across the city. Headliners for previous events have included Russell Howard, Jason Manford and Jo Brand, but do make time for some of the smaller acts too; tickets for these sets are often just £5 and give you the chance to see future big names before they become famous, and of course, bragging rights!
More events and festivals
See big names in music perform at the O2 Academy and De Montfort Hall and up-and-coming acts at venues like The Soundhouse and Firebug showcase up-and-coming local talent in music and comedy.
Want to take the whole family to a music event? Don’t miss the child-friendly Riverside Festival on the first weekend of June, which features live bands, a fun fair, food and drink stalls, a street market and arts and crafts. The festival of Diwali is a huge occasion in Leicester. Head to the Golden Mile (Belgrave Road) on Diwali Day in November to sample delicious food, see traditional dances and enjoy live bhangra music.Find more events in Leicestershire
Walking and outdoor spaces in Leicestershire
Lose yourself in the wilds at The National Forest, the first forest created in England for 1,000 years. Covering 200 square miles to the north-west of Leicester, the stunning landscape combines ancient forest and newly planted woodland, wildflower meadows and rugged, rocky uplands.
More outdoor spaces in Leicestershire
Go deer spotting at Bradgate Park, 830 acres of wild countryside; if you’re feeling adventurous, explore the rugged landscape and take some dramatic snaps next to the jagged rocks and gnarly, ancient trees. Be sure to stop by the ruins of Bradgate House, the former home of Lady Jane Grey (who reigned as queen of England for a mere nine days). If you are looking for something less strenuous, the lower part of the park has tarmacked paths suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs, as well as a visitor centre and café. The country park of Beacon Hill has plenty of activities to choose from. Walkers, cyclists and horse riders alike can follow the multiuse track that loops around the edge of the park.
Go on an impromotu art trail in Leicester, which has its own collection of eye-catching murals, thanks to artists’ collective Graffwerk. Look out for the football murals commemorating Leicester City's biggest victories from recent years.Explore the great outdoors