Welcome to Leicester, an exciting cosmopolitan city with a proud history stretching back 2000 years.
Leicester is brimming with things to see and do, with state-of-the-art, award-winning venues including Curve, Highcross Shopping Centre and the National Space Centre, a fantastic calendar of events and festivals, renowned museums and galleries, a range of cuisines, areas of natural beauty and our ancient heritage.
Set in the heart of one of England’s most attractive counties, the surrounding villages and countryside are easily reachable to explore. Our central location in the Midlands makes it to accessible from all directions. It takes just 62 minutes to come to Leicester on a fast, direct train from London.
A modern city, rich in arts, culture, sports and heritage, Leicester offers something of interest for all ages. Leicester hosts many amazing festivals and events with a wide variety of vibrant and entertaining celebrations reflecting the city’s diversity. Leicester is a city truly passionate about sport – from grass-roots coaching to the world famous Leicester City Football Club and Leicester Tigers Rugby. The final resting place of Britain’s last Plantagenet king, Richard III, is in Leicester’s city centre.
In a wider context, Leicestershire is an increasingly popular county, rich in experiences and history, with a population of over 800,000 and lots to see and do within its 1000 square miles. Local delicious foods include Stilton cheese, Melton Mowbray pork pies and the famous Walkers crisps!
From peaks and forests to rivers and the largest man-made lake in Western Europe, there is a wealth of contrasting landscapes in our region. The stunning Peak District National Park is within easy reach, as are the picturesque Cotswolds and many castles and stately homes, giving a great choice of interesting days out.
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Leicestershire is well regarded as an important Roman settlement, and evidence of this can be seen at the Jewry Wall Museum in the city. The building itself is Grade II listed and it faces the Jewry Wall ruins. It houses artefacts dating from the Iron Age, Roman and Medieval Leicester. Here you can discover the archaeology of Leicester’s past, and find out about the people of Leicester from Prehistoric times to the Medieval period.
One of the most interesting historical events around Leicestershire in recent times has been the discovery of the remains of King Richard III. Richard’s remains were buried without pomp and the original tomb is believed to have been destroyed, and the remains themselves were lost for more than five centuries. Then in 2012, an archaeological excavation was conducted on a city council car park using ground-penetrating radar. The University of Leicester confirmed on 4 February 2013 that the evidence pointed to a skeleton found in the excavation being that of Richard III.
Now a fantastic new visitor centre has opened with the aim of creating a centre that would tell the story of the remarkable search for and confirmed discovery of King Richard III. To find out more about this fascinating story, and for enquires about the centre, please visit here.
Also in the west of Leicestershire, there is the Battle of Bosworth Heritage Centre, and find out all about the battle that claimed the life of King Richard III. Battle re-enactments and other historic events regularly take place here.
The county of Leicestershire also boasts many splendid stately homes including the 17th century Stanford Hall.
Also there is the majestic Belvoir Castle, where you can find out about the fascinating history of this Regency period castle and also explore it’s picturesque gardens.
Leicestershire is also home to Foxton Locks, a remarkable piece of Victorian engineering, where you can walk along the inclined plane of locks, enjoy a family day of orienteering or hire a narrow boat and enjoy the scenery from the water. Also nearby in Leicestershire is the largest reservoir in England, known as Rutland Water. It is an internationally famous nature reserve, with stunning scenery and wildlife to be enjoyed.
Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey was born in Bradgate in 1537, to the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk. She became Queen in 1553, but only reigned for 9 days, until she was imprisoned andthen executed in 1554. The ruins of her family home, Bradgate House, can be seen just outside Leicester at Bradgate Park.
The world famous pioneer of tourism lived in Leicester for over 50 years. He founded the modern travel industry here, when he organised the first public excursion by train from Leicester to Loughborough in 1841.
Born in 1770, Daniel Lambert is a famous local figure, renowned for his size and weight. He weighed a colossal 52 stone 11Ibs and measured a staggering 9ft 4 inches around his waist! Examples of some of his clothes can be seen at Leicester’s Newarke Houses Museum.
Simon De Montfort
This former Earl of Leicester was the founder of what is now England’s parliamentary system. The model parliament was held in Leicester three times in the fifteenth century. Many places in Leicester are named after De Montfort, including the city’s main concert hall and one of its universities.
Leicestershire is home to three highly successful and well respected universities. Two of these are located in the city itself, with a further one just outside of it in the nearby town of Loughborough. Loughborough ranks particularly highly for engineering and technologyand is noted for its sports-related courses and achievements. It has graduated a number of world-class athletes including Paula Radcliffe and Lord Coe, and during the summer Olympics of London 2012 the university was chosen as a base by both the Great Britain teamand the Japanese team. To find out more about the university please click here.
The University of Leicester has established itself as a leading research-led university and is the only university ever to have won a Times Higher Education award in seven consecutive years. The university has consistently ranked among the top 15 universities in the United Kingdom. The University is held in high regard for the quality of its teaching.19 subject areas have been graded as “Excellent” by the Quality Assurance Agency – including 14 successive scores of 22 points or above stretching back to 1998, six of which were maximum scores. It has a strong reputation in Science, Physics, Engineering, and its Medical school has consistently ranked highly.
Leicestershire’s De Montfort University, taking its name from one of its most famous residents has developed and grown to be another leading light in education. The university caters for approximately 27,000 full and part-time students with dedicated faculties for Art, Law, Technology and Life Sciences.
Leicestershire has a long, successful history of sporting achievements, spanning a wide range of professional sports. Be that football, rugby or its cricket side.
The early years of the 18th century show that cricket arrived in Leicestershire from its birthplace in Kent, Sussex and Surrey, and in 1877, the Leicestershire Cricket Ground Co Ltd purchased 16 acres of land and laid out the Grace Road ground which was opened for cricket in 1878, at the present day this is where the team continues to play.
Since the purchase of Grace Road, the ground has been steadily developed as a first class venue. A new pavilion with offices, changing rooms and Committee room was erected, followed by the Sponsors Suites and the Fox Bar. New entrance gates and hundreds of trees, shrubs and roses now complete the picture.
The 1990s saw Leicestershire enjoy another highly successful period, winning the County Championship twice in the space of three years, 1996 and 1998. The Club also reached two other Lord’s finals in that period, finishing as runners-up in the 1992 NatWest Trophy and the 1998 Benson and Hedges Cup, a position which was also achieved in the 1994 County Championship and the 2001 Sunday League competition. More recently, Leicestershire have emerged as the most successful county in the exciting new form of Twenty20 Cup cricket, reaching each of the first four Finals Days and lifting the trophy twice in three years, firstly at Edgbaston in 2004 and then Trent Bridge in 2006.
The ground has continued to undergo change with the creation of the Indoor Cricket School and Media Centre while the outdoor net area is considered to be one of the best in English county cricket. Leicestershire also continue to produce locally-born players, many of which have gone on to earn England call ups.
For more information related to the Leicestershire County Cricket Club please visit: http://www.leicestershireccc.co.uk/lc/Home.
Leicestershire is also home to it’s rugby union side, the Leicester Tigers. The best-supported and most successful club in English rugby, Leicester Tigers occupy an enviable position in the game both at home and abroad. Founded in 1880, Leicester Football Club, or Leicester Tigers as they are more commonly known, have gone on to become one of the most well-known rugby clubs in the world.
They are a record 10 times English champions and have also appeared in a record nine successive Premiership finals, from 2005–2013. The Tigers have never finished a league season below 6th position, and are one of only four teams never to have been relegated from the top division. The Tigers are also the only English side to have qualified to play in every Heineken Cup, and are also the most successful English side in Europe, being crowned champions in 2001 and 2002 and also losing finalists in 1997, 2007 and 2009.
Leicester City FC
Leicester City Football Club also known as the Foxes, is an English professional football club based at the King Power Stadium in Leicester. They play in the Premier League, having been promoted as champions of the Football League Championship in 2013–14. This signalled a return to the top flight of English football after a decade away.
The club was founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse F.C., playing on a field near Fosse Road. They moved to Filbert Street in 1891, were elected to the Football League in 1894 and adopted the name Leicester City in 1919. They moved to the nearby Walkers Stadium in 2002, which was renamed the King Power Stadium after a change of ownership in 2011.
Leicester won the 2015–16 Premier League, their first top-level football championship. By some measures it was the greatest sporting upset ever: multiple bookmakers had never paid out at such long odds for any sport.