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Things to do in Leicester, Leicestershire

Clocktower in Leicester City Centre - a memorial to four famous sons of Leicester
Clock Tower ©Shutterstock /Tadeusz Ibrom

Leicester is one of the few cities in England that can trace its growth from the Iron Age.

In Leicester you can travel through the ages, and learn about the history of the city in its excellent Museums, and by taking an Old Town Heritage Trail available from the Tourist Information Centre.

You can come right up to date with a true 'Big City' shopping experience.

Recognised as one of the country's leading centres for retail, you'll be spoilt for choice.

Leicester's multi-cultural population has created a unique blend of the past and the vibrant present day, giving Leicester a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Leicester was built on the Roman settlement known as Ratae Coritanorum.

Today you can still see evidence of the Roman occupation at the Jewry Wall; this is the site of the largest Roman bath to be found in England.

Ruins of Bradgate House - birthplace of Lady Jane Grey - in Charnwood Forest, Leicester
Bradgate House ©Shutterstock /Robbie Taylor

Visit the Jewry Wall and Archaeology Museum, which shows Leicester's history from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages and has some fine Roman relics, including the famous Peacock mosaic pavement.

Leicester was the home of Simon de Montfort first Earl of Leicester, 'father of English Parliament'.

Simon de Montfort led the famous revolt against Henry III, and forced Henry to grant the first English Parliament in 1265.

With the growth of industry, Leicester grew to become the centre of the hosiery trade, expanding into the manufacture of knitwear, footwear and engineering in the 19th century.

Engineering is still important in the city, which is home to the School of Engineering at Leicester University.

Places of interest to visit

St. Martin's Cathedral - An 11th century church with much restoration, St. Martin's was elevated to the status of Cathedral in 1926.

The Castle Mound - The ruins of Leicester Castle and the lovely Castle Gardens.

Old John In Bradgate Park Leicestershire.
Old John ©Shutterstock /Robbie Taylor

Newarke Houses - Two Jacobean houses, now a Museum, with the social history of Leicester from the 16th century to the present day.

Belgrave Hall and Gardens - A delightful Queen Anne house dating from 1709. The rooms reflect Victorian cosiness and the more elegant Edwardian era.

The Guildhall - A unique Grade I listed medieval building of national importance, incorporating the Mayor's parlour, civic murals, old town library and 19th century cells.

Abbey Pumping Station - Historic 1891 pumping station with massive steam engines, and exhibitions.

Leicester's Golden Mile - Come right up to date with a walk through the Unique Asian Quarter, which offers an unrivalled display of foods, fashion, jewellery, cooking ingredients and utensils.

Leicester is famous for its Markets:

Leicester Market Centre

The famous food hall offers meat, poultry and dairy produce as well as fresh fish from all over the world. This indoor market also has another four floors selling a wide range of other commodities. Open - Tuesday-Saturday 7.30am-6pm.

Leicester Retail Market

The largest and finest of its type in Europe with a tradition for quality and service stretching back 700 years. Over 300 stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables and a wide cross-section of other goods.

Traditional Leicester brick Terraced Houses
Traditional Terraces ©Shutterstock /Story

Although open air, this market in the heart of Leicester's shopping centre is completely sheltered from the elements by a bright new roof. Open - Monday-Saturday 7am-6pm.

Wigston Framework Knitters Museum - Four miles south of Leicester is the 18th century knitter's house and workshop, with original frames. Hands on, use the Griswold, knit on the frame. Enjoy the Victorian cottage garden.

When you take a well-earned refreshment break, you'll be spoiled for choice of food from around the world.

Leicester is renowned for its authentic Indian Restaurants, and people come to the city especially to enjoy true Indian food, at one of the specialist Restaurants on the Belgrave Road.

The 'Big City' experience really comes to life in the evening. From major concerts at the renowned De Montfort Hall, to nationally respected Haymarket Theatre, your complete day out might just last a bit longer than you planned.

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