Leicester is one of the UKs ten largest cities and represents the largest economy in the East Midlands region. It has a bustling and diverse atmosphere and recent regeneration (to the tune of £3bn) has made this cosmopolitan city even more exciting.
The £350 million Highcross Centre is retail heaven featuring a flagship John Lewis and other big name designer shops. There is also a stunning new Cinema, numerous cafes, restaurants and bars. Leicester also has independent retail emporiums, niche stores and boutiques providing charming retail environments.
Leicester houses Europe’s largest and oldest produce market, established over 700 years ago.The Golden Mile on Belgrave Road is the largest concentration of Indian jewellery shops outside India. The area is an Aladdin’s cave of spices, clothing, and fantastic food and drink.
Culture and the Arts
Leicester is famous for it’s diversity and offers an amazing chance to dive into many different cultural celebrations.
Leicester celebrates Diwali (the Festival of Light) with spectacular lights, stunning street parades and dazzling fireworks. It is attended by 35,000 people and is the largest celebration of the festival outside India.
The UK’s second biggest Caribbean Carnival takes place every August, with amazing food, colourful sights and a real party atmosphere.Leicester hosts a comedy festival, has a state of the art Curve theatre and the Phoenix Square is a brand new arthouse cinema complex . De Montfort Hall has a diverse range of shows, including mainstream gigs, jazz, comedy, musicals, opera and world music.
Leicester is a city passionate about sport. Leicester Tigers are one of Europe’s most successful rugby clubs .The Foxes, Leicester City Football Club, has a rich top flight heritage and impressively loyal (long suffering!) fans.
First Class cricket can be watched at Grace Road home of Leicestershire County Cricket Club who are also the most successful county in the exciting Twenty20 format. Then there are the Leicester Riders Basketball team, National Hunt and listed Flat Horse racing at Leicester Race course and over thirty five golf courses in the county.
Leicestershire is a wonderful county for those who like the great outdoors. On the doorstep are the National and Charnwood Forests Bradgate Park, Beacon Hill and Swithland Woods are all recommended.
Close by, Rutland Water is Western Europes largest man- made lake.
Other attractions in Leicestershire include Belvoir Castle near Melton Mowbray, the Great Central Steam Railway and the historic Bosworth Battlefield where King Richard III lost his life.
Leicester has a huge variety of bars, clubs and restaurants. The City Centre has mainstream bars and pubs as well as hidden gems off the beaten track.
Leicester’s cafes and restaurants have a wide choice of global cuisine that will satisfy food lovers everywhere. From Thai to Turkish and Greek to Afro-American, Leicester’s eateries have it covered. The Golden mile on Belgrave Road is also a must for curry lovers. A huge range of authentic Indian restaurants serve a mouth-watering variety of traditional Asian food. Leicester hasn’t won Curry Capital of the year for nothing!
Leicester is ideally located in the centre of England. Travelling to or from London and Birmingham takes about an hour, while East Midlands and Birmingham airports are also close by. With a direct line into the Eurostar terminal at St Pancras London, Paris and Brussels can be reached in just 5 hours, Nearer to home the Peak District, Nottingham, Warwick and Stratford Upon Avon are all close at hand.