Leicester - An Exciting, Diverse, and Welcoming City

Leicester has all the excitement and activities of a large city, but still keeps a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

Leicester is one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the UK with a varied city life to explore and enjoy.

Leicester is located right at the heart of the UK - making travel to other parts of the country easy. There are direct rail links to London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, and Cambridge. East Midlands International Airport is only a short distance away and there are bus and train connections from the airport to Leicester city centre.

With a population of around 500,000 Leicester is the tenth largest city in the UK. Leicester is also one of the oldest cities in the UK with a history stretching back some 2,000 years.


Leicester city centre has everything for the dedicated shopper from large department stores to independent boutiques.

Highcross shopping centre offers a huge range of stores, cafes, restaurants, and a twelve-screen cinema. Fosse Park has many larger retail outlet stores while for bargains and fresh produce, Leicester market is one of the UK's largest. Further afield Belgrave Road is at the heart of Leicester's south Asian community.

Close to the University is Queens Road which has a mix of independent shops, bars, and restaurants that are popular with students. For food shopping, there is a large supermarket about a ten minute walk from the main campus.

Food and Drink

Leicester has a huge number of cafes, resturants, bars, pubs, and clubs. The best advice is to go out and explore for yourself. With a multicultural population, you can find eateries serving pretty much any type of cuisine you can imagine - and as you might expect of a city with a large south Asian population, Leicester is well-known for its curry houses.

Learn more about food, drink, and nightlife in Leicester - see the Visit Leicester website.

There are also a number of places where you can eat on campus - serving everything from a light snack to a full meal:

  • Cafe Piazza, Charles Wilson Building
  • Chi, Charles Wilson Building
  • City Side Restaurant, Charles Wilson Building
  • delic!ous, Charles Wilson Building
  • Library Cafe, David Wilson Library
  • Planets Cafe, Rattray Building

Learn more about catering outlets on campus.

In addition, there are a number of places to eat operated by the Students' Union and located in the Percy Gee Building - including the 1923 Cafe and Bar, The Common Room, and a branch of Starbucks.

Learn more about Students' Union catering outlets.

Leisure and Sports

Leicester has been an important urban centre since Roman times.

The Jewry Wall Museum is built around the remains of the Roman bath house while nearby you will find Leicester Cathedral, the ornate Jain Temple, and the Leicester Guildhall which dates from the 1300s and is one of the country's best preserved timber-framed halls - it is also home to the Richard III Visitors' Centre.

The New Walk Museum and Gallery is close to the University and its dinosaur collection is always popular with children. Leicester is also home to the UK's National Space Centre.

The University has excellent sports and leisure facilities at the Danielle Brown Sports Centre and the Roger Bettles Sports Centre. These include swimming pools, gyms, saunas and steam rooms, tennis courts, badminton courts, squash courts, and outdoor pitches for football and rugby.

For those who prefer sport as a spectator, Leicester is home to one of the UK's top rugby union clubs - the Leicester Tigers - as well as Leicester City Football Club and Leicestershire County Cricket Club.


Leicester has undergone a cultural renaissance in the last ten years.

The opening of the state-of-the-art Curve theatre has brought national theatre productions and other performances to the city as well as providing a new home for local and regional performance groups. Nearby Phoenix Square is a base for alternative arts including cinema and new media performances.

Embrace Arts is the University's own multi-use inclusive arts centre and offers a year-round programme of music, dance, drama, and workshops.

Leicester also hosts a number of festivals each year, including the Diwali celebrations which attract over 35,000 people and are the largest outside India.

Parks and Open Spaces

Despite its size, Leicester is a remarkably green city.

There are a huge number of parks and open spaces throughout the city and these are popular all year round with walkers, joggers, and families. The surrounding countryside is also within easy reach with local sights including Charnwood Forest, Foxton Locks, and Rutland Water.

For those looking for some serenity, the University Botanic Gardens are a green oasis in Oadby in the suburbs of Leicester.

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