June 27, 2017

Leicester is not just good at footie – 9 reasons to visit the home of the champions

FOR THE AVID EXPLORER OF HISTORY AND HERITAGE

1. The King in the car park

After the unexpected discovery of King Richard III’s long-lost remains underneath a car park in Leicester, the City of Leicester opened the King Richard III Visitor Centre. Here, visitors can learn about the archaeological process behind the fascinating discovery and follow the painstaking story that lead to the conclusion that England’s medieval king had finally been found. Immerse yourself in the history of King Richard’s rise to power, and the factors that contributed to his downfall. Highlights to look out for include an exhibition showcasing the reconstruction of Richard, a replica of his skeleton using 3D printing, and interactive displays where you can match up DNA and learn about the process of identifying the skeletal remains. www.kriii.com

leicester

2. Discover Leicester’s religious heritage

Leicester Cathedral is situated in the heart of the city, and was built on the site of a Roman temple dedicated to St Martin of Tours between the 13th and 15th centuries and became Leicester Cathedral in 1927 after the Diocese of Leicester was re-established. Explore its beautiful naves, as well as the Chancel and Sanctuary, not forgetting the Cathedral Gardens. Keep an eye out for The Great East Window and The Bishop’s Throne, and make sure to check out the story behind the Pancake Bell. http://leicestercathedral.org/about-us/explore-the-cathedral

3. Step back in time and enjoy some theatre

Leicester is lucky enough to have one of the best preserved timber-framed halls in the country, which dates back 600 years. Built in 1390, the hall is now open to the public as a museum where displays showcase the rich heritage of the building. Through objects, activities and digital technology visitors can walk the streets of Medieval Leicester. As an added bonus, the guildhall is now a performance venue that regularly attracts acts from across the country. Catch one of their regular events if you’re a lover of comedy, music or theatre. www.leicester.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/museums-and-galleries/our-venues/guildhall

4. Take a trip out of this world

From football stars to actual stars – explore the National Space Centre, located on Exploration Drive in Leicester. Discover its six galleries, including the iconic Rocket Tower, and Britain’s largest domed planetarium, crammed with space suits, rockets, satellites and meteorites. Learn about the history of space exploration, and the dizzying heights of future space travel, meanwhile explore everything from our solar system’s planets to the farthest reaches of the universe. http://spacecentre.co.uk

FOR THE SHOPPER AND SELF-ACCLAIMED FOODIE

5. Discover Belgrave Road, Golden Mile

Belgrave Road, donned the ‘Golden Mile’, is renowned for its authentic Indian restaurants and is an ‘Aladdin’s cave of spices, clothing and interesting gifts’, and boasts the largest concentration of Indian jewellery shops outside India. If tasting traditional cuisine is on the priority list, then the abundance of sweetmart shops, chaat houses and lassi bars are definitely worth a visit. www.visitleicester.info/welcome-to-leicester/connecting-leicester/streetscape-improvements/the-golden-mile/

6. Take part in the ultimate gin experience

Nestled in the majestic Charnwood Forest just outside the village of Nanpantan in Leicestershire is the 45 Distillery. Take part in the 45 Gin School Experience, a tour of the working distillery where you can gain a unique insight into the world of the master distiller. Start your journey towards becoming a master distiller by choosing and weighing your own botanicals that make up the flavours of the spirit, before distilling and finally bottling your own personal blend. www.45ginschool.com

7. Explore Britain’s largest cheese fair

The annual Artisan Cheese Fair, hosted by Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire,is Britain’s largest cheese fair, with 2015 seeing more than 8,000 cheese-lovers and more than 50 cheesemakers attend. Visitors can learn about cheese in a daily program of talks, demonstrations and tastings given by industry experts. There is plenty of other local produce to enjoy including pies, wine, cakes, cider, champagne and Melton Mowbray Pork Pies.

www.artisancheesefair.co.uk

8. Speaking of Pork Pies…

The British classic is not one to be forgotten when visiting Leicester. Visit the quintessentially English market town, which owes its fame to the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie and Stilton Cheese. See the Melton Mowbray Food Festival every October, where more than 150 exhibitors will be showcasing their produce. Visitors can also sample a range of artisan cheeses, steamed puddings, chocolate kebabs, gourmet British game, locally-brewed ales and much more.www.goleicestershire.com/events/melton-mowbray-food-festival.aspx

AND FOR THOSE WHO LOVE TO ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRYSIDE

9. For glorious countryside go to Bradgate Park

First enclosed as a deer park around 800 years ago, the 830 acres of rugged and wild parkland are a breath of fresh air outside of the city. Discover rocky outcrops, gnarled oak trees that are more than 500 years old, as well as Swithland Wood, designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the ancient wood’s abundance of plant and animal species that call it home. There are regular events hosted by Bradgate Park, where you can learn about everything from the history and geology of the protected land, to horse logging and guided walks. www.bradgatepark.org

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