Following recent government announcements, further Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are to be put in place in Leicester for at least two weeks from 30th June to ensure the safety of both residents and visitors.  Whilst we appreciate the disappointment this will cause, we will be opening up again as soon as it is safe to do so following all relevant Government guidelines

Outside the city a number of visitor attractions are open to welcome visitors to the area which we've collated into one place!


Know before you go

As things are moving and changing so fast it’s important to check individual websites for the latest updates on opening times and safety measures. Remember to observe social distancing!


Shopping

For a wide range of independent shops and high street names, our historic market towns are open for a bit of retail therapy. 

Alternatively visit the Staunton Harold Estate's Ferrers Gallery and Garden Centre near Ashby de la Zouch. The former stables block of Staunton Harold Hall now contains a fabulous array of artist studios where you can see items from leather bags to jewellery being made by crafts people and artists as well as an artisan baker, deli and tearoom.  Combine your shopping trip with a stroll around the parkland surrounding Staunton Harold Hall and take a picnic to enjoy by the lake.  

Another truly unique shopping experience is provided at the  charming Wistow Rural Centre which, as well as a range of independent boutique shops and delis, houses a garden centre in the 18th century walled garden of Wistow Hall.


Attractions

Twycross Zoo

Here's one for all you animal lovers out there - Twycross Zoo is now open. Visiting Twycross Zoo will be a little different due to the current circumstances, but the experience will be as unforgettable as ever. Bookings will have to be made online and in advance with timeslots and lots of extra safety measures in place including a one-way system There is even an app to download to help navigate your way around and avoid busy areas. The Twycross Zoo website has lots of helpful information about planning a visit

Tropical Birdland

Nestled on the northern outskirts of Desford village in Leicestershire, Tropical Birdland is a 6.5-acre sanctuary for Parrots and exotic birds. Housing over 250 feathery residents, every square inch has been devoted to giving a home to some of the most alluring and captivating species from around the world. Pre-booking essential at Tropical Birdland

Conkers – Opens 4th July

Visit this award-winning attraction in the heart of the National Forest.  Conkers has 120 acres of adventure with indoor and outdoor play and over 100 interactive exhibits – all just 10 minutes from J11 of the M42.  Pre-booking required and for more information to help plan your visit safely watch their Visit Conkers video


Canals & Waterways

Lets Get Lost Leicester

Paddle this way for a champagne picnic on the River Soar or a twilight paddle to get your fix of fun before the sunsets.  Let’s Get Lost Leicester are offering mini adventures on Leicestershire’s waterways from 27th June where groups of 6 can hire out kayaks or up to a group of 5 with a tour guide. Bookings can be done online via www.letsgetlost.uk or https://letsgetlost.uk/kayak-tours-and-trips

Foxton Locks

There are 70 miles of water and 8 rivers on our doorstep and of course the fabulous Foxton Locks in Harborough (the longest and steepest staircase locks in the UK). If you want to spend a day on the water you'll need to book in advance to go through the locks – there’s even social distancing for boats! Our waterways are open for leisure boating, paddlesports and self-cruise day boat hire. 

Union Wharf Market Harborough

Fancy being captain of your own boat for the day?  Boats are available to hire to  individual households so if you want to enjoy a day on the water, all you have to do is book online. Why not make a day of it and pack up a picnic with family? Boats leave from Market Harborough, and don't worry if you haven't done it before as no experience is required - there is even a short online preparation course to address training needs and help maintain social distancing.

Boutique Narrowboats - Narrow boating holidays from 6th July

Boutique Narrowboats offer the best way to explore the Leicestershire countryside after months indoors – on a floating retreat! Their luxury canal hire boats especially for couples are based at Union Wharf Marina in Market Harborough on the Grand Union Canal Leicester Line. They combine unique interiors and modern tech to cruise the waterways in boutique hotel style. Full training is given so no previous experience necessary.  To book visit Boutique Narrowboats


Forests and Woodlands

National Forest 

We've spent plenty of time indoors over the past few months, so its time for some outdoor fun. The woodlands and green spaces of the National Forest have plenty of trails and cycle routes to enjoy.

Unfortunately the fantastic Timber festival had to be cancelled this year but a new initiative has been set up - Sounds of the Forest.  Visit your local woodlands and forest and record one minute of the sounds your hear send it off (timberfestival.org). This will be created into a soundmap and released at the start of July when the Timber Festival would have taken place. Sit back, listen and imagine yourself in the heart of the National Forest.

Don't miss the Live 360° Treetop Tightrope - on Friday 3 July at 6.45pm Timber will be live streaming world-class funambulist Chris Bullzini perform a jaw-dropping high wire walk above the forest canopy. With a 360° camera on the tightrope, viewers will be able to experience the forest from above as if they are balancing up high in the air. The live stream will be available on the Timber Festival Facebook page - facebook.com/timberfestivaluk/

For more details visit Sounds of the Forest 

Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood

We've all missed the enchanting beauty of Bradgate Park during lockdown, but it’s now open again with social distancing and new car parking arrangements in place. See the ruins of the former home of nine-day queen Lady Jane Grey or watch the herds of deer roam the historic parkland.  Visit the Bradgate website for more details.

Bosworth Battlefield Country Park

An opportunity to explore the historic site where King Richard III died in battle. Walk the 2km Battlefield Trail with panoramic views over the landscape and audio and visual information about the battle and surrounding area. Visit the Bosworth Battelfield website for more details.

Moira Furnace Country Park

This beautiful country park is home to one of Europe’s most historic iron-making blast furnaces on the banks of the Ashby Canal https://www.moirafurnace.org/park

Everards Meadows

Everards Meadows is now open with 70 acres of green space and meadows which are a haven for wildlife with birds and bug hotels.  You can cycle across the meadows and down along the Grand Union Canal into Leicester. Don't worry if you don't have a bike as you can hire them from Rutland Cycles who are now offering a limited service, and why not grab a coffee and slice of cake from Jenno's coffee house, open for takeaway.


Historic villages

Why not explore some of Leicestershire’s beautiful historic villages? 

Lutterworth, Market Bosworth, Woodhouse Eaves, Quorn, Mountsorrel and Rothley all have their own distinctive charm  - they're home to thatched cottages, ancient churches and graveyards, heritage buildings, war memorials and plenty more!


Walks

We might not be able to visit gyms to keep fit, so it looks like it's back to basics with walking. Put on your comfy shoes and head out to the great outdoors. 

Discover the Leicestershire Round, a 100 mile trek starting and finishing in Newtown Linford, with some shorter day routes too with lanes, bridleways, and canal towpaths that lead you through Foxton Locks and Bosworth Battlefield. 

For guidance always check the latest information online at leicester.gov.uk/coronavirus and you may also wish to follow the council’s social media accounts

Related

Bradgate Park
Parkland / Woodland Garden
Bradgate Country Park

Bradgate Park, renowned for its fine herds of deer, is the only remaining enclosed medieval deer park in the East Midlands and contains the oldest rocks in England.

Bosworth Battlefield
Heritage / Visitor Centre
Bosworth Battlefield

Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre is a colourful multi award winning interactive exhibition telling the story of the Battle of Bosworth

Sounds of the Forest
Virtual Event
national forest

Timber festival organisers have announced exciting audio, visual and digital activities to reflect the experience of being under the tree canopy for the weekend that the festival would have taken place in the National Forest.

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