How on earth is it nearly 2023 already? It only seems like yesterday that we were ringing in the New Year and looking forward to what 2022 had to offer and now here we are. It has been a crazy year, with so much happening in our city and county and we’ve put together this ultimate month-by-month guide to the year that has just passed. So strap in and enjoy this bumper run-down of our year (up to June!).


January

New beginnings and new discoveries were the order of the day in January as BBC documentary Digging for Britain looked at the work of University of Leicester academics as they uncovered an incredible Roman mosaic, finds from an Anglo Saxon cemetary, and looks at some of the city and county’s other incredible discoveries. You can still watch it on the BBC website.

The King Richard III Visitor Centre welcomed some new additions as Leicester Cathedral closed for renovations. The King’s reinterment pall and crown were moved into the centre to go on display while the Cathedral is being worked on.


February

On Valentine’s Day Twycross Zoo welcomed a very special new arrival. A baby Bonobo, called Upendi, which is Swahili for love. Bonobos are the animals that are closest genetically to humans, and Twycross Zoo is one of the few places in the UK that you can see them!

February is when the Leicester Comedy Festival comes to town and audiences cheered, clapped and split their sides as hundreds of shows took place over two weeks in February. Make sure you check out the line-up for 2023’s 30th anniversary Festival!

We also looked into the real-life history behind Sherlock Holmes. Detective ‘Tanky’ Smith was famed for his skills of disguise and deduction and was one of the inspirations for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fiction sleuth. Read the blog here.


March

The 8th March is International Women’s Day and this year we were proud to highlight Leicester’s involvement with the suffragette movement, which is commemorated with this statue of Alice Hawkins in Green Dragon Square

As we waited for the clocks to go forward again, Light Up Leicester brought a much need burst of colour and excitement to the city centre with stunning installations from these giant figures to rings of light and firebursts around Town Hall Square!

English Tourism Week was in March and gave us the chance to showcase many of the fantastic things we have to offer here in Leicestershire. It also saw the Leicestershire Tourism Awards take place. Delayed due to the COVID pandemic, the awards celebrated the incredible businesses and organisations which help to put Leicestershire on the map. Read more and find out who won here.


April

This month saw Twycross Zoo open a brand new attraction for the kids! Inspired by Julia Donaldson’s much loved books, Gruffalo Land allows families to explore the animals and landscapes which are featured in the books, with photo opportunities, special shows and much more!

April also saw the unveiling of a new statue outside Leicester City’s King Power stadium pay tribute to their late Chairman Khun Vichai, whose leadership and investment spearheaded the Foxes upturn in form and runs to the Premier League title and FA Cup.

Hopping over to Melton for a minute, in April the Stockyard was launched. Right next to the livestock market, the Stockyard is a home for local producers of food and drink including the award winning Round Corner Brewery, Brentingby gin and many more and also hosts their regular festivals from Piefest to the East Midlands Food and Drink Festival.


May

The Sikh festival of Vaisakhi took place in May, and with this being the first to allow crowds since before COVID, more than 10,000 people takes to the streets for the parade, including these awesome guys from the Sikh Motorcycle Club.

The Tour de moon Festival bought exhibitions, music and the strangest of sculptures to the city in May, with this giant squid being one of the more sensible. But we loved it all the same! Find out more about what the festival was all about here.

Leicester Riders made it a magnificent May as they secured a fifth play-off title and a treble for the season, also taking home the BBL Championship and the BBL Cup!

The end of May saw the return of the Bring the Paint festival where street artists from around the world came to Leicester to brighten up our surroundings. There were loads of amazing new artworks going up across the city, including this one of Shaun the Sheep. We absolutely love the creativity and the way these artworks transform our surroundings. Discover Leicester’s spectacular Street Art here.


June

Leicester Museum and Art Gallery launched a new exhibit which tells the story of Leicester through its people featuring donations and contributions from local residents, including this amazing painting of some of our local landmarks. How many can you spot?

During June we celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and our local attractions joined, with Wistow Maze shaping their huge sunflower and corn maze into a huge Crown. It was a fabulously royal way to get lost in the Leicestershire countryside!

This was the month we launched our new Fitcation campaign. Aimed at highlighting active escapes across the country, we brought local businesses including Ninja Warrior, Axeler8 and East Street Lanes to a scorching Stoney Cove Diving Centre (which felt a little more like the French riviera). Look at all the ways you can take a Fitcation in Leicester and Leicestershire on our website.

The month concluded with Leicester Tigers getting back to where they belong, as English rugby’s Premiership champions with the final at Twickenham going right to the final minute as returning hero Freddie Burns kicked a last minute drop goal to seal victory and then took a tour of Leicestershire with the trophy! But it was safely back at Welford Road the next week.

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