This year English Tourism Week is all about celebrating everything amazing about our places, and Leicestershire is full of fantastic places to visit, a whole host of history, and some incredible people who have put the region on the map. We look at everything we have to offer below (disclaimer: this is by no means everything, there’s so much more to discover)

Celebrating amazing history

In Leicester and Leicestershire we’re proud to be able to celebrate 2,000 years of visible history, from the tallest Roman wall still standing through to the National Space Centre. Leicester itself made history in 2012 when the remains of King Richard III were discovered under a car park in the city, but the region as a whole has long been known as the place where the course of English history changed when Henry Tudor defeated Richard at the Battle of Bosworth Field and ended the Plantagenet dynasty.

English history can be traced elsewhere in the county as in Kibworth Beauchamp, which was the subject of a BBC documentary where historian Michael Wood told the Story of England through the buildings and people of these historic villages. Or you can go back even further and explore the half billion year old landscapes of the Charnwood Forest. These were where a young David Attenborough first went fossil hunting and discovered his passion for the natural world. Even today they inspire the imagination of people both young and old.

Celebrating amazing businesses

Leicester is famous for its entrepreneurial spirit, being named the most entrepreneurial city in the UK and this is backed up by the number of local and independent businesses around the city and county. Leicester is packed full of amazing restaurants set up by our diverse population, the Golden Mile is full of incredible Indian restaurants, sweet and sari shops, and the jewellery shops which have given the area its nickname.

Out in the county, there are some fantastic retailers whose creativity is on full display. At the Staunton Harold Estate, the Ferrers Centre for Arts and Crafts hosts artists, blacksmiths, craftspeople and a deli alongside a gorgeous garden centre. Closer to the city at Stoughton Grange, a brand new farm shop, glamping site, distillery and farm park has sprung up around on the site of the Cow and Plough pub. And right next to Belvoir Castle, the Engine Yard is a retail village packed with local independent businesses, artisan shops, a café and bar and much more. The Village in Market Harborough takes a sustainable approach to shopping with hand made and recycled products to the fore alongside locally made and grown food, not to mention a fantastic socially conscious approach to reusing food ‘waste’.

Celebrating amazing experiences

Leicester and Leicestershire are packed full of amazing attractions for you to explore and experience. Leicester is becoming known as the UK’s Space City, thanks to the expertise of the University of Leicester and the National Space Centre, the UK’s only dedicated space attraction. Out in the county, Twycross Zoo is the only place in the country you can see all four great apes alongside a menagerie of other animals. The county also boasts two heritage railway lines, The Great Central Railway, which is the only two-line heritage railway where steam trains can pass at speed, and the Battlefield Line, which runs through Bosworth and has royal and military connections. 

If you’re looking for a unique active escape then Leicestershire is absolutely full of them. From adrenaline fuelled activities including sky diving, tank driving or gliding to the UK’s National Dive Centre where you can scuba dive in a converted quarry fed by the clearest spring water. If you want to try out a new sport or explore the county on bike then there are loads of chances, from open water swimming to footgolf and some great golfing getaways, not to mention watersports on the county’s 70 miles of rivers and canals. And for families there are some brilliant adventure golf courses, a countryside maze that’s 20 times bigger than Hampton Court’s famous maze, bowling, bouldering and an official Ninja Warrior park.

Celebrating amazing memories

As befits a place with such a storied history, we love to celebrate the stories of Leicester. Our Heritage panels and the accompanying Story of Leicester website tell the story of our city through its people, buildings, communities and history. Everything from former factories to historical neighbourhoods, sports teams and events. In Leicester Museum, the Leicester Stories permanent gallery tells the story of our city through its people and artefacts. The whole gallery is filled with donated items, footage of the city’s diverse communities, poetry and writings by local residents and how they have shaped the evolution of the city.

Of course we all have our favourite memories of the city, whether it’s one of the many royal visits we’ve been privileged to received, the reburial of King Richard III, and of course the momentous occasion of little Leicester City winning the Premier League, which saw hundreds of thousands of people flood into the city’s streets to celebrate this 5000-1 miracle!

Celebrating amazing people

There are so many famous names connected with Leicester over the centuries, from the likes of Richard III, Thomas Wolsey whose statue stands in Abbey Park, Thomas Cook who led the first package trip from Leicester in the 1800s and suffragette Alice Hawkins. That’s not to mention more modern names like playwright Joe Orton, sportspeople like Gary Lineker and Emile Heskey, and of course the Attenborough family! David and Richard Attenborough grew up on the University of Leicester campus, where their father was Vice-Chancellor, and their formative experiences all took place in Leicester and Leicestershire. David has often talked about how the halls of Leicester Museum and the woodlands of Charnwood inspired him as a young naturalist.

Celebrating amazing places to stay

From top boutique hotels to amazing B&Bs and country house hotels, Leicestershire is full of amazing places to stay. In the city, St Martins Lodge is a stylishly renovated Grade II listed Georgian building offering fantastic views of Leicester Cathedral. The iconic former Fenwick department store was fully renovated to create The Gresham, Leicester’s newest Aparthotel. \\Victorian elegance abounds at the Mercure Grand Hotel. The impressive façade opens to the sweeping staircase, ornate ballroom and four-star rooms. And Leicester’s newest addition, Hotel Brooklyn offers a taste of Manhattan, right next to Leicester Tigers Welford Road stadium.

If you want to escape to the country, do it in style with luxury glamping location Mallory Meadows. Right in the heart of the National Forest, Hastings Retreat offers a complex of barn conversions alongside a three acre fishing and recreation lake for exclusive use by guests. The idyllic Red Barn near Melton Mowbray is part of a conservation village on the edge of the Vale of Belvoir and is the perfect place for a family getaway. Dandelion Hideaway offer award-winning glamping in their six secluded canvas cottages. For something a bit different, explore Leicestershire’s 70 miles of waterways by narrowboat with Luxury Canal Boat Hire. Leicestershire has no shortage of bed and breakfast properties, including No 3 B&B in Market Bosworth which offers modern interiors in a period property, or the award winning Horseshoe Cottage Farm in Cropston 




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