How is it nearly 2024 already? This year seems to have absolutely whizzed by, and with the amount of things happening this year, it’s no surprise. We’ve had festivals, massive gigs, new campaigns and so much more, so in time honoured tradition we’re going to run down the ‘greatest hits’ of the past year in two posts. This first one focuses on the first half of the year, from January to June!


Leicestershire was on the TV quite a bit in January, with a new BBC Show Make It At Market being filmed at the beautiful National Trust property (and one of our Uncover The Story stars) Stoneywell Cottage. Stoneywell was inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, which is fitting for a show all about creativity and crafting. Watch it here.

The BBC were also digging into our history as an episode of Digging For Britain came to the county to uncover some amazing archaeological projects including remaking a Roman shield that was discovered on the site of Everards Meadows. Watch it here.

ITV’s political drama Stonehouse aired in January, and did you know that part of it was filmed in Leicester's Town Hall? The courtroom to be exact! You can still watch it on the ITV Player.

The Phoenix Cinema reopened after a renovation project which saw it double its capacity to four screens, add a fantastic restaurant and bar area and expand its exhibition space. More space for great films from across the world! Find out more here.


The beautiful Spectacle of Light came to Belvoir Castle this month and we took a walk round it with Visit Leicester doggie mascot Rox! It was a truly stunning experience. Find out more about Belvoir here.

February is comedy month in Leicester as the Leicester Comedy Festival came to town. This year was the 30th anniversary of the Festival and it was bigger and better than ever before. It’s the biggest dedicated comedy festival in Europe and continues to bring the very best comedians and many laughs to our city! Tickets for 2024 are on sale now, check out our blog here.

We’ve always said that you can find the very best sunsets in Leicester and in February we were treated to something very special with this absolutely stunning display. There were so many pics to share, but we think that this one of the Space Centre sums it up perfectly.

We also had it confirmed that Leicestershire is officially at the heart of England. The BBC reported that the exact centre of our country is right here in our county. We always knew we were special.


What did we say about being special? In March a Daily Mail article reported that two of the 50 coolest places in the UK are here in Leicestershire. Clarendon Park and Market Harborough both made the cut thanks to the number of independent businesses, range of cultural events, and 'Instagrammability'.

We got a late blanketing of snow in march, as an icy blast swept across the region. Victoria Park was absolutely beautiful in the deep snow and Visit Leicester mascot Rox was living his best life!

Brockleby’s Pies were crowned the UK Supreme Champion at the British Pie Awards which were held in Melton in March. The steak, ale and stilton cheese pie named Moo-and-Blue picked up the top award. See all the winners here.

 Staying in Melton, March saw us launch our brand new campaign Taste The Place, which aims to highlight the very best food, drink, local producers and food stories from Leicester and Leicestershire. We packed out the Stockyard with some awesome food and drink businesses plus local MP Alicia Kearns, who helped us to launch the campaign.


This month started with a new way to travel and get around Leicester. The Hop bus launched at the start of the month and allows visitors to travel for free around the city every 10 minutes. Its distinctive ‘Ribbit’ has become part of our city’s soundscape!

April also saw National Samosa Week, and we were proud to partner up with Romail Gulzaar and the Leicestershire Curry Awards to let you know some of the very best places to get this amazingly tasty treat!

"Leicester never does anything for St George's Day..." We hear this a lot and it couldn’t be less true. Leicester’s Orton Square was packed with fun family activities for our national day including Morris dancing, a real life (well almost) dragon and loads more!

Along with Diwali, Leicester has one of the biggest Vaisakhi celebrations around! Tens of thousands of people packed out the city centre at the end of April, with the Sikh Motorcycle Club (we won’t tell them we affectionately call them ‘Sikhs of Anarchy’) providing an honour guard for the parade.


One of our favourite local producers, Round Corner Brewery won big at this year’s European Beer Challenge awards, taking home seven medals, including five golds for their frankly awesome beers. The Melton-based brewery are based at the Stockyard and you can find their brews in shops and delis around the region.

We launched our new bookability service on the Visit Leicester website, meaning that you can check availability in hotels and book your room directly from our site! We took Visit Leicester mascot Rox along to check out one of the hotels on our list, and he gave it all four paws! Check availability and book here!

It was a right Royal month in May as the nation celebrated the Coronation of King Charles III and we obviously got in on the action, sharing some pics of his previous visits to the region, like the time when he tried genuine Melton Mowbray Pork Pies

We also welcomed the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Edward to the King Richard III Visitor Centre where he was given a tour of the museum, saw the famous grave site and was given an update on renovations of Leicester’s historic cathedral.

We also celebrated the 60th birthday of Twycross Zoo. One of our favourite Leicestershire the zoo was set up by two sisters and six decades later it continues to honour their legacy of conservation and care our planet. Check out Twycross Zoo’s story here.


Kicking off a musical month with one of the biggest hits of the summer, the Punk Rage and Revolution exhibition at Leicester Museum was a love story to the late 70s and the launch event saw punk icon Lora Logic from X Ray Spex cut the tartan ribbon to get the party started!

There was wall to wall glorious weather for the Riverside Festival, which saw thousands of people come to Leicester’s River Soar for a colourful riot of fun, boats and family friendly activities. We loved meeting so many of you to talk about our Riverside trails and Fitcation campaign!

An impromptu gig by Leicester’s favourite sons Easylife brought Clarendon Park to a standstill as they debuted a new song and performed a small acoustic set for a crowd of lucky fans in one of the “50 Coolest Places in the UK” (copyright Daily Mail!)

Rounding out this musical month was the spectacular Download Festival, featuring not one but two headline sets from the mighty Metallica! Download is the second largest festival in the UK and it is right here in leafy North West Leicestershire! Discover the story of Leicestershire’s “Spiritual Home of Heavy Metal” here.

One final anniversary to celebrate in June with the Great Central Railway marking 50 years since their opening. They held a weekend spectacular with loads of stream trains, displays and a 50-carriage train to mark the occasion! Find out more about the Great Central Railway on our site.




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