day out in historic leicestershire

A day out in historic Leicester

Taking your time to discover and soak up the history of a place is the best way to really get to know a city, and Leicester is the perfect place to do that.  

With its compact city centre and historic core, you can really spend a little more time taking in Leicester’s 2,000 years of history. 

Start your day with a coffee at one of the unique cafés in Leicester’s Lanes. Café Mbriki, Café Dido or the Merchant of Venice all offer fantastic surroundings to plan your day. Check out the Leicester Heritage Panel Trail to discover where these informative panels are located. You can find it on the Visit Leicester website or pick up a booklet from the Visit Leicester Information Centre in the King Richard III Visitor Centre. 

The Visit Leicester Information Centre, located at the KRIII Visitor Centre

Your first port of call is Newarke Houses Museum near De Montfort University. Two of Leicester’s most historic houses are the home for this collection of social and local history, which also includes a fully recreated 1950s style street and displays of military artefacts from the Leicestershire Regiment. Newarke Houses is located in the middle of Leicester’s most historic area, the Newarke. When you leave the museum, turn right and right again to walk through ‘Ruperts Gateway’, part of the old castle precinct, and past St Mary de Castro Church, rumoured to be the place where Geoffrey Chaucer was married. 

The Historic Newarke 

Now head for one of the city’s most historic buildings, The Guildhall, located right next to Leicester Cathedral. The Guildhall was built in 1390 and has one of the country’s best-preserved timber-framed halls. Discover the stories behind this 14th century building which has been a town hall, performance venue, prison and much more. And if you time your visit right, there may be a free guided tour with one of their local experts! 

After this you’ll be ready for some lunch so make sure you’ve booked this, and head to another of Leicester’s oldest buildings in Wygston’s House. This is another timber-framed house which was built in the 15th century and is now home to a fantastic fine dining restaurant and bar. Or you could head to the city’s oldest pub The Globe, which has a great range of top quality pub food on offer 

Dynasty, Death and Discovery at KRIII Visitor Centre 

Once you’ve eaten, uncover the story of the Lost King who was discovered under a car park in Leicester 10 years ago! The story of Richard III’s life, death and rediscovery is told in full at the King Richard III Visitor Centre, from the historic context of the Wars of the Roses and the Battle of Bosworth, through to the dramatic discovery of his remains and the way that traditional archaeology and modern techniques came together to identify him. 

Once you have finished digging around Richard’s story, pop into one of the city’s many cafés for a light dinner. Chloe Gourmet is a lovely French café and patisserie on Cank Street, or you could choose a vegan café in the place where veganism started (yes, Leicester is the place where the term was coined, by Donald Watson back in the 1940s!) Prana café just opened on Horsefair Street and offers tasty plant-based food in stunning surroundings or there is the Donald Watson Vegan Bar on Granby Street. What better way to finish your historic day out?