street art and space

Street art and space

Leicester is famed for its history, but there’s lots of ways to experience modern and contemporary Leicester.  

We’re home to the National Space Centre and we also lead the way in showcasing street art and urban artists, rivalling the likes of Bristol.

Day 1 

Start off with an early morning walk along Leicester’s river and canal, just head to the Canal and River Trust website and find their street art trail. You can follow it along the Grand Union Canal, and maybe catch some early morning sun, which really makes the art pop. 

Delicious treats at Bitsy's Emporium of Awesomeness

The trail will lead you to Frog Island, where you can find Bitsy’s Emporium of Awesomeness, part of The Mill, which is also home to Graffwerk, the home of street of art in Leicester. Check out the supplies and guides to Leicester’s scene while you sup on a coffee and try one of the delicious cakes. If you’re feeling hungry then try one of their monumental cheese toasties. Then you can head along the canal or through Frog Island to get to the city. 

Spectacular Street Art at LCB Depot (City Centre)
Now if you didn’t have one of the toasties, you might still be feeling hungry so pop into St Martin’s Square where you can try Thai at Giggling Squid, the small plates on the lunch menu at Frame or pick up a pizza at Pai. Or nearby, The Knight and Garter offers amazing meals and bar snacks (plus has a cool restaurant area hidden behind a bookcase!)

Bouldering galore at Social Climbing 

For your afternoon activity, there are loads of great attractions where you can try something new. Bowling, axe throwing and Leicester’s first virtual escape room are the order of the day at East Street Lanes, bouldering at Social Climbing is suitable for all skill levels or putt around the jungle at Treetop Adventure Golf. Whichever you choose, you’ll be sure to have worked off your lunch, so it’s time to find somewhere to eat and drink. 

Leicester’s beer gardens have been given a new lease of life by the Art on Tap project, so download the free LoyalFree app and check out the trail on there to explore these awesome artworks in the gardens of a range of city pubs. For your evening meal, go Argentinian at Sonrisa with their delicious small plates or choose a Mexican meal at Bodega! 

To finish the evening it’s time for some cocktails. There are loads of cool bars around the St Martin’s area. Try the creations at the Bottle Garden, sample classic cocktails for just £6 from 4-7pm at 33 Cank Street, or experience the finest range of gin in the city at 45 West.

Your options for sleeping are as varied as the city itself. The Gresham Aparthotel is in a Grade II listed building with boutique apartments available. Novotel is a centrally located modern hotel and is the place of choice for visiting sports teams, or there’s the slightly more affordable option of the Travelodge, which is right in the centre of the city.  

See the evening off with a cocktail!

Day 2

Just a short bus journey from the city centre (you can also walk along the canals or up through the beautiful Abbey Park), the Space Centre is the UK’s leading space-related visitor attraction and you will be able to explore the solar system and galaxy as you work your way round the different galleries and have your mind blown by the rockets inside the Space Centre’s iconic tower or the largest planetarium in the UK. It’s an out of this world experience.  

Plenty to see at the National Space Centre

On your way back to the city, you can explore Melton Road, otherwise known as the Golden Mile, due to the many jewellers serving the Indian community who made their homes there. You can check out the Sari stores and Indian sweet shops as you get a taste of the Asian subcontinent and Leicester’s diversity.  

Download the LoyalFree app and head back through the city, use the LoyalFree trails to explore the amazing street art in the Cultural Quarter. Then finish off with your trip with a few drinks in Leicester’s very own New York inspired ‘Flat-Iron’ the Exchange Building, which is home to two great bars – the aptly named Manhattan34 and the Exchange Bar. Sit with your drink and watch the world go by as day turns to evening.