golden mile figures with wheel in background on diwali

The Golden Mile

About

The Golden Mile

This is a place where Leicester’s famed diversity shines for all to see. Filled with fantastic restaurants, jewellers and clothing shops, the Golden Mile is also home to the largest Diwali celebrations outside Asia. 

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Visitor Details

Key Information

Golden Mile, Melton Road, Leicester, LE4 6PN

Opening Times

Season (1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2021)

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  • Uncover the story - There’s an area just outside Leicester city centre, where, to misquote a well-known phrase, all that glitters is gold. Called the Golden Mile, visitors should prepare to be dazzled. <hr> A shining example of Victorian industry, Belgrave Road was home to famous names including hosiery giant Wolsey and British United Shoe Machinery Company, which became the world’s largest supplier of shoe-making products.<hr> Over time, as factories closed or moved out, the area went into decline but a post-war labour shortage and an invitation to Commonwealth citizens to start a new life in Britain soon changed that. Vacant homes and premises beckoned, and workers from India and Pakistan, followed by Uganda, when Asians were deported by Idi Amin, settled in. <hr> This new population created communities, opened businesses, and made the area shine once more as the ‘Golden Mile’ – a name thought to refer to the road’s plentiful gem-laden jewellery shops dripping in 22ct Indian gold. <hr> More an Indian bazaar than an urban street, the scent of incense drifts from the doorways of Punjabi suit shops and saree emporiums, where stop-you-in-your-tracks displays of flowing garments decorated with shimmering beads and crystals are Instagram-ready.<hr> Other shining stars are the Golden Mile’s restaurants, many here since the 1970s, when their founders fled East Africa, and proudly shouting about their ‘pure vegetarian’ cuisine and onsite sweet marts. If you don’t know your halwa from your chakri, friendly advice is always on hand, and that goes for the Indian grocers too, where stalls overflow with a mind-boggling array of exotic herbs, spices, fruit and veg.<hr> Visit at Diwali and you’ll be joining the biggest celebration outside India. The Festival of Lights is huge here, and between October and November, the stunning jewels and ornate sarees take a back seat, as the entire road is illuminated and spectacular fireworks dazzle the crowds that flock here in their thousands.

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