10 Fascinating And Historic Things To Do In Leicester, England

best things to do in leicester uk

Do you love the rolling hills, beautiful brick walls, and victorian houses of England? Are you a fan of history and Jane Austen? Then look no further! Immerse yourself into one of England’s many gorgeous cities, and learn about the king who walked there and the amazing discoveries in science and history that have been made since.

1. First stop, Leicester Castle!

Like many cities in the UK, Leicester city used to house a formidable castle for when royalty came to visit. Although now, the castle itself is in ruins, the ruins can be visited and there are many intact and interesting buildings surrounding the castle itself and the castle wall. Take some time to stroll through the castle gardens along the bank of the canal and marvel at the beautiful, changing leaves or wander around Castle Yard, the open area between the Great Hall and St Mary de Castro Church where people used to be publicly executed. You can even go inside the Great Hall and St Mary’s, parts of which date back as far as the 12th-century!

Leicester Castle

Address: Castle View, Leicester LE1 5WH, UK

Opening Hours: 7am–5:30pm

2. Wonder at the beauty of Leicester Cathedral

Leicester Cathedral, interior (26814818856)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jules & Jenny used under CC BY 2.0

Next you should definitely check out the beautiful and famed Leicester Cathedral. Built on the site of a Roman temple in the 13th-century, this Cathedral has had many royal visitors and serves as the final resting place for King Richard the third. Services and events are held weekly, so be sure to check the website out for interesting activities.

Leicester Cathedral

Address: Peacock Ln, Leicester LE1 5DE, UK

Phone: +44 1162615200

Opening Hours: differ based on events, check website!

Website: Leicester Cathedral

3. Have a picnic in Victoria Park

best things to do in leicester uk | have a picnic in victoria park
Source: ibhellebust on Instagram

If you’re in the mood for a nice afternoon outdoors, you should definitely wander over to Victoria Park. The park is vast and filled with flowers and shaded pathways with plenty of space to stretch out and eat, or lie down and take a nap in the sun. The park is also home to a memorial arch, built to commemorate the dead of the first world war, which is just a peaceful and beautiful walk from the park’s tennis courts.

Victoria Park, Leicester

Address: Leicester LE1 7RY, UK

Opening Hours: 7am–8pm

Phone: +44 1164541003

Website: Victoria Park

4. Enrich your understanding of history at the King Richard III Visitor Centre

best things to do in leicester uk | enrich your understanding of history at the king richard iii visitor centre

Let history come to life for you at Leicester’s incredible visitor centre. With tons of exhibits about King Richard III, who rests in the Leicester Cathedral, the visitor centre takes all the discoveries and legends regarding the ancient King and brings them together into a comprehensive and interesting experience. Plus, you get to say you really learned something during vacation!

King Richard III Visitor Centre

Address: 4A St Martins, Leicester LE1 5DB, UK

Opening Hours: 10am–4pm

Phone: +44 3003000900

Website: King Richard III Visitor Centre

5. Take a break from the city in New Walk Museum

New Walk Museum Leicester 2
Source: Photo by user NotFromUtrecht used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the best things to do on a rainy day (which happen quite often in England) is wander through a museum with a cup of tea and some friends or family. The New Walk Museum has many arts and crafts galleries, including a Picasso exhibit and Leicester’s internationally renowned German Expressionist collection. There’s also a variety of events the museum offers including curator’s talks and lunchtime concerts.

New Walk Museum

Address: 53 New Walk, Leicester LE1 7EA, UK

Opening Hours: 10am–5pm

Phone: +44 1162254900

Website: New Walk Museum

6. Wander the halls of the Jewry Wall Museum

Jewry Wall ruins Apr10
Source: Photo by user NotFromUtrecht used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Another great museum to check out is the Jewry Wall Museum. This museum is named for the piece of Jewry Wall it contains, a remnant of the Roman town’s public baths. The rest of the museum is a great way to dive into the archaeology of Leicester’s past and learn about the history of Leicester, dating all the way from prehistoric times to the medieval period.

Jewry Wall Museum

Address: 156-160 St Nicholas Cir, Leicester LE1 4LB, UK

Opening Hours: 11am–4:30pm

Phone: +44 1162254971

Website: Jewry Wall Museum

7. Visit the Newarke Houses Museum

best things to do in leicester uk | visit the newarke houses museum
Source: josefalves on Instagram

As you may have guessed by now, Leicester is filled with tons of amazing museums, and if you want to get a good feel of the city (or you just enjoy learning about your host city’s culture and learning about the historic meanings behind people and places) you should visit as many as you possibly can. So, if you’re in the mood for a social history lesson, check out the Newarke Houses Museum! Displays include a collection of toys from the Tudor period as well as a cinema experience.

Newarke Houses Museum

Address: The Newarke, Leicester LE2 7BY, UK

Opening Hours: 10am–5pm

Phone: +44 1162254980

Website: Newarke Houses Museum

8. Go back to the 1972 at the Abbey Pumping Station

Museum of Technology, Abbey Pumping Station, Leicester - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tanya Dedyukhina used under CC BY 3.0

If art museums and the history of the city isn’t quite your thing, maybe check out the Abbey Pumping Station, Leicester’s Museum of Science and Technology. Located conveniently next to the Space Center, this museum highlights Leicester’s industrial, technological and scientific heritage.

Abbey Pumping Station

Address: Corporation Rd, Leicester LE4 5PX, UK

Opening Hours: 11am–4:30pm

Phone: +44 1162995111

Website: Abbey Pumping Station

9. Shop in Leicester City Market

Leicester Market 2010
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user NotFromUtrecht used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Last but certainly not least, grab a bite to eat at the Leicester City Market. This market has tons of indoor and outdoor food stalls, as well as boutiques for shopping. In between sightseeing, take some time to peruse the market stalls and talk to the locals!

Leicester City Market

Address: 2-4 Market Pl S, Leicester LE1 5HQ, UK

Opening Hours: 7am–6pm

Phone: +44 1162232372

Website: Leicester City Market

10. Float into the National Space Center

National Space Centre, Leicester
Source: Photo by Flickr user Dave Jones used under CC BY 2.0

If you’re ready for an adventure that is “out of this world”, hit up the National Space Center. The NSC is home to the UK’s largest planetarium and has a variety of interesting shows which are suitable for children and adults. In addition, the space centre has six galleries (including space oddities and exploring the universe) and a famous rocket tower to satisfy the explorer in everyone.

National Space Center

Address: Exploration Dr, Leicester LE4 5NS, UK

Opening Hours: Tuesday - Friday: 10am–4pm, Saturday - Monday: 10am–5pm

Phone: +44 1162610261

Website: National Space Center

Go visit Leicester!

There are so many things to do and explore in this beautiful town, and this list just scratches the surface of things you can do. Go check out Leicester for yourself and add your own favorites to this list, before you know it you’ll have a personalized vacation in one of England’s most historic cities.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Elena Aguirre is a travel writer with Trip101 and a student at UC Berkeley. In the past she has worked on technical, marketing, and creative writing. Favorite pastimes include traveling (of...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Leicester
Good things are meant to be shared!