Leicester's multi-cultural population has created a vibrant atmosphere bursting with different cultures, traditions and events throughout the year, making it a popular place to live. Its popularity has recently increased after Leicester City Council and the University of Leicester found the remains of King Richard III underneath a car park.
Leicester is a great place for shopping, with everything from designer labels to small, individual boutiques.
- Highcross Shopping Centre has a wide range of shops, designer stores, restaurants, a cinema and coffee shops.
- Leicester Lanes is where you will find the Silver Arcade and the St Martin’s Square which both have many independent shops, hairdressers, beauty salons and cafes.
- Leicester Market is open six days a week, with over 300 stalls, selling fresh food, ethnic spices, clothing, jewellery, footwear and much more. Coming soon to Leicester Market is a new Student and Young Persons’ Market.
- Fosse Shopping Park is a large shopping district and is located on the outskirts of Leicester. It offers a wide range of shops, cafés and restaurants.
- Leicester’s Golden Mile on Melton Road, has a wonderful choice of Asian foods, fashion and jewellery.
Since Leicester is a massive multi-cultural city there are endless cuisines to try such as Spanish, Japanese, Greek, American and traditional Indian/Bangladeshi dishes and top 5 voted by TripAdvisor are:
- Craft Burger – located next on St Martins Walk this place is famous for ‘true American burgers’ and voted by a lot of customers as the best burger they have ever eaten!
- Lilu Cuisine – voted one of the best places for authentic Indian food without the big price tag.
- Grays Coffee Shop and Kitchen – describes as a hidden gem you can check this place out all day long and finding food on the menu that you wouldn't normally see. Intriguing!
- OGGI Simply Italian – it’s recommended that OGGI is perfect for a date night something small and simple but finishing touches such as candlelight dinner makes it perfect.
- North bar and kitchen – a great place to mix evening drinks and a sit down meal giving you the option to start your night or wind down your night.
Nightlife in Leicester is very popular in the East Midlands having some of the best clubs and bars. The main ones to check out are:
- Candy Stripe - one of the biggest bars along Belvoir St, with a great atmosphere, great interior and bar.
- Club Republic - dubbed as Leicester’s newest and swankiest playground. It's the UK’s most amazing, state of the art technologically advanced nightclub. This club has 7 sections including a Sky VIP Bar.
- Liquid Envy - Liquid and Envy has had the privilege of hosting some of the biggest acts in the music industry from Tinie Tempah to Westwood. Celebrities aren't shy either with pop stars and footballers regularly spotted in the club.
- MOSH - hosts three great nights of indie and alternative music each week.
- Student’s Union nights – Leicester University SU is home to the O2 academy which hosts a variety of nights out and artist performing live.
Leicester has seen a flourishing music scene over the past few years with new venues and an increase of international acts coming to Leicester to perform. It also has a mix of intimate venues. Some examples of the music scene in Leicester are:
- Y Theatre - is a bustling live performance venue across from Leicester train station with a host to a variety of live music including regular Leicester Jazz House gigs, indie, rock and tribute bands.
- The SoundHouse - situated in the Cultural Quarter, caters for local and national touring bands.
- O2 Academy Leicester - opened in September 2010, is located in the heart of the University of Leicester. Home to three venues bringing first-class facilities to cater for the biggest live acts on the touring circuit, including bands such as Newton Faulkner, Orbital, Plan B, Primal Scream and for a special homecoming gig with Radio 1, Kasabian.
- Firebug opened in 2004, it has become an essential part of Leicester’s night life and live music scene in this upstairs venue.
The Arts & Attractions
Leicester has a long cultural heritage and is home to some of the most popular museums and historic buildings:
- The National Space Centre - which has a futuristic Rocket Tower and the largest 360° planetarium in the UK.
- The New Walk Museum and Art Gallery - Leicester’s original museum has a wide range of collections and displays spanning the natural and cultural world.
- Leicester Cathedral - which is proposing to act as the last burial place for the remains of Richard III.
- Guild Hall and Exhibition Centre - which tells the story of King Richard III, his life and times and the search for his lost remains.
Every year Leicester has a Caribbean Carnival and the Mela Festival, which celebrates South Asian art and Indian culture. Leicester also has the largest Diwali celebrations outside India, which is held on the Golden Mile. It is always a popular event with the big fireworks display at the end.
It's very easy to get around Leicester by foot, all of our properties are in short walking distance to both De Montford University and University of Leicester. If you're into cycling then it's another easy way of getting around Leicester without breaking the bank and staying environmentally friendly. he public transport links of Leicester are ideal for travelling across Leicester. The buses go in and around Leicestershire at regular intervals throughout the day and evening. The Leicester Skylink bus service connects the city centre with East Midlands Airport in under an hour (via Loughborough). If it's further out of Leicester you're looking to venture then there are regular train services between London St. Pancras, the East Midlands and Yorkshire.
Leicester has a very large sports community thanks to its success in rugby, football and cricket. There are also lots of opportunities to take part in sports or to watch professional sports teams such as:
- Leicester Tigers Rugby Club - the Tigers are now the best-supported and most successful club in English rugby.
- Leicester City Football Club - has been home to many of football's greats including Gary Lineker and Peter Shilton.
- Leicester Riders Basketball Club - The Leicester Riders are the oldest professional club in British Basketball and founder members of the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1972 and the British Basketball League (BBL) in 1987.
- Leicestershire County Cricket Club - the one day team, the Leicestershire Foxes, have become a leading Twenty20 side, winning the Cup three times.
At the University of Leicester they have two Sports Centres both with a pool, sauna, steam room, spa pool and other extensive indoor and outdoor facilities. They also have a variety of sports clubs students can sign up too and make new friends whilst staying in shape. There is the famous Varsity games each year between the two universities as well.
I had a great time at Raleigh park. The team were always happy to help, going above and beyond the service required. I look forward to returning next year!Alan Paul Cousins, MSci International Relations & Global Issues, University of Nottingham