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. It’s the largest city in the East Midlands and also the oldest with its history going back at least 2,000 years. 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.
- Birthplace of the delicious potato crisp that are Walkers Crisp
- Famous people from Leicester include: Sir David & Lord Richard Attenborough, Gary Lineker & Peter Shilton, Gok Wan, David Icke, Joseph Merrick and Monty Python’s Graham Chapman. On the music front Leicester has brought us Mark ‘Return of the Mack’ Morrison.
- In 2001, the city became home to the National Space Centre - one of the United Kingdom's leading visitor attractions - devoted to space, science and astronomy.
- The Golden Mile is a name given to a stretch of the Belgrave Road full of Indian curry houses, shops and jewellery stores and hosts the Diwali celebrations which are the largest outside India.
- Ancient Roman pavements and baths remain in Leicester from its early settlement as Ratae.
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 one of the oldest and most beautiful parts of Leicester, here 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 one of the largest and oldest in the UK. The 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! Big statement so this place is a definitely must try!
- 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.
If these don’t tingle your taste buds then there are approx. 831 restaurants in Leicester so we are such you will find something to ignite the fire in your bellies!
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, bar and city centre parking available within walking distance.
- Club Republic - dubbed as Leicester’s newest and swankiest playground.It is the UK’s most amazing, state of the art technologically advanced nightclub. This club has 7 sections including a Sky VIP Bar for you to enjoy.
- 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 - Mosh hosts three great nights of indie and alternative music each week.
- Student’s Union nights – Leicester University SU is home to 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 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.
- 02 Academy Leicester opened in September 2010, the 02 Academy is located in the heart of the University of Leicester. Home to three venues with 1,450, 500 and 250 capacities, the venues bring 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.
- The Guildhall the 600-year old Tudor building provides an atmospheric and historic venue for a range of events.
- Firebug opened in 2004, Firebug has become an essential part of Leicester’s night life and live music scene in this upstairs venue.
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 ranging collections and displays spanning the natural and cultural world.
- The impressive Leicester Cathedral which is proposing to act as the last burial place for the remains of Richard III, which were recently discovered in the city where they had remained for more than 500 years.
- In the shadows of the cathedral is the medieval Guild Hall and exhibition centre, which tells the story of King Richard III, his life and times and the search for his lost remains.
- Outside of the city in the surrounding countryside there is Belvoir Castle, The Manor House in Coalville and Bosworth Battle Field.
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.
- Walking – it is very easy to get around Leicester by foot, even all of our properties are in short walking distance to De Montford University and University of Leicester. There are a lot of great parks around Leicester perfect for a stroll all season round.
- Cycling – it is fun, free and fast, cycling is another easy way of getting around Leicester without breaking the bank! There are many free public cycle stands dotted around the city and county for your convenience, when visiting shops and leisure and community facilities. Cycling into the city centre? You can park your bike securely, shower and change at the Bike Park, located at Leicester Town Hall.
- Bus – there are buses travelling across Leicester and 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). The ‘Hospital Hopper’ runs between three hospitals in Leicester every 30 minutes from Monday to Friday. The majority of bus services in Leicester operate from St. Margaret’s and Haymarket bus stations in the city centre.
- Park and Ride – you can take the stress out of driving and being stuck in traffic by parking up and catching the park and ride into the city centre.
- Train - Regular services between London St. Pancras, the East Midlands and Yorkshire, serving Market Harborough, Leicester and Loughborough are operated by East Midlands Trains. Cross Country Trains run services between Birmingham New Street and Leicester, via Hinckley, Narborough and South Wigston, and between Birmingham New Street and Stansted Airport, via Leicester and Melton Mowbray.
- Motorways - Leicester is close to the centre of the M1 motorway at Junction 21. This section is considered to be the busiest part in the country.
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 - founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse, Leicester City 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 two Sports Centres both with a pool, sauna, steam room, spa pool and extensive other 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.
There are also several gyms and exercise groups located across the city giving you plenty of opportunity to get into shape and keep those fitness levels high.
I have found the accommodation and services offered at Denton Holme Student Village to be outstanding in comparison to any other student housing providers in Carlisle, which is why I have chosen to stay at DHSV for the duration of my 3-year course.Danielle Clarke, BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS, University of Cumbria