Located on the River Soar, near the National Forest, Leicester is the most populous city in the East Midlands of England, and the second largest economy of the region (after Nottingham). The estimated population for 2019 is nearly 550,000 people.

Art venues in Leicester

Here are a few examples of notable art venues in Leicester:

  • Phoenix Square (which replaced the Phoenix Arts Centre)
  • The Curve (Theatre) on Rutland Street.
  • The Leicester Haymarket Theatre at Belgrave Gate
  • The Sue Townsend Theatre
  • De Montfort Hall, a music and performance venue adjacent to Victoria Park
  • The Little Theatre
  • The Peepul Centre

The Leicester Market is Europe’s largest covered outdoor market

This market, located just south of the clock tower, moved to this particular part of Leicester roughly 700 years ago and has remained here ever since. It is the largest outdoor covered market in Europe and well worth a visit. You can for instance buy fruits, vegetables, flowers, clothes, jewellery, pet products, and second-hand books here.

Leicester Market has around 275 stalls and is open Monday – Saturday from 7 am to 6 pm. The heart of the market is occupied by the Leicester Corn Exchange from 1850. It used to be a trading centre, but is today home to a restaurant and a bar.

Farmer’s Market

On the last Wednesday of the month, year round, you can visit the Farmer’s Market on Gallowtree Gate, not far from Leicester Market, to buy locally produced goods, especially fruit, vegetables and meat.

Get in touch with Leicester’s history

The Jewry Wall Museum

This museum showcases the history of Leicester from the Roman epoch and onward, and it is located on a site where you can see the remains of an ancient Roman bath house. This is the second-largest surviving Roman bath house in the UK.

Abbey Park

In Abbey Park, near the Belgrave roundabout, you can visit the remains of a 12th century Abbey as well as the ruins of the famous Cavendish House. The Cavendish House was destroyed during the English Civil War.

Bradgate Park

This 850 acre park features the ruins of two homes built for the aristocratic Grey family. One is Bradgate House, once the home of Lady Jane Grey – the English noblewoman who was the Queen of England and Ireland for nine days in 1553. The other structure, called Old John, is a hilltop folly in the shape of a beer tankard, built in 1784.

Getting to Leicester

By railway

Two major railway lines intersect in Leicester:

  • The north/south Midland Main Line
  • The east/west Birmingham to London Stansted Cross Country line

By road

The M1/M69 motorways reaches A6/A46 trunk routes at Leicester.

By air

The primary airport for Leicester is the East Midlands Airport (IATA: EMA, ICAO:EGNX), which is located roughly 32 km north of Leicester city, not far from Castle Donington. This airfield was originally built as a Royal Air Force station during WWII.

Short facts about Leicester

Founded: Circa 47 AD (under the name Ratae Corieltauvorum)

Coordinates: 52°38′N 1°8′W

City population: Appr. 550,000 in 2019

City area: Appr. 73 square kilometres

Urban area: Appr. 225 square kilometres

Metro area: Appr. 750 sqaure kilometres

Postcode: LE

Dialing code: 0116

ISO 3166-2: GB-LCE