Perched on the banks of the River Soar and edging the English National Forest, Leicester is a thriving, progressive city with a vibrant immigrant population.
Now the largest city in the East Midlands, Leicester is one of the oldest cities in England with a history going back to pre-Roman times. Once inhabited by Celtic tribes, Leicester became a settlement on the Roman road and the remains of Roman baths can be seen today. The city was later a major centre during the industrial revolution and was linked by the Grand Union Canal to London and Birmingham.
Modern Leicester is a very livable city graced with with Victorian architecture. Many of the inner city streets are pedestrianised and the area is well-served with shopping outlets including Leicester Market, Europe’s largest covered market. The city’s historic quarter lies to the west and is marked by the castle, cathedral and a bevy of medieval churches.
Leicester’s rich cosmopolitan mix results in a wide range of ethnic foods and cultural events. Leicester is home to many fine Indian restaurants and the city resounds to festivals such as Diwali.
Transport: getting there and getting around
Leicester is conveniently located on the UK’s main transport arteries. The city is close to the M1 motorway and lies on the Midland Main Line from London to Sheffield, Nottingham and Leeds. High-speed trains can reach London in just over an hour. Trains from Leicester arrive at London St Pancras from where Eurostar international services depart for Europe.
Leicester is convenient for East Midlands Airport which is served by low cost carriers with international flights to Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and Frankfurt and domestic flights to Edinburgh and Belfast. Limited services connect with Barbados, Mexico and Florida.
An extensive bus network operates in and around Leicester.
Mild and wet best describes the English weather and the further north you go, the colder it gets. However, inland temperatures don’t get much below freezing in the winter months of December to February, or much above 30°C in summer.
However, the East Midlands tends to have higher rainfall in the summer and less sunshine in winter.
Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts
Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of hotels in Leicester
Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Leicester hotels
Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Leicester
Events:what’s on and what’s hot
*The Comedy Festival in February is a ten-day laugh fest. It’s the UK’s longest running comedy festival.
*The Leicester Early Music Festival is in May. As well as concerts, it features workshops, exhibitions, dance day, family day and wine and whisky tasting.
*The Caribbean Carnival in August is the most colourful festival in the city.
*The Riverside Festival is held on the first Saturday of every June.
*Theis Leicester International Music Festival held in September brings the best of classical, jazz and world music to the Midlands.