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Things to do in Leicester

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New Walk Museum & Art Gallery
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester's original museum, has wide ranging collections and displays spanning the natural and cultural world. A family friendly day out, the galleries include Ancient Egypt, Dinosaurs, Wild Space, The Den gallery for the under 5s, the Victorian art gallery, Arts & Crafts gallery and a modern and contemporary art gallery. The first floor galleries include World Arts, Picasso Ceramics: The Attenborough Collection and Leicester's internationally renowned collection of German Expressionism. The museum welcomes a vast array of temporary exhibitions, featuring works from the collections, touring exhibitions from national museums and a programme of contemporary art and craft displays. https://www.visitleicester.info/see-and-do/new-walk-museum-and-art-gallery-p700961
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National Space Centre
The award-winning National Space Centre is an out of this world experience for the whole family! With six interactive galleries, the UK’s largest planetarium, world unique 3D SIM ride and iconic 42m high Rocket Tower, there really is something for everybody to enjoy. The rocket tower is pretty impressive for people of all ages, as it towers 42m into the air and its semi-transparent “pillow” design can be seen as you approach the Centre from any direction! It is home two rockets: Blue Streak and Thor Able, as well as a Gagarin Experience, Apollo Lunar Lander and real Moon Rock. Each year the National Space Centre hosts many special weekends which in the past have included celebrations of Star Wars, LEGO and Daleks. School holiday periods are always exciting, as the Centre adds plenty of workshops and talks into the mix, so advanced booking is advised. A visit to The National Space Centre wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Cargo Bay Shop to pick up a souvenir as a memento of your journey to outer space. The shop boasts a full range of fun and interactive space toys, books, games and telescopes. https://www.visitleicester.info/see-and-do/national-space-centre-p696391
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Bradgate Park
Bradgate Park was first enclosed as a deer park around 800 years ago. It provides 830 acres of publicly accessible countryside close to Leicester City Centre. The Park offers a wild and rugged landscape with dramatic rocky outcrops and gnarled old oak trees, many of which are well over 500 years old. The landscape offers some of the finest views, and is rich in change throughout the seasons. https://www.bradgatepark.org/bradgate-park
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Belgrave Hall & Gardens
Belgrave Hall is a historic house, providing an oasis of peace and quiet in a busy city. The hall was built in the early 18th century in what was then a small village three miles from the town of Leicester. Now city traffic passes, almost unnoticed, just beyond the garden walls. Edmund Cradock, a hosiery merchant, built Belgrave Hall but died soon after its completion. The Hall has had several owners over the years, including John Ellis – a wealthy businessman who was responsible for bringing the railways to Leicester. Visitors can explore Belgrave Hall and the beautiful surrounding gardens on special event days. From April to September the gardens are open every Wednesday and the first full weekend of the month, with additional special events open to the public. Visit the website for more details on specific open days. https://www.visitleicester.info/see-and-do/belgrave-hall-and-gardens-p696521
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Abbey Park
Hugging the banks of the River Soar in the north of the city is Abbey Park – a beautiful green space to relax and admire Leicester’s riverside scenery. The park has a choice of activities to keep the whole family entertained. The boating lake in the centre of the park offers hire of both rowing and pedalo boats – fun for adults and children alike! On a summer’s day, relax and pedal your way around the beautiful lake in the centre of the park, enjoying the sweeping views of serene parkland all around. Heritage lovers will enjoy a stroll around the remains of the twelfth century Leicester Abbey and the ruins of Cavendish House, a 17th century mansion. The Abbey was founded by the second Earl of Leicester, Robert le Bossu. It became one of the wealthiest Augustinian abbeys in the country, but closed in 1538 when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries. Whilst converting the overgrown abbey grounds into a public excavations revealed the remains of the abbey church and the other main building ranges, which can be seen in the park today. Those looking to get active can take advantage of the parks many sporting facilities, including a bowling green, five hard surface tennis courts, orienteering courses, a lavender maze and Ping! table tennis tables – perfect for those looking to try something new or get in some extra practise. Pets Corner is a favourite with all visitors to the park – an area to interact with a variety of small, domesticated animals. The area includes an aviary with a collection of exotic birds, as well as small enclosures housing hens, guinea pigs, rabbits, goats and pygmy goats. https://www.visitleicester.info/see-and-do/abbey-park-p707941
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Curve
Curve is a spectacular, state-of-the-art theatre in the heart of Leicester’s vibrant Cultural Quarter. Opened in 2008 by Her Majesty The Queen, the award-winning building designed by acclaimed architect Rafael Viñoly offers a completely unique visitor experience. Unlike any other theatre in the UK, there is no traditional backstage area. Audiences can enjoy the full theatre-making process, peek behind the scenes and maybe even spot an actor or two dashing from the stage to their dressing room or enjoying a coffee in the café. The building’s stunning curved façade is made from 1,192 tonnes of steel and 46,000 square metres of glass. Managed by Leicester Theatre Trust, Curve is a registered charity providing engaging theatrical experiences for the community. Working with people of all ages and backgrounds, the theatre is committed to nurturing new and emerging talent, as well as creating world-class productions. https://www.visitleicester.info/see-and-do/curve-p696621
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De Montfort Hall
De Montfort Hall has been one of Leicester's premier entertainment venues for over a century, hosting live music ranging from pop to classical, theatre, stand-up comedy, musicals and operas. The venue hosts an eclectic range of quality shows, including live music and festivals from rock to pop, touring West End musicals, internationally recognised comedians, opera and orchestra, ballet and dance and children’s shows. De Montfort Hall is set amongst beautiful gardens, which occasionally host outdoor stages to treat visitors to stunning views whilst enjoying the show. The hall is proud to have been a residence of the Philharmonia Orchestra since 1997. Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest orchestras, the Philharmonia run a programme of concerts as well as community and educational events each year. The hall is also home to a magnificent pipe organ; it has almost 6,000 pipes and is believed to be one of the last surviving example of its kind in the world. It was constructed in Leicester by organ builders Stephen Taylor and Son Ltd., and was a gift to the town by local industrialist Alfred Corah. https://www.visitleicester.info/see-and-do/de-montfort-hall-p696631
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Leicester Cathedral
Leicester Cathedral lies at the heart of Leicester's Old Town. The cathedral is open for visitors and all are welcome within its doors. From the fine stained glass to the story and tomb of King Richard III, explore over 900 years of history in this peaceful and beautiful building. The tranquil Cathedral Gardens surround the cathedral. A quiet space in the heart of the city, the gardens are made up of areas of lawn, flower beds, seating areas and a water feature. The gardens are also home to two pieces of public art: the iconic bronze statue of King Richard III, commissioned by the Richard III Society in 1980, and the sculpture 'Towards Stillness' – an installation representing a timeline of the King's life, especially commissioned for the occasion of his reinterment. https://www.visitleicester.info/see-and-do/leicester-cathedral-p696411
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The Guildhall
The Guildhall is a historic building and the oldest building still in use in the city. It was Leicester’s first police station and between 1876 and the 1900’s and saw many unsavoury characters pass through its doors. The Great Hall itself was built in about 1390 as a meeting place for the Guild of Corpus Christi (a small but powerful group of businessmen and gentry) and it’s also believed that Shakespeare performed here during Tudor times. Over the years it has had many uses, including housing one of the oldest public libraries and serving as the Town Hall. After restoration, the Guildhall was opened to the public as a museum in 1926. Today the Guildhall is best known as an excellent performance venue, attracting acts from across the country, and as a museum where visitors can step back in time and come face to face with Crankie Gemmie and Emma Smith, two of Leicester's notorious pickpockets who can be found lurking in the Victorian police cells. The museum is also home to the Medieval Leicester galleries. Through objects and activities, visitors can walk the streets of medieval Leicester and uncover a world both familiar and very different to our own! https://www.visitleicester.info/see-and-do/the-guildhall-p692741
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Victoria Park
Victoria Park is a fine green space next to the University of Leicester campus. The centrepiece of the park is the magnificent memorial arch, built to commemorate the dead of the First World War. The arch was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, as were the beautiful wrought iron gates at the parks Peace Walk and London Road entrances. The area served as the city's racecourse until 1883; upon the racing find a new home at Leicester Racecourse in Oadby, the area was transformed and is now a peaceful retreat from the buzz of the city. The park has areas of formal flowerbeds as well as winding pathways shaded by avenues of trees– perfect for finding some shade and enjoying a picnic or a good book on a summer’s day. For more active visitors, the park is home to a bowling green, croquet area, 4 tennis courts, football and rugby pitches, a floodlit Astro pitch and an outdoor gym. https://www.visitleicester.info/see-and-do/victoria-park-p708151
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Great Central Railway
Here you will find the UK's only double track, main line heritage railway – and the only place in the world where full size steam engines can be seen passing each other! Trains run every weekend of the year, bank holidays and selected week days in the summer months. There are four stations on the line, all of which have are wheelchair accessible: Loughborough Central Station (LE11 1RW), Quorn & Woodhouse Station (LE12 8AG), Rothley Station (LE7 7LD) and Leicester North Station (LE4 3BR). For a first class experience, why book onto the restaurant car service which provides a five course meal whilst travelling between Loughborough and Leicester? Or you can make your childhood dreams come true and try out the ‘Drive a Locomotive’ experience, where you can take the regulator on a mighty steam locomotive or notch up on a powerful diesel. With all this as well as special events, Great Central Railway is a great day out for all the family! https://www.visitleicester.info/see-and-do/great-central-railway-p710541
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The Lanes
Get lost in Leicester’s Lanes, whose winding cobbled streets bristle with fantastic independent stores. Selling everything from classic styles to one-off pieces to make a statement in your home or wardrobe, The Lanes has something to suit all tastes. https://www.visitleicester.info/see-and-do/shops-and-market/the-lanes