Day 12: your hometown

We’re big fans of Leicester – both of us grew up in the county of Leicestershire, and despite having moved away to study at university we both find ourselves not far from home

While many of our friends have moved away, preferring the bright lights of London, we’re happy to stay close to our roots

It’s a city that’s often overlooked as a tourist destination, but we’d urge you to think again about Leicester and the wider county!

Here’s a few of the places we’ve mention on the blog in the past… and a few new suggestions…

The attractions

Loughborough, Great Central Railway

You don’t have to be a trainspotter to enjoy The Great Central Railway – the UK’s only double track mainline heritage railway

Steam trains regularly pass through the railway’s four stations, from Leicester North to Loughborough – each of which is decorated to match a different eara

We posted about GCR when we went on a cake and train adventure with the founder of Clandestine Cake Club and when B visited their 1940s wartime weekend

We’d also recommend…

  • Bradgate Park – this is the place Leicestarians (is that a thing?) head in sunshine or snow – beautiful countryside with deer, peacocks and a royal ruin
  • The University of Leicester’s Botanic Gardens – you can see some snaps here and here
  • The National Space Centre – good family fun on a rainy day, and they have an excellent planetarium
  • Loughborough fair completely takes over the town centre with rides once a year – and it’s on now! (Last year here)

The culture

Engleb

Leicester is currently in the running for UK City of Culture 2017 (of course we think it should win!)

You don’t need to head to the big smoke for a healthy dose of music, theatre, dance or art

In the last couple of weeks E’s highlight has been Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake at Curve, while B went to the single launch of excellent Leicester band Demons of Ruby Mae at The Y

We’d also recommend…

  • The Phoenix – Leicester’s independent cinema
  • Leicester Print Workshop – from letterpress to linograph, there’s often member exhibitions at venues around the city
  • The Monograph – all the news and views from Leicester’s music scene
  • Leicester Comedy Festival – every February, it’s the warm up to Edinburgh Fringe for many comedians (and is great in its own right!)

Places to eat

Chocolate brownie at Mrs Bridges

In the past we’ve mentioned our favourite lunch spot Mrs Bridges once or twice on the blog

But there’s loads of brilliant places to eat in Leicester – whether for afternoon tea or three course meals!

We’d also recommend…

  • The Curzon Arms – B’s favourite pub out in Woodhouse Eaves
  • Little Tokyo – E is a huge fan of the sushi!
  • Salvador Deli – excellent wordplay, excellent salad bar
  • Madisons – offering plenty of tempting ice-cream flavours – from kiwi to biscotti
  • The Tiffin – high quality Indian food – a favourite with E’s family!

A spot of shopping

DSC02386

Leicester is improved significantly for shopping over the past few years – no longer do we feel the need to pop over to Nottingham to fulfil our spending needs!

As well as having the big Highcross shopping centre with all the usual high street shops, there’s lots of lovely independent retailers in The Lanes and arcades

The market has been around since the 1300s and there’s always a great bargain to be picked up (five avocados for £1 anyone?!)

Outside the city centre there’s plenty of places to keep thrift shoppers happy and we’re particular fans of Queens Road – it has TWO charity book shops

And our favourite Leicester bloggers…!

Oh yeah, and there’s this bloke called Richard III you might have heard of…

Have you been to Leicester? What was your impression? Where else would you recommend?

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2 thoughts on “Day 12: your hometown

  1. Janet says:

    Thanks for the mention :)

    I moved to Leicester 17 years ago and adored it for the first 5 years. Then hated it for a couple, then loved it again, then disliked… and I have now become much less negative about Leicester in recent years. I missed Bradgate Park off my perfect day post, which is a shame. I love climbing Old John and seeing the view from the top!

    • makedospend says:

      We enjoyed your post on Leicester too – there’s certainly more “impressive” cities, but there’s a lot more going on that might first meet the eye! And there’s the beautiful countryside – I also love Beacon Hill

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