Leicestershire is a county in the Midlands of England and takes its name from its county town – Leicester. Engineering has long been an important trade in Leicestershire, with a history of Bellfounding stretching back to the 1400s.
The largest bell in Britain “Great Paul”, now housed in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London was cast here in 1881. Leicestershire is about four hours from London by train, with a bus journey needing around 5.5 hours.
Towns in Leicestershire
Leicestershire is a business-focused county, with some premier companies making their homes in its various industrial towns and cities.
Leicester is an old market town standing on the River Soar and lies at the border of the National Forest. Attractions here include Newarke Houses Museum, Leicester Guildhall, Phoenix Square, Leicester Racecourse and Watermead Country Park.
Leicester is a fascinating city to visit, as it has retained many of its buildings from long ago, including Roman pavements and baths, Anglo-Saxon environments and has a strong engineering culture.
Loughborough has a lovely town center and has the largest bell foundry in the country. It has a very quaint feel to it, with its picturesque buildings, including the beautiful Grace Dieu Priory, the
All Saints Church, and has many attractions including Jubilee Wood, Mount St Bernard Abbey, Bradgate Park, not to mention the lovely countryside that surrounds the town itself.
Melton Mowbray is a town in Melton Borough area and lies on the Rivers Eye and Wreake. Melton Mowbray has long been known for its fine foods, with fine pork pie and delicious stilton cheese being two of its most well-known offerings. “Melton” is the old English word for Middle Town and is thought to have attributed to the fact that the town lies between two rivers.
Attractions here include the Twinlakes Theme Park, Burrough Hill, and the Melton Carnegie Museum
Parks and Gardens
Leicestershire is a beautiful county with many footpaths, villages and cycle routes to explore, along with some lovely old parks and gardens.
Belvoir Castle is an imposing, grand old English stately home, standing atop a hill with an unrivaled view over 16,000 acres of parkland and forests. With Italian overtones, the gardens were commissioned by Duchess Elizabeth in the 18th century and contain a large collection of root houses, one of which still remains intact today and can be viewed in the beautiful Duchess’s Garden. View the website here: Belvoir Castle
Whatton House and Gardens
Whatton House has wonderful gardens, described as “peaceful” and “sedate” by many visitors. The gardens are comparatively new, being landscaped in the 19th century; however, this takes nothing away from their exquisite collections of trees and plants, complemented by natural spring wildflowers and beautiful flowering shrubs of many different varieties and colors. Visit the website: Whatton House and Gardens
Rockingham Castle stands proudly overlooking five counties and has a fantastic variety of wildflowers as well as plants, shrubs and sculptured hedges, the most famous of these being its renowned “Elephant Hedge”, a long yew hedgerow sculpted artfully into the form of a herd of playing elephants. View the website: Rockingham Gardens
Attractions and Places to See
Leicestershire is well worth visiting with a multitude of beautiful castles, old buildings, archaeological sites and days out.
Kilworth House Theatre
Visitors looking for a fix of performing arts culture should look no further than the Kilworth House theatre in North Kilworth. With everything from opera singing to live bands, West End shows and Soho productions, the theatre is a must-visit for Culture Vultures.
Past shows have included Cats, South Pacific with upcoming shows including Sister Act, Chicago, and Fame. The website can be seen here: Kilworth House Theatre
Bradgate Country Park
Bradgate Country Park is a large, 830-acre wildlife reserve deep in the heart of Leicestershire. It is famous for its giant oak trees and rocky outcrops and is home to deer, badgers hedgehogs and a multitude of other woodland animals.
The park also has an outdoor theatre where it puts on productions such as Robin Hood and the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Visit their website here: Bradgate Country Park.
Great Central Railway – Loughborough
This railway is the only one of its kind, boasting the ability to allow steam trains to pass each other, as it was when it was used as a means of real passenger transport upon its creation in the 1800s.
The railway has won several awards in excellence and has an unrivaled collection of fully working steam locomotives. Visit the website here: Great Central Railway
Things to Do
Leicestershire has many tours, trips and days out available and has a wonderful selection of places to visit and exciting new activities to try.
Conker is an award-winning adventure center right in the heart of the National Forest with a unique blend of indoor and outdoor activities designed to keep children and adults alike entertained for hours.
Inside there are four discovery zones, each full of facts and unique activities for the whole family, while outdoors there are play areas, adventure courses as well as highly rated adventure activity days and a wonderful fairyland adventure. Visit the website now: Conkers
Jewry Wall Museum
Leicester is known best as an important Roman settlement and nowhere is that fact better illustrated than at the Jewry Wall Museum. Leicestershire’s best museum of archaeology, a fine selection of archaeological artifacts can be seen here, as well as stories and facts about medieval era Leicester. Visit the website here: Jewry Wall
Wistow Maze is unique, a complex maze for all the family created solely from sunflowers. One of the largest mazes in Britain, it has been created over 8 acres of farmland and has a fun quiz trail hidden somewhere inside the maze.
The length of the maze itself when accounting for all its pathways is a whopping 3 miles, with the design of the maze changing annually. Visit the website: Wistow Maze
Afternoon Tea Ideas in Leicestershire
In Leicestershire, just like anywhere else in England, afternoon tea is a typical custom enjoyed between 4 pm and 6 pm and there are some wonderful tea rooms and houses to discover here.
Stapleford Park Country House
Buried in 500 acres of beautiful parkland and lovely rambling gardens, this charming old house has bags of character and is a premier English sporting estate. Afternoon tea is served in one of five rooms, including the magnificent drawing room with its splendid view of the Leicestershire countryside. On the menu is a fine selection of cakes and scones, as well as sandwiches and fine blended teas. The website is here: Stapleford Park Country House
Baines of Uppingham
Baines of Uppingham is a bakery and tea room, built in 1899, remaining in the Baines family until the present day. The tea room was established in 1965 and is a typical example of an old English tea room full of character and antique charm. Afternoon tea here is a wonderful experience with its current staff very friendly and welcoming.
On the menu is a fine selection of home-baked pastries and cakes as well as delicious hot tea. With a strong tradition in baking, the food here is exquisite. Visit the website here: Baines of Uppingham
Miss B’s Tea Rooms
Miss B’s Tea Rooms is an award-winning tea room in Melton Mowbray, the English capital of food. The Tea Guild of Great Britain gave the tea room the prestigious Award of Excellence in 2012, after sampling a wonderful selection of rare and vintage teas as well as the simply delectable cakes and scones on offer.
The ambiance is a mainstay here, with heavy beams, antique furniture, and pictures as well as fine china celebrating the tradition of Afternoon Tea in England. Visit the website here: Miss B’s Tea Rooms
Wedding Venues in Leicestershire
Leicestershire is an old county with a rich history and offers some fine old country venues for weddings.
Keythorpe Manor is a lovely old estate with views out over the beautiful Leicestershire countryside. Offering bespoke wedding marquees, as well as packages completely tailored to your needs, Keythorpe is a grand setting in which to hold your civil ceremony.
The large Keythorpe Manor Marquee is easily customizable and the friendly staff can help you build your event from scratch. Visit the website here: Keythorpe Manor
This beautiful old house has space for up to 400 guests during the day, as well as space for 170 guests in the evening. A 16th-century manor house covered in rambling ivy and surrounded by idyllic Leicestershire countryside, the venue is perfect for couples who would like a tranquil, peaceful event with fine food, great accommodation, and a friendly staff.
You can enjoy exclusive use of the hall, as only one wedding is held at a time. Visit their website here: Brooksby Hall
Campsites / Caravans:
Leicestershire is a beautiful county, with a lot of quaint old villages and picturesque hamlets to be found. Campsites are at a premium here, essential for the intrepid explorer.
Caravan Club Sites
• Leicester Hill-Wood, Ulverscroft Lane, Newtown Linford
• Bradgate Caravan Site, Horseshoe Cottage Farm, Roecliffe Road, Cropston
• Grange Farm, Tilton on the Hill, Leicester
• Lower Grange Farm, Hugglescote, Leicestershire
• Wing Hall, Wing Hall Estate, Wing, Oakham, Rutland
• Brook Meadow Farm, Welford Road, Sibbertoft, Market Harborough, Leicestershire