Britain

UNCOVER THE STORY

Now’s the time to book your visit to Leicester and Leicesters­hire, brimming with history, culture and royal connection­s

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Leicester and Leicesters­hire tell some of England’s most unique and unusual stories. The area is famous for its connection with one of the bloodiest battles in English history and the gravesite where, more than 500 years later, King Richard III’s remains were discovered. But these are not the only stories to uncover in Leicesters­hire. Read on to find out why you should add Leicester and Leicesters­hire to your list of must-see destinatio­ns.

What to do

Leicester is known as the UK’s ‘Space City’ and visitors will enjoy an out of this world experience at the National Space Centre in Leicester, exploring six galleries crammed full of rockets, satellites and meteorites, taking in a show at the UK’s largest domed planetariu­m, and ascending the iconic rocket tower.

Travel pioneer Thomas Cook ran his first railway excursion here in 1841 and visitors can follow the route by steam train today, dining in style on the Great Central Railway, the UK's only double-track, mainline heritage railway.

From the iconic motorbike that takes Steve McQueen’s character in The Great Escape on a thrilling chase to the scrambler ridden by James Bond in No Time To Die, Leicesters­hire showcases the best in motorcycle design, racing and popular culture at the Triumph Factory Visitor Experience.

Visitors can experience ‘The greatest lost-andfound story ever told’ at the King Richard III Visitor Centre. From dynasty and death to discovery and DNA, you can see the place where the last Plantagene­t King’s remains were unearthed after lying undiscover­ed for more than 500 years.

At the award-winning Bosworth Battlefiel­d Heritage Centre, discover how King Richard III was defeated in a conflict which brought the Middle Ages to an end and ushered in the Tudor dynasty, which shaped the future of our country.

The National Forest is England’s first forest to be created for 1,000 years. Nine million trees have been planted since 1990 to create a vibrant and varied landscape spanning 200 square miles. Explore circular walking routes, safe off-road cycle trails, or indulge in delicious tea and cake. Try green woodworkin­g

under the trees with a master craftsman, or browse contempora­ry arts and crafts.

Leicesters­hire is home to a number of quintessen­tially English market towns, from Ashby de la Zouch with its 12th-century castle and Loughborou­gh with its twice-weekly market dating back 800 years, to Britain in Bloom winner, Market Bosworth with its Georgian architectu­re; shopper’s paradise Market Harborough; and the regional food capital of Melton Mowbray.

Where to eat and drink

Leicester and Leicesters­hire’s food scene is as diverse as its people, making it possible to eat your way around the world without leaving the region. From traditiona­l Melton Mowbray pork pies and Stilton cheese, through to locally brewed ales and the mighty Everards Brewery, experience the best of the region’s food and drink.

The city is a UK curry capital and you’ll be spoilt for choice with restaurant­s serving dishes from across the Indian subcontine­nt. Leicester’s Belgrave Road – the 'Golden Mile' – offers true Indian flavours and cuisine.

Shop for fresh fruit and veg at the city’s outdoor covered market or step into foodie heaven at the Food Hall with its artisan butchers, deli traders and fishmonger­s.

Where to stay

Whether you’re travelling on a budget or want to stay in style there’s accommodat­ion to suit all tastes. In the city, you can choose from boutique, luxury and new aparthotel­s such as Novotel, Adagio, St Martins Lodge and The Gresham, with other options including The Belmont Hotel, Holiday Inn, Ramada Encore, Mercure, Premier Inn and Ibis Hotels.

In the county, the choice continues with luxury hotels such as Stapleford Park and Kilworth House, plus exquisitel­y kept B&Bs, farm B&Bs, glamping sites, group self-catering and holiday lets.

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 ?? ?? This image: An ancient alley in Leicester
Above: Vintage carriages on the Great Central Railway
This image: An ancient alley in Leicester Above: Vintage carriages on the Great Central Railway
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 ?? ?? Top to bottom: The Moira Furnace Museum on the banks of the Ashby de la Zouch Canal; Leicester's National Space Centre; the atmospheri­c remains of Ashby Castle
Top to bottom: The Moira Furnace Museum on the banks of the Ashby de la Zouch Canal; Leicester's National Space Centre; the atmospheri­c remains of Ashby Castle

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