Ten reasons to love Leicester
THE LANES: This area of small independent shops in one of the oldest parts of the city make this an ideal alternative, shopping destination if you're looking for something a bit different. An area praised by shoppers in the know and a great place to find that Christmas/birthday gift with a difference.
HIGHCROSS SHOPPING CENTRE: Parking is a breeze and with top brands such as John Lewis, Apple, North Face, H and M, Zara, All Saints, Mango, Debenhams and Office all under one roof this is a fantastic shopping centre. As well as John Lewis and easy parking, Highcross also offers a great choice of restaurants and a 12 screen Cinema de lux.
THE NATIONAL SPACE CENTRE: The National Space Centre is the UK's largest attraction dedicated to space exploration and space science and its in Leicester. Located on Exploration Drive, it is an amazing building filled with rockets, satellites, Martian surfaces and other artefacts. There are experts on hand and a full space communications team to offer advice and help. The centre hosts special attractions throughout the year, including the very popular Star Wars convention, which sees people travelling from across the country to take part.
CURVE: This stunning new theatre, designed by Rafael Viñoly, is at the heart of the city's Cultural Quarter. Love it or hate it, the Curve theatre is an iconic glass building offering some of the very best live performances right in the heart of the city. It has been a great source of debate since its opening and continues to be even today.Guided tours of Curve remain very popular. At only £3 for adults and £2 for under 18s these tours are also great value. Just contact the ticket office for details. Tel: 0116 242 3595.
ABBEY PARK: Leicester's premier park is situated one mile north of the city centre. The River Soar divides this beautiful park into two areas: to the east of the river lies the highly decorative Victorian part with its evergreen shrubberies, trees, lakes and formally planted flower displays and to the west of the river lies the Abbey Grounds. Within this area are the remains of the 12th century Leicester Abbey and the ruins of Cavendish House, a seventeenth century mansion.
BRADGATE PARK: In Newton Linford, this is Leicestershire's largest and most visited country park, covering around 830 acres and welcoming 900,000 visitors a year. A real scenic gem of unspoilt countryside. Steeped in History. It was the birthplace and early home of Lady Jane Grey - nine days Queen of England. It is also an historic deer park with herds of red and fallow deer.
LEICESTER CITY FOOTBALL CLUB: Gary Lineker and Peter Shilton both played for the city's football club. Also known as the Foxes, Leicester FC was founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse, playing in a field near Fosse Road. They moved to Filbert Street in 1891 and played there for 111 years, before relocated to the Walkers Stadium, now known as the King Power Stadium.
LEICESTER TIGERS: Leicester are the most successful English club since the introduction of league rugby in 1987, a record nine times English champions - three more than either Bath or Wasps, the last of which was in 2010. Leicester have also appeared in a record eight successive Premiership finals since 2005. The Tigers have never finished a league season below sixth position, and are one of only four teams (along with Gloucester, Bath and Wasps) never to have been relegated from the top division. Leicester are also the only English side to have qualified to play in every Heineken Cup in which English teams have participated, and are also the most successful English side in Europe; back-to-back champions in 2001 and 2002 and losing finalists in 1997, 2007 and 2009.
LEICESTER MARKET: Leicester Market, in the heart of the city centre, is open for six days a week, Monday to Saturday, every week of the year. The largest and finest market of its type in Europe, with a reputation for quality and service stretching back seven hundred years.Leicester Market offers over three hundred stalls with a large selection of food ranging from traditional fruit and vegetables, to ethnic herbs and spices. In addition, a diverse range of products such as clothing, footwear, bags, jewellery, second hand and household products are also available.Last year, the market was redeveloped with the introduction of a continental coffee bar, a new market layout with fifteen lockable units, the creation of wider aisles, signage and improved lighting. The area where the new units have been established has become very popular with traders, selling a wide range of quality commodities such as dried flowers, cosmetics, bags, cards, electrical goods, fabrics, mobile phones and clothing.
PHOENIX SQUARE: Set in the heart of the city's Cultural Quarter, Phoenix Square is a cinema, digital arts centre and cafe bar. Phoenix Square shows a cross-section of the best in world and independent cinema in its two, state-of -the-art screens.âÂ¨The centre also hosts digital exhibitions and films of the arthouse and world cinema genres. Before being named Phoenix Square, it was referred to as Leicester Digital Media Centre.