Multi-cultural Leicester boasts many attractions, ideal for day excursions with a hire car. Steeped in the history of King Richard III, there is something old and new to interest almost everyone. Initially, car hire is not required to explore the centre - the timbered Leicester Guildhall in view of the impressive cathedral spire, or the castle to the west. The Jewry Wall Museum is full of archaeological relics from ancient times to the middle ages.
Within its grounds is the Jewry Wall, part of the Roman baths and now one of Leicester’s most well known landmarks. More recent exhibits can be seen at The Gas Museum, or the film exhibition and contemporary cinema at Phoenix Square. Sport fans could visit the King Power stadium, home of Leicester City football team and host to three matches in the Rugby World Cup. De Montfort Hall is next to Victoria Park and the largest Leicester live performance venue with comedy, jazz and ballet, along with occasional West End musicals.
There is plenty of shopping at the golden mile on Belgrave Road and a large market. Highcross shopping centre to the south also has a twelve-screen cinema. A food and drink festival is held in May, summer carnivals in June and August and the Leicester Marathon in October.
Abbey Park's scenic bridge spans the wide river, ideal for relaxing or a picnic. The National Space Centre is to the north on the A6 and shows visitors how astronauts are trained. Inside the gherkin-like structure, browse rocket displays and explore a mock space station.
For exploring the countryside instead, with your car hire organized, Watermead Country Park has artificial tree-lined lakes and is near picturesque Charnwood Forest, for a Sunday stroll. Thornton reservoir and nurseries are a little more to the west, or the very photographable Belgrave Hall is set in two acres of walled gardens on the Thurcaston Road.
Pretty villages steeped in history are all waiting to be discovered, in addition to real country pubs and fine restaurants. Ashby de la Zouch is easily reached with car hire, with an impressive medieval castle. Although partially in ruins, it makes an impressive sight as a listed building and ancient monument. The town of Melton Mowbray holds food festivals, fitting well with its famed pork pies.
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