Located two hours’ drive from London, Leicester is a sought after destination for travellers from all over the world. Probably, many associate it with football, cheese, or pies, but in fact, it has much more to offer.
With a rich past starting in the first century AD, the city has an extensive array of historic attractions such as the Cathedral, the Guildhall Museum, and the Burrough Hill Iron Age Fort. And if you decide to go there, you will have a great time exploring the local highlights. However, multiple sights are available outside of the city as well.
Yes, you will find wonderful cultural sites and nature walks within a short drive. If you want to spice up your UK weekend, consider taking some spectacular Leicester day trip itineraries. Here are the most popular routes.
There’s nothing better than spending a day surrounded by nature, and visiting the charming Bradgate Park fits right in with that idea. The most iconic structure in the area is Old John’s Tower, perched atop the tallest hill. The mediaeval ruins of the iconic Bradgate House are also an outstanding place to explore.
However, the major local feature is the huge number of deer and squirrels wandering around. They walk freely and fit perfectly into natural landscapes.
You will be happy to spend a leisurely day strolling through the shady alleys of the park. Also, you can take food with you and have a picnic in a specially equipped area. Getting to the park takes about 25 minutes. The entrance is free, but you will have to pay a parking fee if you come by car.
The rich heritage of the region is the reason for the abundance of historical sites, and Rockingham Castle is one of them. It was built in the 11th century by order of William I. The first thing you may notice is the high location of the castle in relation to the surrounding landscape. The fact is that it served as a defensive fortress in the Middle Ages, which explains its unique place of construction.
Today, the castle and its surroundings are an excellent option for a family day out. Therefore, you can pick up a 9 seater car hire Leicester and go there with your kids. Yes, it’s a great idea to hire a 9 seater van as Rockingham Castle is only a 50-minute drive away from the city. Plus, you get freedom of movement when you hire a car.
A self-guided tour of the castle costs £12.50. In addition, you can take a walk in the garden and visit craft fairs and an open-air cinema operating on certain dates. So, find out the schedule and, if you want, combine the exploration of the castle with other leisure activities within it.
A road trip in the United Kingdom is not complete without visiting the Cotswolds. Located in Gloucestershire, this area impresses with its typically English landscape with woodland, lovely rolling hills, stone walls, and charming villages.
It will take you a little over an hour to get to the Cotswolds. Among the main local highlights is Devil’s Chimney – a bizarre limestone rock. Also, you can set off to Cotswold Farm Park to see lambs, cows, chickens, geese, and other domestic animals. For a more challenging experience, climb the highest point of the Cotswolds at Cleve Hill on the 6-kilometres-long route from Cheltenham.
Do you want to touch the life of the 1620s? Head to Donington le Heath situated a 25-minute drive from the city to see the unique historical manor house. It appeared at that place in the thirteenth century and then was renovated in the seventeenth century. The house is furnished and shows how people lived in those years.
You can walk inside and then take a walk in the stylized garden. For a complete historical experience, set off to the on-site café serving dishes popular in the seventeenth century. However, modern interpretations are also available. A single ticket costs just £6.80 and is valid for one year after the first visit.
So, Leicester is the right place for your next trip to the UK. It provides multiple on-site attractions and is a great starting spot for exploring nearby points of interest. If you want to diversify your weekend and have more flexibility when planning your itinerary, pick up a car and take advantage of our simple day trip guide!