City Orientation Walk, Leicester (Self Guided)

Part of England’s East Midlands region, the city of Leicester made history in 2015 as a new burial site of King Richard III in Leicester Cathedral, in place for over 900 years. Other than the king’s life and death, there are other attractions in Leicester worthy of attention. To check them out, use this self-guided walk and learn more about the past and present of Leicester in its variety!
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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: England » Leicester (See other walking tours in Leicester)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Author: Ella
1
Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower

1) Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower (must see)

The Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower is a major landmark and popular meeting point in Leicester. It is located roughly in the middle of the area inside the ring-road, and is at the point where five major streets (Gallowtree Gate, Humberstone Gate, Belgrave Gate, Church Gate and Eastgates) meet, and also close by to the junction with Cheapside. The Clock Tower is the de rigueur meeting place in the city centre.

The Clock Tower was constructed in 1868. It was built mostly in Ketton stone with a base of Mountsorrel granite, and incorporates column shafts made of polished Peterhead granite and serpentine. The statues were made from Portland stone. The site was directly above the junction of two of the city's main sewers which were modified prior to the tower's construction. Officially a memorial, the Clock Tower has four statues of sons of Leicester, one at each corner. The figures are Simon de Montfort, William Wyggeston (spelt 'William Wigston' on the tower itself), Thomas White and Gabriel Newton.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Town Hall

2) Town Hall

Leicester Town Hall in the City centre of Leicester is a welcoming building set in a square which contains an impressive fountain. The building is the town hall of the city and contains Leicester Bike Park. The town hall was built on the former cattle market between 1874 and 1876 in the Queen Anne Style by Francis Hames. On the first Wednesday of each month, a free tour is given by a Blue Badge tourist guide. This starts at 2 pm and lasts up to 2 hours and concludes with tea and biscuits in the Lord Mayor's Tea Room. Contrary to the notice board outside, visitors do not need tickets for the tour. Some history is given of the building, details of previous Lord Mayors etc. and one can visit the former courtroom and the current main council chamber.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Curve Theatre

3) Curve Theatre (must see)

Curve Theater is a new £61 million cultural venue designed by architect Rafael Viñoly in 2008. The theater is situated in the center of the Cultural Quarter. It has 750 seats in the main theater and can seat 350 in its smaller auditorium. The glass wall of the theater ensures that passerby can observe the performance from the street. The theater is a popular venue and is at the center of Leicester's cultural life.
4
Grand Hotel

4) Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel was built by Amos Hall and Cecil Ogden from 1897 to 1898. It’s located on Granby Street near the corner of Belvoir Street. Architect Amos Hall constructed the hotel's Silver Arcade, as well as the beautiful “wedding cake” on the top of the hotel. Initially the Grand had the reputation as of one of the most stylish hotels in Leicester. It was later bought by the Ramada Jarvis Company. Although it lost some of its uniqueness, it remains a quality hotel.
5
Leicester Railway Station and Thomas Cook Statue

5) Leicester Railway Station and Thomas Cook Statue

The Leicester Railway Station opened in 1840. The industrial city of Leicester was one of the first in England to have access to a railway. From 1892 to 1894 the station was rebuilt, although it maintained its Victorian architectural elements. The platforms were later rebuilt in the 1970s. The statue of one of the most famous citizens of Leicester, Thomas Cook, is situated outside the Railway Station on London Road. Cook was a well-known traveler who was the first to organize tourist trips by train.
6
New Walk Museum and Art Gallery

6) New Walk Museum and Art Gallery (must see)

The New Walk Museum and Art Gallery is a museum on New Walk not far from the city center. Two dinosaur skeletons are permanently installed in the museum — a cetiosaur found in Rutland (affectionately named George) and a plesiosaur from Barrow upon Soar. Other permanent exhibits include an Egyptian area, minerals of Leicestershire and a wild space area featuring stuffed animals from around the world. On the first floor of the museum is an exhibition area that changes periodically. Recent exhibits have included a Wallace and Gromit display and Picasso ceramics.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Magazine Gateway

7) Magazine Gateway

The Magazine Gateway was built in 1410 and is one of Leicester's top attractions. It once served as an entrance to the Castle of Leicester, although it never had doors. The Gateway was principally ceremonial and was meant to impress visitors to the city. It also was the entrance to the Newark District, which was one of the best places in Leicester to live, as residents of this district could avoid taxes.
8
Newarke Houses

8) Newarke Houses (must see)

The Newarke Houses are located next to Leicester Castle on Newarke Street in the historic part of the city. These two buildings are of different styles and ages, but together they help illustrate the development of the city. Wygston Chantry House was built by William Wiggston, who was the mayor of Leicester in the 16th century. It served as lodging for priests. Built in 1547, this is the only remaining Elizabethan-era house in the city. The other house dates back to the 17th century and is known as Skeffington House. It once served as the Skeffington family home. On the first floor are exhibits that teach about the development of Leicester over the past 300 years.
9
The Guildhall

9) The Guildhall (must see)

The Guildhall in Leicester is a Grade I listed timber framed building, with the earliest part dating from circa 1390. The Guildhall once acted as the town hall for the city until the current one was commissioned in 1876. Although some parts are earlier, the majority of the building dates from the 15th century. It is located in the old walled city, on a street now known as Guildhall Lane. It was used first as the meeting place for the Guild of Corpus Christi and then later for the more formal Corporation of Leicester.

The hall was used for many purposes, including council meetings, feasts, as a courtroom, and for theatrical performances. The Guildhall was also used for banquets, festivals, and as a home for a priest who prayed for the souls of Guild members in the nearby St Martin's Church. The Guildhall was retained in use until quite late. It was not until 1876 that the Corporation moved to the new Leicester Town Hall. It was later used as a police station and school, before becoming a museum.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Leicester Cathedral

10) Leicester Cathedral (must see)

Leicester Cathedral, or the Cathedral Church of St Martin is the fourth smallest Anglican cathedral in England. A church dedicated to St Martin has been on the site for about a thousand years, being first recorded in 1086, when the older Saxon church was replaced by a Norman one. The present building dates to about that age, with the addition of a spire, and various restorations throughout the years. Most of what can be seen today is a Victorian restoration by architect Raphael Brandon. A memorial stone to King Richard III is located in the chancel of the church. He is not actually buried there, having been originally buried in the Greyfriars Church in Leicester. The church was elevated to a Collegiate Church in 1922, and made a cathedral in 1927, following the establishment of a new Diocese of Leicester in 1926.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
Leicester Market

11) Leicester Market (must see)

Leicester Market is located on Market Place just south of the clock tower. It is open Monday to Saturday and has over 270 stalls. It is around 800 years old but was moved to its current site around 700 years ago. It is the largest outdoor covered market in Europe. At the market you can find a wide variety of goods, particularly fruit and vegetables, but also flowers, clothes, second-hand books, bric-a-brac and jewelry. The indoor market (1973) is housed in a multi-level building and includes the fish vendors and delicatessen, as well as stalls selling clothes, haberdashery, footwear, jewelry and confections.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Leicester, England

Create Your Own Walk in Leicester

Create Your Own Walk in Leicester

Creating your own self-guided walk in Leicester is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Architectural Tour of Leicester

Architectural Tour of Leicester

The most interesting architectural buildings in Leicester can be observed in the central part of the city. The historical architecture of Leicester is very diverse and reflects a variety of styles. The city experienced an explosion of growth during Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901), which explains the predominance of the Victorian style of architecture. Stroll along the main streets of the city...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
Tour of Leicester's Southfields

Tour of Leicester's Southfields

The southern area of Leicester is known as Southfields. This section of the city is home to a number of Leicester's significant landmarks, parks and memorials. Take this tour to learn more about Leicester's charming Southfields District.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Places of Worship Tour of Leicester

Places of Worship Tour of Leicester

Leicester is a multicultural city that supports a variety of religious communities. Next to Christian churches you can find mosques and Buddhist temples. Virtually every established faith is represented in Leicester. Explore Leicester's most notable places of worship and learn more about the cultural and religious life of the city on this tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 km
Historical Tour of Leicester

Historical Tour of Leicester

Leicester is a city in the East Midlands of England with a rich past. Valuable historical monuments in Leicester are under the special protection of the local government and are the pride of the city. Take this historical tour of central Leicester and learn about the city's medieval history.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Tour of Northern Leicester

Tour of Northern Leicester

Northern Leicester is an area packed with interesting sights. Here you will find a fabulous array of historical attractions, museums and parks. Take this tour to visit the best Northern Leicester has to offer!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km
Museums and Galleries Tour of Leicester

Museums and Galleries Tour of Leicester

Leicester is the industrial center of the Midlands and has a rich heritage. A number of museums and galleries offer visitors a fascinating look into the history, culture and development of Leicester. Some venues are free of charge and are sponsored by the local government. Take this tour to enjoy Leicester's most notable museums and galleries.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.7 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Leicester for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Leicester has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Leicester, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.