Discover Leicester

The City of Leicester lies in the East Midlands area of England and is a wonderful place to visit, with a fantastic range of attractions and things to see. It has a pretty centre which boasts a huge market where you can buy local produce as well as a huge variety of meat, fish and fruit and veg. You can also visit the attractive Leicester Cathedral, built on the site of Roman temple around 900 years ago.

Leicester boasts an excellent Space Centre which boasts six galleries, the UK's largest Planetarium, cafes and a very good gift shop. I do love a gift shop. There is a huge amount on display and some quite jaw dropping stuff; a Russian Space Vehicle, many different spacesuits, Satellites, space food, memorabilia, space rocks, its all here. Space boffin or not, you must pay a visit to the National Space Centre if you can.

There are also two other excellent museums (no idea about the gift shops in these). Firstly, the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery - with exhibitions including Ancient Egypt, Dinosaurs, Picasso Ceramics and modern and contemporary art displays. Or for something a bit different, spend some time at the Abbey Pumping Station, a museum primarily of Science and Technology but also has exhibits for transport, light and optics, toys and civil engineering. Slightly out of the centre and giving your brain a chance to recover, visit Tropical Birdland where you can visit....well...tropical birds. I'm underplaying this; it is in fact a fantastic sanctuary for birds, where over 250 feathered residents live and squawk; you can see parrots, toucans, owls and all sorts of other glorious brightly coloured warblers, some of which you can get up close to and feed. Plus (can I have an ahhhhhh) there is a chick room where you might be lucky enough to see something very small hatching. There is a great play area here too and a cafe. Need confirmation on the gift shop situation.

Also outside the city centre is the meandering River Soar and Grand Union Canal which is home to some beautiful scenery and wildlife. Hire a canal boat and head downstream or check out Foxton Locks, which is Britains longest and steepest set of staircase locks; quite a feat of engineering!

So for those of you who don't know Leicester and didn't think there was much going on here, I hope I have proved you very wrong! This is a great place to visit and make sure you stay awhile - plenty to do for all the family.

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