Leicester and culture go hand in hand. The city is a veritable hub for arts, history and performance, with galleries, museums and theatres that are a must-visit – whether you’ve lived here your whole life or you’re new to the city.
If you’ve read our previous blog post, Leicester And Diversity, you’ll be well-versed in some of the biggest cultural hotspots of the city. This is because festivals and foods, as well as being representative of diversity, are core aspects of the city’s culture. One of the reasons that Leicester is such a popular city, is because it has so much going for it. It lives and breathes culture, in all aspects.
The Cultural Quarter was established in 1989 and while it used to be home to the shoe and textile industry, it is now the home of top artists and designers. So many of our best cultural spots in Leicester can be found here. Just a 5 minute walk from St George’s Tower, they couldn’t be more convenient to visit!
Leicester and Culture: Art
If you’re interested in art, and in supporting artists on both a local and global scale, then the galleries and exhibits in Leicester place you right in the thick of it. Drawing on all kinds of inspirations and eras, exploring the art scene in the city will grant you a brand new appreciation of the culture in Leicester.
If you are interested in visiting an independent cinema, art centre and cafe bar, all rolled into one, then Phoenix is a must visit. The epitome of culture, it operates with the overarching aims of supporting local and international artists, educating people of all ages and creating new and exciting pieces in different mediums, from different perspectives.
Serendipity is an arts and heritage organisation, playing an active role in the cultural landscape of the UK. They inject innovation in every single project and invite diversity into every aspect of their offering. If you enjoy experiencing art in its rawest form, then Serendipity is a must-visit.
Leicester and Culture: History
Culture in Leicester is heavily influenced by the history of the city. After all, we made global headlines in 2012 when the remains of King Richard III were discovered beneath a car park – and this is just the tip of the iceberg; we have everything from museums to protected buildings to English Heritage sites.
Leicester Museum And Art Gallery
If you are excited by the natural and cultural world, then look no further than Leicester Museum and Art Gallery. With free entry and a huge array of exhibits, it is somewhere that you could dedicate a whole day to and still not be able to take everything in. Plus, it’ll impress any friends and family that you choose to invite along with you.
Leicester Guildhall is a medieval venue and museum. The timber framed hall was built all the way back in 1390, when it was used as a meeting space for the Guild of Corpus Christi. It has an engaging medieval history, so this is definitely one for any old literature or history buffs.
You can never go wrong with an English Heritage site. Jewry Hall is one of the tallest surviving sections of Roman architecture, which is just one of the reasons that it is a protected site. In fact, the masonry is so precarious that it can only be viewed from a public footpath – no one is allowed inside.
Leicester and Culture: Performance
Shakespeare famously coined the term “all the worlds a stage”, and this rings true in Leicester. The city is home to some incredibly well-known theatres and playhouses, with large shows and household name celebrities having made their mark here.
Curve is a state of the art theatre, in the heart of the Cultural Quarter. Over the years it has garnered a truly impressive reputation for finding and nurturing new talent, and presenting award-winning theatre. Having previously held shows such as Grease – The Musical and Waitress, there’s always something exciting to watch at Curve Theatre.
The Little Theatre
While The Little Theatre may not sound impressive, don’t let its name fool you. It has been a mainstay of Leicester for over 100 years. During this time, it has had a profound impact on big-name celebrities, including Richard Attenborough – who started his career at The Little Theatre and is still known as the Honorary Life President.
Sue Townsend Theatre
The Sue Townsend Theatre is named after the successful author of the same name. It is yet another theatre in Leicester with a rich history, which means that watching a show here is double the cultural experience. Some famous names have walked this stage, including Anthony Hopkins, Heather Sears and Richard Eyre!
Leicester and Culture: Sport
While some people may say that sport isn’t culture, they couldn’t be more wrong. The best thing about sports, and sporting events, is that it brings people together. We would actually argue that you don’t even have to like what you’re watching because it’s all about the atmosphere! And nowhere plays on the intersection between sports and culture like Leicester.
Morningside Arena is Leicester’s largest indoor events arena. It hosts international sporting events, but the fun doesn’t end there. It also holds entertainment events, exhibitions and more – so there are so many reasons to immerse yourself in culture in Leicester, at the arena.
A day at the races is your opportunity to get all dressed up and spend the day drinking, eating and socialising. Leicester Racecourse is a big and beautiful venue, popular amongst locals and visitors alike. If you’ve ever wanted to be featured in the local paper, then we would definitely recommend a day at the races.
And we can’t forget the hugely successful football and rugby teams with both Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Both clubs have their stadiums based right in the heart of the city, making for a perfect afternoon’s entertainment.
Exploring Leicester and Culture With St George’s Tower
Hopefully our guide to culture in Leicester has been useful. Whether you needed some trips to add to your bucket list, or more of a general insight into your new home, we have tried to give you a good sense of exactly what the city has to offer.
And in that same vein – be sure to take a look at our student accommodation. At St George’s Tower, we are proud to provide leading accommodation for students from both the University of Leicester and De Montfort University. With various studio apartments available, there has never been a better time to register your interest.
If you have any questions about our accommodation, or about the culture in Leicester, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Contact us today by completing an online form, and a member of our friendly team will get back to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, be sure to take a look at our other blogs, for everything you need to know about Leicester!