Leicester and Leicestershire tell some of England’s more unusual stories. Here, we describe some top outings which are perfect for group visits.
The county is most famous for its connection with one of the bloodiest battles in English history and the gravesite where, over 500 years later, King Richard III’s remains were discovered beneath a city car park. It’s also known as the home of Triumph Motorcycles and Pork Pies, so dive into the below and take away some great ideas for your next group visit.
Belvoir Castle (pictured above) is a majestic spectacle set on a high hill with panoramic views across several English counties. It is regarded as one of the finest examples of Regency architecture in the country and its grand rooms, which regularly feature in films and TV series (including Netflix’s The Crown) can be best enjoyed on a guided tour.
The estate surrounding the castle contains formal gardens and woodland, with the latest garden restoration programme bringing to life the lost plans of the famous Capability Brown.
Groups can enjoy exploring the castle and its landscaped grounds either with or without a guide, tailored to meet your requirements. A range of additional refreshments are available from morning coffee to lunch and afternoon teas. Be sure to build in sufficient time to enjoy the exclusive rural retail experience at the Engine Yard too, which celebrates the best of our local food and country living.
King Richard III Visitor Centre
Discover the incredible story of the last English king to die in battle and the first to be DNA tested at the award-winning King Richard III Visitor Centre.
Knowledgeable guides bring offer a warm welcome and reveal the first part of this fascinating story. Using 21st century technology and stunning design, the exhibition takes visitors back to medieval England and the famous Wars of The Roses.
You can uncover the plot lines and family connections that combined to create an intricate story of medieval murder, mystery and mayhem. Experience what happened on the battlefield as the Plantagenets and Tudors battle it out, and where the King was cut down as he defended his crown.
Then fast-forward over 500 years to a car park in Leicester city centre where the amazing evidence-gathering that resulted in the discovery of the long-lost remains of King Richard III is revealed.
As a fitting finale, a free ‘Reinterment of the King’ talk is available at the Visitor Centre for groups, with Leicester Cathedral currently closed until the autumn of 2023.
Great Central Railway
Great Central Railway is Europe’s only double track heritage railway and the only place where trains can be seen passing each other at speed in a historical mainline setting. Running for 8.5 miles through the Leicestershire countryside, the railway has four charming stations restored to reflect various periods in history.
First class dining trains offer six course meals in Pullman style comfort. Other experiences available include fish and chip trains, first class Afternoon Tea trains, lunch trains and murder mystery evenings.
There are also cafés and bistros at three of our stations, and all four stations along the route provide a variety of entry and exit points for individual visitors and tour parties.
Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre and Park
Set in the heart of the Leicestershire countryside, the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre offers a relaxing and picturesque location to explore one of the turning points of British and Medieval history. Established within the grounds of the Battlefield Country Park, the purpose built interactive centre tells the story of the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. The battle, which heralded the start of the Tudor dynasty, marked the last time an English king was to die on the battlefield.
As well as the exhibition, visitors can join one of its guides for a 2km guided walk, exploring the battlefield site and its fascinating story.
Themed walks are available, including Women of the Wars of the Roses, and The Archaeology of Bosworth Battlefield.
Triumph Visitor Centre
Explore the official home of Triumph Motorcycles where you will get the chance to discover the full brand story, British heritage, performance and biography in the visitor experience.
There are opportunities to get up close to some of the most iconic Triumphs of all time. A fully guided Triumph Motorcycle factory tour is also available.
Discover how and where the world-renowned Triumph motorcycles are created with this behind-the-scenes factory tour that will take you all the way from concept to manufacturing and final assembly, all while your expert guide shares little-known facts about this iconic British motorcycle manufacturer.
The Pork Pie Experience - Hand Raise A Melton Mowbray Pork Pie
The Pork Pie Experience, designed specifically for groups, takes place in the magnificent surroundings of St Mary’s Parish Church in Melton Mowbray.
Led by the team at Dickinson & Morris this masterclass is presented through hi-tech audio-visual equipment and covers a step-by-step demonstration of hand raising a Melton Mowbray Pork Pie.
As part of your experience, you’ll discover the story of how Melton Mowbray became associated with the pork pie and Stilton cheese, the link with hunting and exactly why an authentic Melton Mowbray Pork Pie is so unique.
For more information on group visits to the county, go to Visit Leicester’s travel trade website at www.visitleicester.info/visitor-information/travel-trade