In a recent survey by Rightmove 5 of the top 10 areas, outside of London, with the biggest increases in buyer demand were in the Midlands. In this article, as part of our popular spotlight on series, we will take a look at the place occupying 7th place, which is the famous city of Leicester.
Leicester’s current name has been documented since the ninth century and was first known in old English as Ligera Ceastre in 924 A.D. and then as Ledecestre in the Domesday book of 1086. The name comes from the combination of the name of the people populating the area at that time, the Ligore who took their name from the river Ligor (now it is known as the River Soar) and the word Ceaster meaning fort. Leicester actually goes back much further than that, though as it was first thought to have been settled in the 2nd or first centuries BC and then the Romans arrived in around 47 A.D. Leicester Castle was built in around 1070, soon after the Norman conquest and the town developed rapidly over the next few centuries with the building of the Church of the Annunciation or Our Lady of The Newarke, which became a pilgrimage site as it was believed to house a thorn from the crown of thorns worn by Jesus. Richard III was buried in Leicester in the Greyfriar’s church in 1485 and his skeleton was discovered in 2012 under a car park. During the industrial Revolution Leicester gained in prominence when it was linked, via the grand union canal to London and Birmingham in the 1790’s and with the arrival of trains in the 1860s and a direct link to London Leicester became an industrial powerhouse with industries such as textiles, hosiery and footwear gaining prominence in the town. Leicester was finally granted city status in 1919 and in 1936 Leicester was identified as the second richest city in Europe. Today, Leicester has the second largest economy in the East Midlands and much of its economy comes from textiles, engineering, shopping and food and drink.
Leicester is well served by the motorway network and lies on the M1 and the M69 which give it direct links to London (2 hour drive), Nottingham (45 minute drive) and further north as well as the M6 and M42 which serve Birmingham (1 hour drive) and the North West of the Country.
The East midlands airport lies around 20 miles outside Leicester and serves over 80 destinations throughout the UK and Europe. Birmingham airport is only around 40 miles from Leicester and from there the world really is your oyster.
The city is served by the mainline Leicester railway station which has direct services to St Pancras in London and from there the Eurostar service to the continent. The station also has links to Derby, Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Cambridge, Peterborough and even Stansted airport.
Things to Do in Leicester
With the historically signification link to King Richard III, no visit to Leicester would be complete without a trip to the Richard III visitor centre. Take a look at a recreation of his deformed skeleton, learn about his death at the battle of Bosworth field and also gaze upon the spot where his remains were found, this really is an important local museum.
Although a little trek outside of Leicester, Conkers adventure park is a great day out for the whole family. With high and low ropes, indoor play, archery and much more, you will really be in a for treat.
If your tastes run a little more other worldly, then the National Space Centre is the place for you. Learn about space, see real space suits worn by famous astronauts and even see a Soyuz 7K-0K spacecraft and some genuine moon rock. For those who love everything astronomical this really is the place for you.
Eating and Drinking
As the most populated municipality in the East Midlands, Leicester has plenty to offer in terms of eating and drinking.
If you’re a lover of cocktails and live music, and who isn’t, then pop over the 33CankStreet on St. Martin’s Square where you will be treated to unique cocktails and live music from local artists.
If you want some history, then the Globe Pub is the place to be. Reputed to be one of Leicester’s oldest pubs having started serving the inhabitants of Leicester back in 1720! Claims that it is haunted only add to the allure.
Celebrating the best of British, the Black Iron Restaurant at Winstanley House, is certainly worth a visit. Serving locally sourced produce which is cooked over its signature charcoal fired oven the Black Iron is committed to quality.
Whatever your culinary tastes, Leicester will have something just for you.
Boasting a cinema, 40 café’s and restaurants and over 100 stores, the Highcross Shopping centre should be on every shoppers list of places to go. From Next to John Lewis to Pandora, your every shopping whim will be catered for. If your need to shop isn’t satisfied by Highcross alone, then fear not, you can always pop over to the Haymarket shopping centre, with its over 60 shops and food outlets.
If you are after that genuine market feel, then the 700 year old Leicester market is the place for you. With an outdoor area, a large food hall you will get the very best of local produce, meats and seafood.
The current average asking price for a property in Leicester is around £304,000 with prices ranging from £124,00 for a one bedroom property to £298,500 for a three bedroom property and up to £580,000 for a large 5 bedroom family property.
If you are more in the market for a rental property, then the current average rental price per calendar month is just over £1,000. Prices range from an average of £681 for a one bedroom place to £985 for a three bed property and up to £1,485 for a 5 bedroom home.
If our spotlight on Leicester has made you curious about a possible move to the area, please see our current listings for Leicester. If you would like to speak with one of our local property experts, please click this link to find contact details for our Leicester office where our professional and dedicated team of local property experts will be happy to help.