City of culture

When thinking about Leicester, you might picture Gary Lineker, cheese or Leicester City football club, the current Premiership champions. What you might not realise though is that it is a very cultural place to be with many venues offering top class entertainment. Shows are staged here direct from the West End of London and ballet companies often visit.


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Phoenix – an independent cinema, arts centre and café bar. The home of digital arts and a charity, the Phoenix offers courses, exhibitions and events.

There are also Odeon and Showcase cinemas showing the latest blockbusters. Bollywood is big in Leicester too with it’s own cinema called Piccadilly Bollywood cinema. If you want a winning Bollywood smile, then find out more about Leicester Cosmetic Dentistry at


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A visit to Leicester would not be complete without seeing the Curve designed by international architect Rafael Vinoly. Sitting in the heart of the Cultural Quarter, it is one of the country’s leading producers of theatre. De Montfort Hall, part of the University of Leicester, is the largest venue in the city and shows jazz, ballet, comedy, opera and West End musicals.

The Y Theatre boasts an impressive array of live music, theatre, dance and comedy. Found in the city centre, it also holds more intimate candle-lit shows and gigs. It is Leicester’s oldest venue dating back to 1900.

Leicester’s first pub theatre can be found at Upstairs at the Western. Peepul Enterprise is yet another large multi-purpose venues with theatre space that can be hired for events.


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Leicester’s drama society is based at The Little Theatre and boasts famous patrons such as Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sir David Attenborough. The company always produces a great pantomime and puts on twelve productions a year.

If Art is more your thing, then Leicester is home to some fantastic exhibitions which can be seen at The LCB Depot. They offer a platform for emerging and seasoned artists to display their work. Two Queens is a gallery and studio complex showing modern art exhibitions. Attenborough Arts Centre is the University’s art centre with an impressive programme of fine art exhibitions and events. A new gallery has recently opened showing off modern visual art and sculpture.

Educational programmes are offered at the Leicester Print Workshop. This workshop provides printing facilities for artists and also opportunities for schools and colleges to explore art. This workshop can also be found in the Cultural Quarter.

For lovers of heritage, a visit to Leicester City’s museums are highly recommended. The famous Charnia fossil can be viewed here as well as Victorian steam engines. There is a huge range of objects and artefacts covering many different eras and subjects. You’ll be spoiled for choice as there are five museums to choose from.

  • The Abbey Pumping Station is the city’s Science and Technology museum housing exhibitions on public health, optics and historic transport.
  • Belgrave Hall and Gardens is a preserved historic house open to the public
  • The Guildhall boasts one of the best preserved timber framed halls in the country dating back to the 15th
  • Jewry Wall explores the archeology of the city and it’s people back to prehistoric times.
  • New Walk Museum and Art Gallery houses displays from Ancient Egypt to Dinosaurs and the art gallery features some beautiful works of fine art.
  • Newarke Houses Museum follows the military history of the Royal Leicestershire Regiment.

Current exhibitions include ‘At the Front’, part of nationwide memorial of the Battle of the Somme. Leicester’s artists are showcasing thir work in the yearly exhibition. Diwali is a huge part of cultural life in Leicester and the museums are holding an exhibition entitled ‘6000 lights’, the story of Diwali in Leicester.