Although Leicester is hidden in the middle of England, it’s still a memorable location and much sought after destination. Here are 10 things that Leicester is famous for that you probably didn’t know about. Including that it’s the largest city in the East Midlands and is home to the worlds biggest crisp factory!
1. Diwali Celebrations
Leicester has the biggest Diwali celebrations outside of India, and during the festival around 40,000 people gather along the city’s Golden Mile, otherwise known as Belgrave Road. This stretch of road in Leicester known for its authentic Indian restaurants, sari and jewerly shops. The Diwali celebrations include lots of dancing, food, and even fireworks, as well as the turning on of the Diwali lights, which stay on for Christmas too.
2. World’s biggest crisp factory
The Walkers Crisp factory in Leicester is the largest crisp factory in the world, producing more than 11 million bags of crisps each day across a wide range of delicious flavours.
3. Most diverse street in England
In 2016, The London School of Economics named Narborough Road in Leicester as the most diverse street in England. The street has more than 200 shop units, with the shop owners coming from all around the world. Many people say that a trip down Narborough road is like visiting the whole world.
4. Blue Boar Inn
Leicester was once home to the Blue Boar Inn, a beautiful medieval building where Richard II is rumoured to have spent one or two nights before the Battle of Bosworth. It is almost rumoured that the bed Richard slept in was brought with him from Nottingham. However, the last standing part of the building was torn down in 1836, meaning you can no longer visit it.
5. Oldest women’s football club
Leicester City’s Ladies football club was formed in 1966, with their first game taking place in May of that same year. The club is now over 50 years old and the oldest continuous ladies football club in England.
6. Largest city in the East Midlands
Leicester has a population of over 500,000 people and is the largest city in the East Midlands. This also means that Leicester is the eleventh largest city in England after Bristol. The city is also rumoured to have more traffic lights than any other city in the UK.
7. Biggest UK comedy festival
The Leicester Comedy Festival started back in 1994 and remains the UK’s biggest comedy festival. Over the years, it’s welcomed top comedians on its stage, where people from all over the world come to laugh.
8. First city to have local radio station
The first local radio station can also be found in Leicester, with BBC Radio Leicester first coming on air back in November 1967. The radio station is still active today, with thousands of listeners tuning in every day.
9. The River Soar used to be pink
The River Soar is one of the most iconic features in the city, but it didn’t always look how it does now. Leicester was famous for its textiles, and back in the 1930s Leicester was named the second richest city in Europe. As water was an important part of the textile manufacturing process, all the mills were built next to the river for convenience. However, the waste water was released back into the river, which turned it pink!
10. Biggest covered market in Europe
Leicester’s market is supposedly the largest covered market in Europe with nearly 300 stalls. The market is now nearly 800 years old but is open Monday-Saturdays from 7am to 6pm.