A Visitors Guide to Leicester


Town Hall
By RichW
July 28 2012

Welcome to the beautiful garden city of Leicester?                                                 Ok? No? Perhaps not...shall we try again?                                                             Welcome to…well…Leicester.                                                                    There, that’s better.                                                      We all appreciate that coming to Welford Rd to watch your team get its regulation spanking can be a painful and dispiriting experience so, being the good welcoming folk that we are and possessed of the regulation number of fingers, heads and toes and being well balanced and impartial we present this guide to enhance your visit and maybe to help obviate the painful hurt of inevitable defeat. 

Whilst it is of course impossible to cover every possible option hopefully, gentle reader, you will find below, an acceptable selection of amenities and attractions to enhance your visit as suggested by the readership of our little web-site. 

Basically – these are some of our favourites. Hopefully you will find something that appeals. If you need more information about anything I’m sure someone will be able to advise on the message board. 

So – to business... 

...arriving… 

The Train 

Newly beautified – well the works should be complete by the start of the new season – Leicester’s London Rd Railway Station is well sited for those headed to Welford Rd – straight out the door across the road, follow the signs, keep walking – 15 mins tops – really if you get lost you shouldn’t be travelling without company… 

It’s also really convenient for many of the pubs and restaurants mentioned below making a post match drink or two and a bite to eat eminently practical before the journey home. 

So where possible the train is a good option. 

 

Parking the car 

However there will be many for whom the train is not an option and for those, a word of warning: parking in Leicester can, as in most British cities nowadays, prove a difficult, fraught experience. What with the free-booters and privateers at one end of the spectrum and the official council backed sharks, with their army of traffic wombles (I wanted to call them something less complimentary but thought it politic to refrain) busily making out tickets to hit their performance pay based targets at the other – and all squeezing in on a dwindling stock of free parking it can seem that the motorist is a persecuted minority at times. (I’m not angry…) 

Anyway: 

I think services run until 7.00pm, and not at all on Sundays, so it’s only good for Saturday afternoon ko times. The buses stop at St Nicholas Place – about 15 mins walk from the ground and convenient for Highcross shopping and many of the central hostelries and eateries mentioned below. 

There are of course several others: click here to see Leicester car parks. 

A point well made by one insightful contributor to this guide is that, when parking in Leicester it is perhaps wise to bear in mind where not to park as much as where to park. So – avoid the Morrisons’ car park and the bingo and Cinema car parks backing onto it. Parking on the grass verges opposite the stadium from Waterloo Way up to the railway bridge on Welford Road is, despite the absence of any obvious signs to the effect, a no parking zone and parking wombles a-plenty, all armed with their instamatic ticket dispensing machines, prowl on match days; preying on the unfamiliar and the unwary. 

 

Now – time for the good bits! 

We’re all going down the pub… 

In no particular order: 

Useful link to Leicester CAMRA’s map of watering holes. 

And there are of course variously, and in the main conveniently, The Varsity, O’Neills, Scream/Loaded Dog and Walkabout (showing rugby if anyone wants to watch a game before or after the real thing) – chain pubs all, selling bland, mass market drinks brands. I’ll let those of you for whom that appeals [of student age] seek them out for yourselves – they should be easy to find on-line. 

 

Pre-match grub: 

I must preface this by saying that these suggestions are made on the assumption of a Saturday afternoon kick-off. Should we find ourselves subject to the vicissitudes of the Television schedulers with Friday night, late Saturday and Sunday kick-offs some may well not be open and others perhaps impractical. 

In the ground  

Food – pies and pasties at the Goldsmiths stand end of the Holland and Barrett stand are acceptable if not outstanding and there are the usual numerous burger, hotdog, hog roast and do-nut (sic) stalls. You can get a passable impression of a curry below the Goldsmiths stand – but why would you? Save yourself and have a proper one at the numerous places suggested both above and below. 

With Everards Tiger on hand pump in the Club House Bars and the Final Whistle behind the Cat Stand (which usually features live music post match, from house band Rock Bottom) offering an alternative to the otherwise standard fare of Strongbow, Carling, Heineken and Guinness with some vin ordinaire for those who prefer the grape, it’s by no means a desert. As you might expect though, it’s an expensive place to drink with Heinken and Guinness pushing £4 a pint! Other bars (too numerous to mention) the style and atmosphere of each varying, have ‘smooth’ Tiger – oh the humanity!  

After the game many of the bars remain open for a while and there’s a big difference between the bars around the ground but as some close down many of those remaining in the ground head for the cavernous Final Whistle where things continue for hours after no side. The choice is yours but Rock Bottom will entertain you for an hour or so and the pubs and bars outside will all still be there later in the evening. 

 

Post-game eats. 

Well it’s Leicester so Indian food is front and centre. 

For ease I’ve divided them into two areas – London Rd – which is convenient for Welford Rd and the train station and Belgrave Rd/Melton Rd which is less convenient but possibly more authentic; the sub-continental cultural centre of Leicester. 

There are of course so many options in Leicester that I couldn’t begin to mention them all but this is a flavour provided by those contributing: 

London Rd: 

Moving over to the Belgrave Rd/Melton Rd are – the Golden Mile – famous far and wide as a little bit of the sub continent in Leicester. It’s a bit of a trek from Welford Road but well worth the effort. 

Others further afield. 

There are dozens more of course – beyond counting really – but these have been recommended by at least one of our number. 

For those who don’t want curry (weirdos): 

And whilst you’re there try Babelas Continental Bar across the street. It’s an odd little place but has a great atmosphere and good booze including Taylor’s Landlord on hand pump and a wide range of Belgian beers. 

 

A bed for the night: 

First a disclaimer – since very few of us will have stayed in any of these the comments below are not, perhaps, authoritative – but I doubt there are any real horror stories here: 

Lastly – a word of warning perhaps about the area around the Days Inn and the Campanile. Backing on to one of the city’s less salubrious districts there is surely nothing wrong with the hotels themselves, but reports are of a few visitors having come unstuck in the area after dark. 

 

And that’s it. Thanks to all those who contributed suggestions and comments on this. I hope we’ve managed to provide a range of choices for visitors but I have to point out that this has all been a rather unscientific process with subjective opinions from across numerous users of TheLeicesterTigers.com. So caveat emptor! Apologies if anything above is inaccurate or if any of the suggestions disappoint. We did our best! If anyone finds another recommendation or has a bad experience feel free to let me know – I’ll try to update this once in a while. 

Rich

pqs: qs:
A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: TheLeicesterTigers.co.uk (IP Logged)
Date: 28/07/2012 11:27

What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2012:08:14:12:28:18 by Tiggs.

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: Tiggs (IP Logged)
Date: 28/07/2012 11:36

Many thanks to Rich, and everyone else who provided the information.
Please feel free to add information, or correct errors, or provide updates, by posting below.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stephen.bath1/Bath/Photos/tighthead.gif http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stephen.bath1/Bath/Photos/TigersFire2.gif

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: Tigergeezer (IP Logged)
Date: 30/07/2012 18:39

Sponditious guide.

Geezer junior II argues for inclusion of Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe just off St Martin's behind the marke, which is the best thing about Leicester apart from a five-point Tigers win as far as he's concerned. Loads of sweets you didn't know they still made in jars so you can buy a quarter and spend the match happily rotting your teeth.

_____________________________________________

The lowest depth to which people can sink before God is defined by the word 'journalist'.

Soren Kierkegaard

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: Yorkie (IP Logged)
Date: 30/07/2012 20:57

Great guide Rich.

The only other "where not to park" comment I'd make is to be careful where you're parking on some streets around the city centre as they're residents only rather than pay and display. Not always that obvious which is which.

http://www.jakehowlett.com/tuckshop/wrappers/chocolate/plain/yorkie-nutter.jpg

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: Duncan Keene (IP Logged)
Date: 30/07/2012 23:40

Great guide rich, really enjoyed it. I like bistro Pierre, and it's value for money deserves a mention, not sure it's that chainy, aren't there only 3 of them?

In that area, The Rutland and derby is a good pub for showing off Leicester in my opinion.

Colourworks near DMU is pricey but pretty good and a nice walk down from welford road.

Braunstone gate for drinking arguably better fun for the "younger crowd" than the walkabout type area you mention. Terrace and fat cat's sometimes good for those that like "tiger spotting". (not particularly my thing).

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: Yorkie (IP Logged)
Date: 31/07/2012 19:26

Braunstone Gate is easy. Follow the crowd down the single street. Awful music everywhere though.

Start at Looking Glass, end up in Mobius (god awful place!!), stopping at Sumo, O'bar and Natterjacks on the way. Really, really predicable! Other bars too. Just pick a crowded one! Natterjacks usually has dj or live band at weekends.

Less likely to be trouble in Braunstone Gate then centre of town imho.

http://www.jakehowlett.com/tuckshop/wrappers/chocolate/plain/yorkie-nutter.jpg

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: SK 88 (IP Logged)
Date: 02/08/2012 23:38

I think its the Black Horse, certainly one of them, on Braunstone Gate has a terrific collection of Tigers memorabilia.

Also during the coming season I may work out a Fried Chicken section for you!

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: tbtb (IP Logged)
Date: 03/08/2012 22:53

Here are some of my thoughts.

1) I would under no circumstances recommend anybody to buy anything from any branch of TJs. It is food for those who have lost their faculties, either through drink or otherwise.

2) Akash Tandoori is a running joke among my friends. Slightly cheap but it is always empty and consequently deathly silent. The elderly waiter watches you with an unwavering and unnerving stare as you eat.

3) The Almanack deserves a more prominent mention, really excellent quality ingredients and certainly the pick of the restaurants in Highcross.

4) Barceloneta in my opinion has too large a menu and it is not executed very well as well as not being very cheap, for that reason it is poor value for money. On Queens Road Jones' is better and I would only recommend that if you were for some reason already in Clarendon Park anyway.

5) Also The Boot Room should be included, in the same ballpark price range as the Case and with very good quality modern English food, in the top three restaurants in Leicester IMO.

6) The Marquis and the Globe both now have a new menu (the menu is the same in both, although in the Globe it is slightly cheaper). Standard pub stuff but with good ingredients, of course both also have a reasonable selection of ales as well as single malts.

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: noq (IP Logged)
Date: 24/04/2013 11:59

Quick update on the pubs listed above.

The Longstop on Churchgate has closed as has the Black boy on Albion street and the Bricklayers arms on Welford Road is closed again at the moment.

Time Bar has been revamped and renamed the Parcel Office.

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: Tiggs (IP Logged)
Date: 24/04/2013 12:19

Many thanks noq, the guide has been updated accordingly.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stephen.bath1/Bath/Photos/tighthead.gif http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stephen.bath1/Bath/Photos/TigersFire2.gif

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: SK 88 (IP Logged)
Date: 24/04/2013 18:02

Pavlos on Queen's Road now has some competition from Gino's which is in the old Zesty's unit. Its probably not as good as Zesty's was but is more a traditional take away. Cheap and cheerful its front man used to be one of the cabbies from Victoria cabs.

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: AndyY (IP Logged)
Date: 25/04/2013 21:48

For those who park on Freemans Common Industrial Estate, there is now a Greggs in the Beaver Centre (sign on the wall outside). Ok for Saturday afternoons but probably not night matches or Sundays.

Mmmmm Sausage Rolls!!

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: noq (IP Logged)
Date: 04/09/2015 13:28

The Pub on New Walk is now closed.

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: Rich W (IP Logged)
Date: 04/09/2015 13:37

I will rewrite this at some point in the new season - but I'm going on my jollies on Sunday so it's not going to be in Sept.

...

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: Tiggs (IP Logged)
Date: 04/09/2015 13:41

Cheers Rich !!! Enjoy the trip !!

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stephen.bath1/Bath/Photos/tighthead.gif http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stephen.bath1/Bath/Photos/TigersFire2.gif

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: Rich W (IP Logged)
Date: 04/09/2015 13:56

thumbs down

...

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: IDLETIMES (IP Logged)
Date: 04/09/2015 14:00

Nice one Rich and well done Lancs. Looks like a nice little 'double'.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015:09:04:14:20:34 by IDLETIMES.

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: Duncan Keene (IP Logged)
Date: 04/09/2015 14:01

For drinking the top of High Street seems much more popular than it used to be, Apres Lounge in particular.

Re: A Visitors Guide to Leicester
Posted by: Rich W (IP Logged)
Date: 04/09/2015 14:12

Cheers Alec.

...

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