Leicester is dotted with parks and open spaces that allow its residents and visitors to enjoy. Aside from that, it’s also close to nature reserves like the National Forest. Due to that, it isn’t difficult to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the modern city. After all, everyone needs a breath of fresh air and a break from the hectic nature of city life.
First-timers that are going to Leicester may not know where to go if they wish to see the natural spots of greenery in the city. Henceforth, we’ve decided to create a list of the best places in and around the city to have a little nature trip.
No visit to Leicester would be complete without heading to Abbey Park. It’s very accessible as it is located near the cities’ centre. The great River Soar divides the place into eastern and western halves which are very distinct from one another. On the western side, you will be able to see the ruins of Leicester Abbey and the Cavendish House.
The eastern side of the park is home to a miniature railway, boating lake, and a garden that was constructed during the Victorian era. People can take a stroll around all these sites and then take a break in Abbey Park Café which is right in the middle of the park.
Spinney Hill Park
Spinney Hill Park is was constructed during the 1800s on the eastern side of Leicester. It takes up 34 acres of land and is home to many playgrounds, walkways, and ball courts. The place is ideal for people that wish to simply clear their minds and enjoy the scenery.
Activities which the park offers include lawn bowling, cricket, and table tennis. Furthermore, an open gym and a multi-purpose gaming area can also be found there. It's the perfect place for individuals who wish to exercise in an open atmosphere.
A nearby alternative to Spinney Hill Park is Victoria Park. It was originally built as a race course and has since been converted into one of the Leicester’s most beautiful outdoor spaces. You’ll be able to walk across the many shaded pathways that dot the area. Apart from that, the park is also home to a myriad of sporting venues.
In addition to everything that’s mentioned, you can also visit Victoria Park’s two memorials. The most prominent of which is an arch that was built in memory of those who lost their lives during WWI. A simpler rock memorial that’s dedicated to the American 82nd Airbourne division can be found close to the pavilion.
Braunstone Park is situated on the western side of the city. It covers a massive area which houses many venues that everyone can enjoy. Additionally, the park also has two lakes on its southern side which attracts many distinct migratory species of birds. Because of that, the area is a perfect place for birdwatchers to take pleasure in their hobby.
One other thing to do when visiting the park is to check out its three memorial gardens. The first of which is serves as a WWII memorial. You can also visit a wonderful hedge and azalea garden within the park’s grounds.
The National Forest
People that want to see what England looked like when it was still covered with forests can visit the National Forest which is found near the outskirts of Leicester. It is an environmental project that’s run by The National Forest Company. The whole area encompasses 200 square miles and is home to more than 8 million trees.
Anyone that goes to the area should first head to Conkers which is a visitor centre that’s located just outside the village of Moria. You can then learn more about the forest’s many attractions and where to find them. One thing to remember though is that it’s rather easy to get lost in the large area. Due to that, anyone that heads there alone should have a map avoid getting lost.