Leicester Coach Holidays
Currency: Pound Sterling
Time Zone: GMT
Tipping: 10 to 12% is usual for hotels with 10 to 15% being usual for restaurants. In each case, it is not necessarily added to the bill. If a service charge has already been added, no further tip is required.
Leicester - an introduction
The beautiful city of Leicester, brimming with 2000 years of history, cannot fail to inspire on coach trips. The city simply oozes chic-ness and the contemporary shopping areas will keep die-hard shopaholics in utter heaven throughout their stay here. After a hard day's shopping, kick-back those tired feet with an ice-cold drink in one of the many stylish bars and restaurants.
Leicester is the largest city in the East Midlands and it is where Thomas Cook, in 1841, started the travel industry when he organised a trip from Leicester to Loughborough by train. He lived in the city for 50 years and there are a variety of buildings connected to him within the city centre – see if you can spot the monument dedicated to Thomas Cook on your own travels.
More recently, the eyes of the world have been focused on Leicester due to the discovery of King Richard III's skeleton which was buried underneath a council car park in the city. An exhibition marking the discovery of his remains, as well as the ruins of Greyfriars Church, was launched at the Guildhall in February 2013. 'Richard III: Leicester's Search For A King' is a free exhibition at the Guildhall open until Spring 2014. Visitors to the exhibition on Leicester day trips will find detailed examinations about the archaeological excavation as well as learning about the life and times of King Richard III through interactive touchscreen displays. You can also see a model of his skull which is on loan from Loughborough University. The exhibition will be held in Leicester's Guildhall until a permanent Visitor's Centre is available.
Leicester is without a doubt a mecca for history and culture vultures because of its links with famous figures such as Richard III, King Henry VI and Cardinal Wolsey. The city also has links to Egypt and the Romans with Leicester housing one of the highest Roman walls in the country at the Jewry Wall Museum. Visit St Nicholas Church which is a fine example of Saxon architecture and see the original site of Leicester Castle where the Motte is clearly visible at Castle Gardens. Other popular medieval landmarks to pay attention to include the Guildhall, the Elizabethan Chantry House and the Magazine Gateway which can all be seen on coach tours to Leicester.
Aside from history and culture, Leicester is the perfect destination for people of all ages whether you're looking for a vibrant nightlife or just wish to cosy up with a meal from around in the world in one of the city's fabulous restaurants. There's also a choice of theatres and live entertainment to choose from in addition to a calendar jam-packed full of festivals and other events to keep the whole family entertained. Leicester truly is a city that's just waiting to be explored.
Coach trips to Leicester will include return coach travel, accommodation in a quality hotel (unless it's a day trip), meals and excursions.
Things to do
Leicester is a busy city with lots to see and do. Here are our top spots whilst in and around the city:
Built under the instruction of William the Conqueror and set in the Welland Valley, Rockingham Castle welcomes thousands of visitors each year. Visitors are given the chance to explore the castle at their own pace, although guides are also on hand to answer any questions or queries. The castle gardens are beautifully landscaped; be sure to look at the Elephant Hedge which is 400 years old!
Well known for its famous Pork Pies and Stilton Cheese, Melton Mowbray is a popular destination for visitors to Leicestershire. Stilton Cheese originated near Melton Mowbray and is still produced in the town today. When visiting, be sure to try a Melton Mowbray pork pie from Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe; you'll never taste a pork pie like it!
Situated around a mile north of the city of Leicester, the 12th Century Abbey was once one of the largest buildings on the nearby landscape. Leicester Abbey sadly did not survive its turbulent history, but the ruins are located in the 57 acre Abbey Park along with a memorial to Cardinal Wolsey who was laid to rest in the grounds.
Bradgate Country Park
Located within Charnwood Forest, Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood Country Park is a great destination for visitors all year round. It is in this Country Park that you can see Old John Tower, one of Leicestershire's most famous landmarks, standing 690ft above sea level on one of the county's highest points. The park is also home to a herd of Fallow Deer, which were brought to Britain by the Romans, in addition to a herd of Red Deer.
Tips & Advice
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Leicester, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
British Citizens are advised by some of our tour operators to have travel insurance before going on a tour or holiday, even if it happens to be in your country of residence. As a British citizen you will be entitled to free emergency health care on the NHS.
If you are visiting England from outside the United Kingdom and fall ill or are involved in an accident and are from any member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you can obtain free or reduced cost treatment with The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Comprehensive travel insurance is advised for all other nationals planning on visiting England.
If you need to contact the emergency services whilst in England simply dial 999 or 112 to ask for an ambulance.
Most destinations are generally trouble-free, however as with all places that you are not familiar with, keep an eye on your belongings and if necessary lock them away somewhere safe back at your hotel if possible. Keep an eye on everyone in your party and do not go off with people you do not know. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times. Be aware of your surroundings and don't venture off on your own.
Local Laws and Customs
Queuing is a British Institution - jump a queue at your own risk!
Drug offences will carry penalties in the UK, so avoid getting involved with anything whilst in England. Please note the narcotic plant Khat/Qat is legal in the UK, but is not in a majority of other countries so never try to export this when leaving the UK.
If you are visiting from outside of the United Kingdom, it is wise to check customs requirements before you travel. If you are planning to bring alcohol, tobacco or souvenirs into the country, you need to be familiar with the UK's custom laws. For those people coming to the UK from the EU, you are allowed to bring an unlimited amount of most goods for your own use without paying tax or duty.
However, if you are travelling to the UK from outside of the EU, you are given an allowance of how much alcohol, tobacco, perfume, souvenirs and other goods. If you go above this allowance you may have to pay tax or duty. It is worth checking the HM Revenues and Customs website before you travel.
When travelling between the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in most cases an official form of identification such as a Driver's License will be ok. However, some airlines will insist you show a passport so check before you travel.
If you are travelling to England from Australia, Canada or the USA, you must have a valid passport for at least three months beyond the length of your stay. EU nationals need to have either a valid passport or identity card.
Visas for the UK are not required by those travelling from Australia, Canada, USA or EU for stays of up to six months.
Any other nationality looking to visit the UK must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
For further information about Leicester you can visit the tourist office website at visitleicester.info