New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester's original museum, has wide ranging collections and displays spanning the natural and cultural world. A family friendly day out, the galleries include Ancient Egypt, Dinosaurs, Wild Space, The Den gallery for the under 5s, the Victorian art gallery, Arts & Crafts gallery and a modern and contemporary art gallery. The first floor galleries include World Arts, Picasso Ceramics: The Attenborough Collection and Leicester's internationally renowned collection of German Expressionism. The museum welcomes a vast array of temporary exhibitions, featuring works from the collections, touring exhibitions from national museums and a programme of contemporary art and craft displays.
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De Montfort Hall
De Montfort Hall has been one of Leicester's premier entertainment venues for over a century, hosting live music ranging from pop to classical, theatre, stand-up comedy, musicals and operas. The venue hosts an eclectic range of quality shows, including live music and festivals from rock to pop, touring West End musicals, internationally recognised comedians, opera and orchestra, ballet and dance and children’s shows. De Montfort Hall is set amongst beautiful gardens, which occasionally host outdoor stages to treat visitors to stunning views whilst enjoying the show. The hall is proud to have been a residence of the Philharmonia Orchestra since 1997. Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest orchestras, the Philharmonia run a programme of concerts as well as community and educational events each year. The hall is also home to a magnificent pipe organ; it has almost 6,000 pipes and is believed to be one of the last surviving example of its kind in the world. It was constructed in Leicester by organ builders Stephen Taylor and Son Ltd., and was a gift to the town by local industrialist Alfred Corah.
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Victoria Park
Victoria Park is a fine green space next to the University of Leicester campus. The centrepiece of the park is the magnificent memorial arch, built to commemorate the dead of the First World War. The arch was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, as were the beautiful wrought iron gates at the parks Peace Walk and London Road entrances. The area served as the city's racecourse until 1883; upon the racing find a new home at Leicester Racecourse in Oadby, the area was transformed and is now a peaceful retreat from the buzz of the city. The park has areas of formal flowerbeds as well as winding pathways shaded by avenues of trees– perfect for finding some shade and enjoying a picnic or a good book on a summer’s day. For more active visitors, the park is home to a bowling green, croquet area, 4 tennis courts, football and rugby pitches, a floodlit Astro pitch and an outdoor gym.
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Curve
Curve is a spectacular, state-of-the-art theatre in the heart of Leicester’s vibrant Cultural Quarter. Opened in 2008 by Her Majesty The Queen, the award-winning building designed by acclaimed architect Rafael Viñoly offers a completely unique visitor experience. Unlike any other theatre in the UK, there is no traditional backstage area. Audiences can enjoy the full theatre-making process, peek behind the scenes and maybe even spot an actor or two dashing from the stage to their dressing room or enjoying a coffee in the café. The building’s stunning curved façade is made from 1,192 tonnes of steel and 46,000 square metres of glass. Managed by Leicester Theatre Trust, Curve is a registered charity providing engaging theatrical experiences for the community. Working with people of all ages and backgrounds, the theatre is committed to nurturing new and emerging talent, as well as creating world-class productions.
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Leicester Cathedral
Leicester Cathedral lies at the heart of Leicester's Old Town. The cathedral is open for visitors and all are welcome within its doors. From the fine stained glass to the story and tomb of King Richard III, explore over 900 years of history in this peaceful and beautiful building. The tranquil Cathedral Gardens surround the cathedral. A quiet space in the heart of the city, the gardens are made up of areas of lawn, flower beds, seating areas and a water feature. The gardens are also home to two pieces of public art: the iconic bronze statue of King Richard III, commissioned by the Richard III Society in 1980, and the sculpture 'Towards Stillness' – an installation representing a timeline of the King's life, especially commissioned for the occasion of his reinterment.
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The Guildhall
The Guildhall is a historic building and the oldest building still in use in the city. It was Leicester’s first police station and between 1876 and the 1900’s and saw many unsavoury characters pass through its doors. The Great Hall itself was built in about 1390 as a meeting place for the Guild of Corpus Christi (a small but powerful group of businessmen and gentry) and it’s also believed that Shakespeare performed here during Tudor times. Over the years it has had many uses, including housing one of the oldest public libraries and serving as the Town Hall. After restoration, the Guildhall was opened to the public as a museum in 1926. Today the Guildhall is best known as an excellent performance venue, attracting acts from across the country, and as a museum where visitors can step back in time and come face to face with Crankie Gemmie and Emma Smith, two of Leicester's notorious pickpockets who can be found lurking in the Victorian police cells. The museum is also home to the Medieval Leicester galleries. Through objects and activities, visitors can walk the streets of medieval Leicester and uncover a world both familiar and very different to our own!
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Abbey Park
Hugging the banks of the River Soar in the north of the city is Abbey Park – a beautiful green space to relax and admire Leicester’s riverside scenery. The park has a choice of activities to keep the whole family entertained. The boating lake in the centre of the park offers hire of both rowing and pedalo boats – fun for adults and children alike! On a summer’s day, relax and pedal your way around the beautiful lake in the centre of the park, enjoying the sweeping views of serene parkland all around. Heritage lovers will enjoy a stroll around the remains of the twelfth century Leicester Abbey and the ruins of Cavendish House, a 17th century mansion. The Abbey was founded by the second Earl of Leicester, Robert le Bossu. It became one of the wealthiest Augustinian abbeys in the country, but closed in 1538 when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries. Whilst converting the overgrown abbey grounds into a public excavations revealed the remains of the abbey church and the other main building ranges, which can be seen in the park today. Those looking to get active can take advantage of the parks many sporting facilities, including a bowling green, five hard surface tennis courts, orienteering courses, a lavender maze and Ping! table tennis tables – perfect for those looking to try something new or get in some extra practise. Pets Corner is a favourite with all visitors to the park – an area to interact with a variety of small, domesticated animals. The area includes an aviary with a collection of exotic birds, as well as small enclosures housing hens, guinea pigs, rabbits, goats and pygmy goats.
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National Space Centre
The award-winning National Space Centre is an out of this world experience for the whole family! With six interactive galleries, the UK’s largest planetarium, world unique 3D SIM ride and iconic 42m high Rocket Tower, there really is something for everybody to enjoy. The rocket tower is pretty impressive for people of all ages, as it towers 42m into the air and its semi-transparent “pillow” design can be seen as you approach the Centre from any direction! It is home two rockets: Blue Streak and Thor Able, as well as a Gagarin Experience, Apollo Lunar Lander and real Moon Rock. Each year the National Space Centre hosts many special weekends which in the past have included celebrations of Star Wars, LEGO and Daleks. School holiday periods are always exciting, as the Centre adds plenty of workshops and talks into the mix, so advanced booking is advised. A visit to The National Space Centre wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Cargo Bay Shop to pick up a souvenir as a memento of your journey to outer space. The shop boasts a full range of fun and interactive space toys, books, games and telescopes.
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Belgrave Hall & Gardens
Belgrave Hall is a historic house, providing an oasis of peace and quiet in a busy city. The hall was built in the early 18th century in what was then a small village three miles from the town of Leicester. Now city traffic passes, almost unnoticed, just beyond the garden walls. Edmund Cradock, a hosiery merchant, built Belgrave Hall but died soon after its completion. The Hall has had several owners over the years, including John Ellis – a wealthy businessman who was responsible for bringing the railways to Leicester. Visitors can explore Belgrave Hall and the beautiful surrounding gardens on special event days. From April to September the gardens are open every Wednesday and the first full weekend of the month, with additional special events open to the public. Visit the website for more details on specific open days.
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Caludon Castle Park
Caludon Castle Park is a hidden gem nestled Coventry. The park is a special place as it houses Coventry's only castle remains, that of Caludon Castle set in a beautiful park land.
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Coventry Music Museum
The recently expanded Coventry Music Museum (CMM) is an award-winning permanent independent museum. Although 2-Tone music is well featured here, the museum never forgets all the many artists to come out of Coventry & Warwickshire. King, The Enemy, Hazel O'Connor, Delia Derbyshire, Panjabi MC are all showcased, as are The Coventry Carol, Frank Ifield, The Specials, The Selecter, The Beat and Madness. There is an interactive studio room, plus a mock record shop booth and a reproduction of a typical Ska fans bedroom.
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Coventry Transport Museum
Coventry Transport Museum houses the largest publicly owned collection of British vehicles on the planet and tells the story of a city which changed the world through transport. Visitors can expect captivating displays, interactive galleries, and highly immersive exhibitions. 14 fully accessible galleries are home to the fastest vehicle in the world, pioneering bicycles, transport champions and many of the most innovative, memorable and luxurious vehicles of the last 200 years. For those seeking more adventure, walkthrough The Blitz experience or enjoy a ride in one of three 4D simulator rides. With an award-winning coffee house, picnic areas throughout the museum and an exceptional gift shop, it makes a fantastic day out!
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Coventry Cathedral
Coventry Cathedral is a place where splendid medieval history meets modern architecture to stunning and poignant effect. Explore the Ruined Cathedral, destroyed in the Coventry Blitz during WW2, standing proudly alongside the magnificent ‘casket of jewels’, the iconic ‘New’ Cathedral. The New Cathedral features works by some of the greatest artists of the 1950s and 60s. Internationally recognised as a beacon of hope, Coventry Cathedral embodies a spirit of peace and reconciliation in a truly breath-taking setting.
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Herbert Art Gallery & Museum
The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is the perfect place to delve into Coventry’s history and immerse yourself in world-class art. Investigate the natural world, modern art, and the Old Masters. Wander through dazzling interactive displays and enjoy the latest exhibitions while admiring the building’s unique architecture. As well as the art gallery’s ever-changing displays, often created in partnership with national museums, the Herbert offers a wide range of talks, events and workshops for both adults and children. Permanent galleries range from the Visual Arts, to Social and Industrial History, Archaeology and Natural History, there really is something for every visitor.
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St. Mary's Guildhall
Death, intrigue, scandal and spilt custard...are not compulsory when you visit St. Mary's Guildhall, but can be discovered in more than 600 years worth of stories from the finest medieval guildhall in the country. Located in the city's historic Cathedral Quarter, St. Mary's Guildhall miraculously survived the Second World War bombing raids and stands as a monument to the power and wealth of medieval Coventry. With magnificent interiors, collections of armour, historic furniture, artworks and internationally important tapestries, the Guildhall offers a window into Coventry's glorious past. A prison to Mary, Queen of Scots, a theatre for Shakespeare and an inspiration to George Eliot, St. Mary's Guildhall is a fascinating free experience for all ages, at the historic heart of the city of Coventry.
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Nottingham Contemporary
Nottingham Contemporary is one of the largest galleries of contemporary art in the UK. The gallery hosts regularly changing exhibitions of international art. Nottingham Contemporary is set in an iconic building, designed by the award-winning architects Caruso St John, in the heart of the city centre. Alongside the exhibitions, Nottingham Contemporary runs a full programme of events, including talks, film screenings, music and performances. Free drop-in family activities take place every weekend and throughout school holidays. The café, Ottar at Contemporary serves a seasonal, ripe, and varied menu, as well as award-winning chocolates and a selection of delicious cakes.
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Nottingham Society of Artists Gallery
There is always plenty to see at the home of The Nottingham Society of Artists. Situated only a few yards from the entrance to Nottingham Castle, the splendid gallery has a vibrant programme of exhibitions throughout the year, showing a wide and varied selection of work from members of the Society as well as from amateur and professional artists from all over the county.
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St.John the Baptist Church
As one of Coventry’s most historic buildings, St John’s holds a special place in the heart of the city. St John’s was built by Medieval Religious Guilds in 1344 on land given by Queen Isabella. Located on the corner of Medieval Spon Street, this Grade I listed masterpiece of architecture is one of the most beautiful churches in England. Carved from rose sandstone, the church is steeped in history. During the Civil War the building was used to house Scottish Royalists, giving rise to the saying ‘Sent to Coventry’.
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Nottingham Natural History Museum
Since Wollaton Hall opened to the public in 1926, it has been home to the city’s natural history museum. On display are some of the best items from the three-quarters of a million specimens that make up its zoology, geology, and botany collections. Natural Connections Gallery explores the relationship between the natural world and ourselves. One of the central themes in the gallery is extinction, and a number of extinct and near-extinct species are on display. These include a passenger pigeon and a flightless parrot from New Zealand – the kakapo. Recent additions to the gallery include the extraordinary duck-billed platypus, a giant anteater and a rare maned sloth. Other popular exhibits include an orangutan skeleton, a hippo skull and a Humboldt penguin, together with many other mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, insects, and fossils. Mineral Gallery showcases some of the 5,000 specimens that make up the rock and mineral collection. It includes some the original Nottingham Naturalists’ Society collection and fine displays of classic minerals from the North of England (early 20th century) and Cornwall and Devon (19th century). You can also get up close to some giant ammonites – fossilised coiled shells of ancient squid-like sea creatures.
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William Booth Birthplace Museum
Discover the life and work of William Booth – Nottingham’s most famous preacher and social reformer and founder of The Salvation Army – at The William Booth Birthplace Museum. Travel back in time to William’s home as it would have appeared in 1829 and explore how William turned his vision into reality.
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Green's Windmill
Green's Windmill in Sneinton was built by the father of notable scientist and mathematician George Green in 1807. Today the working Mill is a popular museum and science centre, which teaches new generations of children about the valuable work of George Green. Sadly, the mill was badly damaged by a fire in 1947 but was later restored by Nottingham City Council in the 1980s. The windmill began milling again in December 1986 and the giant sails can still be seen working to this day. George Green was a mathematical genius who developed new ways of doing mathematics, which has helped scientists to understand the world around us. Test your brainpower with the hands-on experiments in the Science Centre which explore electricity, magnetism and light, ideal for young children.
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Coventry Watch Museum
Over the past few centuries, Coventry has been home to several industries of national significance. Watchmaking was first recorded in the city in the 1680s, but it was not until the 18th century that Coventry emerged as one of the main centres of the watchmaking industry in England. By the first half of the 19th century, Coventry had even reached a position of national dominance. Proudly illustrating Coventry's influence within the British watchmaking industry, the Coventry Watch Museum houses a display of clocks, watches, tools, artefacts and family history records and much more. One of the cottages is reputedly haunted and several interesting vigils have been held there!
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Nottingham Council House
It takes a building of some distinction to stand out in a city as rich in beautiful and interesting architecture as Nottingham, and the Council House does not disappoint... Far from being a museum, The Council House is a vital, living part of the city and the centre of local politics as elected councillors who represent the people of the City of Nottingham conduct much of their business here. This magnificent Neo-Baroque building, whose 200ft high dome dominates the city skyline, has been the heart of the city centre for 80 years and a source of pride for the people of Nottingham. On a still day, the chimes from the Council House clock, known as Little John, can be heard for miles around. It has been the setting for many splendid public occasions. Royalty, statesmen and women and people from the world of showbusiness have been received and entertained here. The FA and European cups have been held aloft from its balcony, and a great many worthy organisations and individuals have received the thanks of a grateful city within its walls.
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Nottingham Cathedral
Nottingham Cathedral (the Cathedral Church of St Barnabas) was designed and built under renowned architect A.W.N. Pugin and the foundation stone was laid by Bishop Nicholas Wiseman in 1842, who had brought with him the relics of Saint Barnbas from Rome. At the time of its opening in 1844, the Cathedral was the largest Catholic church to have been built in England since the Reformation. The Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Catholic Diocese of Nottingham which covers the counties of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Rutland. The Cathedral has been home to choral music since its consecration and today boasts a flourishing Music Department with the Cathedral Choir and Cathedral Youth Choir.
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Albany Theatre
The Albany Theatre is truly a hidden gem in the heart of Coventry, with its impressive Art Deco-style theatre behind a superb façade of the old Coventry Technical College.
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Midlands Air Museum
The Midlands Air Museum is one of the country's leading self-funded independent aviation museums. Exhibits at the Midland Air Museum range from the magnificent Avro Vulcan bomber through more than 30 other historic aircraft, both civil and military, aero engines and other artefacts, to a wide range of memorabilia. With photographs and collectors’ items, along with an on-site shop and tearoom, it’s the ideal venue for plane spotters of any age.
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Lunt Roman Fort
It's A.D. 60; the Iceni of East Anglia led by the legendary Boudica have rebelled against Roman rule, and have just been defeated in a terrible battle fought somewhere in the Midlands. As a result, the Romans are building a series of fortifications across the Midlands, including the Lunt. Come and explore this partially-reconstructed timber fort. Stand on the ramparts, explore the exhibition in the granary and imagine yourself training horses in the gyrus - a feature not found anywhere else in the Roman Empire. The Lunt Roman Fort is only open during select Coventry school holidays. Please visit www.luntromanfort.org for more information about opening hours. Members of the public are not able to access the site during Coventry term times.
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Bagots Castle
Bagot’s Castle, in the village of Baginton on the outskirts of Coventry, is believed to originally been built in the 11th century, at the time of King Henry I. It was rebuilt around the late 14th century by Sir William Bagot, a distinguished nobleman of his time. All that remains are the ruins of this historic castle.
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Burghley House
Built and mostly designed by William Cecil, Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I, between 1555 and 1587, the main part of the House has 35 major rooms on the ground and first floors.
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Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens
These 10 acre walled gardens (listed Grade II) are a rare example of formal English garden design. They are being restored as near as possible to the period 1680 to 1762 when the Bridgeman family moved to Weston Park. The house was built in 1599 by Sir Edward Devereux and extended by Sir John Bridgeman I about 100 years later. The Gardens were developed by several generations of the Bridgeman Family (later to become the Earls of Bradford) reaching peaks of excellence around 1760 and 1900. The Gardens fell into decline during the middle part of the twentieth century until they were rescued by the Trust in 1985. The Holly Maze is a distorted mirror image of the one at Hampton Court Palace designed by George London and Henry Wise.
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The Prebendal Manor
Described as a hidden gem and dating from the early 13th century the manor is the oldest property in Northamptonshire. Included in the visit are a large recreated medieval garden, fish ponds and dovecote. The Tithe Barn museum houses artefacts from the archaeological excavations and the history of Nassington. The Manor is an affordable and fun place for families. A children's trail, corn grinding, pottery making in the holidays, quill pen writing, dressing up the farm animals add to the enjoyment. The manor and gardens provide a unique experience for groups, with guided tours of the manor and gardens. Morning coffee or homemade teas are available. Lunch can be provided by prior arrangement.
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Sacrewell Mill
The rich history of Sacrewell’s multi-award winning Grade II* listed, 18th century watermill goes back, as far as we know, to 1086 and the Domesday Book, although the lie of the land suggests the Romans were using water power at Sacrewell hundreds of years earlier – perhaps even from the sacred well that gives Sacrewell its name.
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Elton Hall and Gardens
The Hall has been home to the Proby family since 1660. It is an enchanting house which has evolved throughout the centuries. Every room contains magnificent treasures, from late 15th century Old Masters to Reynolds, Constable and remarkable Victorian painters such as Millais and Alma Tadema. Each generation has collected books and there are three libraries containing over 10,000 books. One of the most remarkable is Henry VIII’s prayer book with inscriptions by him and his three children. The garden has been lovingly restored over the last 35 years with mature topiary, a Gothic Orangery and billowing flower borders set between immaculately cut hedges.