Leiceter City's new stadium opened in August 2002. I went to Walkers Stadium for the first time in October 2006, to watch my hometown team, Southampton, play there. I had been to Leicester City's old ground, Filbert Street, but the new stadium is much better. It has a capacity of 32,500 and it's almost identical to Southampton's St. Mary' Stadium, but has blue seats instead of red. It is nicknamed the Crisp Bowl, because it is sponsored by Walkers' Crisps. A seat, at the side, in the West Stand, cost me £29. A seat behind the goal costs £22. A matchday programme costs £3.
Leicester, the 'forgotten city'.
Known as 'the forgotten city' even in the UK, Leicester is a vibrant, multi-cultural place. It's excellent for shopping (all the main stores plus lots of little independent shops) and has a very good market (vegetable stall run by Gary Lineker's parents). They even managed to keep most of the original frontage when they built the huge 'Shires' shopping centre in the middle of the city.
Additionally, Leicester's large Asian population has produced the 'Golden Mile' on Belgrave Road, where you can buy everything from gold jewellery to sarees and spices. The restaurants there are excellent!
Leicester also has the only Jain temple in the UK, a beautiful place which can be visited in the afternoons (by appointment only) and several gurdwaras and mosques which welcome visitors.
Leicester (known then as Ratae) was an important Roman town. The Roman baths can still be seen in the grounds of the Jewry Wall museum. The 'Jewry Wall' itself is the tallest original Roman structure still standing in England. The museum (check opening times locally) contains many Roman and prehistoric artefacts
found in the city and county, including fine mosaics and wall paintings.
Leicester also has a Medieval guildhall to visit, Medieval abbey ruins in Abbey Park and Norman remains in Castle Park. Nearby is Bradgate House, where Lady Jane Grey (Queen for only 9 days) lived, its ruins set in acres of beautiful parkland. The park is very popular with local people at weekends, as it is free (apart from parking) and often feels as if you are in wild country. Lots of deer and some of the oldest exposed rocks in the UK.
Leicestershire is a largely rural county, with many little villages and interesting historical sites. The east is more hilly, and more pastoral as you travel towards England's smallest county (Rutland). The west of the county was once an important area for manufacturing boots, shoes, hosiery and clothing in general but many of the small local factories have closed since the 1980's.
Many people do not realise that the Battle of Bosworth took place in Leicestershire A major turning point in British history, this is the battle during which Richard lll was killed and Henry Tudor (father of Henry Vlll) took the throne. The battlefield and visitor centre lie near the pretty, typically English market town of Market Bosworth. Both are worth visiting ...... see my Battle of Bosworth travelogue for more details on the battlefield.