City Guide



Introduction to Leicester

Leicester is an exciting cosmopolitan city with a proud history stretching back 2,000 years. As one of the country’s most diverse cities, Leicester offers students a unique multicultural living experience. The city lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the National Forest, and is the burial place of King Richard III.


In the 2011 census the population of the Leicester unitary authority was around 330,000, making it the largest unitary authority in the East Midlands region, the 8th largest city in England and the 13th largest in the UK.


Leicester is home to two universities – the University of Leicester and De Montfort University (DMU).

The University of Leicester was founded almost a hundred years ago in the aftermath of the Great War. The men and women who built this new institution hoped that it would be not only a living memorial to the darkness of their recent past, but a beacon of hope for the future. Their aim was that sacrifices made in war should be commemorated through education and research that would change the world for the better. The University now welcomes students from more than 70 countries.

DMU descibes itself as a university of quality and distinctiveness. Its mission is to be a truly international university, distinguished by life-changing research, dynamic international partnerships, vibrant links with business, and a commitment to excellence in teaching, learning and the student experience. DMU now welcomes 2,700 students from over 130 countries every year for international study.

Leisure time

A modern city, rich in arts, culture, sports and heritage, Leicester offers something of interest for all ages.  

The city is brimming with things to see and do, with state-of-the-art venues including Curve, Highcross Shopping Centre and the National Space Centre, a fantastic calendar of events and festivals, renowned museums and galleries, a range of cuisines, areas of natural beauty and ancient heritage. 

Set in the heart of one of England's most attractive counties, the surrounding villages and countryside are easily reachable to explore. The city's central location in the Midlands, makes it to accessible from all directions. It takes just 62 minutes to come to Leicester on a fast, direct train from London.