What’s new for visitors to Leicester and Leicestershire in 2024
Top new experiences and events for art lovers, history buffs, food and drink connoisseurs and more
Leicester and Leicestershire will offer even more for visitors to the destination this year with a host of new openings, events, anniversaries, experiences and new attractions planned for 2024.
The multi-million pound Jewry Wall immersive visitor experience, uncovering the story of Roman Leicester, will open in autumn 2024.
The Grade II listed building will house a stunning new exhibition beginning with an immersive experience introducing visitors to Roman Leicester, then depicting life in Roman Leicester using ancient Roman objects, state-of-the-art audio visual exhibits, games and interactive exhibits. There will also be a café and shop plus meeting and learning rooms.
The Heritage & Learning Centre at Leicester Cathedral will open in late summer 2024. The new centre will provide a much-needed learning and exhibition space where the story of King Richard III, the cathedral and Leicester’s rich history can be better told.
Jewry Wall Museum and Leicester Cathedral are located in Leicester’s Old Town, close to the famous Leicester Market which is undergoing a £7.5m refurbishment project with a target completion date of Christmas 2024. The refurbished market will feature 70 stalls, a new layout and enhanced lighting and paving.
One of the world’s most iconic Impressionist paintings will take pride of place in a landmark exhibition at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery from May 2024. Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s masterpiece ‘The Umbrellas’ is due to be displayed in the city as part of UK-wide commemorations marking the 200th anniversary of the National Gallery in London. The National Treasures: Renoir in Leicester exhibition is part of the National Gallery’s NG200 year-long festival of arts and culture, which will see 12 important artworks being loaned to 12 cities around the UK, including Leicester.
Bring the Paint is coming back from 20-26 May 2024 with new, large-scale street art to view. The fourth instalment of the award-winning festival is shaping up to be the biggest yet featuring an amazing selection of international, national and local artists creating public artworks across the city, as well as a host of exhibitions, workshops, music, street art tours, live broadcasts and other family-friendly activities.
The new National Science and Conservation Centre, based at Twycross Zoo, will make a significant contribution to the international conservation of biodiversity when it opens in late 2025. This purpose-built centre will support conservationists and scientists around the world with a facility for both research and teaching. With the work supporting conservation; animal welfare; biosciences; STEM activities and public engagement with science, it will significantly shape the outcomes of the global extinction crisis.
The Bosworth1485 Sculpture Trail is creating a new landscape of world-class artworks telling the stories of five remarkable places, the role they played in the incredible Battle of Bosworth and the resulting death in battle of King Richard III. The project expects to open later in 2024, and will showcase five different sculptural works of art that are reflective of the locations that host them and the importance of their role in the story.
2024 is also a big year for King Richard III-related anniversaries in Leicester and Leicestershire. It marks the 100th anniversary of the Richard III Society which began in 1924, the 50th anniversary of the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre which opened in 1974 and the 10th anniversary of the King Richard III Visitor Centre which opened in 2014.
If you’re looking for an overnight stay, the Hilton Leicester hotel is undergoing a full refurbishment and will be complete in time for Christmas 2024.
The Volunteer Tourism Ambassador scheme for the city will be launching in January 2024 with the first recruits available March /April. A team of local volunteer Tourism Ambassadors will be recruited from Leicester’s neighbourhood areas, universities and businesses to support the promotion of the city’s tourism venues and attractions.
Hidden Food Tours is a new walking food tour company based in Melton Mowbray, launching a showcase for the diverse and rich culinary offerings of the East Midlands, with the first tour due to take place in March 2024. The tour, spanning three hours, will take small groups to different venues and locations around the town, sampling the best local produce - from classic foods such as Stilton cheese and the pork pies that have taken the town’s name around the world, to the newer producers - and telling the story of some of the best known foodstuffs in Britain.
Great Central Railway, the UK’s only double tracked main line heritage railway is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the line opening in 1899 this year with a major event in March. A new focus on family-orientated experiences sees the ‘Ruffle the Rail Dog’ books being brought to life at Easter and a series of other events throughout the year. New First Class Dining experiences have been launched with a Champagne Brunch train, a new Afternoon Tea train and a Murder Mystery train. For the more adventurous, the railway also offers Drive a Loco and Drive a Train experiences with Diesel Heritage Railcars being added to the options for 2024.
Taylor’s Bellfoundry has been producing high-quality bells in Loughborough since 1839. The brand-new Taylor’s Bellfoundry Heritage Experience is due to be completed and open in autumn 2024. Owing to ongoing building works, it is running a limited number of Bellfoundry Tours in the first half of 2024. After re-opening, visitors will be able to visit a brand-new accessible museum, featuring exhibits on Taylor’s history, the bellfounding process and bellringing.
‘Paint to Pixel X Repainting Subway Art’ at the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery is an exciting and immersive journey into the world of graffiti art from 3 February - 27 May 2024. Using large scale projections and in-depth interviews, this beautifully animated exhibition uncovers fascinating stories from some of the most high-profile graffiti writers of today.
If you are looking for new things to see and experience, then put Leicester and Leicestershire at the top of your bucket list for a city break in 2024. Find out more at www.visitleicester.info