National Space Centre
The National Space Centre overlooks the River Soar and officially opened in the summer of 2001, costing in excess of £50 million to build. The main highlights here include displays explaining the history of the universe and the solar system, together with the achievements of space exploration and travel. Also at the National Space Centre is the biggest planetarium in the United Kingdom (the Space Theatre), the actual Lander Operations Control Centre (LOCC) for the Beagle 2 Mars spacecraft, and the only Soyuz spacecraft existing in Western Europe. Those with a real fascination about the universe should be sure to pay a visit to the Space Now area, where you can check on the current status of real-life space missions. If you are in need of refreshment, then the Boosters cafe is on hand and comes complete with giant rocket boosters. Many special events have taken place here since its opening, including both Doctor Who and Star Wars days.
Leicester tourist attraction open: Tuesday to Friday - 10:00 to 16:00, Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00; school holidays, daily - 10:00 to 17:00
Leicester tourist attraction admission: charge, discounts for children under 16 years old, students and families (two adults and up to three children), children under five years old are free
North of Bradgate extends Charnwood Forest once densely wooded, now open heathland. It is excellent walking country consisting of cliffs and rugged landscapes and is dominated by Bardon Hill (912ft/278m) with good views as far as Derbyshire and the Welsh Marshes. In the past wood from Charnwood was used in the mining of brown coal, the granite quarries of Mountsorrel were worked as far back as in Norman times.
In Silver Street stands the Guildhall, a 14th century half-timbered building, which in the Middle Ages belonged to the Corpus Christi guild. During the 15-16th centuries the guildhall was rebuilt in Tudor style; since the 17th century it has been a town hall.
Situated off the Abbey Park Road and offering an array of family based attractions, Abbey Park is a spacious parkland with playground areas for children, sports fields and tennis courts, a boating lake, a miniature railway, a paddling pool, an oriental Chinese garden, and a pets corner with friendly animals. The landscaped gardens provide plenty of seasonal colour and sensory interest, although many come here specifically to check out the 12th-century ruins of Leicester Abbey and Cavendish House. Abbey Park is owned and maintained by the City Council and regularly wins the Green Flag award for overall excellence.
The Golden Mile is the popular title for a long section of Belgrave Road, which earned it name in the sixties due to its high concentration of shops selling gold jewellery. Located approximately 1.5 km / 1 mile to the north of Leicester city centre, the Golden Mile of today is known for its wealth of restaurants specialising in Indian cuisine, as well as numerous sari shops and similar Indian-themed attractions. In December, the Belgrave area is filled with seasonal lighting, which celebrates both Christmas and the Hindi Diwali festival.