6 Best Day Trips From Leicester

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Written by our Web Team

6 min read | 24 May 2024

Great days out are only a train ride away from Leicester. The city itself has plenty to offer visitors, including plenty of attractions, culture and nightlife. Plus, for those looking to travel further afield, it’s easy to do so with the city’s great transport links. 

This guide will recommend great day trips from Leicester and explain how to get to these destinations by train.

An aerial exterior shot of Leicester City Hall with birds flying from the roof.

Travelling from Leicester

Leicester is full of history and diversity. Its main train station is equally as striking, with people from across the country regularly passing through. Visitors travel to Leicester by train from:

In Leicester, ancient Roman walls and bathhouses sit next to striking urban architecture. 

History is everywhere here, especially in the Richard III Visitor Centre. Built after archaeologists recovered the monarch’s remains from a city car park, this museum is well worth a visit. 

You won’t be short of cultural attractions on a day visit here either. The Curve Theatre is a destination for local and international talent. The Leicester Museum & Art Gallery on New Walk is also a great option for a family day out.

If you're hungry, check out the Golden Mile for some of the best Indian cuisine in the UK. For a quiet picnic, head to the vast and beautiful Abbey Park just one mile north of the city centre.

A wide-angle shot of Abbey Park, Leicester from across the river in autumn.

Places to visit around Leicester

You can get to these brilliant Midlands destinations by train within an hour of Leicester station.

1. Market Harborough

Experience a traditional British market town with a trip to Market Harborough.

Make your way to the Harborough Museum to see more than 5,000 Iron Age coins found by a local metal detectorist up close. Check out the Old Grammar School and the stunning 14th-century St. Dionysius Church in the city centre.

Head over to the Indoor Market for an eclectic collection of independent retailers. You might even catch a farmers' or makers' market.

After a spot of lunch, go to Welland Park for a leisurely stroll along the river. Or hire a canal boat to take in the beauty of the town from the Grand Union Canal.

Getting to Market Harborough from Leicester

There are trains from Leicester to Market Harborough up to twice an hour during weekdays.

  • Journey length: 14 miles

  • Journey time: From 12 minutes

2. Nottingham

Nottingham is a vibrant, modern city that's still in touch with its glorious and fascinating past. 

The magnificent Nottingham Castle & Art Gallery is more than 1,000 years old. Go to the Ducal Palace to experience a variety of exhibitions celebrating the city’s most famous legend, Robin Hood.

Another popular attraction is the National Justice Museum in the Lace Market. This modern museum recreates a Victorian courtroom, Georgian jail and ancient prison cells.

No historical day trip to Nottingham would be complete without a visit to the Grade I-listed St. Mary's Church. Catch a daily tour to find out about the largest medieval structure in the county.

Getting to Nottingham from Leicester

There are trains from Leicester to Nottingham up to three times an hour during weekdays.

  • Journey length: 22 miles

  • Journey time: From 20 minutes

Statue of Queen Victoria outside Leamington Spa’s Town Hall.

Destinations reachable by train within two hours from Leicester

Being so central, Leicester benefits from great access to the rest of the country. This means you can get to many places by train from Leicester station in under two hours.

3. Royal Leamington Spa

Royal Leamington Spa has long been a place for visitors to relax and renew themselves. 

The picturesque Jephson Gardens are a beautiful place to unwind. Featuring botanical gardens and an expansive lake, the park is teeming with flowers and local wildlife.

Hire a boat from the Leam Boat Centre for a leisurely paddle towards the local nature reserve and Welches Meadow. Head to Newbold Comyn, about a 20-minute walk away from the train station, for a relaxing stroll or cycle. 

Getting to Royal Leamington Spa from Leicester

There are trains from Leicester to Royal Leamington Spa around once an hour during weekdays.

  • Journey length: 30 miles

  • Journey time: Just under one hour 

4. London

Some of the world's most famous sights are only an hour away by train. Map out your own itinerary or take a one-day private guided tour of the capital.

The British Museum is a great place to start. Inside its walls are some of the world's rarest artefacts. A short walk away is the magnificent St. Paul's Cathedral with its panoramic views and intricate interior. 

Stop off for a bite to eat in Westminster and gaze up at the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Or head to Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace to see other historical seats of power. 

Soak up the atmosphere on the River Thames’ Southbank. Then take a ride on the London Eye to see this amazing city from above.

Getting to London from Leicester

There are trains from Leicester to London up to twice an hour during weekdays.

  • Journey length: 87 miles

  • Journey time: Approximately one hour 

A shot of Cleethorpes Beach taken at sunset.

Seaside day trips from Leicester

It’s hard to get more inland than Leicester. And thanks to its great railway connections, the seaside is just a train ride away.

5. Cleethorpes

Cleethorpes is great for families. It blends the very best traditions of British seaside resorts with fantastic tourist attractions.

The golden sands of Cleethorpes Beach stretch for miles and are a haven for local wildlife.

As you walk up the beach into town, you’ll spot the historic Cleethorpes Pier. The fish and chip shop there is popular with both locals and tourists.

For a sweeping view of the coastline, take a relaxed trip on the quaint Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway. Or immerse yourself in nature at the Cleethorpes Country Park.

Getting to Cleethorpes from Leicester

There are trains from Leicester to Cleethorpes up to four times an hour during weekdays.

  • Journey length: 79 miles

  • Journey time: Just under three hours

6. Skegness

For endless family entertainment, head to Skegness. 

Skegness Pier has arcades for the kids as well as a large soft play area. You can even get in a session of 10-pin bowling or Laserquest.

Not far away is Bottons Pleasure Beach. There are a range of rides here, including the Runaway Train and the Pirate Ship. 

For fun on an even bigger scale, try Fantasy Island, about an hour's walk from the station. It has more than 30 massive rides and a massive outdoor market with hundreds of stalls.

Getting to Skegness from Leicester

There are trains from Leicester to Skegnessonce an hour during weekdays.

  • Journey length: 70 miles

  • Journey time: Approximately three hours 

An aerial panoramic shot of Leicester market in the city centre.

Making day trips from Leicester by train

There are plenty of fun and interesting places to visit from Leicester. Plus, you can relax on your day trip from the city by taking the train. 

Start planning your journey to the Midlands and beyond before booking your tickets in advance to save money. Investing in a Railcard will give you even greater discounts on your tickets.

Buy train tickets for your next journey

Buying through our website or app saves you money because we never charge booking fees.

To take a look at more ways to save including using a Railcard, booking in advance, and booking as a group, visit our ways to save page.

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