The 10 Best Museums in Leicester

Leicester, a city steeped in rich history and culture, is a treasure trove for museum enthusiasts. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, the array of museums in this vibrant city is sure to captivate your curiosity. From the ancient artifacts of the Roman era to the groundbreaking discoveries of modern science, there’s a museum in Leicester that caters to every interest. Let’s dive into the top 10 museums that are a must-visit in this charming English city.

1. The National Space Centre

One small step into the National Space Centre and you’re on a giant leap into the cosmos. This leading attraction is not just for space aficionados; it’s a family-friendly adventure that’s out of this world. With its iconic Rocket Tower and interactive exhibits, you’ll be transported to the stars and beyond. The Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium offers a celestial experience that’s truly stellar, making it a highlight of Leicester’s museum scene.

Strolling down the historic New Walk, you’ll stumble upon a Victorian gem: the New Walk Museum & Art Gallery. It’s a cultural haven, boasting collections from ancient Egypt to the dinosaurs that once roamed the Earth. The art galleries are a feast for the eyes, featuring works from old masters to contemporary artists. It’s a place where history and creativity intertwine, offering a delightful experience for all ages.

3. King Richard III Visitor Centre

History buffs, rejoice! The King Richard III Visitor Centre is where you’ll uncover the truth about the last Plantagenet king of England. Located near the site of his dramatic discovery, the center tells a tale that’s as gripping as any Shakespearean play. With state-of-the-art exhibits and the actual spot where Richard’s remains were found, it’s a historical journey that’s both educational and utterly fascinating.

4. Leicester Guildhall

Step back in time at the Leicester Guildhall, one of the best-preserved timber-framed halls in the country. Once the heart of the city’s government, it now serves as a gateway to Leicester’s medieval past. With its enchanting Great Hall and serene chapel, the Guildhall is a testament to the city’s bygone era. It’s a place where you can almost hear the whispers of history echoing through its ancient walls.

5. Abbey Pumping Station

Leicester’s industrial heritage comes to life at the Abbey Pumping Station. This museum is a Celebration of engineering and technology, showcasing magnificent steam engines and vintage transport. The interactive displays are a hit with kids, and the annual events breathe life into the city’s industrial story. It’s a unique museum that pumps the past into the present, offering a fascinating glimpse into Leicester’s innovative spirit.

6. Jewry Wall Museum

At the heart of Leicester’s Roman history lies the Jewry Wall Museum. Here, you’ll find one of Britain’s tallest surviving pieces of Roman masonry. The museum’s exhibits transport you back to a time when Leicester was a bustling Roman settlement. With artifacts that tell the story of daily life in ancient Ratae Corieltauvorum, the museum is a historical hotspot that’s not to be missed.

7. The Guild of St George

For a slice of social history, The Guild of St George is the place to be. This museum is housed in a set of charming 15th-century timber-framed buildings. It’s a cozy nook where you can explore Leicester’s craft and guild traditions. With its period rooms and local history displays, it’s like stepping into a time machine that takes you back to the city’s medieval craftsmanship.

Art lovers and history enthusiasts will find common ground at the Leicester Museum & Art Gallery. With its diverse collections ranging from natural history to fine art, there’s something to pique everyone’s interest. The museum’s Egyptian gallery is particularly noteworthy, housing one of the UK’s most significant collections of Egyptian artifacts outside of London.

9. The Gas Museum

Leicester’s Gas Museum is a hidden gem that illuminates the history of gas usage in the UK. It’s a niche museum that offers a quirky look at how gas has powered our lives over the centuries. From cooking appliances to lighting, the museum showcases the evolution of gas technology in an engaging and informative way.

10. The Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland

Last but not least, The Record Office isn’t your typical museum. It’s a treasure trove of local history, with archives that span a thousand years. Whether you’re researching family history or delving into local lore, the Record Office provides a wealth of information that brings Leicester’s past to life.


  • Are these museums suitable for children?

    Absolutely! Many of Leicester’s museums offer interactive exhibits and activities that are perfect for young explorers. The National Space Centre and Abbey Pumping Station, in particular, are family favorites.

  • Do any of these museums offer free admission?

    Yes, several museums in Leicester offer free admission, including the New Walk Museum & Art Gallery and the Jewry Wall Museum. However, some special exhibitions may charge a fee.

  • Can I find guided tours at these museums?

    Many museums offer guided tours that provide deeper insights into their collections. It’s best to check with each museum directly for their tour schedules and availability.


Leicester’s museums are a testament to the city’s diverse heritage and vibrant culture. From the stars to the streets of ancient Rome, each museum offers a unique window into different facets of history and human achievement. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these top 10 museums provide enriching experiences that are both educational and entertaining. So next time you’re in Leicester, make sure to carve out some time to explore these cultural gems. Who knows, you might just find yourself coming back for more!

Remember, whether you’re gazing at the stars at the National Space Centre or delving into the legacy of King Richard III, Leicester’s museums are sure to leave a lasting impression. So go ahead, immerse yourself in the stories and wonders that these institutions have to offer. It’s an adventure that’s well worth the journey!

Kurby Team

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