Stay Cool #Leicester!

Cor blimey, what a scorcher! Well, we’ve had TWO continuous days of top notch weather now, and Sunday wasn’t too bad either, so I think we can officially say this is summer. So whether it ends here or stretches out forever (please please please!) here are my top tips to making the most of the summer sun in beautiful Leicester.

Have a nice cool pint and wait for all this to blow over

Obviously my first recommendation was going to be seek out the best and brightest beer gardens and get some suds on. Since doing my extensive #BeerGardenLeicester research last year (results here) a lot of local venues have upped their game in the beer garden stakes so it’s now even easier to find somewhere sunny and hospitable to get your groove on in the after-work sun.

— blackhorse aylestone (@BlackHorseLE2) June 7, 2016

Last year’s winners, The Black Horse in Aylestone continue to make improvements and now their garden is an all out mecca for sun lovers. If you are looking for something a bit more central, you can’t go far wrong with the terrace on the first floor of The Cookie. I adore the cityscape, urban view you get there and lor’ bless me if it isn’t a reet sun trap (sorry, that was probably too many fake accents in one sentence). Not only that but now you can enjoy the delicious cocktails from The Attic while you’re out there. Definitely unmissable.

The Cookie – lovely even when the weather wasn’t much to write home about.

After scoring disappointingly in the beer garden judging last year, Bruxelles have upped their game so significantly as to be my Most Improved. Just take a look at my old review to have an idea of just how far they’ve come. Excellent.

EXCITING NEWS! First look at the extension to our Hendrick’s Gin Garden. Opening Saturday! The perfect summer spot!

— Bruxelles (@bruxelles_leics) July 14, 2016

Take a dip

Of course, immersing oneself in cool, cleansing water is an excellent way to take the edge off the heat, but not something Leicester is famed for. However, you do have options. If you like swimming with an added sense of fun, then head over to the LCC-run Leicester Leys Leisure Centre. They have water slides and a wave machine – which makes for extra calories burned if you actually want to swim, or just a lot of splashy fun if you don’t.

If that’s not quite extreme enough, you’ll want to get yourself over to Aqua Park Rutland, the biggest inflatable aquaglide park in the UK. It’s basically Total Wipeout for those who can’t quite afford to get over to Brazil, but could probably just about manage a train ticket to Oakham. It’s only been open a couple of weeks, but initial reports are good!

Have a frozen treat

I couldn’t talk about summer sunshine without mentioning friends of the blog, Gelato Village. They are quite frankly all-conquering in terms of the frozen goodie market in the city now from the Rare Breed milk from Belvoir Ridge Creamery, to their fresh fruit from Leicester Market, to the finest quality pistachios and hazelnuts in the world (for reals), nothing else locally comes close and by all accounts even the Italians back home are struggling to keep up with the quality. Plus if you can bear it in the heat, they now serve specially blended coffee roasted a mere 200 metres away at The Coffee Counter. I have tried it and it is tres bien.

Al Fresco Fun

Speaking of Tres Bien, no doubt we’ll be seeing this excellent local microbrewery popping up at one of the many excellent beer festivals we have to look forward to this summer. 

My pick of the bunch is the Western Park Beer Festival who will be featuring a very special limited Festival brew from the West End Brewery. We got a taster of things to come at their truly excellent Secret Beer Club earlier this year and this year’s festival is going to be even bigger.

If beer festivals aren’t your thing, and I’ve heard a rumour that some people don’t like beer… then of course top Festival City Leicester has plenty to cater for your needs. We’ve got the Caribbean Carnival to look forward to, as well as the City Festival which this year will include an outdoor cinema on Jubilee Square.

Best of the Rest

And of course there are countless other nice things you can do outside in and around our fair city while the weather is fine. This is a beautiful time of year to visit the Botanic Gardens out on London Road, or to get your park thang on at Bradgate

Now that’s a more usual summer at Bradgate Park!

Summer activities are running all over the place. If you want to get in out of the sun for a while, try the special free WWI handling sessions at Newarke Houses Museum which are being held every Monday during the school holidays.

If you’re feeling creative, why not try one of Leicester Print Workshop’s free drop in printmaking sessions at the Phoenix over the summer, or try your hand at one of Leicester Lofi’s amazing photography workshops.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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