Getting Around, Leicester Travel, Transport and Car Rental

(Leicester, Leicestershire, England, UK)

Picture of St. Margaret's bus stationTravelling around central Leicester is really easy, since the city centre is very flat and best navigated on foot. City bus transport is also on hand, while tourists should note that the Discover Leicester bus tours are no longer in operation and may be replaced in the future.

This part of Leicestershire is an important transport hub, since the East Midlands Airport is just 30 minutes away and features its own dedicated 'Railink' buses. These shuttle buses travel to and from the nearby East Midlands Parkway railway station, which opened in 2009 and cost over £25 million. Also relatively close to Leicester is the Birmingham International Airport, which is conveniently only 45 minutes away and handles over nine million passengers every year.

Image of city bus

East Midlands Airport (EMA) / Arriving by Air

Address: Castle Donington, Leicestershire, DE74 2SA, England, UK
Tel: +44 0871 919 9000
The East Midlands Airport serves not only the city of Leicester, but also the nearby cities of Derby and Nottingham. Located some 37 km / 23 miles to the north-west of the city and connected by the M1 (north) motorway, the East Midlands Airport stands in Castle Donington, close to Aston on Trent, Kegworth, Lockington and Weston Upon Trent. The main airlines here include Aberdeen, Alicante, Amsterdam, Antalya, Barcelona, Belfast, Berlin, Bodrum, Brussels, Budapest, Cancun, Carcassonne, Corfu, Cologne, Dublin, Edinburgh, Faro, Fuerteventura, Geneva, Goa, Girona, Glasgow, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Kos, Krakow, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Malaga, Malta, Marrakech, Milan, Newquay, Nice, Orlando, Paphos, Paris, Pisa, Prague, Rome, Sharm el Sheikh, Tenerife, Valencia, Venice and Wroclaw. There are also seasonal flights which travel from Leicester's East Midlands Airport to Crete, Dubrovnik, Granada, Ibiza, La Palma, Larnaca, Mallorca, Menorca, Naples, Rhodes, Rimini, Thessaloniki and Turin, amongst other popular destinations.

Picture of the city's HMP Victorian prison building

Car Rental

Although cars can be hired from East Midlands Airport, car rental companies are also available in the city. However, many visitors to Leicester bring their own set of wheels, with London being just two hours away by road, via the M1 (south) motorway, which links the M25 and passes Northampton, Milton Keynes, Dunstable, Luton and Watford along the way. Birmingham is approximately one hour away by car, while Manchester can be reached in some two hours.

In Leicester city centre, driving your own car is an especially popular mode of transport and parking is really very straightforward. There are over 8,500 spaces at well-placed car parks, which are clearly signposted and supplemented with a further 500 car parking spaces at the city's popular Park and Ride facility. Those travelling into the centre of Leicester from the north will find North Zone car parking available on Abbey Street, Haymarket and Lee Circle. East Zone car parks can be found on East Street and Rutland, while in the West Zone, you can choose between St. Nicholas Circle, and the Highcross John Lewis and Rooftop car parks. The South Zone car parks include East Street, Newarke Street, Rutland Centre and Welford Road.

WG Car Rental Logo Book your East Midlands Car Rental here.

Close-up photo of St. Margaret's bus station

Buses and Coaches

Bus transport offers a cheap way to travel around Leicester city and throughout the county of Leicestershire, with bus stops being dotted all over the city centre. Visitors wishing to travel further afield can use National Express bus and coach transport, which runs from St. Margaret's bus station on Gravel Street and travels between Birmingham (one hour), Coventry (30 minutes), London (three hours) and Nottingham (one hour).

Photo of modern InterCity train


Leicester's train station resides on the eastern side of the city centre, off St. George's Way and the London Road (A6). It is possible to walk from the centrally located shops to the railway station in just five minutes, with rail transport linking St. Pancras in London (one hour and 30 minutes), Birmingham (one hour) and Cambridge (two hours). For a pleasant tourist jaunt, consider taking a trip along the scenic Great Central Railway.