HOW TO BEST SPEND 24 HOURS IN MELTON MOWBRAY, LEICESTERSHIRE
Melton Mowbray has long been hailed as north east Leicestershire’s regional food capital. The home of the pork pie and Stilton cheese at the epicentre of the produce of the area but it is also known for its royal connections dating back to the 1100’s when the town was famed for the Leicestershire hunt. This is actually what gave the county of Leicestershire its mascot, the fox. The market town has a wonderful rural location and makes for an ideal weekend and a great UK break to spend 24 hours in Melton mowbray. A day is enough to get a taster of discovering the surrounding countryside, elegant residences, deliciously prepared local food as well as experience the elegant places to stay in the town.
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Where is Melton Mowbray Located?
Melton Mowbray is a small market town, which lies about 19 miles northeast from Leicester. The town is located between the River Eye and the River Wreake. It’s quite a rural setting with old, historical buildings such as St Mary’s church, pretty cottages, old coaching Inns which are now pubs yet still retain their charm as well as beautiful parks and of course a local market which comprises of a twice-weekly farmer’s market and weekly antiques fair, plus livestock and a car boot sale.
How To Get To Melton Mowbray
The market town has a pretty central location and can be reached by many routes
- By Plane: the closest airports are Nottingham East Midlands and Birmingham and then a train a taxi into Melton Mowbray
- By Train: Melton Mowbray Railway station is well connected to the rail network and can be reached via East Midlands Trains or Trainline. Trains from London Waterloo with a change at Cambridge can take up to three hours and 30 minutes.
- By Coach: A number of coach services operate to Melton Mowbray including National Express which has a pretty extensive service through the UK. Check routes to Melton Mowbray with National Express. Buses from London would take an average of 3 hours and 50 minutes to arrive into Melton Mowbray.
- By Car: The easiest and most flexible way to reach Melton Mowbray is by car taking the M1 and following the Leicester Western Bypass/A46 and A607 to Melton Mowbray. Approximate drive time would take 2 hours and 40 minutes.
The Best Time to Visit Melton Mowbray
There is no best time to visit Melton Mowbray as it’s an all year destination which is always much busier in the summer (May-August) months with plenty of outdoor activities, School holidays tend to be a little busier. Spring and Autumn are beautiful and Christmas time is always rather special with lots of twinkly lights and independent markets.
Plan Your Visit Around Melton’s Festivals
- Chocfest (one of the UK’s largest chocolate festivals with two days of exhibitions and workshops) – November
- Artisan Cheese Fair: The Artisan Cheese Fair is the UK’s largest cheese fair with around 50-60 Artisan Cheesemakers from across the UK and Ireland who between them make some 300 cheeses – May
- Piefest: All sorts of pies, hot – cold, savoury – sweet, meat – veggie – vegan, gluten free etc from some of the UK’s best pie makers including at least two Supreme Champions of the British Pie Awards.- August
- East Midland’s Food Festival: Famed for its artisan producers of cheese, pies, charcuterie, chocolate and all sorts of goodies, the festival is one of the largest UK regional food festivals. A number of them offer tasters to tempt you to buy. The festival also boasts an array of drink producers from cider and beer to the strong spirits such as artisan gin and whisky. All of these stands are under cover and so accessible whatever the weather. October
** For exact dates of the festivals, head to Melton Festivals**
The Best Way To Get Around Melton Mowbray
Melton is a very small town and everything you’d want to see in the market town can easily be accessed on foot.
The Best Things To Do In 24 Hours In Melton Mowbray
Here are some local favourite spots that also happen to pose some great photo opportunities in the market town.
Head To The Markets In Melton Mowbray
A meander through the market of this traditional town is a must. See market traders selling all sorts of things from fruit and veg, antiques, clothes to knock knacks. On Tuesday mornings, there’s even a cattle market in teh town, should this tickle your fancy> The cattle and sheep market trades each Tuesday and is said to be one of the best known and worthwhile markets in England. It’s an interesting atmosphere and well worth a visit if you’ve never experienced a cattle market before.
There is also an antiques and collectors fair at this location.
There is also a street market set-up on the Market Place at the end of Nottingham Street every Tuesday and Saturday, while on Tuesday and Friday there’s regional Farmers’ Market back on Scalford Road.
usual market days in Melton Mowbray are Tuesdays and Saturdays
- Scalford Road, Melton Mowbray LE13 1JY. Tel. 01664 562971
- Website: Melton Mowbray Markets
Walk Around St. Mary’s Cathedral
Dating back to 1170, St Mary’s Cathedral has been restored but still contains many original features and is situated in the centre of the town with a cobble stoned path leading just off the main market square. If you’re planning a visit to go inside, bear in mind that it’s only open at weekends.
The church has been beautifully restored from inside. You can pick up a guide from the entrance which tells the story of the history of the church and points out the details about each of the stained glass windows. The window on the right below, includes all the elements that Melton is famous for such as the pork pies, farming and much more.
- : 8 Burton St, Melton Mowbray LE13 0PN. Tel. 01664 503530
- Website: St Mary’s Cathedral
Stop For a Photo Stop At Pretty Cottages
Opposite St. Mary’s Cathedral are a pretty row of cute cottages, where you’ll see rose vines dotted with bright hued blooms climbing the brick wall. Well worth a little photo stop after visiting the church.
Discover The Melton Carnegie Museum
The town’s former Carnegie library is now a museum and forms one of more than 2,500 that were donated worldwide at the start of the 20th century by Andrew Carnegie.
This particular building was built in 1905 and became a museum in 1977 but has undergone some refreshments in the 2000s.
At the Carnegie library, you can learn all about Melton town’s history including sporting heroes as well as the two-headed calf. You can also learn all about the local Quorn Hunt, which also happens to be one of the oldest hunts in the UK. There’s an exhibition which presents an argument for and against fox hunting. (one we gave a miss as we don’t agree with hunting) Additionally learn all about the famous Stilton cheese as well as the pork pies from Melton.
- Thorpe End, Melton Mowbray LE13 1RB. Tel. 0116 305 3860
- Website: Melton Carnegie Museum
Have A Drink At The Anne of Cleves
Serving great ales, the Anne of Cleves is worth a stop for its history and beverages. It was originally built in 1077 for the Chantry priests of the Cluniac order who served the parish church from the 12th to the 16th century. In 1540, Henry VIII gave the house to Thomas Cromwell when he was Lord Chancellor of England but later gave it to Anne of Cleves, his fourth wife, as part of his divorce settlement to her.
As well as great ales, you can enjoy hearty meals and bar snack in this pub bursting with over 700 years of history.
- 12 Burton St, Melton Mowbray LE13 1AE. Tel. 01664 668955
- Website: Anne of Cleves
Follow The Heritage Trail
Just infront of the Manchester & Sons Clothing shop front, now a bar have a read of the Melton Mowbray Heritage Trail, which gives an informative description of the rich history of King Street over the past 50000 years.
- 7 King Street, Melton Mowbray. LE13 1XA
Walk By The Heritage Trail of Bede House
The Bede House is a 17th-century almshouse where once upon a time, six lowly widows or widowers could stay for free as long as they prayed daily for the soul of their benefactor.
- Burton St, Melton Mowbray LE13 1AJ
Read The Plaque Outside The Old Courthouse
The building dates back to 1550 and was once part of the Swan Inn. It was used for housing sessions of the Justice of the Peace, for detaining prisoners and also as an armoury.
- Norman Way, Melton Mowbray, LE13 1JE2
Watch A Film At The Regal Cinema
This art-deco style cinema is a bit of a hidden gem in Melton Mowbray. If you have some time or it’s a bit of a rainy day, why not head here and grab one of the commercial, classic or cultural films that show here daily? It’s also a really great independent cinema that has been lovingly restored.
- Regal Cinema, 8, King Street, Melton Mowbray, LE13 1XA, Tel. 01664 500642
- Website: Regal Cinema
Meander Through The War Memorial Gardens
Adjacent to the Egerton Lodge Residential Home is the Melton Mowbray War Memorial gardens, which are a beautiful dedication to the lives lost during the world wars. The gardens have been manicured beautifully with a huge floral coat of arms outside the lodge. Well worth a visit to also read about the history of Melton Mowbray and those brave who risked their lives.
- 1929 Wilton Road, Melton Mowbray LE13 0UJ.
Stop By The Door Where The Lines Stood
Adjacent next to the entrance of the War memorial gardens, is a black wooden door which has a hole carved out of the middle. We were told by one of the local men that this hole was where bread was given out to the poor in Melton Mowbray in times gone past. A plaque stands above the door however it is quite difficult to decipher what is engraved.
- 1929 Wilton Road, Melton Mowbray LE13 0UJ.
Wander Around The Bandstand In The Play Close Park
The park on the opposite side of the war memorial gardens is a lovely open space, with a river running through the middle. It is also home to a very pretty Victorian bandstand. You can almost hear the imaginary band playing with the willow wavering in the background if you stand and stare at it for long enough!
There are a great range of parks and open spaces in the market town if you fancy getting away from the hustle and bustle during your 24 hours in Melton Mowbray.
- Park Lane, Melton Mowbray LE13 0PW. Tel. 01664 564559
Pick Up Some Snacks At The Melton Cheeseboard
Cheese lovers, have to make a stop. The most famous shop in town, cheese board sells an array of local produce but I was interested in the famous Red Leicester and the Long Clawson Stilton.
If you also love pork pies, there are plenty to keep you interested and the staff are very well versed about their locally sourced goods and dairies, where their cheese produces are made.
- 8 Windsor St, Melton Mowbray LE13 1BU. Tel. 01664 562257
- Website: The Melton Cheeseboard
Be-lavie Tip: Pick up a selection of cheeses, crackers wine of Belvoir juices or lemonades and have an alfresco lunch in the gardens or park spaces. Visiting the Cheeseboard is a must for your 24 hours in Melton Mowbray
Melton Mowbray Spotlight: The Melton Dairy Story
Melton is famous for its blue-veined Stilton which is mainly thanks to the 18th century Wymondham cheesemaker, Frances Pawlett. Frances sold her recipe locally as well as in Stilton in Peterborough and its said that the whey from Stilton is what fed the pigs which in turn made the Melton Port Pies.
Stilton cheese now has protected status and only six dairies in Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are allowed to make Stilton. Three – Long Clawson Dairy, Tuxford & Tebbutt Creamery and Webster’s Dairy, are located in Melton Mowbray.
Making cheese since 1912, award-winning Long Clawson Dairy still uses traditional methods and also makes the famous almost orange coloured hard cheese, Red Leicester.
Long Clawson’s signature Stilton is available to buy in The Melton Cheeseboard, as well as Leicestershire Handmade Cheese Company’s Sparkenhoe Red Leicester and Thrussington’s Manor Farm yogurts, fresh from the cow.
Milk used from Brickfield Farm’s herd supplies Long Clawson for their cheese-making. Keeping prduce fresh and locally sourced.
Melton Mowbray Spotlight: Pork Pies
Meltons history is associated with hunting, especially through the past hence why it had a somewhat regal presence with hunts and the like. with royals, aristocrats and famous people spending much of the autumn and winter seasons around the town.
Pork pies were a bit of a mid-hunt snack and carried in the saddle-bags during the hunt. Eating a. pork pie nowadays is quote different and is made of a rich, crunchy pastry filled with British pork. Dickens & Morris Ye Olde Pork Pie Shopped, established in 1851 is the place to go and makes up a big attraction for thousands of visitors each year.
The sides of a Melton Mowbray Pork Pie are bow-shaped as they are baked free standing, A lot of other pork pies are straight-sided baked in hoops. The meat used is fresh pork which is naturally grey when cooked, like roast pork, not pink like other pork pies which used cured pork
If you are a carnivore, then its often recommended that you try the local Pork Pies – you cannot leave before trying one during your 24 hours in Melton Mowbray/
- 10 Nottingham St, Melton Mowbray LE13 1NW. Tel. 01664 562341
- Website: Dickinson & Morris. Ye Old Pork Pie Shoppe
Have A Walk Around Melton Country Park
Located in the north of Melton and about a 10 minute walk, Melton Country Park has been awarded a Green Flag almost every year since 2015.
The park has a cafe, which is open seven days a week with delicious drinks and snack as well as cakes, a sensory garden, nature links, a European tree circle and deep woodlands towards the south of the park perfect for picnics as well as a lake in the centre.
in 1990, reed beds were formed to protect the landscape from flooding with a dam placed at the Scalford Brook. Over the brook there are stepping stones as well as a footbridge. Bird spotters will surely love the bird hide, towards the north end of the park, where there are sightings of wildfowl and seven different species of ducks.
- Wymondham Way, Melton Mowbray LE13 1HP.
- Website: Melton Country Park
Be-lavie Fun Fact Tips: Did you know that the saying ‘Paint the Town Red’ dates back to 1837 and came from Melton Mowbray. It’s said that one day after a few too many beverages of the alcoholic variety, the local squires decided to paint the town red quite literally! They got out red paint and went around the town of Melton Mowbray splashing that red colour around!
Where To Shop In Melton Mowbray
If you love shopping then Melton Mowbray has no shortage of shops, from high street names to independent stores as well as many foodie shops. Dickinson & Morris Ye Olde Pork Pie Shop and The Cheeseboard should definitely be on the list.
Meander the streets and stumble upon some wonderful independents that stock locally made artisan gifts and products or head to the open market which have a number of stalls selling cute and kitsch products.
Where To Eat & Drink
Melton Mowbray has. a whole host of places to eat and drink ranging from traditional, international cuisines, cosy inns and pubs as well as quaint essential tea rooms and cafes. many are based in the town centre and therefore very easily accessed by visitors. There are more than enough cafes, restaurants and pubs to more than satisfy 24 hours of Melton Mowbray.
Coffee Shops Tearooms & Cafes
- Caffee Italia: Great for coffee as well as Italian themed lunch and brunch specials like lasagne, pesto pasta. Nice selection of pastries and desserts to. Price Range: ££
- More Coffee Co.: A great casual cake, snack and coffee spot with fantastic service and cool music. You can also purchase bags of coffee. Price Range: ££
- Miss B;s Tearooms: This shabby chic and cute tearooms have a lunchtime, sweet treats and afternoon tea menu. the afternoon teas come in three options; Gentlemen’s, Luxury and children’s. Price Range: ££
The afternoon teas at Miss B’s are the cutest but equally they do some fantastic savoury dishes and lunches. The toasties are particularly great for a light lunch.
- King Street Coffee Shop: famed as a bit of a local gem this cafe sells dishes local produce such a port pies and stilton. They even have pork pie tasting and cheeseboards. Price Range: ££
- Amore: An authentic Italian restaurant serving the best of Italy in Melton Mowbray, Italian Chef Alessandro cooks up incredible, starters, mains and desserts – you may be mistaken and think you’re in Roma. Price Range: £££
- The Nag’s Head: If you’re looking for pub food which also tases like proper home-cooked fodder then this is one for you. Delicious roasts, burgers and pizza to name a few options. Price Range: ££
- Soi: Love spicy food then Soi is a great option, serving the best in Indian cuisine. Price Range: ££
- Jasmine House: If you love Chinese Food, Jasmine House hots the spot with their authentic dishes served in. a calm environment. Price Range: ££
Places to Drink
- Anne of Cleves: Family-run pub set in 700 years of history serving a great choice of drinks and ales with good selection of pub grub. Price Range: ££
- The Crown Inn: A traditional pub with a. beer garden perfect for the summer and lazy afternoons. Price Range: £
- Round Corner Brewing:Based in Melton’s Livestock market, Round Corner make great beer, there’s aways a fab atmosphere, with outdoor and indoor seating as well as tap room tours available. Price Range: ££
- Fur & Feather: Also based in Melton Mowbray’s Livestock Market, opposite the Round Corner Brewery is Fur & Feather. A cocktail bar and gin distillery. A great spot to spend an evening with friends enjoying the fancy creations by mixologists!
Where To Stay
Melton Mowbray has a fantastic accommodation options from luxury to glamping sites and everything in-between.
Stapleford Park (Luxury Option)
Located just six miles out of the centre of Melton Mowbray, sits the most stunning country estate hotel, Stapleford Park. 238 years in the making this is the epitome in luxury with stunning four-poster bedrooms, incredible dining, afternoon tea, a spa and its own list of activities to do on site. The most special accommodation option for spending 24 hours in Melton Mowbray.
- Stapleford, Melton Mowbray LE14 2EF. Tel. 01572 787000
- Website: Stapleford Park Hotel
- Price Range: £££
Sysonby Knoll (Mid-Range Option)
A three-star hotel located on the outskirts of Melton Mowbray but only a 15 minute walk into the town centre. This privately owned former home is a 30 room hotel each individually styled with a selection of stunning three four-poster bedrooms. There are some stunning gardens to the back of the house as well as a great breakfast and dinner and lunch menu on offer. The summer months can be enjoyed in the garden with afternoon tea, games and drinks.
- Asfordby Road, Melton Mowbray LE13 0HP. Tel. 0333 003 5241
- Website: Sysonby Knoll Hotel
- Price Range: ££
The King’s Arms (Good Value)
The Kings Arms Bed & Breakfast offers great overnight accommodation in a traditional, quiet, country pub in Scalford. There are two tastefully decorated en-suite rooms, offering views of the gardens. Everything you need for your stay is provided including fluffy towels, toileteries to name a couple. A hearty, homemade breakfast (full English or à la carte) is included in the room rate. The Kings Arms is a perfect pied a terre for your 24 hours in Melton Mowbray.
- 7 King St, Scalford, Melton Mowbray LE14 4DW. Tel. 01664 444737
- Website: The Kings Arms
- Price Range: £-££
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Places To Visit Close to Melton Mowbray
If there is any time remaining in your 24 hours in Melton Mowbray, there are a few things you can do which are close by. You could incorporate dropping by some of these en route to Melton Mowbray or on your way home.
- Burrough Hill: A bustling hillfort dating back to the iron age and located seven miles south of Melton Mowbray.. The hill is prominent in the surrounding landscape and you can get some fabulous panoramic views from here of the livestock, farms, and East Midlands countryside.
- Twinlakes Theme Park: Based half a mile south-east of Melton Mowbray, Twinlakes is an attraction for all the family being set in 100 acres of countryside with 40 rides and attractions.
- Belvoir Castle: Set high on a hill with views across several English counties. Its stately terraces, and battlemented walls and turrets, have been features of the Vale of Belvoir since the 1830s. It has even been featured in many international films as well as Netflix The Crown.
- The Engine Yard: If you’re headed to Belvoir castle, then the Engine Yard is a must. The Engine Yard is a collection of charming 19th century buildings. Originally used by specialist tradesmen, these workshops produced furniture, windows and doors during the construction of the present Belvoir Castle in the early 1800s. These buildings have been lovingly restored to create a unique rural retail village.
24 Hours In Melton Mowbray Roundup
This market town located in rural Leicestershire is a bit of a hidden gem, yet famed for it’s food which is known widely consumed all over the UK. It deserves a spot as a travel destination in its own right as it has plenty to see, eat and great accommodation options. The perfect short weekend break destination for the whole family.
Related Articles For 24 Hours in Melton Mowbray
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- The Ultimate Locals Guide to Leicester
- A Local’s Guide to Historic Leicester
- Sysonby Knoll, Melton Mowbray: A Hotel Review
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