Quality of Life

Harborough District is a beautiful part of rural England. It represents many good things about life – the bustle and friendless of our market towns, the quality of our built heritage and local landscape, the proximity to larger centres for shopping and cultural events and a relatively safe and tranquil place to live and work.

Harborough District covers an area of 238 square miles of rural south and east Leicestershire. It lays within the East Midlands Region, bordering Warwickshire to the west, Northamptonshire to the South and Rutland to the east. Harborough borders 4 other Leicestershire district authorities, namely Charnwood, Melton, Oadby, and Wigston and Blaby, and adjoins the east of Leicester City of Bushby, Scraptoft and Thurnby.

Harborough was placed 18th out of 50 best places to live in the Halifax 2018 Rural Areas Quality of life. The annual study analyses key factors that combine to determine quality of life across the nation, including employment, education, social and environmental factors

Market Harborough and the key centres of Lutterworth and Broughton Astley provide the most services and facilities for the District.

Market Harborough has a wide range of services that make the town attractive for residents and visitors. The services available in Market Harborough support its continued status as the principal town within the District and its designation as a sub-regional centre.

With less than half the population, Lutterworth is a smaller town than Market Harborough, but it does benefit from a great range of services. These include secondary schools, a leisure centre with swimming pool, and a fine range of shops.

Broughton Astley is a large village offering all key services and many other amenities, including a secondary school. This leads it to be designated as a key centre.


Whether you are looking for a fun-filled family day out, a visit to explore our many heritage sites and museums, somewhere to eat and drink, to shop, to learn, to explore, to walk, to run or just simply relax, you can do it all in the south of Leicestershire. Check out the Visit Harborough Website where you can find the latest events, tourism guide  and attractions.

Market Harborough’s award-winning indoor market has a number of exciting trading opportunities. Located in the heart of “Leafy Leicestershire”, this thriving, historic market town has a real quality about it, with our very own market hall right at its core. If you are looking for you next permanent place to trade or looking for a pop-up stall opportunity then Harborough Market could be your next move! Please get in contact with the Market Manager, Gail , to find out more and to discuss your potential business idea G.Bates@harborough.gov.uk


Harborough is predominantly a rural area and will remain so. Whilst there are no national landscape designations, the District is made up of five broad landscape character areas (as determined by the Harborough District Landscape Character Assessment): the Laughton Hills, with its district ridgeline of rolling hills and steep slopes; the Lutterworth Lowlands, in Harborough characterised by an open and relatively flat to gently rolling landscape; the Welland Valley, which follows the gently meandering course of the river and its wide, flat valley; High Leicestershire, with its distinctive steep valleys, broad ridges, woodland areas and network of small villages: and the Upper Soar, with its wide, open landscape and lack of substantial woodland. The Rivers Welland and Avon form much of the District’s southern boundary and other main rivers are the Swift, Scence and Eyebrook. The Leicester Line of the Grand Union Canal is a particularly important landscape and cultural heritage asset for the District.

A defining characteristic of both the landscape and townscape of Harborough is the quantity and quality of its historic assets. There are 1,250 listed buildings, 62 Conservation Areas, 60 Scheduled Ancient Monuments and 6 registered parks and gardens.

Services & Facilities

Key Centre settlements provide the most services and facilities for the district, namely: Market Harborough, Lutterworth and Broughton Astley. In addition to the basic services such as primary schools, GP surgeries, Library, Leisure Centre, a Cemetery, churches and day nurseries and pre-schools, there are services which set Market Harborough apart as the biggest provider in the District including a hospital with Minor Injury Unit, several dentists and a wide range of other medical services.

Market Harborough town centre benefits from a large Market Hall, refurbished Library and Museum, a Theatre (amateur) and a wide range of retailers, including national chain stores and a large number of privately owned retailers.


Harborough District schools in the area have had a positive reputation as it was reported in 2015 that Harborough district has five of the top 10 primary schools in Leicestershire, according to a new league table compiled by The Times newspaper. Harborough district has 35 primary and 6 secondary schools. As well as having three universities, the University of Leicester, Loughborough University and De Montfort University.


This map shows the percentage of pupils achieving 5 or more GCSEs at grades A*-C (including England and Maths) who live in this area based on national quintiles. The darkest colour areas are the highest achieving

GCSE Achievements in Harborough District




According to the Halifax 2018 Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey, Harborough has the best internet access.


Superfast Leicestershire is a project to bring superfast broadband to as many premises in Leicestershire as possible. We expect that more than 72,000 additional premises will be able to receive high speed broadband with a minimum speed of at least 24Mbps. Everyone within Leicestershire can benefit from this project as it helps to grow Leicestershire’s economy over the coming years; we anticipate that our investment in superfast broadband could generate £92m of economic growth by 2021. We’ll work with local communities as well as help small businesses to adopt technologies and grow.

To find out if superfast broadband is available in your area or when it may be coming, you can use the interactive map on the Superfast Leicestershire website. You can use the Openreach line checker which will tell you if fibre broadband is available now and the broadband speeds you can currently get at your address.

Source: https://www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk/


The convenience of Harborough’s location provides commuters with efficient train travel and access to all major city destinations within just 1 hour.
  • London – 1 hour

  • Leicester – 12 minutes

  • Nottingham – 40 minutes

  • Birmingham – 1 hour, 10 minutes

In addition to this, over 90% of the UK market are within a four hour drive of Harborough District. Harborough is know to be part of the “Golden Triangle” and offers easy access to the M1 (linking to M69, A14, A5, etc.)