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 areas are regularly mentioned in top places to live surveys. Market Harborough, one of our Market towns, was recently named in the Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2023 guide.

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.


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.


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

Project Gigahub

The Digital Leicestershire team at Leicestershire County Council has secured funding from Building Digital UK (BDUK) / the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) for a project to install full fibre broadband infrastructure to public sector sites in Leicestershire. This is under the DSIT initiative known as ‘Gigahubs’, which is part of the Government’s £5bn Project Gigabit aimed at delivering gigabit-capable broadband to hard-to-reach communities.

The outcomes of Leicestershire’s Gigahubs project will:

  • Provide improved connectivity to 43 public sector sites in mostly rural locations, where fibre connectivity would likely otherwise would not be commercially provided due to costs and/or access
  • Build upon Leicestershire County Council’s commitment to improve connectivity across the county
  • Help achieve digital inclusion for residents if Leicestershire as additional fibre broadband connections can be delivered around the Gigahubs sites

Fibre Community Partnership

A Fibre Community Partnership (FCP) is where Openreach works with a local group of residents or business owners, to find a solution to bring fibre broadband to their area, especially when they are not included in any existing upgrade plans. This usually needs to be a joint funded approach, where Openreach covers the costs in line with its commercial model and the community provides the remaining gap funding required for the infrastructure build.

Businesses can claim up to £3,500 against the cost of connection either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can benefit from the scheme as part of a group project which also includes businesses and can claim for a voucher of up to a value of £1,500.

Find out more about broadband projects on the Digital Leicestershire website.


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.)