Pay a visit to Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, take a tour of the University of Leicester Botanical Garden, or enjoy a picnic at Aylestone Meadows as you celebrate the life of your loved one.
Hosting a wake in Leicester
A wake is an informal event that traditionally takes place after a funeral service and cremation or burial. It’s usually an informal event that involves family and friends gathering to share memories and celebrate the life of their loved one.
Traditionally, wakes would take place at someone’s home, or a community centre or pub, but they can take place anywhere. The people organising the wake may want to honour their loved one by holding the wake at a place that was special to them, such as at the grounds of their favourite football team, for example.
Also, although wakes usually take place directly after the funeral service, they can be held at any time. They can also be as structured or as informal as the organiser would like. Wake organisers have the freedom to host the event that’s right for them, their family and friends, and their loved one.
If you’re organising a wake in Leicester, there are plenty of unique venues where you can host the event in your own way, from a tour of the University of Leicester Botanical Gardens or a picnic at Aylestone Meadows.
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If you’re choosing a celebration of life instead of a traditional funeral, you could consider direct cremation. This is where the cremation doesn’t have any attendees, and the crematorium will return the ashes directly to you or your loved ones.
Leicester Museum and Art Gallery
The Victorian Leicester Museum & Art Gallery is ideal for holding a unique wake for your loved one. It is fully accessible and just a few minutes away from Leicester train station. You can enter the gallery from the pedestrianised New Walk and celebrate the life of your loved one surrounded by exhibits from the museum’s collections that are recognised all over the world.
The Victorian Art Gallery can accommodate up to 200 people and has a stage and AV system, with technical equipment available for hire. Meanwhile, the Dinosaur Gallery can accommodate up to 120 people and is home to the mighty, 15-metre Rutland Dinosaur.
Meanwhile, the Council Room is much smaller and ideal for a more intimate wake, with self-catering facilities. The on-site Museum Café has a wide variety of hospitality menus for every occasion and can accommodate external caterers if you wish.
Meanwhile, the Lord Mayor’s Suite is an elegant and versatile space that can accommodate as few as 8 guests to as many as 80 guests.
The bookings team at the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery are highly professional and will be able to support you in creating a unique wake for your loved one.
University of Leicester Botanic Garden
The University of Leicester Botanic Garden is a 16-acre garden and one of the most diverse in the region. It is home to an arboretum, glasshouses with alpine, desert, Mediterranean, and tropical climates, a herb garden, parterre garden, rock gardens, special collections of conifers, fuschia, and peonies, a water garden, and woodland and herbaceous borders.
You can book a tour of the garden, and it could make a great way to celebrate your loved one’s life uniquely, especially as you can arrange a visit to the gardens outside the usual opening hours. When you arrive, your group will be split up into smaller parties of about 10 people each, and a trained volunteer will take you through the Garden or Arboretum. The tour lasts typically 1.5 hours and can be completed with light refreshments if you wish.
Trained volunteers run these tours and ensure you don’t miss anything. You’re sure to see all the garden's highlights and even be shown hidden details of the garden. You’ll see noteworthy plants and learn all about their horticultural significance, and you can request custom tours for your group and their interests.
The cost of the tour goes towards supporting the garden’s educational programme but for up to date pricing information, see the UoL Botanic Garden website.
There is no limit to group size, and you can find the information for booking the tours on the garden’s website. If your loved one enjoyed nature and gardening, then a unique wake at the Botanical Gardens may be a fitting way to celebrate their life.
Aylestone Meadows Local Nature Reserve
Aylestone Meadows is at the southern end of the Leicester riverside area that stretches into the heart of the city, all the way to Watermead Country Park in the north. It is the largest local nature reserve in Leicester, and its meadows are home to a wide range of wildlife, like the Botanic Gardens. If your loved one enjoyed the great outdoors, the beautiful Aylestone Meadows would be an idyllic place to hold a unique wake for them.
The Meadows are reasonably easy to get to, as the Great Central Way (which was once part of the Great Central Railway) forms part of the Sustrans national cycle route 6. This four-mile pathway is excellent for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders. It is partially tarmacked, making it accessible for those with mobility issues. Many other trails lead off around different areas of the meadows, such as the boardwalk and canal towpath.
Arrange a direct cremation with Farewill
We can help you organise a cremation service that's right for you. We'll help transport your loved one, handle all the paperwork and hand-deliver your loved one’s ashes to you.