Anstey is known as the Gateway to Charnwood Forest. It is a combination of traditional English village (with two village greens - the top green and bottom green) and an industrial town (with several 19th-century hosiery factories, many of which are now being turned into apartments.)
The place-name of Anstey is first recorded in Domesday Book when it was held by one of the county's largest landholders, Hugh de Grandmesnil, castellan of Leicester. At the time it was a small farming community. When Bonnie Prince Charlie's army moved south during the 1745 rebellion, although the main body of troops were turned back at Derby, a foraging party reached the commons of Anstey.
Famous past Anstey residents include Ned Ludd (Ludlam), the machine-wrecker whose name was appropriated by the Luddites, and snooker player and commentator Willie Thorne, who started playing snooker at the village's Conservative club.
Today the village offers independent retail and a good selection of teashops and eateries, perfect for a stop off if visiting nearby Bradgate Park