Birstall is the largest village in Charnwood and is the last major settlement before Leicester when arriving from the north. The village centre lies just off the A6, along Sibson Road and offers High Street and Independent retailers, a garden centre and a variety of places to eat and drink.
The Grand Union Canal runs through the bottom end of the village, separating it from Watermead Country Park, a series of lakes in the bottom of the Soar Valley, which have been set aside as a recreational area and country park.
The Great Central Railway steam railway has its southern terminus near the village. The symbol of Birstall is a Cedar tree. The original tree stands in Roman Road. It was once in the grounds of the now demolished Birstall Hall.