Chester is the county city of Cheshire, in the north west of England, situated in the heart of the county's beautiful countryside. The walled city boasts an impressive 2000 year history, which is very well-preserved in its stunning architecture.

The area was important to the Romans and the Saxons, and many thereafter - Chester is very conveniently located on the River Dee, close to the border of north Wales and near the old industrial cities of Manchester and Liverpool.

From the gothic cathedral to the thirteenth century shop fronts and the Roman amphitheatre, Chester's colourful past is everywhere and helps make it the vibrant and welcoming city it is today.


Chester is the proud home to Britain's largest zoo. Situated just off the M56, visitors to Chester Zoo are spoiled, with a massive 500 different species of animal on show. During the spring and summer, there are often young animals to greet visitors - a sure-fire hit with the children.

The zoo is also a handy place to head on a rainy day in Chester, because it offers a 'Rainbuster Route'. Decked in a zoo poncho, visitors can enjoy all the areas which are sheltered, offering maximum protection from the unpredictable elements. Admission for adults costs 14.50 GBP and 10.50 GBP each for child. These prices include a small donation to help fund the running of the zoo.

Chester Military Museum and Castle are a short walk from the city centre, and offer a chance to explore the city's history. The museum gives visitors a chance to delve into area's long-running military association. The various regiments featured include the Cheshire Regiment, the Cheshire Yeomanry and the 3rd Carabiniers. The role of women in war is also explored.

Chester Castle was originally completed around 1066, but was rebuilt and opened for civil use in 1810. The changing exhibitions of the castle give a taste of its role in Chester's history. Admission is free.

Fine weather offers a great opportunity to explore the most complete city walls in Britain, which have roots in Roman, Saxon and medieval times. The two mile stretch boasts beautiful views of Chester and the surrounding countryside. The walls, which encircle the city, are believed to have been built in the first century AD, and have been added to and strengthened throughout history.

In 1929, Britain's largest amphitheatre was discovered in Chester, overlooking the River Dee. Until excavation, the curved structure lay undiscovered, but today the Roman arena is undergoing a major English Heritage project to find out more about its history.

In the heart of the city centre is Chester Cathedral - reflecting the important part it has played in the city's history. The Benedictine Abbey has been the cathedral of Chester since the sixteenth century, when it replaced a Saxon mister which once stood on the same spot. Some of the building's carvings and architecture are believed to be 800 years old.

More of Chester's history can be discovered at the Roodee Racecourse, where it is believed the Romans arrived to build a fortress in the city. The racecourse is the oldest in Britain, with records of horse racing going back to the sixteenth century.


Even wandering down Chester's shopping streets, visitors can?t help but be immersed in reminders of the city's impressive history. The half-timbered Rows of Eastgate Street are one of the architectural highlights of Chester and are also great for shopping. The thirteenth century two-tiered galleries have been restored and are one of the reasons Chester attracts around 8.5 million visitors every year.

Another attraction of Chester's shopping streets is the world famous Eastgate Clock, which overlooks the shopping street. The ornate timepiece was made in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria's jubilee.

St Michael's Arcade is the place to head for boutiques and independent shops, away from the high street chains of the main shopping area. Godstall Lane and Rufus Court also offer interesting specialist stores.

For serious shoppers with a nose for a bargain McArthur Glen's Designer Outlet Village, at Cheshire Oaks is a short drive away. The shopping centre offers designer goods at cut prices.

Nightlife and Eating Out

There are plenty of upmarket bars and restaurants in Chester, but a visit to the city is not complete without a quick drink in its oldest pub. The Boot Inn is located in the city centre, on Eastgate Street, and was built in 1643.

The city has an impressive selection of cuisine on offer. For a relaxed musical dining experience, try Alexander's Jazz Bar Restaurant, in Rufus Court. As well as jazz, the bar often has comedy evenings. City Bar, on City Road, is also a popular nightspot, particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings, when it often holds club nights.

For a special occasion, book a table at Chester?s five-star hotel, The Chester Grosvenor. The hotel?s restaurant, Arkle, has been awarded a Michelin star ?so although the quality reflects this, so do the prices. The most expensive bottle of wine is a snip at 5000 GBP!

Tourist Information

Chester Tourist Information Centre Town Hall, Northgate Street, Chester, CH1 2HJ Tel: 01244 402111

Chester Visitor CentreVicars LaneChester Cheshire CH1 1QX Tel: 01244


Chester is very conveniently located for airports. Manchester International and Liverpool John Lennon airports are both about a 40 minute drive away. Manchester is one of Britain's main airports and has three terminals. Liverpool is one of Europe's fastest growing airports. Flights from both airports connect the north of England to many international cities.

Manchester Airport: +44 (0)161 489 3000Liverpool John Lennon Airport: +44 (0)870 129 8484

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