Chester is a great destination for a family holiday and there are lots of tourist attractions.
Our Chester Tourist Information guide below lists all the attractions in Chester with links to OFFICIAL tourism websites.
Chester is a city in Cheshire in North West England, close to the border of Wales. Often referred to as the walled city, Chester has a superbly preserved Roman wall surrounding the city, the most complete in Britain and measuring nearly two miles. Chester is famous for many reasons: a rich heritage and beautiful architecture, an excellent shopping experience with variety of shops and markets, picturesque gardens and mouth-watering food.
Chester has a fantastic mix of architecture and styles, from Victorian design to Roman ruins. Walk through the traffic-free heart of the city and along the medieval streets, admire the black and white buildings, mostly Victorian architecture, and of course the famous unique 13th century Rows – buildings with shops or dwellings on the lowest two storeys which date from the Middle Ages. On Eastgate is the famous Chester monument, Eastgate Clock, the second most photographed clock in England after Big Ben in London. There are many fine other fine buildings, including the Gothic-style Chester Cathedral, dating back to 1092, the 2000 year old Roman Amphitheatre – the largest stone-built Roman Amphitheatre in Britain, and the Victorian styled Grosvenor Museum and Chester Town Hall.
However Chester is not just a city of the past, there is a mixture of modern and historic buildings, and plenty of up-to-date facilities and entertainment. Chester effortlessly blends centuries of historical substance with modern style.
Shopping in Chester
Chester is a unique city to shop and for over 700 years since the shopping mall with tiered galleries of independent retailers was invented, Chester has been a busy shopping city. With the unique shopping galleries – the Rows which give shoppers stores at street level with steps to another tier of shops above, they are the oldest shopping facade in England.
From one-off and designer boutiques to jewellers, health and beauty shops, bookshops, stationary shops and toy shops, department stores and markets, there is a shop for everyone. And when you’ve finished shopping there are a number of cafes, restaurants and delis to relax and indulge in some well earned refreshments.
There is Eastgate Street, one of Chester’s busiest streets which has attracted trade for 2000 years and the small and narrow passage Godstall Lane, one of only four medieval lanes to survive within the City Walls, and lined with small shops and a couple of bars. Watergate Street, Bridge Street and the Grosvenor Shopping Centre have some of the best independent womens fashion and shoe and accessories retailers in the country.
The department stores feature every big brand name you would expect and there are two indoor shopping malls in Chester, the Grosvenor Centre and The Forum Shopping Centre.
Bridge Street runs North-South from the Chester Cross to the River Dee and has many specialist shops and boutiques including: East, French Connection, Swarovski, Lowe & Sons Jewellers, Olio & Farina, Wesley Barrell and Jigsaw.
Northgate leads north from Eastgate and takes you up to Chester Town Hall and The Forum shopping centre. Northgate shops include Zara, Gap and the Chester Cheese Shop – full of speciality cheese and pickles.
The Grosvenor Shopping Centre
There are two indoor shopping malls in Chester. The Grosvenor Centre and The Forum Shopping Centre.
The Grosvenor Centre is a smart indoor shopping area entered from Bridge Street or Eastgate Street and has many high street names and designer shops. Including: Browns, Debenhams, H&M, Jo Malone, Hugo Boss, Emma Somerset, The Body Shop, Laura Ashley and Boodles.
The Forum has shops including: TJ Hughes, Boots, Chester Indoor Market and Chester Council Offices. The Forum is to be replaced by a new Northgate Development. It will transform the Northgate area, creating new shopping streets and Rows, apartments, indoor market, library and a performing arts centre to replace the current Chester Gateway.
Eating out in Chester
Chester is well known for its fine food and drink which will delight the taste buds as much as the scenery of Chester does the eyes. Farm shops, markets and festivals, Cheshire has many specialist shops and food events to showcase the best local produce, two of these being Cheshire Cheese and fresh Dee Salmon. The Food and Drink Festival is held in early spring each year in Chester and is a major attraction – one not to be missed by the food lover.
Cosmopolitan Chester has a range of restaurants to cater for all tastes; from the exotic of Thai, Japanese, Chinese and Indian to European including Swedish, French and Spanish.
Guided Walks of Chester
Chester offers its visitors the widest range of city tours of any UK city outside London. There are a number of guided tours and walks around Chester, many running throughout the year and they make a great way of seeing and learning about the city. Let the experts take the history off the page and show you a perspective on history that you haven’t considered before. There is a tour around the Chester Rows where you will go inside these unique treasures, a night-time ghost hunter trail where you will explore Chester’s eerie haunts, a secret Chester tour where you will access buildings and some towers on the City’s Roman Walls which are not normally open to the public, and the popular Roman tours where you are guided on a light-hearted journey through the Roman heritage of Chester by a Roman in full battle gear.
Museums & Heritage in Chester
Chester’s museums and tourist attractions are all well sign posted and within easy walking distance of each other.
The Grosvenor Museum
The Grosvenor Museum is Chester’s biggest collection of local and international history, telling the story of 2000 years of life over three floors in a 19th century building, Grosvenor Museum is a great museum to learn about the history of Chester. There is a permanent Roman exhibition with Roman artefacts found in and around Chester including an impressive collection of Roman tombstones. Travel back in time to explore a 1900 Kitchen, Victorian Parlour, Georgian Drawing Room, Stuart Dining Room, Victorian Schoolroom, 1920’s Nursery and Edwardian Bathroom.
The Grosvenor museum also has the superb art gallery that opened in 1989 showing paintings of Chester by local artists, a natural history exhibition and a Chester Silver collection.
Other museums in Chester include the Cheshire Military Museum, Dewa Roman Experience and Chester Roman Amphitheatre.
Tourist Attractions in Chester
You don’t need to travel far from the city centre to find other main Chester attractions such as Chester Zoo, Blue Planet Aquarium and Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet Village.
With many of the Chester attractions just a short stroll away, the city is packed out with things to do and see – probably one of the most impressive sights being the Rows, two-tier shopping galleries which date from the Middle Ages.
Chester is also home to the oldest racecourse in the country – Chester Racecourse, with its mile-long course on a 65 acre site there are polo and show jumping events, hospitality packages and of course famous races.