Accommodation in Chester includes quaint Tudor-era inns, boutique townhouses, family-friendly hotels, and sprawling country houses in the leafy Cheshire plains. Proximity to Chester Zoo and other attractions north of the city is a priority for some visitors. But most people base themselves within or near the city’s Roman walls, for easy access to shops, bars, cultural events, and Chester’s historical sights.
In the Middle Ages, people flocked to Chester’s busy markets to buy leather gloves, woolens, horses, and wine. It’s still a shoppers’ paradise, with big-name stores and quirky independent shops concentrated in a small central area. The eclectic Rows are among England’s finest sights, and have been the retail heart of the city for 700 years. A few miles north, Cheshire Oaks designer outlet village offers incredible bargains.
History and heritage fans will love what Chester has to offer - but there’s also plenty to keep families entertained and shopaholics satisfied. Tours by foot, bus, or boat give a guided introduction to the city’s landmarks in an hour or so, leaving time to relax by the picturesque river before a night out.
Chester is a classically English city on the River Dee, with a history stretching back 2,000 years to the Roman occupation. Compact yet majestic, it has long been a weekend-break favorite, drawing thousands of visitors each year. And rightly so - it offers beautiful Tudor buildings, culture, family activities, and a friendly vibe that makes travellers feel at home.
On the one hand, Chester's pub and club scene is a vibrant backdrop for the hectic social lives of sharp-dressed young locals. You'll see them out and about in the town's buzzing bars on a Friday night. But there's another side to Chester - where you can sip a quiet pint of ale in a centuries-old timber-frame pub down a cobbled lane, or beside the River Dee.
If you and your family like zoos, be sure to set aside at least half a day to enjoy Chester’s world-class facility. There’s also watery fun to enjoy, with boating on the river and a renowned aquarium. Exploring the city walls is great for all the family and, to burn off any extra energy, there’s no shortage of playgrounds and parks in and around the city.
With its riverside location, 2,000-year history, and full calendar of cultural events, Chester is one of England's most inviting cities. You can explore its Roman ruins, visit the cathedral, picnic on the castle grounds, and enjoy a day trip to Wales or the Lake District. Culture lovers can time their visit to make the most of the annual arts festival, music festival, and open-air theatre season.
The classic English breakfast and Sunday afternoon roast are still honored staples in the cafés and pubs of Chester. But local palates have broadened in recent years, and you'll find steaming bowls of fresh mussels, tapas platters, and ultra-modern Asian fusion dishes on Chester's menus. Most restaurants are concentrated around the historic city centre and riverside, but the suburb of Hoole has fashionable little bistros too.
Chester is among the oldest and best-preserved historic cities in England. Its ancient Roman walls, original Tudor buildings, and restored Victorian waterways give visitors a feeling of time travel as they wander the compact centre. But it's also a lively modern city, and especially so on race days, when thousands flock to Chester Racecourse and a party atmosphere prevails.
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