Chester's River Dee is the jewel in the crown of the city and an absolute must see for anyone visiting the city!
The River Dee runs a total length of 70 miles (113 km). It rises in the Welsh hills of Snowdonia, flows through Chester and ends it's beautiful journey to the sea in an estuary between Wales and the Wirral Peninsula in England.
The river is incredibly accessible just a short walk from the centre of the city and a good stretch of the walk along the walls overlooks the river from an amazing vantage point between Chester Castle and the Roman Gardens.
A good stretch of the river is navigable for at least six miles from the weir at Handbridge (which is directly at the bottom of lower Bridge Street). The weir crosses the River Dee slightly upstream from the Old Dee Bridge and interestingly, the weir and the associated salmon leap are recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building.
Between the Old Dee Bridge and the beautiful pedestrian Queens Park Suspension Bridge that leads from the foot of the remains of St. Johns Church over the the suburb of Queens Park & Handbridge you will find the Groves.
The Groves is a very special place that takes you back in time and to a gentler more simple pace of life with many benches surrounding the fantastic band stand overlooking the river and of course many ice cream sellers where you can also buy hot and cold drinks and use the public toilets.
The Groves is also right next to the weir and can be accessed at the bottom of Lower Bridge Street or alternatively you will find yourself there on your exploration of Chester if you carry on to the very bottom of the Roman Gardens or down the steps from Grosvenor Park.
River Cruises & Boat Hire
The wonderful ChesterBoat operates it's river cruises from right by the bandstand at The Groves and there is just nothing like cruising down the river taking in the glorious scenery and incredible houses and gardens that bank the river.
ChesterBoat runs river cruises daily and you can pick from a Half Hour River Cruise, a Two Hour Iron Bridge River Cruise, or one of their incredibly popular themed evening cruises such as their Party Nights Afloat with a live DJ, Chilli & Quiz Nights and Fish & Chip Fridays or you can even charter your own boat for private hire!
Kayaking & Paddleboarding (SUP)
If getting closer to the water under your own propulsion is more your thing you can Kayak and Paddleboard on the river and you can book Kayaking and Paddleboarding tours and tuition from the fantastic Dee River Kayaking.
Chester Regatta and Local Rowing Clubs
There are many very established and successful rowing clubs along the River Dee so you will often get the treat of seeing them practising on the river and Chester Regatta is held every year in June.
Chester Regatta not only brings the best rowers in the country to compete on a 750m stretch of Chester's beautiful River Dee but it is a very historic event as it is the oldest Regatta in the whole world predating both Henley Regatta and the Oxford / Cambridge Boat Race!
Ferry Crossing (Weekends & Bank Holidays between Whit and the Last Sunday in September)
Throughout the summer a 5 minute river crossing ferry runs across the river and dogs are allowed on the boat.
The ferry crossing runs between Sandy Lane in the suburb of Boughton on weekends and bank holiday and is made by a small boat with a outboard motor - this same crossing has been running for more than 50 years!
The Groves, The Groves, Chester, England CH1 1SZ, United Kingdom