Whether you’re looking for fresh air and exercise or a relaxed way of taking in the sights, walks in Chester have much to offer. With everything from easy options to challenging paths available, the city and its surrounding area offer walks to suit different preferences and abilities.
So, let’s explore a few of the very best walks you can enjoy if you’re in or around Chester.
1. Chester City Walls
Offering a circular stroll, a tour of Chester’s historic city walls is not to be missed. Perfect at any hour of the day, a walk around the Grade I-listed walls provides premier views and multiple chances for photo opportunities. Usually regarded as the best-preserved city walls in the whole of Britain, Chester’s walls entirely encircle city. A well-established footpath runs atop the walls, which remain intact apart from a small section of approximately 100 metres.
The walk is popular among city visitors as it offers a chance to get a bird’s eye view of many of Chester’s most famous tourist attractions, including Chester Castle, Chester Cathedral and the Roodee, Chester’s world-renowned racecourse. The pathways are paved and there are no gateways to bypass. However, there are several steps to navigate throughout the course of the walk. Overall, a circuit of the City Walls takes between 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
2. Wales Coast Path
The Wales Coast Path is recognised for being the first path on the planet to follow a nation’s coastline fully and extends for 870 miles. While technically the walk begins at the border with England, the popular route unofficially starts within the historic city centre of Chester, where walkers can see its famous black and white rows, stately hotels like The Chester Grosvenor, or get some breakfast at one of its numerous eateries and cafes.
As a result, Chester has become known in hiking circles as an ideal base for those embarking on a walking holiday. To make it more manageable, the Wales Coast Path’s North Wales section can be split into six smaller sections. Clear maps are provided of the path, as well as well-established way-markings, making it a ready-made option for those looking for a milestone walk to add to their experiences and achievements.
3. Chester Rows
Those seeking a local stroll full of activity with plenty of history to soak up will love the Chester Rows. A step back in time to the shopping arcades of yesteryear, the rows are among Britain’s most prized architectural treasures and steeped in mystery. Many of the premises on the multi-level walk are listed, including what is believed to be Britain’s longest surviving shop face. Many of the buildings on the Chester Rows have been decorated to emulate the black and white frontage adopted in the Victorian era and offer picturesque backdrops for posts on social media channels like Instagram.
The Rows feature an abundance of retail opportunities for walkers seeking souvenirs, and provide plenty of opportunities to find refreshment, from Turkish treats at Pars Kahve to a sit-down lunch at the Olive Tree Brasserie.
4. Delamere Forest
A stunning area of natural beauty, Delamere Forest in Cheshire attracts walkers from all over Britain hunting for routes and paths with a prehistoric feel. The verdant forest can be investigated via three individual walking trails – the Linmere trail, the Blakemere trail, and the Old Pale trail. The Forest’s walks are ideal for families with children, but also for people with specific mobility needs, as these are often not served by lengthy walks.
Delamere Forest is packed with amenities and facilities since the construction of an all-new visitor’s centre, which includes a well-stocked café. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people visit the forest, making it among the most popular attractions in Cheshire.
The forest can be found just over 10 miles from the city by car. Alternatively, Delamere station can be reached by train, with the journey from Chester taking less than 20 minutes.
5. Chester Castle
Situated on Grosvenor Street, Chester Castle is only 15 minutes on foot from the historic city centre and sits beside the famous Roodee Racecourse within a bend of the River Dee. The castle was constructed here strategically to overlook the river, offering a critical viewpoint for its earliest residents. However, this same vantage provides Chester walkers with stunning vistas of the city and beyond.
What remains of the castle today is parts of the Medieval complex accompanied by newer Neoclassical structures that were built between the years of 1788 and 1813. The history of Chester castle reaches back in time to 1070, when it was erected by the second Earl of Chester, Hugh d’Avranches. For walkers with a passion for history, a hike around Chester Castle is a must.
Whether you’re just in Chester for the day or planning a lengthier stay, you’ll find diverse walks in and around the city, so consider these potential expeditions on you next visit.