Over eight million people visit Chester each year, and a key reason for this is that it offers entertainment and activities for all ages and tastes. Among the UK’s most renowned heritage cities, it is packed with places of historic interest, while its innovations allow city guests to enjoy impressive experiences. Chester’s caretakers work hard to keep it in exceptional condition, ensuring visitors get to spend time in an attractive environment and witness world-famous landmarks which are preserved in pristine condition.
Obviously, with an abundance of options to explore, it can be tricky to settle on an itinerary when visiting Chester. To help you optimise your experience of this exciting city, we’ve compiled a detailed guide of how to spend a day in Chester with your family. Read on and get ready for your trip.
Strolling in Grosvenor Park
If you start at the ruins of St John’s church, you can walk around the park and admire the ornamental gardens. Award-winning and Grade Listed, Grosvenor Park provides 20 acres of lush green landscape and offers a relaxing start to your Chester tour. Breathe some fresh air and take a tranquil stroll with the as you take in the local scenery. Ideal if you’re travelling with children, it has a dedicated play area and miniature railway to ride which operates for most months of the year.
Appreciate the River Dee
Near Grosvenor Park you’ll find a paved section which borders the river Dee, which runs through Chester. Here, there are promenades for walks and park benches for resting, as well as ice cream stalls and restaurants for sustenance. You can also enjoy the local talent of buskers and entertainers. Across the bridge, there are grassy areas for riverside picnics, though you can also explore the area by boat.
Local company ChesterBoat offers half hour Dee tours that showcase the city’s features from the water with a bar onboard for refreshments. However, you can also rent paddle boats, motorboats and kayaks for a more intimate trip along the river.
Investigate the Roman Gardens and Amphitheatre
People with a passion for history love Chester for its Roman origins as the site of the fortress Deva. Its Roman Gardens are a favoured site containing the remains of old Roman buildings and are a popular place for visitors to sit in the grass to dream about the past. Close by is the city’s Roman Amphitheatre, which is recognised as being among the largest buildings of its kind in the country.
Walking the City Walls
For more history and exceptional views, walking Chester’s City Walls is a must. The best-preserved ancient city walls in Britain, here you can stroll high above the city on the ramparts and walkways originally constructed to defend Chester from invaders. The walk takes an hour to complete and is suitable for all members of the family. Roman and Medieval tours are available with informed guides dressed as authentic soldiers highlighting buildings of interest along the way.
Delve into the Rows
Whether you’re seeking retail therapy, or a cup of tea with a cake, Chester Rows provide an unforgettable environment. A world-famous feature of the city, these charming half-timber galleries allow you to access two levels of cafes and quirky shops while appreciating an overview of the city.
Discover Chester Cathedral
A national treasure and a revered landmark of the city, Chester Cathedral is Grade Listed and free to enter. A hub for the city’s community, the cathedral is an active place of worship but also a hotspot for lovers of architecture and art. From its incredible construction to its installations of artworks by celebrated creatives, the cathedral is also a popular venue for candle-lit concerts.
Explore the town centre
Whether you’re looking for traditional English fare or a table inspired by overseas cuisine, Chester City Centre is an ideal location for lunch or dinner. Here you can also experience the hubbub of the city as residents and tourists intermingle in one of the country’s most historic settings. Don’t forget to admire the impressive buildings and notable landmarks amidst all the activity.
You’ll find the three-faceted Eastgate Clock which is counted as the most photographed clock in Britain after London’s Big Ben. Be sure to get a family photo alongside this iconic Chester feature to post on your socials.
See the animals in Chester Zoo
Finally, no visit to Chester is complete without a trip to the Zoo. Just three miles beyond the city walls, Chester Zoo is a leading conservationist dedicated to preventing the extinction of endangered animals. Visit the thousands of furry, feathered and scaled inhabitants in their cutting-edge habitats to learn about their plight.
Whether you want to delve into ancient history and appreciate scenic views or capture images of your family at famous landmarks and enjoy a true taste of Chester, the city offers appeal for all. Try our list of experiences the next time your travels take you within our walls.