Boasting an intriguing history and loaded with opportunities to participate in a wide range of adventures, Chester is a sought-after destination for visitors all year round. However, located in a stunning part of the country with many outdoor experiences at hand, the summer is an outstanding time to visit the city.
Before you pack your bags for a trip to Chester over the warmer months of the year, read through our countdown of activities you might enjoy in this exciting city.
1. Chester Zoo
Located in Upton-by-Chester, these zoological gardens are home to hundreds of thousands and animals. Each can be found in its own carefully crafted habitat where visitors can learn more about different species and Chester Zoo’s work as a leading conservationist. From its breeding programmes to its collaborations with other organisations around the world, the world-famous zoo is dedicated to protecting rare and endangered animals from extinction.
Spring this year saw the zoo experience a major baby boom, so visitors this summer will be able to see a host of new arrivals take their first steps, including a Humboldt penguin, a Goodfellows tree kangaroo and twin Sumatran tiger cubs to name but a few.
To make sure you don’t miss anything, the zoo recommends dedicating a full day to your visit.
What would summer be without ice cream? With this in mind, the Ice Cream Farm in Tattenhall is a perfect destination for fans of the frozen dessert.
The Chester attraction’s claim to fame is that it is recognised as the largest ice cream parlour in the world, where it offers more than 50 different flavours. While classics like chocolate, vanilla and strawberry are always available, more adventurous options like bubble-gum, Bakewell tart and Turkish delight are also offered. All diets are catered for, including ice creams and sorbets designed for vegans and those with lactose intolerance.
The farm is also an adventure playground with activities and rides designed for all ages. Those looking for fun in the sun can take the Rocky Road and ride mini tractors or visit Gemstone Cove, Daisy’s Garden or the Fun Factory.
3. River Dee adventures
The Dee flows through Chester, making the city a great place to enjoy all the river has to offer in the summer sun. While relaxed tours like ChesterBoat offer scenic views and informative expeditions, those seeking a more energetic experience won’t be disappointed either. Designed to suit all skill levels, Chester visitors keen to get out on the water can take part in tours and training classes featuring kayaks, paddleboards and other options through companies like Dee River Kayaking. While parts of the Dee are placid, intrepid explorers will find it also has white rapids, which are ideal for thrill seekers.
Chester’s award-winning city park is the perfect place to enjoy summer, because with more daylight hours, it’s open for longer. Known for being a jewel in the city’s crown, it dates to the Victorian era and overlooks the Dee. Comprising 5.8 hectares, there’s plenty of room for all and activities and amenities designed for every age group. The Lodge café serves refreshments while the activity zone and miniature railway offer fun for little ones.
Each summer, Chester’s celebrated theatre company, Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, constructs a U-shaped theatre in-the-round in the park and puts on outdoor performances for fans of picnics and plays. Featuring a wide range of different seating option, theatregoers can pack their hamper or order a gourmet pizza if they prefer. Planned plays for this year include William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and a production based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, The Great Gatsby.
5. Guided tours
Steeped in ancient history, Chester is renowned for its origins as a Roman fort. The city has multiple sites of historic significance, but to maximise experiences exploring its past, a tour led by experts can be ideal.
The summer season is an excellent time of year for traversing the Roman walls and walking around Chester to see different places of interests, without the weather getting in the way. For a unique take on such activities, Roman Tours offer excursions helmed by knowledgeable guides dressed authentically as Roman centurions.
The oldest racecourse still operating in the world, The Roodee has been hosting races since 1539. Fine weather is perfect for enjoying the races from its first-class enclosures and the summer brings multiple events featuring race cards. From Edinburgh Gin Summer Saturday to the Mathew Clark Summer Festival and Family Day, this year’s calendar is packed with events.
If you’re travelling to Chester this year over the summer, be sure to check out as many of these options as possible to maximise your enjoyment of this awesome city.