Not far from the England-Wales border, Chester is the second largest city in Cheshire. A successful metropolis in Northwest England, it is also one of the UK’s most famous heritage cities and has a history dating back millennia. Each year, it extends a warm welcome to over eight million tourists, but what draws this multitude to visit Chester?
From its famous black and white medieval rows to its ancient abbey, Chester Cathedral, the city has many recognisable landmarks that attract attention from those beyond its walls. While the city itself makes for a picturesque backdrop for uploads to Instagram, its landmarks like the Eastgate Clock, which is the most photographed UK timepiece after Big Ben, are also sought-after captures for visitors.
Chester’s origins date back to 79AD when the Romans settled on its site and raised Fortress Deva where it stands today. As a result, it is home to the UK’s largest known amphitheatre from Roman times where gladiatorial games were held, a shrine to the Roman Goddess Minerva and hands-on archaeology site formed on the ruins of a Roman legionary base.
However, Chester has many other historic sites representing different eras. Its walls span multiple periods, while its castle overlooks the River Dee and was built by Hugh d’Avranches in 1070. The city is also home to the Chester Military Museum and the Grosvenor Museum, making it a mecca for history buffs.
Food and drink for all tastes
Chester has a thriving food and drink scene, with many enterprises dedicated to producing dishes featuring the fresh produce sourced locally. From Italian food at Urbano32 and La Fattoria to Spanish tapas cuisine at Porta, food from all over the world can be found in the city alongside traditional English fare. Wine lovers find experiences like tastings and pairing in Chester at The Venetian and Vin Santo, while beer lovers visit Chester for unique brews at the Cavern of the Curious Gnome and The Henry Potts, where they make their own and serve it on tap. Every diet is catered for in Chester, making it enticing for all culinary cravings, from vegan cuisine at Shrub to seasoned meats at Hickory’s Smokehouse.
World class activities and experiences
Chester is home to some of the UK’s finest attractions, luring visitors to the city and its surrounds. The Ice Cream Farm in Tattenhall, Chester claims a Guinness World Record for having the largest ice cream parlour on the planet, where you can enjoy over 50 different flavours of the frozen treat. It is also home to Chester Zoo, a world-leading conservationist working hard to prevent the extinction of endangered species across the globe. Its 130 acres are home to over 27,000 animals from more than 500 species and see it accept almost two million visitors each year. Chester Racecourse is another major draw for those from further afield. The world’s oldest racecourse still operating, it dates to 1539 when it first became a site for the sport.
Indoor and outdoor entertainment for all ages
The diverse range of activities and entertainment in Chester also makes it popular. From people looking for passive indoor activities to those seeking an outdoor adventure packed with thrills, there are options available for all. The Spa at Chester Grosvenor offers opportunities for pampering while the Storyhouse regularly shows stage productions while Dee River Kayaking and Chester Parkrun allow tourists a chance to get physical.
Chester also offers an abundance of activities for of all ages including the rides at the Ice Cream Farm, the BeWILDerwood adventure playground and Zippy’s Playworld for kids to guided Roman Tours and Chesterboat cruises along the river for older visitors.
Finally, a key consideration when taking a trip is finding quality accommodation options. Again, this is an area where Chester excels. In and around then city, Chester tourists will find hotels, inns, lodges, cottages, and apartments to suit all budgets and individual needs. The world-famous Chester Grosvenor offers a luxury experience and is right in the heart of the city centre, while the Holiday Inn Express is located inside Chester Racecourse, making it a favourite among race fans. Many Chester hotels like the Rowton Hall and Carden Park also include spa options, attracting guests who wish to relax and rejuvenate on their holiday. Meanwhile, Roomzzz Aparthotel offers studios and penthouse suites to suit all needs.
As you can see, Chester can appeal to people of all ages and from every walk of life. From its intriguing history to its modern amenities and attractions, its legacy spans thousands of years and keeps pushing forward, making it a popular place to be.
Whether you are visiting with family, friends or simply embarking on a solo mission, add your name to the list of millions who grace the city with their presence and enjoy all it has to offer.