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10 Great Things About Chester
1. The Chester Rows
The historic Rows in Chester line the four main shopping streets in the city centre. The two-tiered galleries which are reached by steps from street level are unique to Chester. Dating from the medieval era today The Rows are home to a whole host of shops, many are independent boutique style shops which bring something special and unique to Chester’s retail offering.
2. Roman Heritage
The Roman city of Chester was originally built to control the native tribes of North Wales and northern Britain. The layout of Chester today, still follows the original Roman pattern, with a defensive wall circling the city which are the most complete in the UK and stretch over two miles. It is also home to the largest Roman amphitheatre in Britain, used for entertainment and military training by the 20th Legion and which is free to visit. You can also join a Roman Tour of the city where your very own centurion will give you an insight into Roman Chester.
3. Chester Races
According to official records Chester Racecourse is the oldest racecourse still in use in England. It is also thought to be the smallest racecourse of significance in England, at 1 mile and 1 furlong. The Chester Racecourse site was home to the famous and bloody Goteddsday football match. The game was very violent and, in 1533, banned by the city, to be replaced in 1539 by horse racing. Today 15 annual race meets are held at Chester Racecourse and draw in huge crowds from the North West and beyond.
4. Chester Cathedral
In a city steeped in heritage Chester Cathedral is the embodiment of what is attractive about the city. With a fascinating history spanning almost two thousand years it boasts some wonderful sights including the Nave Mosaics dating back to 1880 and are said to be some of the finest in the country.
It is also home to Cathedral at Height, a guided tour that takes you behind the scenes providing an unparalleled level of public access. The tour lets you explore the bell-ringing chamber, peer down on the fourteenth century quire stalls, amble along the galleries and take in the panoramic views from the roof.
5. Guided Tours
One of the best ways to discover Chester’s fascinating past is to join a guided tour. Daily Walking Tours, Roman Tours, Civil War Tours and Heritage Bus Tours operate from the Visitor Information Centre and are extremely popular with visitors to the city as they get to experience Chester from a different perspective, taking in all the wonderful sights of the black and white buildings, architecture and history.
6. River Dee
Flowing through the city, the River Dee is a great focal point for visitors and locals. Home to boats offering cruises, rowing boats and pedalos for hire, a bandstand and benches it’s the perfect place to relax on a sunny day with cafes and restaurants lining its banks and plenty of scenery to enjoy.
Chester Boat run daily river cruises from The Groves which pass by the beautiful Eaton Estate, home to the Duke of Westminster.
7. Boutique Shopping
Chester is well renowned for its quirky, unique boutique shopping. As well as hosting a wide range of high street brands, you’ll find a wealth of unusual independently run shops along the side streets and famous Rows. Watergate Street, branded ‘The Independent Quarter’ is mainly filled with independents, from galleries to clothing boutiques, trendy bars and quaint café’s all a stone’s throw from the main shopping street and an absolute must when visiting Chester.
8. Chester Zoo
Chester Zoo is continually winning awards for being one of the top attractions in the country and upon visiting you’ll soon see why! It is home to over 11,000 animals and 400 species including some of the most endangered in the world. From magnificent elephants and rhinos to delicate butterflies there’s something different to see around every corner.
9. The Chester Grosvenor
Housed in an historic building with a black and white timbered façade, The Chester Grosvenor is situated in the centre of the beautiful Roman city of Chester. The five red star hotel is one of the city’s greatest landmarks, standing alongside the iconic Eastgate Clock. It has an award winning Michelin starred Restaurant, Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor which has retained its coveted star since 1990 and also has four AA rosettes. The hotel is also home to a luxurious spa with a range of over forty rituals and treatments and is the perfect choice for enjoying Afternoon Tea.
10. Town Crier
Chester is a charming city with many unique features which endears it to visitors and residents alike. There are many unusual and interesting facts that people may not know about Chester, the history of the Town Crier is certainly one. Chester is the only place in Britain to have retained the tradition of regular midday proclamations at a fixed place and time. Located at the pedestrianised intersection of the four main streets of Chester, the High Cross has been the site of proclamations since the Middle Ages. From June to August, Tuesday to Saturday you can see the Town Crier at 12 noon (11.00am on Chester Race Days).